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Have you ever considered skiing in Romania rather than in the Swiss or French Alps? The Carpathians mountains are high enough to get covered in snow during winter. Sinaia, Busteni, Azuga, Predeal and Poiana Brasov are the main ski resorts on Prahova Valley. There are slopes for every skill level, from absolute beginner to experienced ski passionate.
Many of these Romanian ski resorts are less than 200 km away from Bucharest. Depending on the season and on the day of the week, you can cover the distance between Bucharest and Brasov in 2.5 – 4 hours. If you want to get to the ski slopes faster, avoid weekends and legal holidays. Unfortunately, there’s no motorway from Bucharest to Brasov, so you’ll have to spend hours waiting in line, in your car, on a two-lane road between these resorts on Valea Prahovei.
The train is actually a great alternative. The ride from Bucharest to Brasov takes 2.5 – 3.5 hours (depending on the type of train). Prices start from 24 lei (about $5 US). Once you get off the train in Brasov, take a taxi to Poiana Brasov, which is at 15km distance. There’s also a bus that goes from the train station straight to Poiana Brasov.
Why Poiana Brasov?
If you want to go skiing in Romania, you can choose any of the above mentioned resorts for your adventure. Nevertheless, there are a few good reasons to choose Poiana Brasov over all other ski destinations in this area. Here are a few of them.
Seven Slopes, the Oldest Ski School in Romania & Artificial Snow (if Needed)
Skiing in Romania as a beginner can be intimidating. Fortunately, Poiana Brasov has slopes of different difficulty levels, from beginners to advanced skiers. Located at an altitude of over 1000 meters above the sea level, Poiana Brasov is actually the biggest ski resort in Romania, with seven ski slopes, accounting for a total length of 25 km. There are blue slopes for beginners, red slopes for intermediate skiers and black slopes for experienced ones. Here they are:
- Drumul Rosu – easy, marked in blue, 4600 m
- Bradul – easy, marked in blue, 465 m
- Stadion – easy, marked in blue, 325 m
- Sulinar – medium difficulty, marked in red, 2500 m
- Sub Teleferic & Ruia – difficult, marked in black, 540 m and 495 m
- Lupului – difficult, marked in black, 2860 m
- Kanzel – difficult, marked in black, 450 m
All slopes have their own ski lifts, chairlifts, gondolas or cable cars. There are different types of ski passes, based either on time or on credits. A full day ski pass, for instance, costs 150 lei (about $35 US or 31 Euro).
There’s also an artificial lake that provides water to make artificial snow, if needed. This means that you can go skiing in Romania even if doesn’t snow. Nevertheless, you should check out some snow reports to see what to expect from your ski holidays.
In Poiana Brasov you can learn the basics of skiing under the direct guidance of experienced trainers. Ana Ski & Snowboard School offers both group and private lessons. I’ve watched their instructors on the slopes and I felt like giving this sport a try. At some point, there was a snowboarding student who kept falling and the instructor hugged him as if they were dancing tango. As they coordinated their shoulders and their movements, they started to glide nicely, with elegant moves.
According to Mircea, the ski instructor who accompanied us in our walk down the slopes, the key to success is to capitalize on the skills of each student and build your lessons to match the abilities of each individual.
All those who want to become Ana Ski & Snowboard School instructors have to pass an exam to get accepted into the team. These candidates are assessed by experienced ski instructors. One of them is Aron Borbath, an 82 years old gentleman, the oldest ski instructor in Romania. Full of energy and funny stories from the past, he is still active and incredibly fit. If you go skiing in Romania and you choose Poiana Brasov, ask about Aron Borbath – maybe you’ll get to listen to some of his stories.
Easy Access, Comfort, Convenience, Whether You Come for Skiing or Leisure
I didn’t take a ski lesson, but I had the pleasure to be the guest of Ana Hotels for three lovely days. Our hosts took us on the top of the mountains, on Postavaru peak, at 1799m, by cable car. From there we went back on foot to Poiana Brasov, on one of the easiest slopes, Drumul Rosu.
Until now, I never thought about skiing in Romania, because I thought these resorts weren’t accommodating for a novice like me. I was wrong. Poiana Brasov has everything, from ski equipment rentals to cable cars, instructors, and even a SPA center with a large swimming pool to relax after skiing.
Although the nightlife in Poiana Brasov isn’t much, you can still enjoy your evenings here. There’s an entertainment center where you can play table tennis, bowling, pool or mini-golf. You can also try your wall climbing skills or enjoy an ice skating session on the skating rink, if you still have some energy left after a day of skiing. If you’d rather relax and recharge your batteries for the next day, you may want to try the SPA center (available in Ana Hotels).
Although small, the outdoor hot pool is perfect for cold winter evenings.
If you want to take a break from skiing, you can go to Brasov to visit the Christmas market in the city center.
Where To Stay in Poiana Brasov
There are lots of accommodation options in Poiana Brasov, catering to different budgets and needs.
If you want to be as close to the slopes as possible, you can choose Ana Hotels Sport or Bradul. The ski equipment rental facility is in Ana Hotels Sport. The SPA center is also here. The hotel is only few meters away from the cable car stations.
I haven’t tried all hotels in Poiana Brasov. This was my first trip to this ski resort in about 20 years. I’ve stayed in Ana Sport hotel as a guest of Ana Hotels. The opinions are mine, though, and so are the photos, except for the opening one and the one of the swimming pool.
Everything in the room was nice and clean. The beds were comfortable and the temperature just perfect for sleeping. Meals are served buffet style, with lots of options for all preferences.
Special Holiday Packages for Skiing in Romania, in Poiana Brasov
At Ana Hotels, they have some special holiday packages. “Escapada de iarna” (Winter Escape) is a 2-day package that includes two days unlimited ski pass, 4-star hotel accommodation, SPA access and food. Prices for this Winter Escape start from 178 Euro per person.
If you want a full vacation of skiing in Romania, you can choose the “Schi in doi” holiday package (Sky for Two), which includes half-board 4-star accommodation, unlimited three days ski pass, ski equipment rental, private ski class and access to the SPA. You can find all exclusive offers of Ana Hotels here.
Here we are, enjoying the comfortable living room of Ana Sport hotel. We’ve set the photo camera on remote, places it on a table, and had fun with this photo session. The fire in the fireplace was real. My friend Mihaela also wrote about our winter escape and took some beautiful photos of Poiana Brasov.
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