The Tatra mountains are arguably Slovakia's greatest natural asset. Vacationers flock from all over central Europe to take advantage of the recreational opportunities there. At this time of year, the number one attraction is skiing. Whether it's for cross-country skiing, snowboarding, or especially alpine skiing, the Tatras are world-class.
Particularly if you are a beginner, you should sign up for some lessons before you start stepping into your boots and schussing downhill. The best place to find skiing lessons are the three biggest agencies in the Tatras: Crystal Ski, T-Ski, and Juršport. All three have staff who speak English.
Crystal Ski has offices in Poprad and Štrbské Pleso, and at the Hotel Grand in Jasná. Crystal Ski offers lessons in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding. Alpine group lessons cost 12 DM (240 Sk) for two hours, and a whole day runs about 17 DM (340 Sk). A group usually has up to 13 people.
If you would rather take private lessons, it is possible. A private two-hour lesson is 40 DM (800 Sk) and a day lesson is 69 DM (1,380 Sk). The private lessons usually have up to three people. If you have children, and would like them to take lessons too, two-hour lessons cost 19 DM (380 Sk) and day lessons 22 DM (440 Sk).
To arrange cross-country skiing lessons, call at least three days in advance. The rates for cross-country and snowbord lessons are the same as for alpine.
If you don't have skis, boots, or a warm jacket, it's not a problem. You can rent any skiing equipment for a day - including jackets, pants, any kind of skis, and boots. T-Ski has its office in Starý Smokovec, very close to the lifts, so once your lessons are arranged, you can run to them very fast. Their groups have 10 to 13 people. A day-long alpine skiing lesson costs 600 Sk.
They also have skiing lessons for children three years old and up. They do not have cross-country skiing lessons, but they are able to recommend some beautiful places for cross-country skiing. They rent skis, boots and poles. An entire set of equipment is 200 Sk a day.
Juršport Agency is located in a town near Liptovský Mikuláš, very close to Jasná and Demänovská Dolina - great places for skiing. Juršport has alpine skiing and snowboarding lessons. A private two-hour lesson costs 600 Sk, and day-long lessons cost 1,300 Sk. If you round up a group of more than five people, you get an 8 percent discount. Day-long lessons for children cost 1,200 Sk, and 500 Sk for a two-hour lesson. Snowboarding lessons have the same rates as alpine skiing lessons. Be aware that lift tickets are not included in any of these skiing lessons. So count on paying at least another 200 Sk a day for lifts.
Ski rental and lesson agencies:
Popradský nábrežie 440/12,
220 Sk / day
Športový Areál FIS
200 Sk / day
210 Sk / day
18. Dec 1996 at 0:00 | Andrea Lörinczová