High Tatras - Transport

International Airport Poprad-Tatry

The Poprad-Tatry Airport is one of the highest-lying in Europe; at its altitude of 718 meters above sea level, it is higher than Innsbruck, Austria. The gateway to four national parks, and to historical towns and settlements in Spis and Liptov regions, it serves winter sports and summer hiking centres in the Low and High Tatras, and in Spis and Orava.

Cableways in the High Tatras

The rich history of special transportation in the High Tatras unquestionably relates to the eternal human dream of reaching the highest peaks.

The main surface transport is via a road known as Cesta slobody. This passes through all resort areas, and continues to Liptovsky Hradok in the west and Lysa Polana on the border with Poland to the north. Other roads lead down to the villages and towns of the Podtatranska kotlina basin.

The railways made their first inroads in 1871, when the Tatra region first became accessible to the Kosice - Bohumin railway. In 1895, Tatranska Lomnica was connected by railway with Poprad, and in 1896 the cog-wheel railway connecting Strba to Strbske Pleso was completed.

This network was tied together during the period from 1908 to 1912 by the Tatra Electric Railway. In recent decades, refurbishments and technical adaptations have kept the system up to date and reliable. Since 1908 a funicular railway has joined Stary Smokovec with the Hrebienok ridge. An aerial cablecar from Tatranska Lomnica to Lomnicky Stit peak was built in 1940, and an adjacent cablecar to the Skalnate Pleso tarn in 1873.

Finally, before the Second World War the airport in Poprad was built. In 1970 it became officially international, and the Tatra region became easily accessible by air. The airport also serves as a heliport, as helicopters play an important role in the Tatra mountains, not least for rescue operations. Since 1962 TANAP's Mountain Rescue Service has utilized a helicopter in its work.