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What to do if you don't ski

THE BIGGEST attraction of the High Tatras lies of course in the different ski resorts. But people who are non-skiers should not feel discouraged, as there are many things to do besides skiing.
A fun activity is the sled run that follows the cog railway (pozemná lanovka) from Hrebienok to Starý Smokovec. It costs Sk300 (children pay Sk250) to rent a sled. The price covers two rides on the cog railway, which takes you to the top of the mountain, and a glass of hot wine or tea to keep you warm. In addition to the regular hours, there is night sledding on Wednesdays from 19:30 to 22:00.


THERE'S plenty to do in the Tatras, for children and adults alike.
photo: Zuzana Habšudová

THE BIGGEST attraction of the High Tatras lies of course in the different ski resorts. But people who are non-skiers should not feel discouraged, as there are many things to do besides skiing.

A fun activity is the sled run that follows the cog railway (pozemná lanovka) from Hrebienok to Starý Smokovec. It costs Sk300 (children pay Sk250) to rent a sled. The price covers two rides on the cog railway, which takes you to the top of the mountain, and a glass of hot wine or tea to keep you warm. In addition to the regular hours, there is night sledding on Wednesdays from 19:30 to 22:00.


Rent a sled:

T-Ski travel agency, Starý Smokovec. Tel: 052/4423-200. www.slovakiatravel.sk


It is also possible to see the beautiful High Tatras national park from horseback (Sk360 per hour) or from the comfort of a horse-drawn sleigh (Sk600-1000 a ride). Another activity available is the Scandinavian sport called skijöring, which involves a skier being pulled by a horse across a snowfield.



A SKATER on a mountain lake.
photo: Zuzana Habšudová

Horse riding and sleigh rides:

Hipotour, Mengusovce. Tel: 052/7754-941. www.hipotur.sk
T-Ski travel agency, Starý Smokovec. Tel: 052/4423-200. www.slovakiatravel.sk
J. M. G. Travel, Štrbské Pleso. Tel: 052/4492-582. www.jmg.sk
Crystal Ski, Štrbské Pleso. Tel: 052/4492-824. www.crystalski.sk


Skating rinks can be found in Nový Smokovec and Tatranské Zruby. Slightly more adventurous is skating in a natural environment, on frozen mountain lakes, in Tatranská Lomnica and Štrbské Pleso.

For those who would like to admire the spectacular mountains from the air there is paragliding (Sk600 for half a day and Sk1,100 for a full day) or sightseeing flights in a small plane for three people that last from half an hour to a full hour (a 30-minute flight costs approximately Sk2,900).

Smaller groups of people interested in adrenaline sports can also book bungee jumping (Sk800 per person) from the K-120 ski jump in Štrbské Pleso, which is the highest and most spectacular bungee jumping spot in Slovakia.

Sightseeing flights

TLS Air, Airport Poprad-Tatry. Tel: 052/7761-626. www.tatry.sk/doprava/letisko


Bungee jumping:

Krokus travel agency, Poprad. Tel: 0903/634-913.


Many of the hotels in the Tatras are equipped with fitness centres and offer additional aprés-ski services such as swimming pools, sauna, massage, solariums and whirlpools.

Information about opening hours can be obtained at the general information office at 052/4423-127 or 052/4423-440.

Day trips to historic towns in the region, such as Levoča, Kežmarok or Košice, are available with or without a guide. Other options include excursions to caves (Demänovská, Belianska), the open-air folk museum in Pribylina, or a rest at the nearby Bešeňová open-air thermal bath.

Hiking and mountaineering tours with a professional guide (from Sk1,800 per person per day) as well as mountaineering courses are provided by the Association of Mountain Guides in the High Tatras based in Starý Smokovec. Tel: 052/4422-066. www.tatry.sk.


Ski vocabulary

lyže - skis
lyžiarske topánky (lyžiarky) - ski boots
lyžiarske palice - ski sticks (poles)
bežkárske lyže (bežky) - cross-country skis
sane, sánky - sleigh
sánkarská dráha - sledding slope
boby - plastic sled for children
viazanie - binding
vosk - wax

horský vodca - mountain guide
horská chata - mountain cottage
lyžiarske/zjazdárske trate - downhill ski slopes
bežecké lyžiarske trate - cross-country routes
lyžiarska škola - ski school
požičovňa lyžiarskej výstroje - ski equipment rental

vlek - ski lift
sedačka - chairlift
pozemná lanová dráha (zubačka) - cog railway
kabinková lanová dráha - cable car (gondola)
visutá lanová dráha - funicular

jazda na koni - horseback riding
jazda saňami - sleigh riding with horses
vyhliadkové lety - sightseeing flights
klzisko - ice-skating rink

Topic: Tourism and travel in Slovakia


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