Being a relatively small, family run ski holiday company here in Zakopane we don’t tend to push our holidays with big adverts in the national papers, ski magazines or even that much advertising at all to be honest. The majority of our business comes through word of mouth and return customers, something we’re very proud of as the only way that happens is through achieving what we set out to do, which is to provide fun, affordable and professionally run winter holidays in Poland. There are times though when we see another small ski company somewhere with a big advert on a billboard or a good write up in a magazine and think why don’t we get a write up! So, it was nice recently to randomly hear about an article being printed in The Guardian’s travel section all about Zakopane, White Side Holidays and how it is the perfect beginners ski resort in the eyes of the writer! The article was written by guests of ours who visited Zakopane in March and the author of the article is involved with the UK snowboarding magazine, Whitelines (no relation to our own White Side). If you missed the article then here’s what it had to say, tell your friends, bring your family and spread the good word of White Side Holidays Poland and ski holidays in Zakopane!
For me, learning to snowboard was a painful process, spent fighting the elements over a bleak weekend at Cairngorm Mountain in the late 1990s. But I was lucky; for those who live further from the hills, getting into snowsports can be even harder. It can involve paying a small fortune for flights, transfers, accommodation and lift pass – just to spend all week on the lower slopes, watching others head for the peaks. For this reason, it’s wise to avoid super-resorts when you’re only looking to pick up the basics.
On a recent visit to Zakopane, at the foot of the Tatra mountain range in southern Poland, I discovered what may well be the ideal destination for beginners. Sorry Scotland!
My cheap flight to Krakow got me within two hours’ drive of the resort, where the guys from White Side Holidays (one week from £389pp with lift pass, transfers, lessons, ski hire and self-catering accommodation) met me for the last leg. They’re on hand all week to shuttle guests among the many small resorts that surround the town, sometimes ticking off two in a day.
As most offered pay-as-you-go lift passes, we only paid for the runs we did. A full day of fast laps would still be a bargain for experienced skiers, and beginners would pay just a fraction of what they might in a mainstream resort.
The slopes were well-groomed and unchallenging, with friendly, English-speaking instructors on hand. As experienced snowboarders my friends and I might have got frustrated had it not been for the terrain parks at Witów, Białka Tatrzanska and Gubalówka, which were stocked with enough jumps and features to keep us busy. There were steeper slopes, too, at Kasprowy Wierch.
Unless you want out-and-out luxury, Zakopane rivals any resort in Europe for off-the-hill charm. It’s impossible not to be taken by the region’s unique dress, folk music and cuisine. Like everything else in Zakopane, eating out was an absolute bargain, and we took full advantage of the low bar prices too; thanks to those pay-as-you-go lift passes, there was no need to feel guilty about the late start next morning …