Tatra mountains winter activity week in Slovakia
Description of Tatra mountains winter activity week in Slovakia
This Tatra Mountains winter activity week in Slovakia takes us on a journey through some of Europe’s wildest and least visited spots, especially in winter. Based in one hotel, a three star delightful, locally run chalet style hotel in the heart of the Tatras, we spend five full days out on the slopes, woodlands and meadows.
We start off gently, with a day of snowshoeing along the Spisska Magura Mountain ridge, and down through the snow blanketed meadows of the Bachledova valley. From there we progress to cross country skiing, after some initial tuition for those who haven’t experienced this before. Skiing around and across the frozen Strbske Pleso Lake, surrounded by the Tatras, is a highlight of the holiday for many people.
Our next adventure is just over the border in Zacopane in Poland, to try out some husky sledding, followed by some time chilling at a thermal spa, which is pretty much winter living at its finest. Back in Slovakia, our last couple of days include downhill skiing in the much celebrated Tatranska Lomnica region or, for those who don’t do downhill, take a cable car up to Lomnicky Peak, the second highest in Slovakia, and visit the highest bar in the country too.
The best fun is kept for last, though, taking a cable car up to the small ski resort of Hrebienok and then go downhill sledding all the way back down.
1 Reviews of Tatra mountains winter activity week in Slovakia
Reviewed on 05 Feb 2019 by Rosemary Morton
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
There were so many good memories it is hard to choose just one. Cross country skiing, snow shoeing, walking in the mountains, sledging, scenery, hot chocolate, Slovakian dumplings.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Take a travel kettle and some tea bags (nothing in the rooms so not so easy to make a flask for taking out for the day)
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
I think it benefited the local people and we used bus or tram wherever possible (if we couldn't walk).
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Excellent. Great fun, not too strenuous, informative and friendly guide, Lovely country.
All of the activities on offer for the duration of the trip have a low impact on the environment. They include snowshoeing, skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding and dogsledding - none of which relies on engines and energy consumption for movement. 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.
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.
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.
PeopleLocal Craft and Culture:
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. Travelling to this culturally important village in the High Tatras encourages the community to maintain their natural environment for the benefit of visitors.
Accommodation and meals:
We stay in the locally owned Hotel Villa Siesta 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).