Slovakia’s snow-covered mountains are the perfect backdrop to a fun-filled winter break

Start
Zuberec, Slovakia
Finish
Zuberec, Slovakia
Countries
Slovakia
Themes
Family
Code
WCFW
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 2 Max 16
Carbon offset
138kg pp per trip


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

Itinerary

Welcome to the village of Zuberec. This idyllic skiing spot, nestled in the foothills of the Western Tatras, was originally an agricultural settlement. Today the village lies at the centre of three excellent downhill skiing areas. Your accommodation is built in the chalet style, with wooden furniture and simple but clean and comfortable quarters. The Milotin and Janovky ski centres are just 2 kilometres away. If you arrive early, there's plenty to do – perhaps start with a sauna, or take the kids to the children’s playground in the garden. In the evening, feel free to make use of the barbeque facilities. 
After breakfast, head into the Rohace mountains for a day’s skiing or snowboarding. 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. Experienced ski technicians, and your leader, will be there 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 skill levels. The main ski area is situated in the Pod Salatinmi Valley (1,090 m 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 perhaps join a three-hour lesson (optional). Enjoy the rest of the day to explore the slopes.
Return to the slopes for a second day of snowsports. You'll keep the equipment you were fitted out with yesterday. Beginners will be amazed at how quickly they can develop their balance and technique, while for more experienced skiers and boarders there’s the chance to try more demanding pistes. Whatever you choose to do today, it will be great to be out and about, whizzing across the snow. After lunch you will make the short transfer to Oravice, known mainly for its rich thermal waters. As well as cosmetic benefits, these pools are perfect to soak your tired muscles in after a day on the slopes.
After a hearty breakfast, leave the pension to meet up with your team of dog handlers and their dogs. The dogs come from Lower Tatra to meet you, and you’ll get to know them in the fields around the village. The handlers will brief you on how to handle the sled before you set off. Watch as the dogs struggle to contain their excitement at the sight of the sleds coming out. Each sled carries two people – a driver ('musher') and a passenger – pulled by a team of 2–6 huskies. It takes a while to get everything ready, but you'll soon set off in crocodile file, with the dogs tugging hard at their harnesses before breaking 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. The magic words for directing the dogs are ‘Ho’ and ‘Dzi’. While you’re waiting your turn, there will be hot drinks and your leader and dog handlers will make a fire (if possible). You might also be able to try the traditional home-made Slovakian spirit called Slivovica.
This morning you’re free to relax in the pension or explore the village. For lunch, join up with your leader and dine with a local family. The main dish will be a specially prepared halusky. This is a traditional mountain dish of delicious hot potato dumplings served with melted cheese and topped with bacon. Over lunch you’ll discover more about Slovakian life and get a glimpse of how families live. Afterwards, take to the slopes around the village once again for a sledding excursion. Zooming downhill on small plastic sleds is great fun for both adults and children. In the evening you will visit the museum of Orava village, enjoying the ambience of some traditional music and lanterns. A magical atmosphere is created as you walk along the snowy paths of the wooden village. With no electricity, your only light is a pair of lanterns. At the end of the evening you can dance to the traditional music.
Head back out to the Rohace forest for a day of snowshoeing. Your leader will give you a quick lesson on how to put on your snowshoes and how to pole. It might feel a little awkward at first, but most people get the hang of it fairly quickly. You'll soon discover you can climb a steep slope with ease. With snowshoes you can go almost anywhere, even places skiiers can't. You may set off along a prepared forest trail, but if a glorious view or interesting diversion presents itself, there's freedom to get off the beaten track. The group’s ability will dictate how far you go; you might be able to climb one of the highest peaks in the Western Tatra – Brestova (1,902 m). As you’re likely to be away from the main skiing areas it’s a good idea to take a vacuum flask and picnic provisions with you today. After lunch there's free time, which you might like to use for a another (optional) visit to the thermal pools.
Today is free for you to choose from the many activities on offer in and around the village. You may wish to head back to the slopes for more downhill skiing. If you're all skied out, you might like to mix things up and try some snowboarding (it's a little more challenging at first, but arguably easier to master in the long term). You'll need a lift pass if you head out there again today. Cross country skiing, along one of the specially prepared circuits on the edge of the village, is also a great option. Alternatively, why not strap on some snowshoes and walk amongst the snow covered forests, or even have a go at sledging. Your leader will be on hand for advice, should you decide to explore further afield. In the evening, there's the option of getting the group together for a celebratory dinner.
Your trip comes to an end this morning as you transfer to Vienna by bus (approximately 3 hours).
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Inclusions

Meals
2 lunches
Accommodation
Pension (7 nights)
Included activities
  • Full-day skiing/snowboard
  • AM - Downhill skiing
  • Thermal Pool visit
  • Dog Sledding
  • Orava Village Museum
  • Sledding
  • Snowshoeing - Zuberec

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Trip notes

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