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Our holiday continued with another day and after abundant breakfast in Grandhotel Starý Smokovec, we didn’t have to go far away to make a trip below Studené doliny (valleys).
So we packed everything that we needed, put our small tourist on my back and walked from our hotel to the Hrebienok funicular station, which was just a stone’s throw away.
Starting point – Hrebienok
Hrebienok doesn’t need to be introduced specifically. Almost everybody who has or hasn’t been to the High Tatras knows it. In the course of the year, various events take place there and several hiking trails begin there. One can travel to Hrebienok with a funicular that operates from Starý Smokovec every 30 minutes and surmounts about 250 vertical metres on an almost 2-kilometre-long route, walk along a hiking trail or cycle along an asphalt road.
Being well accessible, it is open to a wide spectrum of people including the smallest tourists as well as older, experienced ones or those with some handicap as it is wheelchair-friendly.
We decided to use the funicular too, which could help us spend more time with our small tripper in the mountains.
Studený potok (brook) and its waterfalls
They can be heard in the distance once you arrive at Hrebienok. Waterfalls roaring in the valley whose power becomes apparent mainly when it rains or when the snow melts in spring. Our family didn’t want to miss them so we headed straight there. After about 5 minutes, we got to Bilík’s chalet, which is almost round the corner. We didn’t stay there for long, though.
The trail is a bit sloping there, but big stones are quite comfortable so the small load on my back didn’t complain and enjoyed the surrounding nature from his baby carrier. After about 10 minutes, we came to Studený potok (brook). Studený means cold in Slovak and we could feel it already from the distance as a cold wind was blowing from the brook.
We went closer and feasted our eyes on the beautiful scenery. There are a few spots along the brook bed where one can stop and see the waterfalls from close range. A railing is there too, so one can literally enter the bed but has to be cautious not to slip.
The waterfalls are really fascinating and definitely worth visiting. In summer, you can refresh yourself there and the climate is more bearable to continue with your trip.
Rainer’s hut… or cottage?
We walked along Studený potok further up and got to Rainer’s hut. It is called a cottage by some people and a hut by others. It doesn’t offer accommodation, though. The Kamzík cottage used to be nearby in the past, but that’s not true anymore. Today, at least the hut can be visited and offers refreshment plus a nice atmosphere to make a break with children. We never miss it when we are in the area because we like it there very much.
Along Obrovský vodopád (waterfall) to Zamkovský’s chalet
We decided to continue to another but a higher-located chalet where one can walk comfortably with children. We used a bridge to get over Studený potok and followed a red-marked trail.
After about 10 minutes, we came to Obrovský vodopád (Giant waterfall), which is 10 metres long and one of the biggest waterfalls in the Tatras. It begins in the gorge of Malý Studený potok (brook) and if there is enough water, it looks really massive.
From Obrovský vodopád, it takes 30 minutes more along a stony trail to get to our final destination. The trail is very nice and offers a lot of views of the valley as the terrain is sloping. After a while, we arrived at the highest point of our trip – Zamkovský’s chalet. It is located at the altitude of 1,475 metres and is known as the entrance of Malá Studená dolina (valley).
There is also a buffet where one can refresh oneself after their performance and kids don’t get bored there either as there is a small playground where they can play.
Post-trip regeneration and relaxation
The hotel is located just below the lower funicular station, which makes it an ideal starting point. We had a great dinner in the evening and relaxed in the hotel wellness centre after that to regenerate for next days.