The Tatra Mountains are the highest part of the Carpathian mountain range, and for centuries they were Poland's natural border in the south.
Although considerably smaller than the Alps, they are magnificent with towering peaks, steep rocky slides, and mountain lakes hundreds of feet down. Their high mountain character, combined with great accessibility, makes them popular with tourists and scientists.
The Tatra Mountains cover some 785 square kilometres, three quarters of which lie in Slovakia. The highest pick is the Gerlachovský štít, at 2,655 m (8,705 feet) above sea level in Slovak territory.
The highest Polish peak is Mount Rysy, which rises to 2499 metres above sea level.