Morskie Oko

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Scubabartek on November 6, 2002

Located 33km from Zakopane, Morskie Oko is said to be both Poland's and Tatra's most beautiful lake. It is also the largest, covering the area of 35 hectares.

The hike is not strenuous, but it is quite long. The well paved road winds up the mountain for approximately 10km (six plus miles) and for an average person will take about two hours to get to the lake. The views along the way are magnificent. On a sunny day the highest peaks of Polish Tatra's (including its highest peak Rysy at 2499m) are clearly visible. A variety of mountain flora (mostly conifers) surrounds the paths, with the occasional squirrel peaking out at the tourists. About a third way up, a magnificent waterfall system, Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza, can be seen to the right of the trail. Right around here there is also a complex of "honey buckets" for those who cannnot hold it any longer. Three quarters of the way up, at Polana Wlosienica (which happens also to be the end station for the horse-driven carts), there is wooden building housing a buffet, a bar, souvenir shop, as well as toilets. If you're hungry try the cheese-filled crepes - they are quite magnificent.

Once you reach Morskie Oko (which by the way means "The Eye of the Sea"), there is little you can do here except of course to enjoy the splendid views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. There is a pension with a restaurant where you can grab some grub. And if you made it here early, and your fitness level is high, you can follow the red trail (advanced) that leads to the top of Rysy and on to Slovakia. For myself, I just enjoyed having a sandwich while enjoying the cool mountain air and watching the ducks on the lake - how in the hell did they make it here...

To get to Morskie Oko, go to Zakopane's main bus station (PKS) where the busses leave every hour or so. Or alternatively, across from the bus station, private vans carry people to the location for approximately same price. The ride will range from three to five zlotych ($0.75-$1.25). Rides back are offered at similar prices.

Morskie Oko
Tatra National Park
Tatra Mountains, Poland

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