Romania Travel

Best Ski Resorts in Romania

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.

I am going to share with you my experience of a few ski resorts that have made an impression on me – and are considered the best destinations for skiing in Romania.

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 not waste any time and instead let’s check out the best skiing destinations in Romania!

1. Sinaia

This was the first ski resort I ever visited and I am sure that as soon as you will be there, you will fall in love with it.

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.

There are 3 ski schools in the resort, 4 ski lifts, and 3 Gondolas. The Gondolas actually operate in two parts: one between 1000 – 1400 meters (Gondola Sinaia) and the second between 1,400 – 2,000 (Gondola Carp) Going up and down both costs 55 lei for adults (11.50 Euros) and 35 lei for children (7.50 Euros).

When it comes to skiing, the prices are of around 30 Euros for a day pass for adults and around 22 Euros for children. (Make sure to consider these prices informative only as they can change at any time).

Having said that, the skiing itself is excellent, even though the prices are not Romania-low, as you’d expect them to be.

Still, it is probably cheaper than in other parts of the world and you do get some high quality slopes to test your skills on (or learn how to ski, depending on your situation).

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.

3. Suior

This resort is situated in Maramures. Again, the scenery is spectacular with its forest-strewn mountains, with a beautiful vista across the valley when the weather conditions are favorable.

There are good road links from the major centers in the country, Bucharest being 573 km from the ski resort. But you’re much closer to Baia Mare or even Cluj Napoca.

The resort has ski runs that would suit the beginner and medium level skier. There are only 2 ski lifts which charge 3 euros for adults and 1 euro for children. A one day ski pass will cost 36 euros for adults and 20 euros for children.

Included in the price of the ski pass is a free meal at the resort’s restaurant, which is a real bonus after a hard day’s skiing. There is 1 ski school and facilities to hire ski equipment if you require it.

I really enjoyed my skiing in this resort for a few factors: I could find accommodation of a high standard within my budget. The price of the daily ski pass is also a major factor in giving this resort serious consideration.

The best thing that I liked was the low key, uncomplicated layout of this resort. It’s really ideal for those beginning skiing but also offers the challenges for those at a more advanced level.

It’s also a bit off the beaten path so less crowded than most other recommendations on the list. Yes, it’s not as easy to get here (realistically, foreigners will only have Cluj as an option) but it’s worth it if you’re looking for something cheap, good and not insanely crowded.

In terms of accommodation here, there are not a ton of options available unless you are ready to drive around a bit.

Still, you have great choices from Complex Turist Suior Cota 1000 (located next to the ski lift) or the recently opened and really high quality Arts and Crafts Guesthouse.

4. Predeal

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.

5. Ranca

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.

There are many villas and pensions offering cheap accommodation options, but if you want my recommendations, look no further than Pension Carmen and Hotel Onix.

Conclusion

Pin it for later!

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!

Romania is definitely becoming a rising star in the market for those seeking excitement and good value for money from their skiing holidays. So these low prices might not last – make sure to take advantage of them now!

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Calin:
    No bears this time–ha, ha!
    I noticed your site now has an icon–congrats!
    So this last year, plenty of snow, or were snow-making machines needed at any of these areas?
    Are the sledding areas open to old children–like me;-))? I’m too much of a fraidy-cat (and too klutzy)
    to attempt skiing.
    I imagine the accommodation rates at the resorts are much higher during the winter. What happens during the rest of the year. Do they offer other attractions/activities.
    I’m going to put you on the spot: where would you most like to live in Romania? (You must not include DTS or Bucharest, though.;-)
    Still nothing planned for summer getaway? Has Tarom resumed transatlantic service? I know Polish LOT has flights to Chicago due to high population of Poles there. It looks like NYC has the most Romanians, but nowhere like the number of Poles in Chicago.
    Great review of the Romanian skiing areas!
    ~Teil (USA)

  2. Hello Teil,

    Sorry for the late reply. And yeah, no bears this time, although they do love the mountains 🙂

    The sledding areas are open to all ages and there are no restrictions whatsoever – everybody takes care of themselves 😀 I would say that accommodation in most places is a it expensive if you judge it by general Romanian prices, but then again it does make sense.

    Most of these places are popular during the summer as well, with people retreating to the mountains to run away from the scorching hot summers that seem to get worse and worse each year. So even though not as popular as during the winter, there’s year-long tourism in all these areas.

    Regarding cities where I would most like to live, I would have to say that the cities in the Western part of the country would be the winners: Timisoara, Oradea, Cluj Napoca… I think that any of these would be great cities to live in.

    1. Calin:
      Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!;-) (Wizard of Oz)
      Yes, I wondered where you were–ha, ha!
      So, do most of your countrymen pretty much stay in one place–place of birth, or place where parents settled?
      In other words, are most Romanian people satisfied (or at least feel as satisfied as economically possible) where they live?
      ***Where is KemKem and company, BTW???
      You said it’s getting warmer in Romania, so is the skiing season shorter? Does the earlier melting snowpacks–I assume some cities get their water from mountain sources–cause water shortages in the summer months?
      Are you using your a/c more often, or are you surviving with open windows and fans? Are you now finding your summer electric bills becoming as large as your winter ones?
      Do you have public swimming pools in DTS? I know they can be a welcome relief from the heat. Maybe your apartment complex has a pool?
      Did you ever get a pet for your son–something he’s NOT allergic to? Even a goldfish would be nice for the
      young man. (NO bears accept a “Teddy.”)
      Hope you get some more input on this posting!
      ~Teil

    2. I’ll try to take the questions one at a time, hopefully I won’t miss any 🙂

      Regarding the housing situation, most of Romanians are house owners or lived in a house owned by a relative. This means that there is little movement compared to the US, although things have started to move a lot lately, with the larger cities that provide more opportunities starting to create some waves. But usually people don’t move that much. I am not sure they do this because they are satisfied with their living conditions or rather they simply can’t afford something better – plus the mentality here is not to move, which might contribute to them being “stationary” 🙂

      I don’t really know that much about the skiing season, but the weather is acting strange. I know that this year, for example, the skiing season started earlier and lasted longer than usually… which is strange since the overall weather is warmer. This just means that the winters are less cold and the summers hotter.

      We don’t use air conditioning units too much, as we thrive at around 25 degrees celsius and we’d gladly take 26-27 as well. 🙂 So we’re not paying more, yet. Lately, it’s been a really strange weather, with very hot days and colder nights, so leaving the window open is usually enough.

      Most apartment buildings here are old communist blocks, so no real apartment complexes to talk about, even less so pools. But there are some options in the city (two, do be precise :P) and we are taking advantage of them.

      I am passionate about aquariums (we have 3 :D), so our son does have a few pet fish, indeed. He wants a hamster as well, so we’ll get him one soon. No dogs at the moment though 🙂

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