Dolina Zeleneho Plesa
One of the most pristine and fascinating destinations in Central Europe, The Valley of the Green Mountain Lake (Dolina Zeleneho Plesa) sits high in the Tatras Mountains near Slovakia’s border with Poland. Because of its remote location, this Valley remains one of the most unspoiled places on Earth and one of Europe’s premier destinations for outdoor adventure.
Tourists have treaded lightly on this wild and romantic landscape for many centuries. One of the first recorded forays to the area was by a Polish princess and her retinue in 1565. Since then, pleasure seekers and adventurers have been charmed and challenged by the rugged beauty of the terrain. The mid-19th century brought a larger-scale influx of tourists. In 1871 the Košice-Bohumín Railway was constructed which brought passengers to the nearby towns of Strba and Poprad. Following copper miner and sheepherder’s paths, a system of mountain trails was established to access the most scenic spots in the area. In 1949, the area was declared a national park, and in 1993, the entire region encompassing parts of Slovakia and Poland were named a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
The Chateau Pri Zelenehom Plese is the perfect base for exploring the area. At 1551 meters above sea level, this historic hotel commands an impressive view of the peaks surrounding the lake. Because of its depth and deep green color, Green Mountain Lake was said to be connected directly to the ocean. Legend tells of the ruins of a sea-going schooner, which was discovered in the lake almost two centuries ago.
Legends aside, the breathtaking views of this unspoiled area are inspiring. On the northern side of the lake, Little Kezmarsky peak rises 900 meters above the northern end of the valley and 600-meter Mount Jestrabia anchors views of the southeast. Well-marked, secure pathways guide tourists through all parts of the area with vistas of the High Tatras toward Poland. The wildlife in this protected area include many species of birds not found elsewhere in Europe as well as one of the few remaining colonies of the Carpathian brown bear.
After an exciting day of sight seeing, the Chateau Pri Zelenom Plese makes the perfect spot for a refreshing drink or hearty meal. The unsurpassed natural all-season beauty of the terrain, combined with its easy access and charming amenities make it the perfect spot for hikers and photographers. (Another great place is Bastei Bridge).