Lifestyle

Best Ski Resorts in Ukraine

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With gorgeous Carpathian Mountains piled up in the western corner of the country, skiing in Ukraine is rapidly getting onto the radars of local and international travellers. The ski industry is rapidly developing as downhill skiing in Ukraine catches up in popularity to the rest of the world. Prices remain low by European standards, both for lift tickets and rental equipment. Over the past decade some decent resorts have appeared where the one can have a real ski experience.

The main ski season in Ukraine starts in December and lasts till March. There are considerable lift lines at all resorts on the weekends and public holidays, when many city dwellers go to the mountains to enjoy their days off. The best time to go is after a good snowfall, since in most places slopes are not groomed and ice and moguls are common.

Slavske

Slavsko ski resort is conveniently located 120 km away from Lviv city. The one can easily get here by any train of Kyiv-Uzhhorod direction. This resort is most popular with students, youth and anyone who lives in or around Lviv and prefers to ski on a budget. Four mountains – Trostian, Pohar, Menchur and Politechnik – give plenty of options for skiers.  Pohar and Politechnik are ideal options for beginners. Mountain Zvynets hosts ‘Zahar Berkut’ ski resort and is great for more advanced skiers. Trostian is the highest mountain of the ski region, and most of the time has good snow.

Bukovel

Bukovel Ski Resort established in 2005 is a large modern ski resort located in the village of Polyanytsya, in the Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, 30km to the west of Yaremcha. It is easily accessible by regular bus shuttles from Ivano-Frankivsk. This famous ski resort is up and coming place for numerous ski lovers from all over Ukraine as well as for international skiers. Keep in mind that Bukovel is the most expensive of all Ukrainian ski resorts. This is the après-ski mecca for Ukrainian socialites and well-groomed crowd.

It is also Ukraine’s only European-class resort, with high-speed chair lifts, meticulously groomed slopes and snow-making machines. Bukovel resort has been carefully planned to make skiing and snowboarding enjoyable experience for the beginners and advanced skiers. Ski lift queues of longer than five minutes are rare. All categories of difficulty are available for great snowskiing and snowboarding. Beginners can try themselves out on a gradual slope, and kids will love short tows.  For more experienced skiers there are several black diamonds. Night skiing is available from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m, on two slopes that are upper intermediate.

Drahobrat (Dragobrat)

Drahobrat is the highest and the snowiest ski resort in Ukraine (up to 1800 m). No doubt, it also has the most beautiful views. While there are no snow-making machines there, nature fills up the need: snow appears usually around November, and stays all the way till May. There are several lifts 400 – 1000 m in length or a drive up by local trucks to 3000 m long slope.

If you are beginner, then this place is not for you. The slopes are rather tough, and there is barely any entertainment available.  Drahobrat is the ski area which attracts those who are truly into skiing and snowboarding, offering close to none après-ski options. The place is rather remote. The ski area is also not easily accessible, as there is no yet a proper road up to it.  If you decide to try out Dragobrat, book a ride in one of the soviet era trucks offered by locals and enjoy the bumpy mountainous road with magnificent winter views.

Pylypets and Podobovets

These places are developing rapidly and turn from secluded ski areas for locals into real ski resorts. This area will surprise skiers with good prices and spectacular mountain vistas.  Three mountains (Podobovets, Pylypets and Mahura) are the base, with most services provided by private sector: the locals. The area is far more less commercialized comparing to Bukovel or Slavske. The entertainment infrastructure (bars, restaurants, clubs) is not developed at all. So, if you are into the local authentic culture, the villages of Pylypets and Podobovets will be a good choice.

There is a good selection of ski slopes. Most of the slopes are not suitable for beginners, though. Some have 45 degrees’ angle, the majority of the slopes are unmarked, so you either have to follow someone who knows the ski area or use your own intuition and charting skills while mapping the ski route.

Article is prepared by Ukraine Travel Guide. Skiing and snowboarding in Ukrainian Carpathians is more than just a fun active sport experience. Many visitors also enjoy cozy tucked away authentic villages, delicious home-made food and plenty of ancient Ukrainian traditions.

Justin Jersey is a journalist, stylist and blogger. He is a aesthetician by heart who often writes about Travel, Art, Lifestyle, decorating and DIY ideas. He loves sparking creativity and giving them ideas for their own spaces.

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