Ten Amazing Adventures Under $1,000 (2009 Edition)

by , SmarterTravel Staff - April 13, 2009 See all photo galleries
Tatras Trekking

High Tatra Trekking in Poland and Slovakia

Provider: KE Adventure Travel
Length: Eight days
Price: $995

While the Alps may be the most popular trekking destination in Europe, Eastern Europe boasts its fair share of snow-capped peaks and high alpine meadowlands, too—many of them linked by way-marked trails and mountain huts like those in France, Switzerland, and Italy. Unlike many central European routes, however, the Eastern treks are more remote and less developed, meaning you're not as likely to encounter lots of other hikers and you may even have the chance to spot wild animals like bear, wolves, and lynx. On top of that, guided tours are significantly cheaper, sometimes costing 40 percent less than similar trips in the central Alps.

KE Adventure Travel, which ranked as National Geographic Adventure's top trekking outfitter for 2007, leads an eight-day trek through Poland and Slovakia's Tatra Mountains. You'll traverse over rugged ridges and past glacial lakes, summit Poland's highest peak (Rysy, 8,199 feet), and ramble through farms and pastureland, traditional mountain villages, and thick pine forests inhabited by wild animals long since hunted out in Western Europe. You'll stop for meals and evening stays in mountain huts, so there's no need to carry food or camping supplies. At the end of the trip, there's time to explore Krakow, also known as "Florence of the North."

Departures are scheduled for July 18 and September 19. Rates include airport transfers, hotel and mountain hut accommodations, most meals, ground transportation, and guides. Some meals and airfare to Krakow are extra.

(Photo: KE Adventure Travel)

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