If you’re a fan of winter sports, you will be very happy to hear that Romania has a lot to offer in this area as well, thanks to some amazing ski resorts in the Carpathian mountains.
Today, we’re going to check out the best of the best so that you can easily prepare for your upcoming ski holiday in Romania. You’ll have options close to Bucharest or other major cities, but also some hidden gems just Romanians knew about (until now).
Romania’s natural beauty really adds something to the whole skiing experience, so you will surely fall in love with the slopes and recommended ski resorts in this article, as well as winter in Romania in general.
Even though not as famous as other countries in Europe when it comes to skiing, it should be noted that Romania was the host of the European Youth Olympic Games in 2013. This means that you will find high-quality slopes and snow here!
Let’s check out the best skiing destinations in Romania!
Sinaia is set in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains in the Bucegi National Park. At its highest elevation it reaches to 2000 m.
This area is rugged, remote and has some of the best views in the country in my opinion. Peles Castle is situated close to the ski resort, which adds an almost fairy-tale feel to the place.
Distance from Bucharest to the resort is 139 km; there is a train that helps you get there fast, on the Bucharest to Brasov line. I would actually recommend this route instead of driving a car since you could end up snowed in on the road, which is not fun.
Plus, the road itself is usually really crowded (especially during the weekends) so you might end up spending more time waiting in line than practicing your favorite winter sports.
Accommodation in the resort is plentiful. Prices range from very cheap, to very expensive, for those looking for luxury accommodation. If you were to ask me, choose between Hotel Regal or Ioana Hotel, depending on your budget.
Back to skiing in Sinaia, it’s worth mentioning that the resort caters for the beginner, medium, and experienced skier with its many different ski runs, including the demanding black runs for the very experienced ones.
Having said that, the skiing itself is excellent, even though the prices are not Romania-low, as you’d expect them to be.
2. Poiana Brasov
The most modern winter destination in Romania, Poiana Brasov is a really high quality ski resort with artificial snow available if the natural one is not enough.
With the longest ski slope in Romania (no less than 4.6 kilometers) and continued modernization, this is considered the best ski destination in Romania by many – and back in 2013 it was the place where the Alpine Skiing section of the European Youth Olympics took place.
Accommodation is easy to find as there are a ton of options available, but the prices are pretty high too for Eastern Europe. However, the overall beauty of the place, the warmth of the Romanians as hosts and the beautiful slopes certainly worth every penny.
If you are looking for recommendations on my side, I think that the best choices for accommodation in Poiana Brasov are Hotel Crisalpin or Pension Pantheon.
However, the fact that this resort is so close to the city of Brasov (just 14km between them), it would also make sense to find something in Brasov and drive from there to Poiana for the day, or take a bus or even a taxi.
The Straja ski resort in Hunedoara County is relatively young, having opened in 2002. Most of its 12 slopes, found at an elevation of 1,445m (4,740ft), are lit at night, making it a perfect destination for skiing after sunset. The longest is a whopping 8km (5mi) in length.
Each run has its own lift to reduce queues, which are regularly replaced with new models. The resort’s top selling point is the duration of the ski season, which lasts from November until April.
Straja also includes a ski school and ski rental, along with 210 chalets, holiday homes, guesthouses and villas to choose from.
We’re going back to the Bucharest / Brasov area for one of the most popular mountain resorts in the country, all year long: Predeal.
Although this is usually more crowded than the other places due to its popularity, it is so for all the right reasons: it’s beautiful, it’s cheap and it offers great slopes for skiing!
We’re talking about a total of 6 slopes of varying difficulty levels: beginners, intermediate and experts. A total of 7.4 kilometers of slopes provide enough space for the thousands of tourists flocking the areas.
In terms of accommodation, you have a ton of options here. It’s difficult to pick the best places to recommend, since they’re all good, but I would go for Pensiunea Anotimpuri or Pensiunea Regina during the winter. But you literally have tens of options, most of them of really high standards.
A relatively new resort, located in the Gorj county near the spectacular Transalpina road, Ranca is the resort with the longest ski season (starting sometime in September and lasting until May).
There are six slopes available right now (and one for sledding, for children) and although they are not yet as spectacular and long as some others on the list, they are improved on an yearly basis, so with each new visit, you will have a better experience.
Ranca is still a bit off the beaten path, so it won’t be as crowded as others, but still offers really high quality slopes and services, plus some amazing views thanks to the Transalpina road, one of the most spectacular and beautiful roads in the country – and probably in Europe.
It’s not really close to any of the top cities you generally know in Romania. The closest popular tourist destination is Sibiu, with Ramnicu Valcea and Targu Jiu being other major cities close by.
6. Transalpina Ski Resort
At 1,940m (6,365ft), Transalpina Ski Resort in Valcea County, offers seven ski slopes for beginner and intermediate skiers. The views over the Făgăraș and Parâng Mountains are some of the best you can get in Romania, and the prices are not too high either. As it is a new resort, accommodation options have yet to catch up, but the nearby resort of Voineasa, 30km (19mi) away, more than makes up for that. This ski resort is good for a day trip, followed by a beer in the sunshine at the on-piste bar before heading home.
Skiing in Şuior won’t satisfy a week’s holiday, but it is a great opportunity to discover the traditions, food and hospitality of people in Maramureş.
The 12 pistes, suitable for beginners and intermediate-level skiers, range from easy baby-ski slopes up to tricky black runs, accessible by a high-speed lift. Lift passes are reasonably priced, starting from 140 RON (£26) for a one-day adult pass. Those who don’t fancy skiing can try the 100m (328ft) snow-tubing track. We recommend spending a night in one of the cosy Altitude 1000 log cabins, complete with a nearby restaurant and après-ski bar.
Also near Sibiu, Păltiniş is the oldest ski resort in the country, founded in 1894. There are only two pistes, so the terrain is limited, but they are well maintained and good for beginner skiers. Plus, there’s a small snow park for practising freestyle tricks. During the week, the pistes are relatively empty, but they can become crowded on weekends.
Off the snow, you can explore the resort’s beautifully preserved old villas, dating from the end of the 19th century; some of them are open to the public.
There are many great European ski resorts to choose from. But if you’re looking for something different, and more budget friendly, take a look at Romania.
With 33 ski resorts to choose from in the country, anyone planning to come to Romania for skiing has so many choices that it may be difficult to find your preferred location the first time round. But hopefully my list will help you do it!