Carpathian Heights: Unveiling the Highest Mountains in Slovakia

The highest mountains in Slovakia are part of the Western Carpathian system, which also dominates its landscape. Let's take a closer look.

Travel and Exploration
14 December 2023

Nestled in the heart of Central Europe, Slovakia’s landlocked landmass is characterised by its strikingly rugged, elevated terrain. In fact, other than some southern lowlands, it’s largely within the remit of the Western Carpathian Mountains, the highest section of a system that arcs, wave-like, from Southeastern to Central Europe.

It’s within the complex, corrugated system of the Western Carpathians that span from the east to the west, that one finds the highest mountains in Slovakia. In fact, they’re concentrated in one region known as the High Tatras. This is where we’ll head now as we seek out Slovakia’s highest peak.

The High Tatras

The High Tatra Mountains at dawn, Slovakia. (Credit: Patryk_Kosmider via Getty Images)

Known locally as Vysoké Tatry, the High Tatras are something of a rarity. Other than the Alps themselves, they’re one of Europe’s only alpine landscapes. What’s more, while their peaks are high, their footprint is small. Among mountain ranges of similar stature, none cover an area as compact as the High Tatras.

This range boasts not only the highest mountains in Slovakia but also the highest in the entire Carpathian range. Designated as a UNESCO bioreserve, the High Tatras straddle the Slovak-Polish border, with a national park in each country.

In Slovakia, Tatry National Park encompasses 286 square miles of alpine meadows and forests, waterfalls and karst topography. Within its protected zone, the European brown bear, wolf, and Eurasian lynx are just some of the animals that roam. And overlooking it all are the vast peaks, including the tallest mountain in Slovakia.


Gerlachov Peak (Gerlachovsky stit), Slovakia (Credit: gubernat via Getty Images)

It was only in the 19th century that Gerlachovsky stit, known simply as Gerlach, was determined to be the highest of the High Tatras, now the highest point in Slovakia. Several other mountains in the range had previously been deemed higher. Standing at approximately 8,711 feet, Gerlach is perhaps best known for its deeply indented dip, which many describe as cauldron-like.

Lomnicky stit

Lomnica Peak, the second highest peak of The High Tatras, Slovakia (Credit: ViliamM via Getty Images)

Under five miles southeast of Gerlach is the second biggest mountain in Slovakia. At 8,635 feet, Lomnicky stit is often veiled in dense mist. It’s notable for housing Slovakia’s highest botanic garden, meteorological station, and even its highest telephone booth. Also on the summit since the 1950s is a station of Slovakia’s Institute of Astronomy.

Ladovy Stit

View of the Summit - Lodowa Kopa (Ladova kopa, Maly Ladovy stit). (Credit: gubernat via Getty Images)

Once thought to be the highest of the peaks in the Tatras, Ladovy Stit, rising to 8,622 feet, is in fact the third tallest of the Tatras and the third tallest mountain in Slovakia.


Mountain sunset panorama landscape in Tatras, Rysy, Slovakia. (Credit: TomasSereda via Getty Images)

Rysy features not one but three distinct summits. Its north-western peak, at 8,202 feet, is Poland’s highest peak, but it’s the south-eastern at 8,114 feet above sea level that is its pinnacle and makes it one of highest mountains in Slovakia. Its name, which translates to mean “scratches,” is thought to refer to its cracked appearance.


Sunset At Krivan Mountain. (Credit: Ľuboš Balažovič / 500px via Getty Images)

With its iconically curved pointy peak, Krivan is often cited as the prettiest of the High Tatras. Rising to 8,186 feet high, it was once thought to be the highest point in Slovakia and, even now, is an important national symbol.

Batizovsky stit

Batizovsky stit (Batyzowiecki Szczyt) - Peak in the Tatra Mountains, Slovakia. (Credit: gubernat via Getty Images)

Just a limestone’s throw from Gerlach, Batizovsky Stit stands at 8,034 feet. Named after the 13th century aristocrat who also established the nearby town, it embodies the rich cultural and natural heritage of the High Tatras, reflecting the area’s intertwined history and geography.

Klin, Bystra and More

A view from Volovec in the Tatra Mountains. (Credit: Karol Majewski via Getty Images)

As mentioned earlier, the High and Western Tatras are home to many of the highest mountains in Slovakia. Other notable examples are Klin at 7,139 feet, Bystra at 7,375 feet, and Volovec at 6,772.

Slovakia’s Highest Peaks

Great Hinczowy Pond in The High Tatra Mountains, Slovakia. (Credit: ewg3D via Getty Images)

In summary, Slovakia’s landscape is dominated by the Western Carpathian Mountains, particularly the High Tatras in the Central Western Carpathians. Each peak, from the biggest mountain in Slovakia to the distinctive Volovec, serves as a testament to the region’s diverse geological features and historical significance. These mountains, straddling borders and hosting unique ecosystems, not only define Slovakia’s physical landscape but also reflect its cultural and natural history.


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