Tatra Winter Activity Week

8 days
$1,395 USD
Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 24 reviews >
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Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Mixed-Activity Holidays
Min age:
Group size:

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.


  • 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… 


  • 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

Essential Info



No visa required for British passport holders.


No visa required for British passport holders.



There are no specific health risks on this trip.


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.


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.


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.


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


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

  • Reviewed February 2017
    Vicki Nunn

    A good mix of things to do in the snow!

    A good introduction to winter sports (a reasonable level of fitness is useful!) mixed in with some 'nice' activities giving variety and interest to the week. The food was good and hearty. The dark beer particularly delicious. Sadly our tobogganing was cancelled as there had been 2 broken legs the previous day so sledge hire was not available. We built snowmen and had snowball fights (all things we hadn't done since having young children). As usual we enjoyed the company of a great group of fellow travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the 5km route at the cross country skiing centre, enjoying the most amazing views in the warm sunshine, on our free day. I do not downhill ski at all which made the achievement even greater!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was very knowledgeable and always ready with a tale or two.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you drink tea in the morning, take bags with you! Take light clothes for the evening as it seems the Slovakian way is to super-heat indoor spaces whilst outside it is SO cold (on the train I was stripped off to a vest top and thermal leggings only!!!) Yak Trax would have been useful (the pavements were sheet ice in places). Use the restaurants in the village, so much better than the food in the hotel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip is graded moderate but as a couple of fit travellers it felt quite a leisurely week.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Gillian Goodyear

    Tremendous Tatra

    An amazing, activity packed and fun holiday. We have had many Exodus holidays and this was one of the best. As always it was extremely well organised with an amazing guide. Peter was so skilled in all the activities and couldn't do enough to help ensure we had a brilliant time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As this trip was great for complete beginners, there was a variety of skill levels. I was a total novice but was so encouraged by the support we gave each other. I got a great sense of personal achievement in tackling snowshoeing, dog sledding, sledging and skiing (with degrees of success) and I loved the feeling that we were all in this together.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was amazing. He was so skilled and knowledgable and he was determined we would have a good holiday. He took care of everything but remained unobtrusive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it!! I guarantee you will love it. I recently celebrated my 60th birthday and was worried I wouldn't cope. I had never had a winter break with these kinds of activities but Alex at Exodus reassured me I would be fine and he was absolutely right.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My only regret is that the free day came before I had tried the tobogganing. I ended up having another ski lesson and skiing isn't really my thing. Now tobogganing!! That's another story and would have had another day doing that had I known. Perhaps a free day once all the activities have been tried so you could choose a favourite.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Celia Cornell

    Tatra Winter Activity Week

    The whole week was packed with activities which could be enjoyed by everyone, including complete beginners. To mention just a few, dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, tobogganing, We also enjoyed cultural visits to local museums and a mountain top ice chapel. The activities were moderately strenuous but no prior technical ability was needed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly enjoyed the dog-sledding. It was a beautiful setting in the mountains, with bright sunshine and blue skies. The dogs seem to enjoy running and we all felt the thrill of the ride.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was real gentleman. He did everything possible to give us a great time. Our days and evenings were full of fun. He gave us plenty of information for our day off and gave up his own time to take us out to the Belianska caves. I would rate Peter as an excellent leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We enjoyed very good food in a variety of restaurants. However, Slovakia does not really understand the concept of vegetarianism and there were limited options for non-meat eaters. You need to be quite fit for the activities. Regular hill walking or gym work is needed before tackling this amount of sport.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is an ideal holiday for anyone wanting to try out a range of activities. It gives you a chance to discover new skills and aptitudes. I may try out a summer activity week now.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Janet Stevens

    Tatra winter activity

    Loved trying al the different sports and ways of getting around in the snow. Definitely the holiday for adults who want to get in touch with the child in them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many more than one! Here's my top two... The Husky sledging on the top of the mountain with sparkling snow, clear blue skies, sunshine and dogs having fun, Truly memorable for feeling of enjoyment and amazing confidence and calmness. Skiing a black run in clear skies then going through the fog on blue artificial snow runs to get back to base. Feeling that I could do anything and handle with ease any situation I came across.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous, flexible, beyond expectations and fascinating. Great stories, his depth of knowledge on so many different subjects is incredible. I learnt the benefits of waxing skiing and what to consider when applying the wax if I am ever involved in running an Olympic team! I loved learning from him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take waterproof boots for the snowshoeing. Waterproof outer jacket and trousers plus lots of thermal layers. Exercise before going, even if it is only spring cleaning the house as per BBC exercise routine!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Big thanks to Peter and our driver for taking us to Krakow earlier, it was a much better use of our time and great to see some culture. Peter's commentary and knowing where to show us was awesome. Avery talented man.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Rachel Bowden

    A great week of snow fun!

