Tatra Mountains and Zakopane Resort

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The Tatra Mountains, covering the area of about 750 square kilometres, are the highest part of the Carpathians. Only one fifth of them belongs to Poland (150 square kilometres). The rest lies in Slovakia, where the highest peak – Gerlach (2654 m) is situated. Of the whole range of the Tatras, only a part of the Western and High Tatras lies in Poland. As for the Polish Tatra Mountains, Mount Rysy is the highest (2499 m). However, the most distinctive and popular with Zakopane newcomers is Mount Giewont, resembling the ''Sleeping Knight'', which the local Highlanders feel a considerable respect for. 
morskie oko zakopaneThe Polish Tatras are not only famous for their picturesque slopes, summits and valleys, most of which are accessible thanks to the marked trails. The lakes, mainly situated in the upper areas of the valleys in the High Tatras, make the mountains unique and attract thousands of tourists every year. Of all the lakes, called tarns here (''Stawy'' in Polish), the largest one is the ''Eye of the Sea'' (Morskie Oko) (over 34 ha), whereas the deepest one is Wielki Staw Polski (over 79 m deep).
There are mountain huts in the Tatras which make it possible for tourists to walk along the mountain range from hut to hut to get the full flavour of the region and spend more time admiring the beauty of the nature of the Tatras.
Since 1955 the Polish Tatra Mountains have been part of the Tatra National Park thanks to which the rich wildlife has been preserved till the present day. The lower and middle parts of the Tatras, mainly covered with the larch, stone pine and spruce forests, are home to wolves, bears, lynxes and a wide selection of birds. The rockier parts abound in such rare species as the alpine marmot and the chamois. As for the valleys, they are also worth seeing as lots of beautiful flowers, like crocuses in the early spring, can be found here. Moreover, they are rich in caves, especially the Koscieliska Valley (Dolina Koscieliska), some of which are open to the public.
The Tatras, constituting the National Park, have as many as 250 kilometres of marked trails.Thus, they have a lot to offer to both experienced mountaineers and to leisurely strollers. Some parts of the Tatras are serviced by the cable-cars, the funicular and chairlifts making them accessible to everyone. The mountains are also renowned for excellent snow conditions, thus, attracting loads of skiers during a long winter season. However, as the region is famous for the changeability of the weather, all the tourists should take the necessary safety precautions.
Zakopane, Poland's premier mountainst resort, is just 120 km away from Krakow. The pictersquely seated Zakopane is a great place to visit any time of the year. Its natural scenery and local architectural style makes it one of the most popular destinations.
Come and explore the region in depth yourself!

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