Family Slovakia Winter Adventure
|Resort:||Family Slovakia Winter Adventure|
Explore the stunning natural beauty of Poland and Slovakia’s winter landscape with its snow-covered mountains and beautiful towns. Experience a wide range of unusual winter activities including skifox, a type of bike on skis, riding in a snow cat vehicle, snow tubing on an air-filled ring and night sledging as well as snowshoeing, ice skating and cross country skiing…. a real winter adventure.
Snow tubing – Discover snow tubing, a ride in an air filled ring
Snow cat – Ride on a snow cat up to the mountain followed by dinner at a mountain retreat
Avalanche challenge – Find a hidden object under piles of snow
Day 1 Join trip in Krakow. Explore the city on foot.
Arrive in Krakow. Dating from the 13th century, Krakow is a picture-postcard maze of narrow streets, grand buildings and al-fresco cafes.
For those arriving on time today our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 5pm for the welcome meeting and to take us on an orientation walk of the city.
If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you’ll need to arrive into Krakow’s John Paul II International Airport (airport code KRK), which is 18km, around 30 minutes from the hotel.
Please note that if you wish to join the orientation walk today, you must arrive at the hotel by 5pm. If you are booking your own flights, we recommend giving yourself at least 1 hour to clear the airport. From the airport to the hotel is around 30 minutes’ drive, so therefore the latest your flight can arrive is 3.30pm. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
On this evenings walk we will visit Rynek Glowny, Europe’s largest medieval square with its quirky town houses and historic buildings that surround the area including Sukiennice which is the most famous and still in use today as a covered market. We also explore the delightful Old Town; a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only major Polish district to escape the war unscathed.
Overlooking all this is the fairy-tale Wawel Castle, where past kings and queens are buried and is the home of many treasures that have been collected by the Polish monarchy. There is also the opportunity this evening to explore the former Jewish Kazimierz District, which was the Jewish Ghetto in World War II and the setting for the film Schindler’s List. Nowadays this area is probably the most vibrant part of the city with unique cafes, bars and restaurants and it offers an interesting insight into how the Krakow Jews lived during the war years.
Day 2 Drive to our base in the village of Novy Smokovec, Slovakia. Afternoon head out on a snowshoe trail through the forests.
We travel this morning crossing the border from Poland into Slovakia, a journey of around three hours. Our destination is Novy Smokovec. This village with Stary Smokovec, Tatranska Lomnica and Strbske Pleso are the most frequently visited tourist places in the High Tatras. Novy Smokovec was also a spa centre which continues up to the present times. It is known for its skiing in winter and hiking and mountaineering in the summer and is located in the heart of the mountain range with stunning views of the Tatras Basin below. The Tatras Mountain range is strictly protected, and despite the area’s popularity, the town still has many traditional wooden buildings and its alpine culture still strongly evident.
On arrival, we’ll enjoy a gentle walk around the town to get our bearings, before donning snowshoes for an introductory walk close to our hotel. The trails provide the opportunity to enjoy the tranquil splendour of mountain scenery and beech trees that are covered in layers of blanketing snow. Snowshoeing is fairly easily mastered and we should need just a few minutes to feel confident enough before heading off on our afternoon’s exploration which should last around 2 hours. Your Explore Leader will adjust the duration and distance to match the requirements of the group. Snowshoes and hiking poles are provided. Please note, the order of the itinerary may vary depending upon the weather conditions.
Day 3 Avalanche activity challenge. Find hidden objects hidden in the snow.
Avalanche action awaits us today! We take a train to the neighbouring village of Stary Smokovec. From here it’s a few minutes to the funicular base station. We board the funicular and ascend to a high mountain village where many of the snow activities take place. From here we take a half hour’s walk to Velka Studena dolina. During our walk, an unexpected event happens! We are challenged to find hidden objects under piles of snow – we receive a special device to search for the object as well as shovels and detectors. We all have to work together as a team to discover what lies beneath. Hot refreshments are provided.
The afternoon is free for optional activities including skiing and snowboarding in the Stary Smokovec or the Tatranska Lomnica area which have a range of slopes available to suit the beginner or intermediate skier. The Tatranska Lomnica ski region located in the High Tatras, the highest in Slovakia, offers 12km of slopes and 8 ski lifts (mixture of modern chairlifts and cable cars) to an elevation of 2,196 meters; ideal for full or half day of skiing. For details of prices please see the budgeting section. If you would intend to book ski or snowboard lessons we strongly suggest booking in advance.
Day 4 Cross country skiing followed by 2.6km exhilararting night sledging track
This morning we drive to Cerveny Klastor on the Slovakia/Polish border where we try out cross country skiing by the beautiful Dunajec River running through the Pieniny Mountains. The area has some of the most interesting geological structures and ecosystems in the country. The group may be divided according to physical ability with the option to travel along a 2-4km pathway or continue with a local guide to Lesnica, which extends the distance to 9 km in total. The whole group reunite and meet at Lesnica for a typical Slovak lunch before driving back to Tatranska Lomnica.
There is time to relax for a few hours back at the hotel before venturing out for our night sledging activity. We take the funicular train up the mountain to reach the start of the 2.6km sledge track which leads from Hrebienok down the mountain to Stary Smokovec. The route is flood lit and its a race to the bottom!
Day 5 Ice skating. Free afternoon for optional skiing. Snowcat ride to a mountain restaurant for dinner.
We spend the morning ice skating on a large frozen lake. The afternoon is left free to enjoy the skiing in the area or alternatively relax in the wellness centre of a local hotel. If you wish to book ski lessons we suggest these are booked well in advance as ski lessons in the school holidays are in high demand. There is an easy ski slope close to the hotel, for lessons we recommend heading to Tatranska Lomnica where tonight’s dinner and snow cat ride will be taking place.
This evening a real treat awaits us. We travel the short distance by train to the bottom of the ski slopes in Tatranska Lomnica and board a snow cat. Sitting in a small compartment behind the driver, the enormous ski tracks carry us high into the mountains to our restaurant located at the altitude of 1173m. Here we enjoy a five course gourmet dinner. The evening ends with the snow cat ride back down to Tatranska Lomnica, where we take a train back to our hotel in Novy Smokovec.
Day 6 Snowtubing, Skifox and local cookery class where we prepare a traditional Slovakian dish.
Today we try out a range of activities that are lots of fun. First, snowtubing – these are fast inflatable tubes that you sit on and enjoy the ride back down the ski slope. All you have to do is sit into a rubber wheel, tie yourself to a ski-tow, let yourself be pulled a few meters upwards and slide downhill. No experience is necessary and you enjoy five rides. We then try Funtools which is like a bicycle with mini skis instead of wheels that you sit on to manoeuvre along the snow – a perfect activity for non-skiers.
Later this afternoon we walk to our cooking class which takes place in one of the local hotels. We learn how to cook a selection of traditional Slovakian dishes. This involves all the family as we split into groups to prepare a starter, main and dessert. We then sit down and enjoy our creations at the end of the class.
Day 7 Travel back to Krakow with afternoon free to explore the historic city.
After breakfast we drive back to Krakow where we have the afternoon free to enjoy this city further.
Day 8 Trip ends in Krakow.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Krakow.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Krakow at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you’ll need to depart from Krakow’s John Paul II International Airport (airport code KRK), which is 18km, around 30 minutes from the hotel.