It’s no secret that I love hiking, and that I have an ever-growing dislike for big cities, which is kind of ridiculous for someone currently travelling through Europe. So when I heard about Zakopane and the possibility of doing a hike to Morskie Oko lake, I thought to myself, “hells yeah!”.
Everyone in Poland absolutely RAVES about Zakopane. A small resort town in southern Poland sitting at the feet of the Tatra mountains. Locals love it for its ski resorts in winter, and rock climbing and hiking options in summer.
I excitedly giggled like a little schoolgirl when I booked my bus ticket from Wroclaw to Zakopane. I just COULD. NOT. WAIT. to get there and start hiking!
So you can imagine my disappointment when I finally got to Zakopane and saw THIS:
A wet ground, clouds and fog all over the place.
It kept raining through the night, so at least I had a good excuse to not do anything that night.
Hike to Morskie Oko
The Morskie Oko lake sits at almost 1400 meters above sea level, and is the fourth deepest lake in the Tatra mountains. The lake is considered as one of the prettiest lakes in all of Poland, and with good reason.
Morskie Oko is surrounded by lush green mountains, waterfalls and alpine forests. On a clear day you can also see the snowcaped tips of the mountains surrounding the lake.
Getting to Morskie Oko
The ride to Morskie Oko takes a bit less than 1 hour from the city center. To get there, head across the street from where the intercity buses leave (right besides the yellow building on the first picture of this post). The minivan to Morskie Oko leaves from stand 1 or 2, for a cost of 10 PLN.
Hike to the Lake
From the bus stop at the park, the hike takes between 2 to 3 hours depending on your walking speed.
Most of the trail is done on a paved road and the climb is not a steep one, so it really is an easy hike. At one point during the walk you have the option to continue on the paved road or climb through the mountain (a harder part of the road), which will save you about 15 to 20 minutes of walk.
If hiking is not your thing, you can always go by horse carriage for a cost of 30 PLN. However note that the carriages do not take people all the way to the lake, and you will still have to walk
If you decide to walk, make sure you bring plenty of water and some food. There are shops on the road, however who wants to be stuck in a queue when hiking…
Unfortunately I cannot make much mention on the beauty of the lake itself, as when I got there this was my view of it:
Arriving to the lake to find it in this condition was certainly a disappointment. However there is a trail that goes around the lake that still offers some spectacular views of the close surroundings, including that of a waterfall which feeds the lake. The trail itself will add an extra hour to the journey.
Have you ever been on a hike only to be disappointed by the weather? Did you still make the most of it? Let me know in the comments!