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Walk to the Eye of the Sea

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To enjoy your trip to Morskie Oko (The Eye of the sea), which is the largest lake in the Tatra Mountains; you will need to set off a whole day. Firstly, because you need to get to “Lysa Polana” or “Palenica Bialczanska," where the trail to Morskie Oko starts. From here you will need to travel the 9km up to the lake. Despite its length, the height difference on this route is only a little over 400 meters. The route, which largely runs along an asphalt road is not too difficult. However, it is a relatively long walk for those of you that chose to walk this distance. It is worth putting the extra effort into completing this journey, as you make your way up to the eye of the sea, you will be surrounded by stunning views of the mountain peaks.

Initially, the trail follows along the river Białki, which in this section is a border river between Poland and Slovakia. On the way to Morskie Oko, you will be able to admire the beautiful waterfall - Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicz. This waterfall consists of three main falls, with a height of 3 up to 10 meters. There are several vantage points from which we can see the highest peaks of the Tatras, one of which is the highest peak of the Tatra’s mountain rage, Gerlach - 2655m above sea level. Walking through the “Valley of White Water” you will have the opportunity to see a typical glacial valley, which has the traditional “U” shape.

Horse carts are available to tourists who do not wish to complete the journey on foot and are standing ready at the starting point of the trail. These will take you to a clearing called “Włosienica” that is approximately 2-km away from the eye of the sea making the distance much shorter.

On the route to the Eye of the sea, you will pass the infamous Głęboki Żleb were often in winter the road can be blocked for days and sometimes even weeks due to snow avalanches. There are a few very basic weather shelters for visitors to use during inclement weather all along this trail. After a while, you will leave the woodlands, and find that you are standing in front of a breathtaking, unobstructed panorama. This panorama consists of the peaks that dominate the surroundings of the lake. The highest peaks here climb up to over 1000 meters above the lake, displaying the majesty of these mountains. One of the most famous of these summits is called “Monk," a single peak, which reaches a height of 2068 meters above sea level and for years was the symbol of the Polish Tatra Mountains. When you reach Morskie Oko, you will see the nineteenth-century hostel, which once served as a carriage house and in later times, offered the possibility for overnight stays by the lake. In close proximity, there is also a newer hostel, built in 1908, and renovated in 1992. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful hostels in these mountains, with a charming view of the Eye of the sea, and the surrounding peaks. The hostel is situated at an altitude of 1404 meters above sea level.

Morskie Oko is the largest lake in the Tatra Mountains created by glacial activity. It covers an area of almost 35ha, with a length of over 850 meters and a width of more than 550 meters and in the deepest point it is 50 meters deep. It is also one of the very few lakes in the Tatra Mountains, where fish live (trout). The lake is supplied by two, permanent streams, The Mnichowym and The Czarnostawieńskim. There is a red walking trail that runs around the lake, which offers visitors the option to see this beautiful place from different perspectives. It will take you about 40 minutes to walk around the lake on this trail.

 

Location and Other Attractions in the Area

Map to Morskie Oko - Zakopane, Poland
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This walk starts in the very south of Poland in a little place called Lysa Polana. There are buses running here from Zakopane & Nowy Targ, or you can drive. We would recommend you to be here early as it can get very busy.

 

Distances to Lysa Polana from:

Krakow:131km
Zakopane:26km
Oświęcim:138km

Other Attractions in the area:

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The Tatra National Park, in a way this is part of the walk as you will be walking into the Tatra's. However, there are many other walks and routs that are available in the park. 

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The Cable car runs from just outside Zakopane up to the top of the Tatra mountains and offers an effortless way of exploring this high-altitude range. 

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The Thermal Pools in Bukowina and Bańska Niżna are both just a short drives away from the Tatra mountains. If you are coming from Krakow, then you will pass one of these. 

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Zakopane is a beautiful mountaineer town located at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. Many tourists find them self staying here for a few nights. 

Tatra Tatra 2 Tatra 3

Practical Information:

Walking distance: From the car park in  Łysej Polanie, it is about 9km, and from Polanicy Białczańskiej it is about  7, 5km one way.

The time it should take you to walk is about 2-2.5 hours depending on your walking speed. However, there are also many resting places along the trail and views to be seen, so most people end up using longer than this to complete the walk.

 

For those of you that do not wish to walk both ways or are unsure of walking this distance then there are horses available to use one way or both ways. The prices can often be negotiated. However, the price list is as follows:  40zł per person going up and 30zł per person coming down.

You can reach the starting point in Lysa Polana or Palenica Bialczanska (Palenica Bialczanska is 1.5 Kilometers closer to the eye of the sea making it shorter to walk from there) by catching the bus from the main bus station in Zakopane, and the price should be around 6 to 8zł per person one way.

Entrance fee to the Tatra National Park is 4.40zł in season, and 3.20zł outside of the season (Normal Ticket).

Parking your car at  Łysej Polanie or Polanicy Białczańskiej costs 20zł/day for those of you that are driving.

Prices of accommodation in shelters by the Eye of the sea: If staying in the old shelter the prices are from 29zł-39zł/person/night and in the new hostel 39zł-49zł/person/night. Both hostels are open to visitors all year round. It is best to make a reservation by phone in advance, especially in the summer as spaces are limited. You can contact the shelters on: 0 1820 77609 or mobile number 602 260757 between 9:00am and 9:00pm. Payments for services rendered in shelters can be made with cash only!

 

 

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