CYCLE ARTICLES ABOUT SLOVAKIA
"SKI RESORTS SMOKOVEC"
“Smokovec” ski resort is located at the roots of southern flanks of the High Tatras. This is one of the most famous and oldest resorts of Slovakia. Smokovec is also the administrative center of the High Tatras, located at the distance of 10km from Poprad. The city itself is divided into four regions:
1. Stary Smokovec is the oldest part of Smokovec ski resort that has been famous for more than 200 years and whose architecture really fascinates every tourist. Here you will find wooden constructions of the XIX century (Swiss house, church, villa „Flora“).Stary Smokovec is situated at the height of 1010m above sea level. Traditional Slovak resort and modern and well-developed infrastructure are harmoniously mixed here.
2. Novy Smokovec is the second region of Smokovec. Healing climate resort of Novy Smokovec is very popular in Central Europe. According to some classifications of climatotherapy, this resort has the second highest degree of ionizing stimulation, where various diseases of respiratory system are treated. Novy Smokovec is situated at the height of 1000m above sea level and only several kilometers to the west from Stary Smokovec.
3. Horny Smokovec became widely famous due to its wonderful Tatranska gallery and a natural rink which is situated 2km to the east from Stary Smokovec.
4. Dolny Smokovec is the fourth region of Smokovec resort that is located 2km south from Stary Smokovec at the height of 890m above sea level. It is very popular due to its sanatoriums and camping.
Smokovec ski resort is situated on the territory of Tatry national park keeping unique national conditions and virgin beauty of the High Tatras (wonderful pine woods, lots of waterfalls, 85 pure high altitude lakes and so on). Cozy hotels and resorts built in the mountains in the traditional Slovak style add this resort particular attraction and unique charm. Smokovec offers perfect conditions for winter rest and winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, sledging, ice-skating and alpinism.
Main Characteristics of Smokovec resort
- Total length of trails – 7km
- Types of trails – 1 trail for sledging, 1 difficult trail, 4 easy trails and 2 trails of medium difficulty, 2 trails for cross-country skis having the length of 6 and 12km, trails for walking.
- Types of lifts – 1 ground funicular, 2 for kids and 11 ordinary T-bar lifts.
- Vertical drop - 800-1480m.
- Skiing season – from December to the beginning of April (climate in Smokovec has its peculiarity: only two seasons are well-defined here – summer and winter, autumn and spring last up to two weeks each).
Brief description of Smokovec ski trails
Neighborhood of Smokovec offers wonderful conditions and well-prepared perfect trails of various difficulties for many winter sports.
Main ski center is Hrebienok, located in Stary Smokovec.It is serviced with the ground funicular that carries tourist to the height of 1263 for 9 minutes. To move higher, up to 1500m, you should use a T-bar lift. And this is the place where most various trails of the resort begin - training and easy, as well as sledging ones. Their length is 2 km; vertical drops are about 250m.For beginners there are not difficult trails, whose length is about 300-370m. More experienced sportsmen will be happy with the “black” slalom trail HomaLuka. There are 3 T-bars on Hrebienok. Some trails of this ski center are equipped with illumination and snow cannons. Every Wednesday, exciting „night“ sledging is organized which is accompanied with music, contests, prizes for winners and hot wine.
Near the village of Novy Smokovec, close to „Park“ hotel, you cab find a wonderful ski slope for practising, it is 860 m long and is illuminated (from 6p.m. to 9p.m.). This slope has a T-bar lift and snow cannons, and its is called „Jakubova luka“. There is also a T-bar for kids having the length of 70m. Special ski zone and a school for the smallest skiers offers lessons in the form of game, and a zone for beginners.
More experienced skiers will be happy to warm-up on rather steep and wide slope of Horny Smokovec near hotel «Bellevue». This trail is equipped with a T-bar; vertical drophere is 61m.
Apres-ski (rest after skiing on slopes) in Smokovec resort
Due to the well-developed infrustructure of Smokovec resort, its guests are offered a big choice of «Apres-ski»entertainments, including gyms, billiards, saunas, swimming-pools, cozy cafes, bars and restaurants, national Slovak restaurants «Koliba», where you can enjoy live music, skittle ground, disco «Albas» with unforgettable laser show.
Special charm is given to Smokovec by modern elegant and cozy hotels and board and lodgings, made in traditional Slovak style and located on picturesque southern slopes of the High Tatras. The most popular hotels in Smokovec are «GrandSmokovec» 4*, «VillaSiesta» 3*, «Bellevue» 3*, and «Hrebienok» 2*. You can also stay in camp sites and tourist hostels.
Despite very high service quality and infrastructure, prices in Smokovec are much lower than in other famous European resorts.
Attractions of Smokovec Resort
The dominant or so called landmark of Smokovec resort is Gerlachovsky Stit, whose height is 2655 m above sea level. Gerlachovsky Stit has vividly expressed “alpine” relief and is the highest peak among 26 highest peaks on the territory of the High Tatras.
Peak Hrebienok is also called a peculiarity of ski resort Smokovec, as from its top you can admire incredible winter sight. Hrebienok is situated in the southeastern part of Slavsky crest. This peak is the beginning of most interesting ski trails which can be called Smokovec winter attractions, giving unforgettable impressions and huge delight both to spectators and participants.
The city of Poprad is situated at the distance of 10 km from the ski resort. There you can visit a lot of tourist attractions and a wonderful aqua park. While having rest in Smokovec, you have a chance to order rather interesting, exciting and unforgettable tours to Bojnice castle of ghosts, aqua park “Tatralandia”, famous Belianska cave, Spis medieval castle.