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BIG 15 Sale
Slovakia - In Search of Bears
4 days
Slovakia - Trip code WWB

Slovakia - In Search of Bears

This is a short break with a difference, combining some great mountain trekking with a search for European 'big game' as we go looking for bears. Working with a local partner, dedicated to conservation we are given unique access into areas of the national park which are normally off limits to tourists. Trekking with an expert ranger, in a group size limited to six, we maximise the amount of time on foot, increasing the chances of observing bears in their natural habitat, whilst also looking out for the wide variety of birds and mammals that populate the park.

Trip highlights

  • Bears - Search for and then observe bears in their natural environment
  • Tatras National Park - Trek with an expert park ranger in areas of the park usually off limits to tourists
  • Short break - Take only two days off work on a busy but rewarding trip
  • Small group - Travel in a small group of no more than six, to enhance the bear watching experience
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Walking grade:
Moderate To Challenging
Combining moderate grade walks with some more strenuous hikes. This grade is ideal if you are fit and want to challenge yourself with a few longer, more demanding trekking days, possibly on difficult terrain or at higher altitudes.
Group Size:
4 - 6
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Walking and Trekking information

Walking grade
Moderate to challenging
Trek details
Trek for 3 days for up to 9-10 hours. For 2 days we trek in areas of the national park usually off-limits to tourists. The lengths of the walks very much depend upon the weather conditions and expected locations of the bears with the Leader and park ranger making the final decisions on whether the optional walks will be offered. We tend to trek early morning and then late afternoon as these are the best times to see bears. You should be prepared to trek off-trail, or on small animal paths. The maximum altitude reached on this trip is just 1997m. We have graded this trek as moderate to challenging.
Max walking altitude (m)
1997

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Why book this trip

This is a unique short break to Slovakia, combining some great trekking in the Tatras Mountains with a search for bears in pristine wilderness. We have been working with a local partner dedicated to conservation and have been given unique access into areas of the national park which are normally off-limits to tourists. The group size is limited to six and we trek accompanied by an expert ranger maximise the amount of time on foot to increasing the chances of observing bears in their natural habitat.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 2
  • Lunch: 2
  • Dinner: 2
Transport
  • Bus
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Driver(s)
  • Ranger(s)
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

Slovakia

Climate

Summers are short in the mountains. July to August is the hottest period, when daytime temperatures average 20-22°C, though it may be much cooler in the early morning or late evening. During the winter, snow and ice is not uncommon, with snow generally starting in December and continuing to early February. Mountain weather is notoriously changeable and it can be cold at any time of year, so be prepared.. Early July is the best time for flowers.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Roman Catholic

Language

Slovak

Budgeting and packing

Clothing

Weather is changeable in the mountains and it can be cold, especially at night or early moning, so bring a warmer jacket/fleece and a waterproof jacket. Bring layers to enable you to be comfortable no matter what the temperature as this could easily fluctuate throughout the day.

Footwear

We recommend you bring well-worn in waterproof walking boots - leather or fabric are both fine. In addition please take comfortable trainershoes or sandals for evenings at the guesthouse. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

Bring one main piece of luggage and a 20-30 litre day pack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a raincoat, jumper, camera, sun-cream, picnic lunch etc. On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water.

Equipment

We recommend taking sunglasses, a sun hat, sunscreen and a small torch. You may also find walking poles useful, although they have to be checked into main luggage on the flight. Also, don't forget your camera and any relevant lens along with a good pair of binoculars.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly you should allow approximately £15.00 for tips.

In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.
Country Information

Slovakia

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£7
Dinner price
£15
Beer price
£2
Water price
£1
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euro
Recommended Currency For Exchange
British Pounds Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are accepted at exchange offices and banks
Where To Exchange
Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival
ATM Availability
Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival, but please be aware that some ATMs will charge 5% commission and outside of the main cities ATM's can sometimes be difficult to find
Credit Card Acceptance
At most shops and restaurants
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques can be difficult to exchange

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Slovakia: Visas are not required by UK, US, Canadian, Australia and New Zealand citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Maximum altitude (m)

1997

Slovakia

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
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