Winter Slovakian Family Holiday

Poland,

From £1,175Member Price £1,145

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16 people
8 days
Code: WCFW
Activity and Adventure, Family, Tours
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Overview of Winter Slovakian Family Holiday

Slovakia is one of Europe’s most mountainous countries and the snow-clad Tatra is one of the best-known mountain ranges and a perfect place for winter fun. On this centre-based week of snow-filled activities you will enjoy skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing and after a busy day, relax in thermal pools!

Trip Summary for Winter Slovakian Family Holiday

Start Location: Zuberec,   End Location: Zuberec

Countries Visited: Poland, 
Meals Included: Breakfast: 7   Lunches: 1   Dinners: 0
Highlights:

    • The accommodation, the quirky Pension Pribisko, is perfect for all ages, with a sauna, playground and friendly local staff
    • Experience a slice of Slovak tradition with a fun evening of music, lanterns and dancing in the open-air Museum of the Orava Village
    • This part of the Tatra Mountains is a nice balance of easy and advanced skiing terrain. You’ll be cruising down the mountain no matter what your skill level
    • An included snowshoe adventure lets you get literally off the beaten track – you’ll feel like a real adventurer!
    • Animal-lovers will be in heaven, as the beasts of the Lower Tatra pull you along the slopes on a dog-sledding adventure
    • There’s a great balance of included activities and free time, with plenty of room for sipping hot chocolate and soaking in soothing thermal pools

 

Day 1 - Krakow
Today is arrival day into Krakow, we will spend a night here to explore the city before we head into the Tatra Mountains, ,our base for our week of winter activities. Situated on the western edge of the High Tatra, Zuberec was originally an agricultural settlement. Today the village lies at the centre of three downhill skiing areas and has developed to offer a range of facilities for tourists in the winter and summer months.

Day 2 - Skiing / Snowboarding
After breakfast you transfer to Zuberec, a journey that will take 2 1/2 hours. On arrival we head into the mountains for a day’s skiing or snowboarding. Downhill skiing has long been the most popular form of skiing; in fact it was first taken up as a leisure activity by the British in Victorian times. However in recent years snowboarding has become the fastest growing winter sport. Both of these activities require different equipment so your first stop will be to get kitted out with the correct boots and then either skis or a board.

As well as experienced ski technicians, your leader will be on hand to make sure everything fits properly and to show you how it all works. Then it’s off to the slopes. The village offers tracks (pistes) for all categories of skiers or snowboarders. Shorter slopes of 400m and 860m are for beginners. On the other hand a longer slope of 1490m is for more competent skiers. The main ski area is situated in the Pod Salatinmi Valley, 1090m above sea level. Here you’ll find a self-service restaurant and artificial snow-making machines to ensure good skiing. If you’re a beginner, you can join a three hour lesson, aimed at your level of ability/experience (additional charge), while proficient skiers are free to ski! For the remainder of the day you’re free to practice your new skills or explore the area before returning to your pension.

Day 3 - Skiing / snowboarding
Keeping our skis overnight we return back to the slopes. Beginners will be amazed at how quickly they can develop their balance and technique, whilst for more experienced skiers and boarders there’s the chance to try more demanding pistes.

Day 4 - Snow shoeing
Today we to the Rohace forest for a day's snowshoeing. Your Group Leader will give a quick lesson on how to put on your snowshoes and how to use them with a pair of poles to move around. It really isn’t difficult at all and, although you might feel a little ungainly at first, you’ll soon discover that you can climb even a fairly steep slope with ease. With snowshoes you can go almost anywhere - which means you can get to places that skiers cannot. You may set off along a prepared forest trail but if a glorious view or interesting diversion presents itself you have the freedom to get off the beaten track –literally! The group’s ability will dictate how far you go but it maybe possible to climb to one of the highest peaks in the Western Tatra, Brestova, at a height of 1902 metres. As we’re likely to be away from the main skiing areas we'll take a packed lunch with us.

Each sled carries two people - a driver (or musher) and a passenger - pulled by a team of 2-6 huskies. It takes a while to get everything ready but eventually you’ll set off in crocodile file, with the dogs tugging hard at their harnesses before they break into a smooth rhythm. All you can hear are the runners of the sled fizzing over the frozen snow and the odd bark or yelp from the dogs. Don’t forget the magic words which the dogs listen to for their direction: ‘Ho’ and ‘Dzi’. While you’re waiting your turn, there’ll be hot drinks and your leader and dog handlers will make a warming fire (if possible). There’s also likely to be the offer to try some of the traditional home-made Slovakian spirit called Slivovica, which will definitely warm you up! It depends on the group, how long the activity lasts, so it should be an enjoyable activity for all!

After lunch you’ll meet up with your leader and make the short drive to the neighbouring mountain village of Oravice (11km), to visit one of the area’s open-air, thermal pools (optional, at additional cost). Such pools are found in many parts of Slovakia and are popular for their restorative properties. As well as offering general health benefits, the waters of Oravice are reputed to have beneficial cosmetic properties - but they also make a great place to relax weary ski-legs.

Day 5 - Dog sledding and Thermal Pools.
After a good breakfast to set you up for the day, you’ll leave the pension to meet up with the dog team handlers and their dogs – the dogs come from the Lower Tatra to meet you, and you’ll get to know them in the fields around the village. Upon arrival the handlers will show you how to handle the sled and brief you before setting off. The dogs always get really excited as soon as they see the sleds coming out and it’s often a struggle to hold them back, such is their enthusiasm.

Each sled carries two people - a driver (or musher) and a passenger - pulled by a team of 2-6 huskies. It takes a while to get everything ready but eventually you’ll set off in crocodile file, with the dogs tugging hard at their harnesses before they break into a smooth rhythm. All you can hear are the runners of the sled fizzing over the frozen snow and the odd bark or yelp from the dogs. Don’t forget the magic words which the dogs listen to for their direction: ‘Ho’ and ‘Dzi’. While you’re waiting your turn, there’ll be hot drinks and your leader and dog handlers will make a warming fire (if possible). There’s also likely to be the offer to try some of the traditional home-made Slovakian spirit called Slivovica, which will definitely warm you up! It depends on the group, how long the activity lasts, so it should be an enjoyable activity for all!

Day 6 - Cross country skiing
Today is a final included ski day to do as you choose on those skis . Have a leisurely breakfast and take to the slopes again, maybe swop from skis to snowboard of vice versa or give cross-country skiing a try.

Day 7 - Sledding
This morning after breakfast we will head to the slopes around the village for a sledding excursions. This is great fun for adults and children as we whizz downhill on small plastic sleds.
After our sledding fun we will be joining up with your leader for lunch with a local family. The main dish will be a specially prepared Halusky. This is a traditional mountain dish of hot potato dumplings served with melted cheese and sprinkled with bacon. Over lunch you’ll discover more about Slovakian life and see how families live today. After lunch we'll head to the hot pools once again for our final soak in the thermal waters.

Day 8 - Departure day
The trip ends after breakfast., For those who have booked a transfer we will return you to Krakow.

Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities

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