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Walking and Climbing in the Carpathians

The Tatras mountains of Slovakia and Poland are a summer paradise for ramblers. This is the highest range in the Carpathians, which extend in challenging, rocky beauty into Serbia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic. Keep putting right in front of left and repeating, and you can see it all!

Hikers will happily find a network of some 24,000 kilometers of marked trails in Poland, including the Polish sections of the trans-European routes. Favorite hiking trails include dunes, lakes and forests at the seaside in Slowinski National Park. Well above sea level, the high peaks of the Tatras Mountains frame the horizon of the visitor base at Zakopane in southern Poland. The Sudeten Mountains, where the Polish, German and Czech borders meet, are studded with castles and caves and rich in wildlife. Hiking trails in and around the Zakopane range from winding paths suitable for leisure walks to rocky ridges and high mountain treks for the more adventurous. Small new inns capture the Polish way of life along trails in the Carpathian highlands near the near Slovakian/Ukraine border, giving you an unparalleled insight into the culture of the Carpathians and Central Europe.

Allow yourself to be captivated by the rugged, untouched scenery of Šumava National Park in the Czech Republic. Stretching along the border with Germany, Sumava features glacial lakes, remains of ancient virgin forests and extensive marshland to explore. This is a superb location for summer hiking. The elaborate network of well-marked tourist trails will lead you to the most untouched of scenery and views of the majestic mountain ridges. If you fall in love with Sumava, return in the winter and just put skis on in place of hiking boots!

Lake Balaton, its stunning scenery and fresh air, are a must for outdoor tourists visiting Hungary. Countless marked trails circumnavigate the lake and lead hikers, cyclists and horse-riders to some of the region’s natural treasures. The northern shore is ringed by volcanic hills with spectacular rock formations. 400m-high Badacsony Hill is a particular favourite, its slopes littered with cellars promising tasty refreshment and its flat-topped summit offering views to die for. Hmm, is it the climb that makes I it a favorite, or the “watering holes”? The peninsula of Tihany is also volcanic in origin, and its geyser cones and crater lakes provide wonderful terrain for walkers and anglers alike.

The Carpathian mountains forms a huge arc in the centre of Romania. In fact, 31% of the country is mountainous. Within this range are innumerable places of natural beauty: mountain peaks, gorges, lakes, forests, caves, mud volcanoes and fossil deposits, and thankfully finding a great hiking trail is a breeze. The variety of terrain, from mountainous to gentle, offers something for every hiker regardless of skill or level. Rock-climbing enthusiasts should head for the main rock-climbing gateways: Busteni, Sinaia, Zarnesti and Petrosani. Over 400 parks and reserves assure that there is loads of protected natural area for you to enjoy under your own steam on a hike in Romania.

Walking, is the best way to get to know a country, its people and their customs. Serbia’s centuries-old forests, vast plains, villages, towns and cities and mountain peaks are a real challenge for even for experienced hikers but so worth the effort! Besides recreation, physical satisfaction and enjoying beautiful natural sights and phenomena, you will also have the chance to see many historical monuments, such as the fabulously painted churches and lovely monasteries tucked in the forest and scattered across the countryside.

The Tatras Mountains, the highest range in the Carpathians, lie on the border of Slovakia and Poland and offer the avid alpine hiker a memorable trek in largely untrammeled territory. Trails are marked for their level of difficulty so walkers aspiring to more relaxing jaunts can amble through gentler terrain. As beautiful as the scenery is on these walks, the set of instructive paths offered are possibly the most fascinating, as these trails take you on themes adventures to learn about local topography, geology, history and customs, or for general sightseeing so you don’t miss any of the high points. Fill your lungs, stretch your legs, widen your mind, and max out your camera all on a wonderful walk in Slovakia!

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