Interview with Erik Ševčík from Adventoura Slovakia about adventures, travels and bears

Slovakia is one of my favorite countries in Central Europe. Erik Ševčík, the owner of Adventoura Slovakia, was my first travel cooperation after starting the blog. I really admire his passion and his love for his country. It is infectious and after a few tours with him, I had a chance to experience this country in a different, more fascinating way. It has been more than 2 years since we first met for a snowshoeing tour. I decided to talk to Erik about his life and his business. So here is our interview.

Let’s start with 3 things you can’t live without in life

First is traveling – I have traveled across Europe, USA, Africa, New Zealand and I still go abroad whenever I have a free time. Then it’s the outdoors, can’t live without the fresh air and the forest. Finally, it is meeting new people on my tours – I am lucky to have friends all-round the globe.

In your youth, you had a chance to live and work in some of the most fascinating places on Earth? Where it was and how you did it?

When I was 16, I’ve made my bucket list to see the world. I was fortunate to explore all of the western USA, South Africa and New Zealand. It was a fantastic time full of fun and opening new cultures. It changed my personality in a great way! I have met wonderful people, all the friendship lasts until now and I still visit them or they visit me here in Slovakia.

What was the most epic adventure you did?

Bungee in Africa. That was crazy! At the time I did it, it was the highest jump in the world. Bloukrans bridge in South Africa, over 200 m in height and 7 seconds free fall. Had adrenaline rushed to the extremes. Absolutely magnificent experience, you should try it too!

I think bungee is not my thing to be honest. Anyway, let’s talk about your business. How did you decide to start Adventoura Slovakia? Why did you decide to focus on the adventure tours?

After my studies, I had a part-time job as a local guide in our High Tatras. Later I started to do it professionally for the big English travel agencies. In 2008 I decided to start with Adventoura Slovakia as my own business.

The first couple of years were hard as on every private business, but later I picked partners abroad, new clients.

The word of mouth is a powerful marketing technic and I’m lucky to have satisfied clients that spread information about my tours around the world.

Was it hard to start this business? 

Yes! At the beginning you are new to everyone. No reviews, no testimonials. I saw no trust from local hotels, I had to be very patient and waited. But it is getting opposite now: I am being contacted by more partners and more local representatives.

What is your favorite tour to organize?

All tours have something special. I like changes and being creative in my life. Slovakia has two main great seasons, summer and winter. In the summertime, I am busy with bear watching tours, hiking, cycling and sightseeing tours. In winter time we do a lot of dog sledding programs, skiing holidays, snowshoeing etc.

So as you see, all is outdoors and all are different. I really love what I do!

About the bear watching, what are the chances to see an actual bear?

During summer season in the High Tatras, in official dates between 15th June till 31st October I go out about 30 times per summer. Many people ask this question of probability. So if I am out about 30 times chance to see the bear is always about 25 times.

People should note that bears are in their own territory and there are many aspects to see them, weather, season, etc. So there is not always the lucky day. It is important that we have no hides and no cabins and we do not feed them, so our bear walking tour is nature-friendly and sustainable.

Why the world should come to Slovakia?

Once I had a group of 15 people in the bus, and there was a lady from New Zealand, she was looking out of the window and she said “Why do you go to New Zealand? You have New Zealand here!”

Yes, Slovakia has everything. Mountains, amazing cuisine, folklore, music, traditions and Tokaj wine.

The only thing we are missing is the sea, but if we want to have it, we go to Croatia [laughs]

What is your most favorite place in the High Tatras no why?

I do not know if I should tell you exact one because in a couple years time crowds will visit it [laughs].

Alright, it is called Biele pleso and it’s located in the Eastern part of the Tatra mountains.

But it is not only this one.  There are other peaks such a Kriváň, Lomnický štít or mountain chalets. My favorite one is called Chata pri zelenom plese.

Is there any adventure tour you would like to add to the Adventoura’s offer?

Every year I refresh the tours or add new ones. The newest venture of mine will be a tour called Night Hike. On one hand, it is great because the clients can do something during the day, later on, go on the evening tour hiking through the forest in the dark. I think it is a fascinating thing to do.

When are we going husky sledding? 🙂

You know, we do this from late December until the beginning of March. It is great fun and private programme for families, companies and friends. We have 25 dogs, they are very friendly and they always like the attention of our clients especially from kids. So just come and we’ll work something out

For the wide range of adventure tours in the High Tatras check out Adventoura Slovakia WEBSITE

Thank you for reading!

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