Tatra Winter Activity Week - Families

8 days
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£1,099
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Trip code: 
FCVT
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Family Group
Activity:
Family Winter Holidays
Min age:
12
Group size:
4–16

Try a wide range of winter sports

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.

Highlights

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

Key information

  • 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

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

 

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement

Responsible Travel

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… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Krakow. Transfer to Smokovec, Tatras Mountains

    Fly to Krakow. Transfer to Smokovec (approx. 2-3 hours) in the Tatras Mountains. The Tatras resort town of Smokovec is 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

    Transfer to Krakow Airport; fly to London.

    Transfer to Krakow Airport; fly to London.
    Hotel Villa Siesta

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Slovakia

No visa required for British passport holders.

Poland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Slovakia

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Poland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and 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.

Weather

Smokovec lies at an altitude of approximately 1000m. During February, the month of the family trip departures, 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 feel colder with the wind chill factor. February is typically warmer than January, with average temperatures likely to be between 0 and -5 in the town.

Slovakia

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.

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.

Expert Blog Entries

Bobsledding

Celebrate the 2018 Winter Olympics by taking part in a challenge of your own.

  • Reviewed February 2016
    Linda Still

    Tatras with the family

    High Tatras with the kids was a great experience. We met some lovely people and did some crazy things - acted out a typical Slovac wedding to name but a few!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just being all together, having dinner together, laughing together...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was great - however the trip was somewhat hampered by the warmer weather which he managed beautifully. He was largely calm and collected when around him perhaps were not!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring plenty of Euros, there's lots of stopping so bring a book, try the sauna in the hotel and have a great time.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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