Towering up to almost 2,700 metres (8700 feet) above sea level, the Tatra Mountains form a natural border between Poland and Slovakia. Their dramatic beauty has been an inspiration for many mysterious tales and adventures.

Take the Tatras as your travel companion for a day or more and you will not be disappointed. The mountains will always give room to new discoveries, amazing views and provide food for your own story to tell. You don’t even have to climb all the way up to Gerlach in Slovakia – the Tatras’ highest peak – or Rysy on the Polish side to feel you’ve conquered the world.

An easy outing to the lakes of Morskie Oko (pictured above) or on Rusinowa Polana will do for many and many routes give you already splendid views of the landscape. Aim your eyes at Mount Giewont from a good angle and you can clearly make out its shape: a sleeping knight in shiny … pardon, rocky armour.

If you haven’t grown up near the Tatras, you might be amazed by its relative compactness and ease to access. But there is more to wonder about, already on the way in. Come at the right time in the season and you can still see the traditional stacks of drying grass. Raking the grass and putting it up the piles is hard labour, with often entire families involved to get the work done.

Don’t be surprised that when evening is on the horizon you’ll find cows on your path, strolling back after their working day in the fields. During one of our visits we even stumbled upon one proud cow at the bus stop, like she was waiting for her ride home.

The Tatra Mountains are worth visiting throughout the year. The Tatra Summer is beautiful, the Tatra Autumn is colourful, the Tatra Winter is magcial and the Tatra Spring is hopefull. |

This story was originally published through Made By Magmar, a joint project of journalist/photographer Marcel Burger and engineer/editor/photographer Magdalena Pezdek, on 14 March 2019.