People are too frequently blind to the fact that there’s skiing in Europe beyond France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. Case in point, Slovakia is an excellent skiing and snowboarding destination, in the heart of the continent. It’s even under the radar of most package ski holiday providers, but that just means there’s serious bargains to be had.
What’s skiing like in Slovakia
Slovakia’s mountains don’t boast the same altitude of France and Austria’s towering resorts, but Jasná’s 2000 metres, isn’t to be sniffed at. The temperature is more than cold enough to provide quality terrain The most important thing to note about skiing in Slovakia, is that it’s yet to be overrun by tourists – let’s hope articles like this don’t change that!
On the slopes, one of the best things Slovakia has to offer is its gorgeous tree runs.
When to go skiing in Slovakia
Slovakia’s ski season typically runs from early December to late April. Obviously, that’s snow dependent, and the past two Decembers had pretty rotten snowfall. Our tip for the best time to travel is late January – ski pass prices are lower than in February, and the slopes aren’t chock-a-block with families on their half term holidays.
To keep an eye on the latest conditions, be sure to download the OnTheSnow app.
What are the covid requirements to enter Slovakia
All fully vaccinated people can enter Slovakia freely. This applies to children aged over 12 years and 2 months (that last detail means that children aren’t penalised by turning 12). However, it’s much more challenging to enter if you are not fully vaccinated and are travelling for leisure. You may find it easier to enter via another country in the Schengen area by land, rather than travelling directly by air. Find out more details on the UK Government website.
How to get to Slovakia
The easiest way to travel is by air. Wizz Air flies twice weekly from London Luton to Poprad-Tatry in the country’s west. The airport is near the Tatras mountain range, and is particularly close to Tatranská Lomnica. Flights are as cheap as £50 return, even in peak season.
Where to go skiing in Slovakia
Jasná is Slovakia’s crown jewel ski resort. The resort has over 50km of terrain to explore, including 12 off-piste “freeride zones”. Everything within them is ungroomed, but they still lead back down to lift lines at the bottom.
Beyond skiing there’s natural thermal springs, dog sledding and snow-shoeing to occupy your time. Jasná also plays host to some of Slovakia’s best après ski, at ludicrously cheap prices. Happy End is the place to be, especially for its big winter season opening party.
Home to Slovakia’s steepest run – the “French mulda” – more experienced skiers and snowboarders will feel home in Tatranská Lomnica. Beginners fear not. The middle and lower portions of the mountain are more manageable, with gentle slopes to find your footing on.
For après, Humno is the most popular spot in all of the High Tatras. Think wholesome restaurant in the daytime, DJ playing banger after banger after banger by night.
Štrbské Pleso has it all. Modern lift infrastructure, well groomed pistes, swathes of cross-country tracks and a snow park that’s ideal for snowboarders to grab huge air. Away from the slopes there’s snow tubing, snow rafting, bungee jumping, bungeeruning and paragliding.
Štrbské Pleso is actually not far from Tatranská Lomnica, and they’re run by the same operator. You might think that means you can get a ski pass covering both resorts as is regular in the Alps. Unfortunately not. You need to buy separate lift passes for each resort.
With “Park” in its name, it should come as no surprise that the slopes in Donovaly are full of fun. It would be too far to suggest the whole resort is one big park, but there is an abundance of jumps and rails for the tricksters to hone their craft on. However, this is probably Slovakia’s best ski resort for beginners. Most routes are suitable for the inexperienced, and even the red runs are of a gentler variety.
Part of Donovaly’s USP, is the regularity of night skiing. Whereas so many resorts confine nighttime exploration to one or two days a week, it happens everyday in Donovaly. There are also discos on the snow, and you can race dog sleds.