Tatra mountains winter vacation

“A week of winter adventures in the Tatras Mountains in Poland, hopping over the border to snowy Slovenia too. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing and some time in Krakow and Zakopane. A guided small group tour. ”

Highlights

Poland: Tatra Mountains in winter | Tatra National Park | Carpathian Mountains | Krakow | Zakopane | ‘Painted Village’ of Zalipie | Slovenia: Jasna | Snowshoeing | Cross country skiing in Low Tatras | Sleigh ride

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Date
Price
Basis
15 Dec 2018
US $ 1240
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 15 Dec 2018 departure
09 Mar 2019
US $ 1240
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Mar 2019 departure
23 Nov 2019
US $ 1375
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Nov 2019 departure
14 Dec 2019
US $ 1375
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Dec 2019 departure
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Tatra mountains winter vacation

Environment

The High Tatra Mountains are beautiful and often described as the Alps of the East. For that reason, they see large numbers of tourists every year, particularly during the peak summer months when they can become a little overcrowded. By visiting the region in winter, you’ll experience a whole different side to this destination and help to offset the busyness of summer. You’ll love exploring Zakopane on the Polish side and Jasna on the Slovakian side, where winter sports are growing in popularity. When our small groups are discovering their surroundings, we’d never choose to do so in a way that negatively impacts the environment i.e. 4x4 vehicles and quad bikes. Instead, we’ll pop on a pair of cross-country skies and explore the mountains in this non-invasive way. But fear not, even if you’re new to cross-country skiing, we’ll make sure the trails we take are accessible, enjoyable and safe.

Zalipie is a quaint village filled with wooden cottages that are intricately painted with folklore motifs of the most vibrant colours imaginable. The tradition started centuries ago, when local women began painting their houses to cover building faults. It grew over the years and the idea was that each year the local women would repaint their homes after the Corpus Christi festival. Each motif is unique and painted with locally sourced and often homemade paints and brushes.

Despite its beauty, Zalipie isn’t overrun by tourists, so visiting the village is still relaxing and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. This allows the local community to keep this tradition alive. Only the interest of adventurous tourists coming around enables them to sustain this colourful tradition by selling local souvenirs, serving travelers with lunch and drinks, or just showing them around. Our small groups will contribute to keeping this place colourful for generations to come.

Community

Krakow is known for many of its beautiful attractions, traditions and for the most delicious Polish food, of course. In almost every corner of Rynek (the old square and one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe) you’ll find amazing restaurants serving local delicacies. Tuck into pierogis (dumplings), barszcz (traditional beetroot soup), oscypek (smoked cheese) and famous Polish kielbasa (sausage). One of the most important things for us is to bring cultures together, by letting our travelers learn from local experts and allowing local people to benefit from our groups visiting the region. For example, in Krakow a local cook will invite our groups to her home (or the back of a local restaurant) to introduce travelers to the secrets of Polish cuisine. This creates a unique opportunity not only learn from, but also to interact with local people and share some of the best food in the world with them. Oh, and the benefit of this affair will not stay with a chain restaurant, but with our local friends.

In the High Tatra Mountains, the importance of local culture is probably the greatest it is in the whole country. It really is a region where religion, crafts, traditions, food, the clothes people wear, and more are all intertwined in the local culture. This environment may sometimes feel hermetic and to get to know it better it’s good to engage with the local people. Therefore, all our groups will partake in the most traditional winter activity of them all – kulig (a sleigh ride). During the ride from Polana Szymoszkowa to Koscielisko you are likely to hear the local stories, get to know a few highlanders, learn some basic slang words and taste some of the local delicacies. The best thing about this is that whilst you’re enjoying the ride, you’re also helping to keep the local tradition alive.

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