“An 8 day holiday, with 5 days of fully guided cross country skiing in Slovakia’s stunning High Tatras. Some experience required.”
Five days guided cross country skiing | Smokovec | Strbske Pleso | Levoca | Slovak Paradise N.P | Snowshoeing | Spisska Magura ridge | Belianske Tatras
Description of High Tatras cross country skiing holiday in Slovakia
A week of guided High Tatras cross country skiing in this mountainous region that is still well off the beaten track but with plenty of beaten tracks, or loipes, for this cross country skiing expedition. The High Tatras are wild, untouched landscapes and even though you are based in the same 3* hotel in the winter resort of Smokovec for seven nights, the trails will be varied and dramatically beautiful for five full days of skiing. Such as the highest skiing village in the Tatras, Strbske Pleso which borders the magnificent Tatras National Park or the Levocské vrchy mountains around Levoca, a medieval settlement that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cross country skiing in the aptly named Slovak Paradise National Park also brings you into an ancient natural landscape where ravines and caves, waterfalls and rivers are an adventure playground in summer and frozen into the perfect winter wonderland in winter.
This Slovakia cross country skiing holiday, although just a newbie on the tourism scene, is not for newbie skiers. The High Tatras, although not as famous as the Alps or Pyrenees, are not to be sniffed at in terms of challenges. So we do recommend that you have had some experience already. You will be guided by expert mountain guides throughout.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.
Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson
Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando
Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.
Responsible tourism: High Tatras cross country skiing holiday in Slovakia
Activity: As we spend the week cross-country skiing, we have a relatively low impact on the environment. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We believe in leaving no more than footprints, however we do want toleave behind a positive cultural exchange by engaging with locals and using local businesses in Smokovec, Zakopane and Zdiar. By hiring our skis locally and using transport in the area, we are immediately having a positive effect on the community.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Accommodation and meals: We stay in a locally owned pension in the heart of the High Tatras, just a short walk from the charming town of Smokovec. The hotel has a restaurant serving a mixture of local and international cuisine but as most dinners are not provided, there will be plenty of motivation to use local cafes and restaurants in neighbouring areas on the tour. Many small businesses in rural areas like this are reliant on income from tourists and they offer an altogether more authentic experience than large chains. Your guide can tell you about regional specialties which are worth trying such as ‘Oscypek’ (smoked ewe’s milk cheese) and ‘Bunc’ (curd ewe’s milk cheese).
Local Craft and Culture: We visit the medieval UNESCO town of Levoca located at the foothills of the Levoca Mountains. Here we can admire the beauty of this historical town with the biggest wooden alter in the world and visit the town ´s museum. Clients are encouraged to support local craftsmanship and traditional methods of production by purchasing handcrafted souvenirs in shops on the tour in Tatranska Lomnica and Strbske Pleso. These goods are largely wood carvings and textiles. A popular product is handmade shoes called ‘kierpce’ made from sheepskin and lined with wool. These shoes are traditionally produced and worn by Polish highlanders and so buying them is a great way to keep a local custom alive.
A Fair Deal: We have established a long term partnership with our local operator who is committed to boosting rural economies through tourism. We use local leaders who are committed to responsible tourism and helping to preserve the way of life in their area. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.