Skiing in the Carpathian mountains

Winter season is coming soon. This post is about main awesome places for skiing in Ukraine and other winter sports as well. 

(Participants of the Free Ride Cup are waiting for their race on the sides of Chornogora range)

To be honest, I haven’t seen real snow for a few winters already, because thee years ago I spent this time in Southeast Asia, and two years ago by a twist of fate we found ourselves in Central America. Last winter was also in East Asia. 

I envy those who will pretty soon cut snow-white Carpathians’ hills, as there are some good places to ride. Personally I started skiing in my first or second form at school, and switched to board in high school. Then I also had a chance to work a bit as an instructor – lifeguard, and  to take part in some competitions.

Hereafter check out places that are my favorites and I will also look through your suggestions with interest. First, the map with resorts locations described in this article.

(map with resorts locations described in this article)

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Dragobrat 

It is the highest ski resort of Ukraine. Its hills are at a height of 1300 – 1700 meters above sea level. Sometimes they are completely covered with snow so it becomes almost impossible to get there, but it’s a real paradise for free riders.

There are no problems with accommodation, ski-lifts are cheap, and landscapes are amazing. What else could you ask for a great winter holiday? The road. Yes, there is almost no road to the meadow. So you have to use services of taxi drivers in four 4wd VAZ that creates an atmosphere in some degree.

It’s better to start from the village called Yasinya – near Rahiv, Transcarpathian Region. You can get there by the trains from Lviv and Frankivsk. It takes a little bit more time to go by car down our worn-down  roads, though the distance isn’t long – just 130 km from Frankivsk.

One of the coolest things of Dragobrat is that natural (though wet) snow cover on the hills remains there just till the end of April or the beginning of May. Actually during the last several years it was my only opportunity to ride in Ukraine, because we usually spend winters in warm countries and come back in Ukraine before Easter.

Check this video from our rides on May’s holidays last year.

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Bukovel

It’s convenient, comfortable, expensive, luxury, prestigious, but boring (at least – for me). If you want to have new lifts, rolled smooth hills and great infrastructure, so it’s your straight road to Bukovel.

Photo has been taken from crimee.com

Now it’s the only big ski resort of European standard in Ukraine, which in general satisfies everyone. I also like Bukovel just because it exists and shows the standard of development and service. But riding on those flat rolled hills for such a crazy person as I am is just boring. However, for most of people it is a cool variant for family holidays. 

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Slavske

Old good Slavske has lost its positions. I remember the time when every Saturday morning half Lviv’s population crowded into the train for Mukachevo. You could easily come without arranging beforehand – and meet some friends for sure. People came with guitars, snacks, drinks and great mood from the very morning and this holiday lasted even till the end of the week, when all merry men came back to Lviv after crazy weekends.

Slavske is also a good option for people from Kiev, because it’s easy to get there by numerous direct trains that go to Zakarpatye (Transcarpathians region). In such a way in nineties and the first part of two thousand years Slavske was considered as a winter capital of Ukraine. But now it’s not the same story. The road to the city is bumpy, lifts are old, hills are uncared, the majority of male-population of the city is drinkers, and the Winter Olympic Games of 2022 will not be for us due to the situation in our country.

However, convenient railway service (just 2 hours by train from Lviv, 11-12 hours from Kyiv) and great number of hills next to Slavske make it a good variant for weekend’s hike. I really hope that in the closest time Slavske will redeem its glory.

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Pylypets

One more good option. Situated on the north hills of Borzhava meadow (the height is to 1600+ meters). Snow remains for long there. Next to the main flat and lengthy downhill there are two more variants to make a real free ride turning to forest or climbing the snowy top.

But it’s a little bit more difficult to get there. Volovets (1 hour to the South from Slavske) that is situated 15 km from Pylypets serves as a railway junction. To get by car – you should cross two passes and it makes the trip more difficult in winter. But there are some things that sweeten all these efforts – it is Shypit waterfall that is situated uptown and also a wonderful wooden church. 

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So like that – in short – I wanted to tell you about the places where I usually ride in winter in the Carpathians. There are also some more interesting places. For example you can climb up and down Hoverla on foot. Once I tried and I didn’t regret at all…

… or you can visit other good, but less known for me ski slopes. E.g.: Play, Tysovets, Yablunytsya, Krasiya and others… 

To check out numerous accommodation options browse Hotelscan.com. You def will find a nice room close to the lift out there. Enjoy 🙂

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