Ždiar is certainly the most picturesque village located on the perimeter of the Tatras. More exactly, on the foot of the White Tatras and their beautiful twin Pyramids of Ždiarska Vidla (2146) and Havran(2152).
One of the specificities of Ždiar are the painted houses and windows ornaments.
More than its beauty, this village is a very convenient place as a base to explore the Tatras for several day-walks :
- It is quite spared by the crowds: many Polish believe the Slovak hillside are all ravaged by the storm of 2004 while Ždiar lies actually on the North (then ladscapes are intact); as for the Slovak tourists, it is more distant than other resorts.
- Many very famous hiking trails (Belovodská Dolina, Dolina Javorová, Morskir Oko, trail to Široké Sedlo via Dolina Monková, etc...
- Well accessible from Poland thanks to the Jurgow/Podspady border, whose other advantage is to avoid the traffic jams to Zakopane.
- Well served by public transports (bus from Poprad or Zakopane)
- A handful of affordable accomodations, of all standards.
In any case, a much better place to choose as a base for hiking than Zakopane....
* From Zakopane, the bus going to Poprad.
* From Poprad, the bus going to Lysa Polana.
The trail to Široké Sedlo via Dolina Monková, green marked, is one way only, from Ždiar to Široké Sedlo. This is also the only trail in the Slovak Tatras whose entrance is not free. (30sk, about 1€).
This may sound strange, but this is to protect and maintain the very fragile path, located on a type of ground very vulnerable to water erosion.
Also to impose less disturbance to the habitat of most of the bears in the Tatras, as well as many Chamois.
The reason why it is one way is that going up, pedestrians make less destructive vibrations with steps. Also, they are obliged to make the whole circuit, going down via Dolina Javorová or Tatranska Matliare, which filters only the "long distance hikers", and keep away the familly walks (also more likely to leave rubbish)...
We've tried 3 so far, for which we can give an excellent opinion : Pension Furmanec (basic standard, cheap) Pension U Alena (good standard) Pension Adamják (good standard)
There are many others which are probably as good as these three, listed in the links below.
And there is finally this one, which I hope to try one day:
The contact details of this stunning place are not listed anywhere on internet...
Eduard & Anna Liptak, +421(0)905 317 389 / +421(0)905 851 119
(Slovak/Czech/Polish speakers only)
Other facilities and objects of interest in Ždiar are:
- 1 cashmachine (Bankomat) near the museum
- 1 folk Museum
- 2 excellents restaurants where one can eat the best truits of the world :)
Ždiar location's, on the North of the Tatras, is excellent for snow conditions.
There are many lifts located on Spišská Magura, the hills facing the Tatras, which are very convenient for beginners and skiers with modest level. A bit further, there is another resort, a bit bigger, in Bachledova Dolina