Morskie Oko

Morskie Oko is the largest lake in the Tatras. It is of glacial origin and is located in the Valley of the Fish Stream at the foot of Mięguszowieckie Szczytów at the height of 1395 m above sea level.

Morskie Oko lake details:

- 34,93 area ha

-length - 862 m

-width - 568 m

- depth - 51

- the water is green

- water transparency - 11 - 14 m

- average maximum ice cover thickness in winter - 56 cm

In Morskie Oko there are clearly separated layers of water, i.e. thermocline (well mixed by waving the upper layer of water in Morskie Oko has a thickness of 3 meters and a temperature of 12,1 ° C). Below the depth of 20 meters, up to the bottom, the water has a temperature of about 4 ° C.

Morskie Oko Lake usually freezes in November, and it falls in May.


In the mid-seventeenth century, highlanders called this lake White Pond. Current name "Morskie Oko"Comes from German. "Sea Eyes" (Meeraugen) were called German settlers coming from Spisz.

Morskie Oko was also called Fish Pondbecause it is one of the few Tatra lakes with fish.

Morskie Oko is fed by two permanent streams: Czarnostawiański Potok and Mnichowy Potok.

A shelter stands on the moraine closing the Morskie Oko lake from the north PTTK Stanisław Staszicwho came here in the year 1805 to explore this place.

The PTTK Morskie Oko hostel is located at the height of 1410 mnpm and consists of two parts: the New and Old Hostel.

The new Morskie Oko Shelter was established over 100 years ago and still has 36 beds for tourists in rooms 3-, 4-, 5 and 6 -bedded, equipped with a washbasin and bunk beds. The bathroom and shower are located outside the room.

Facilities at the Morskie Oko hostel

- boiling water available 24h

- kettles in the corridors

- luggage storage

- TOPR information board with weather forecast over Morskie Oko and in the Tatra Mountains

- shoe and clothes dryer

- the ground floor kitchen, open in the season from 7: 00 to 21: 00, preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner

- free boiling water poured into the tourists' own dishes in the kitchen

- sweets, basic tourist equipment, literature and souvenirs are available in the buffet

- curfew from 22: 00 to 6: 00 in the morning

The Old Shelter (formerly Wozownia) is today the oldest existing shelter in the Polish Tatra Mountains, serving as a lodging house. Tourists' lodging places with tourist standard in three multi-person rooms have been made available to tourists here.

- in the 14 passenger room - bunk beds

-in 13- and 16-rooms - bunks

-kitchen kitchen (hot water)

- full bathroom

-night silence from 22: 00 to 6: 00 in the morning

In 1874, the Tatra Society built a small shelter facing the Morskie Oko, which could accommodate about 50 people. In 1898, the building burned down and the coach house served as the hostel, which is today's Old Hostel.

The new hostel was opened in 1908, expanded and modernized, and serves tourists visiting Morskie Oko to this day.

Both buildings are monuments today.

The hostel at Morskie Oko is the starting point of tourist routes to:


Mieguszowiecka Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem

Szpiglasowa Pass

Above the Morskie Oko lake, going south, there is a second large lake in the Rybiego Potok Valley, i.e. Black Pond near Rysy, otherwise known as Czarny Staw nad Morskie Oko.

The peaks rising above Morskie Oko and Czarny Staw pod Rysami are:

- from the east:

Seven Grenades

Frogs Niżni Peak

Monk frogs

Frog Doll

Niżnie Rysy

- from the south and southwest:


Frogs horse

Żabia Turnia Mięguszowiecka

Beef Ridge

Kazalnica Mięguszowiecka

Black peak in Mieguszowiecki

Mieguszowiecki Intermediate Summit

Mięguszowiecki Peak



- from the west:

Szpiglasowy Wierch


Tanned Wierch


Around the Morskie Oko lake, there is dwarf mountain pine and limba, as well as many rare plant species in Poland, including alpine fleece, hairy monkshood, flowering sedge, rock mugwort, boneless skylight.

Morskie Oko is one of the few Tatra lakes where trout naturally occur.


In the 17th century, King Władysław IV granted the right to use the pastureland at Morskie Oko to Władysław Nowobilski. Morskie Oko became private property in 1824, when Emanuel Homolacs bought the Zakopane goods together with the Ryby Potok Valley from the Austrian authorities, followed by Władysław Zamoyski. Since 1933, the lake has been owned by the Polish State.

For tourism, Morskie Oko was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century and then the first hostel was built here.

In 2014, Morskie Oko was recognized by The Wall Street Journal as one of the five most beautiful lakes in the world.

Routes from Morskie Oko

-red - from Toporowa Cyrhla, along the road to Morskie Oko and next to Czarny Staw on Rysy

- asphalt road from the parking lot on the Palenica Białczańska clearing (8,5 km, not available for private cars), connecting to the red trail in front of Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza (2: 20 h, ↓ 1: 55 h)

- around the lake (approx. 50 min)

- via Świstówka Roztocka to the PTTK hostel in the valley Dolina Pięciu Stawów Polskich

- on Szpiglasowa Przełęcz

Route to Morskie Oko

Morskie Oko is located about 25 km from Zakopane.

It's best to get to Morskie Oko:

- by car or bus: from Zakopane to Palenica Białczańska to the parking lot, from where the route to Morskie Oko begins

- further the trail to Morskie Oko, about 8 km long, is covered on foot or in a carriage, and in winter with a sleigh (asphalt road leading among forests)

-the time of walking towards Morskie Oko is around 2: 30 h, back from Morskie Oko goes around 2 h

- fairly easy route

After about 1 hour, the Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza waterfall passes, consisting of three cascades with a total height of 10 m.

Currently, Morskie Oko is visited by thousands of tourists during the year who admire the mountain views and from here set off on further routes to the Tatra Mountains.




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