Not necessarily popular with tourists, Slovakia is nevertheless an exciting destination, especially for those looking for an active holiday. Backpacking on the High Tatras is a favorite activity with resident travelers. For the international visitor, lack of information is often problematic. For any backpacker, experienced or not, adventuring on the High Tatras without a guide is an unnecessary risk.
You can find the Gerlach Peak in the Gerlachov village, in northern Slovakia. Accommodation in the region begins at as low as 29 EUROs, but you can find even cheaper lodging at rural pensions in the area.
Gerlachov itself doesn’t have too many attractions to mention. There is a Gothic church from the 13th century that attracts a few tourists, as well as a stone bridge built around 1865, that has been declared a national cultural monument in 2008. A more interesting attraction could be Gerlachovská izba – or the Gerlach room – a return to the past, that shows how life in this region used to be before Internet, mobile phones, television and electricity. You can experience this lifestyle, and enjoy a number of activities including weaving.
Alternatively, you can stay in Vysoké Tatry, which includes all the major resorts in that region, and hike the Gerlach Peak from Tatranská Polianka.
The two easier routes we have already mentioned can be accessed by the public, but only accompanied by a certified mountain guide. Both routes are protected by chains, and are considered among the more difficult scrambling routes in the High Tatras. Hikers usually ascend from Velická Valley and descend into Batizovská Valley. Keep in mind that hikers who depart from marked trails may be subject to fines unless they are UIAA members, or are led by an IFMGA-certified mountain guide.
Find more information about Gerlachovský štít at Wikipedia.
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