Tatra Winter Family Activity Week
Try everything from downhill skiing to dogsledding in Poland and Slovakia
Reviews 18 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
A snow-laden landscape is always a wonderful sight in the mountains. For some it means heading to the slopes, for others it means strapping on the snowshoes or harnessing the dogs. There are so many different options it can be hard to choose. Luckily during this week that isn’t a problem: from our base high in the Tatra Mountains we enjoy a fantastic week trying a host of the most popular winter sports, including downhill skiing and snowshoeing. We will also visit Zakopane, across the border in Poland, to experience this unique high mountain atmosphere and have a go at dogsledding. Add to that a visit to nearby thermal pools and you have the perfect way to experience winter at its best.
* All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
* All accommodation
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
Tour leader throughout
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Great range of winter activities
- Fantastic value for money
- Traditional Slovak culture
- Visit the Bukowina Thermal Pools
- 7 nights accommodation at Hotel Villa Siesta
- 5 days of mixed activities
- Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 12 yrs
- No previous experience necessary but reasonable fitness required
The trip starts today in the Tatras resort town of Smokovec popular for skiing and hiking.*Hotel Villa Siesta*
A full day introduction to snowshoeing.
After breakfast we have a short transfer to the Goral village of Zdiar. Starting at the Strednica ski centre we follow the ridge of Spisska Magura Mountain all the way to the Bachledova valley. On the way there are some lovely views over the ridges of the Belianske Tatras. The terrain will be relatively easy. Some of these routes were used long ago by local smugglers to bring goods either from Poland to Slovakia or the other way around.*Hotel Villa Siesta*
Cross-country skiing instruction followed by a guided itinerary at Strbske Pleso.
Today begins with a trip on the local Tatra train up to Strbske Pleso Lake (1361m) framed by the white peaks of the surrounding mountains. This is one of the most popular areas in the whole of the Tatras for winter sports and we will receive instruction from the leader before heading out across the frozen lake to try our skills (located close to a stadium and groomed tracks). As a sport, cross-country skiing is one of the most complete workouts, as its motions use every major muscle group. The skis are long and thin, the toe of the skier’s footwear is attached to the ski with a binding, while the heel remains free. This area is great for beginner and intermediate cross-country skiers, and lunch can be taken at one of the restaurants on the bank.*Hotel Villa Siesta*
A trip to Zakopane for dogsledding: tour of the town, afternoon visit to the thermal pools at Bukowina Tatranska.
After a transfer of about 1 hour across the border to the Polish town of Zakopane we have a morning to try our hand at dogsledding. Mushers will instruct the group on how to control and drive a sled. You will have turns driving your own single sled, usually pulled by 3 dogs around a beginner’s circuit, then a trip as a passenger in a two-person sled with a larger team. If there is time we may take a tour of the town known as the ‘capital’ of the Polish Tatras. After a hearty lunch in one of the local restaurants we will transfer to the nearby village Bukowina Tatranska for a relaxing afternoon in the recently built thermal pool resort which offers a number of different pools, slides, jacuzzis and saunas, a great way to while away an afternoon.*Hotel Villa Siesta*
Transfer to the downhill slopes for some skiing or snowboarding (instruction available, payable locally).
A short trip on the local train takes us to Tatranska Lomnica, one of the best areas for downhill skiing in the country. Here you will find a number of slopes to choose from. Our first stop is the rental shop to pick up skis or a board. The day is then ours to enjoy. For those looking for a relaxing break there is the option to take the cable car to the second highest peak in the whole of Slovakia, the Lomnicky Peak and enjoy the amazing views from the highest Slovakian bar at 2634 m.*Hotel Villa Siesta*
Free day to choose from the many activities and attractions, such as the Belianska Cave.
We have a free day to choose from the many activities available in the Tatra Mountains region. These include all of the activities we have tried during the week, as well as snow tubing, and ice skating. There is also the beautiful Belianska Cave near Zdiar with waterfalls, pagoda-shaped stalagmites and numerous little lakes. The Tatra town of Poprad is also reachable in a day. Your leader will of course be on hand for advice.*Hotel Villa Siesta*
Cable car ride up to Hrebienok for winter walk, afternoon horse and sleigh tour of Zdiar village and picnic in the forest.
Today we hop on the cable car up to Hrebienok above Smokovec to see some winter ice sculptures and take a short walk to Rainerova hut. And of course the view from the cable car on the way up gives us the opportunity for a bird’s eye view of our base.We then will visit a local museum in Zdiar to learn about the traditional weddings of the Goral people with the option to wear ’KROJ’ traditional local costume that people used to wear at weddings.In the afternoon we will jump on the sleigh pulled by a hardy pair of horses and go on a tour around the village, offering views of the surrounding mountain peaks and folk architecture of the village of Zdiar along the way. Horse keepers will make a warming picnic lunch, grilling sausages on an open fire in the Slovak style, as well as hot tea and hot wine and some snacks for us at their shelter in the nearby forest.*Hotel Villa Siesta*
End Smokovec, Tatras Mountains
The trip ends today in Smokovec, Tatras Mountains.*Hotel Villa Siesta*
Hotel Villa Siesta – 3 Star
A warm welcome awaits in the heart of the High Tatras at the 3-star Hotel Villa Siesta, just a short walk from the bars and restaurants of Smokovec. We use comfortable twin rooms with en suite facilities. The hotel has a restaurant serving a mixture of local and international cuisine, as well as a wellness centre with a number of optional spa treatments and sauna. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
Single supplements are available upon request.
All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner are included during the trip.
Due to the late arrival of the group flight on Day 1, a late cold buffet dinner will be offered by the hotel.
Hotel Villa Siesta has a hotel on site serving a set menu of local specialties and international cuisines. The group will also have the choice to eat evening meals in the local restaurants in Smokovec which we highly recommended.
Slovak cuisine is hearty and heavy on meat, potatoes, dumplings, soups, thick sauces and cheeses. Vegetables such as cabbage and wild mushrooms are also popular in dishes. Slovak cuisine is typical of a country with strong rural roots.
Vegetarians can be catered for, however, choices across Central Europe for vegetarians can be limited. Please advise us at time of booking if you have any special dietary requirements.
This trip is Level 3: Relatively full days, with 3 – 4 hours of physical activity per day. You should be reasonably confident in your fitness to ensure you get the most out of this trip, a light exercise routine pre departure will certainly help.
Family Departures : This trip has special departures reserved exclusively for parents travelling with children (min. age 12). These family departures will run with the same itinerary and inclusions of our standard adult departures. The level of difficulty and/or duration of the activities will be adapted to the ability level and age of the children booked.