Tatra Winter Activity Week Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Slovakia, Poland
Programmes:
Winter
Trip Code:
CVT
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

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.

This trip is also perfect for families wishing to experience a wonderful week of winter activities and there are 4 dedicated family departures scheduled for 11th and 18th February 2018 and 10th February and 17th February in 2019.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights accommodation at Hotel Villa Siesta
  • 5 days of mixed activities
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs (12 years for family departures)
  • No previous experience necessary but reasonable fitness required
  • Family departures available

 

  • Countries visited: Slovakia, Poland

Trip Highlights

  • Great range of winter activities
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Traditional Slovak culture
  • Visit the Bukowina Thermal Pools

Is This Trip for You?

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. There are 4 dedicated family departures scheduled for 11th and 18th February 2018 and 10th February and 17th February in 2019.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Smokovec.

    The trip starts today in the Tatras resort town of Smokovec popular for skiing and hiking.
    Hotel Villa Siesta

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 3

    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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 8

    End Smokovec, Tatras Mountains

    The trips ends today in Smokovec, Tatras Mountains.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

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.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from 139,70 €

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

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.

Transportation

A private minibus will be used for most transfers.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Smokovec lies at an altitude of approximately 1000m. During January and February, when this trip departs, there is usually a good snow covering. It will be slightly warmer in the village than the higher areas we visit for skiing and snowshoeing. However temperatures can still range from -2 to -10 in January and can feel colder with the wind chill factor. February is typically warmer, with average temperatures more likely to be between 0 and -5 in the town.

Weather Charts

Slovakia

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed
until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Smokovec

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Smokovec in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

The start hotel is approximately 150km from the airport. If you choose not to meet the group at the airport to join the group transfer, please note that the start point for this trip may be difficult to reach on your own. We recommend to pre‐book private transfers through Exodus but if you decide to travel by public transport, you need to take a bus or train from the airport to Krakow. From Krakow there is a bus to Zakopane which runs every 10mins. From Zakopane, there is a bus to Poprad (the main Slovak Tatra town) and it goes through Stary and Novy Smokovec.

To plan your journey please go to:

https://www.busy-krk.pl/en/zakopane-krakow/

When you arrive at the start hotel, please make the reception staff aware that you are part of an Exodus group and they will put you in touch with the tour leader as soon as possible.

Location start:
Smokovec
Location end:
Smokovec

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Small daypack
  • Full winter clothing: plenty of pairs of thick and thin socks
  • Thermal underwear
  • Warm hat, thick gloves or mittens
  • Warm jacket and fleece
  • Strong waterproof walking boots or insulated boots
  • Sunglasses and sun-cream
  • Swimsuit and towel for thermal pools excursion

Practical Information

Passport

Slovakia

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Poland

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Slovakia

Poland

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Slovakia

There are no specific health risks.

Poland

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Slovakia's Timezone:
Europe/Bratislava CEST (GMT +02:00)
Poland's Timezone:
Europe/Warsaw CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Slovakia's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Poland's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Slovakia's Currency

The national currency of Slovakia is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.67 to the AUD and 0.63 to the NZD.

Poland's Currency

The national currency of Poland is the Polish Zloty  (PLN), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (March 2019) of approximately 5.02 to the GBP,  3.83 to the USD, 2.86 to the CAD, 4.31 to the EUR, 2.7 to the AUD and 2.6 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

There is a bureau de change at Krakow airport, an ATM in Zakopane and an ATM in Smokovec. Credit cards are widely accepted.

We do not recommend travellers cheques, as they may be difficult to change during the holiday.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Slovakia is a very good value destination. As a guide you can expect to spend between €7 and €15 on an evening meal, not including drinks, and €5 to €10 for lunch, depending on the establishment.
Meals and drinks taken in Poland may be slightly more expensive, however you can expect to pay around 20Zl for a lunch in Poland.

We recommend you bring the majority of your spending money in cash.  

All equipment for the activities planned are included in the price however you will need to purchase a ski pass on the downhill ski day (Day 5), should you wish to venture further than the beginner slopes. This is approx €30.

Any activity undertaken on the free day will be at your own expense (please see below for these prices). The entry to the thermal pools at Bukowina is also included. Drinks and snacks are available to purchase here, via a wristband system that allows you to pay on departure. You will need Zlotys for this. We recommend to bring around 300 Euro and 60zl for the week.

Optional Excursions

All prices are in Euros unless otherwise specified; prices are correct at time of publication but are subject to change.
Ski/snowboard equipment rental ‐ €11 per day; Ski lesson ‐ €12 per hour; Ski pass ‐ €30 per day. Thermal pools ‐ 35 PLN (approx €8) adult.
Free day optional activities: Belianska Cave visit ‐ €7.
Please note on Day 5 in Tatranska Lomnica, the ski pass is not included. A one day ski pass will cost approximately €35.
Optional visit to Poprad on free day ‐ price on application, this will be dependent on the number of participants.

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline we recommend a contribution of between €15 to €20 per client. It is also customary to leave a tip for the driver. This can be handed in to your leader at the end of the trip. For your driver we recommend to budget approx. €10-15 per person.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.