    A full itinerary of adventures. Great to have a go at everything and get a taster of each activity.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed snowboarding on the free day and sledge races down the ski slope.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was really relaxed and went out of his way to look after everyone in the group and cater for everyone's needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a variety of clothes including full ski wear and warm waterproof gloves.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food was excellent and fantastic value for money.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Deborah Woolley

    Winter Activities

    A great week for all. Lovely surroundings.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The snow Skiing, sledging and thermal pools. Plenty of different activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was very good.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Joanne Barlow

    Great taster for winter acttivities

    Brilliant value for money, both in terms of activites, hotel and food. Loved Slovakia and would go back again. It was a great opportunity to try different winter sport. I liked the fact we were out as a group most of the day but could go out as group or on our own in evenings.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I especially like the downhill ski lesson and cross-country skiing. I also enjoyed the fact we used public transport a lot so you felt you could get about independently if you liked. The train was comfortable and clean and had great views.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Vegetarians will cope, but Slovakia would be a very difficult place to eat if you are vegan. Hotel made a reasonable attempt to accommodate dietary requirements. Hiring helmets is 5 Euros and it is probably worth having one so it might be cheaper to buy one in UK at somewhere like Decathlon. Definitely eat out at the restaurants in Stary Smokovec rather than dine at the hotel. For main course, a beer and a dessert we never paid more than 15 Euros a head and it's possible to do for well below 10 Euros. Most places close around 10 to 11 pm, most of our group were in bed before that anyway - but not a place to go to for the night life.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Weather conditions can change the activities available on each day, so you need to be flexible and understanding - but by the end of the week we got to do everything on the list. Very family friendly area. Lots of good conditions for beginners, but some harder runs if there are experienced people in the group on the downhill days. Generally we always found people who could speak English, although very few Brits in the area which was nice. Brilliant, cost effective place for beginners. Be warned the bus journey if you arrived Krakow on Saturday morning takes 4 to 5 hours to get to the resort due to traffic, not 2.5 hours as says in trip notes. There is a toilet and snack stop on the Polish side so worth having a few Zlotys and some tissues for the toilet. Returning as it was a 5.30am start did only take 2.5 hours.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Evelyn Storrie

    Great Fun

    We were lucky to have fantastic weather which added to the excellent activities that were planned. Tiring but exhilarating at the same time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The fact that my son learnt to ski competently after one group lesson.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent leader, very laid back and easy-going. Managed to sort out any problems we encountered.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a proper day rucksack as you can end up carrying clothes for all weathers especially as public transport used on some days.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Well worth going on. Would definitely recommend
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Louis Millington

    A Week in the Tatras

    I had a wonderful time in Slovakia. Exciting and invigorating activities, gorgeous mountain landscapes and a warm, rich culture were all in abundance on this very well-run trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's too hard to choose from so many. I became utterly enamoured with Slovakia's culture; the food, drink, music, clothing and folklore are so charming... though I was particularly inspired by our leader's recounting of the events of the "velvet revolution", wherein the Slovakian people overthrew their corrupt government in a totally peaceful manner, without no bloodshed at all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter is a consummate professional; he is charming and kind, his organisational skills are above fault, his passion for local customs and culture is infectious, and his competence is absolutely evident in every facet of the trip. He is an excellent group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you're dressed for the cold, and in moderately good shape. And bring a camera!
  • Reviewed February 2015
    David Dobson

    Tummy Laughs

    If you are thinking about booking this trip, just go for it and you will find your childhood again, a fantastic week with an outstanding leader "Peter" and full of laughter and smiles.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment, Wow how can I put one above others, the dogs fantastic, bobsledding yes on a 2.5 km run, snow shoeing overlooking stunning mountains and far more the fellow adventures, typical of an Exodus holiday great, great company.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Peter very professional, a true credit to Exodus and gave far more than was expected of him, fantastic knowledge not only of the activities but also history and very diplomatic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Simply go for this one, there is no need to have any knowledge of the activities, if you want an adventure of a life time don't put this one off.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    What more can I say, just go for this one and you will not look back, I went for land only due to living in North Midlands and spent two nights in Kraków first then met at the airport, I would highly recommend doing this.

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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