The Best Ski Resorts in Romania

Sinaia is among the top ski resorts in picturesque Romania
Sinaia is among the top ski resorts in picturesque Romania | © Mountain Cubs / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Georgeta Gheorghe
28 September 2020

While Romania doesn’t offer the altitude of the Alps, it is one of Europe’s most underrated ski destinations. Its snow-capped mountains, picturesque log cabins and reasonable prices have been helping to make it a top contender among ski enthusiasts. From Sinaia to Transalpina, here are Romania’s top 10 ski resorts.

While many of Romania’s ski resorts are small, especially compared to France and Austria, you can pair a day skiing or snowboarding with sightseeing – from Dracula’s castle to the Neoclassical streets of Bucharest. And make sure you come back in the summer for the beautiful hiking trails.

Check out our list of the 10 best ski resorts in Romania, and make the Carpathian Mountains your winter playground.

Poiana Braşov

Ski Resort
Map View
Poiana Brasov, Romania
© Stelian Porojnicu / Alamy Stock Photo

Just a two-hour drive from Bucharest, Poiana Braşov is the most popular ski resort in the country. With lifts reaching 1,799m (5,902ft) in altitude, it offers 24.5km (15mi) of slopes, mostly greens and blues, making this resort perfect for beginners or those finding their ski feet again. The slopes are open from 9am to 9pm during the winter, with floodlights for night skiing. Poiana Braşov is known for its pumping après-ski bars – head to Aftăr Ski by Aftăr Stube for beers on giant bean bags overlooking the pistes. Don’t miss nearby Bran Castle, where legend says Count Dracula lived!

Straja

Ski Resort
Map View

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.

Sinaia

Ski Resort
Map View

Known for the spectacular Peleș Castle, one of the most charming in Europe, as well as its beautiful interwar villas, Sinaia is a winter sports hub with the highest ski area in Romania. Reaching an elevation of 2,090m (6,857ft), Sinaia is more snow-sure than other ski resorts in the country. Its 20km (12mi) of slopes cater more for intermediate skiers, with a majority of red runs on offer. Advanced skiers should head to the Abrupt area for steeper slopes and off-piste terrain. Just under two hours from Bucharest by car, Sinaia makes for one of the best options for a ski or snowboarding day trip, combined with a city break.

Transalpina Ski Resort

Ski Resort
Map View
Road to Transalpina ski resort in winter, covered in snow, Romania
© Raul Baldean / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Predeal

Ski Resort
Map View
Wonderful snow covered trees and winter ski resort. Active skiers skiing downhill in famous Predeal ski resort, Transylvania, Romania, Europe
© Janos Gaspar / Alamy Stock Photo
Predeal is one of the most popular mountain resorts in Romania, in both summer and winter. With a higher elevation than neighbouring Poiana Braşov, it offers 8.5km (5mi) of pistes, though they are a little shorter in length. It’s also known for being one of Romania’s sunniest spots. Pistes are mostly suited to intermediates, building their way up to the more challenging Subteleferic run. Due to Predeal’s location on Valea Prahovei, skiing here can be easily combined with a visit to Sinaia’s Peleș Castle as well as a trip to Brașov.

Şuior

Ski Resort
Map View

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.

Azuga

Ski Resort
Map View
Azuga is one of the most popular and newest ski resorts in Romania. Tucked in the Prahova valley, it was first opened in 1990 with two runs and has now expanded to a full ski resort. The modern gondola will whisk you from the village at 935m (3,068ft) to 1,566m (5,138ft) in no time at all. The pistes are not extensive but great for intermediates, the most famous being Sorica and Cazacu, both around 2km (1mi) long. Beginners and young skiers can head to the Baby Cazacu slope for a gentle start.

Rânca

Ski Resort
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Ranca city panorama view in winter
© Mihaila Cristian Ionut / Alamy Stock Photo

First mentioned in the year 500BCE by Aeschylus and Herodotus, the Parâng Mountains are home to the Rânca ski resort, offering nine ski slopes, most of them for intermediate and expert skiers. It’s a popular resort for those who want to explore the backcountry terrain. One of the highest mountain ridges in the Carpathians, at 2,519m (8,264ft), the Parâng Mountains can be seen from miles around. Après-Ski Ranca is the place to go after the lifts shut for pizza, live music and cold beer.

Bâlea Lac

Ski Resort
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Although not technically a ski resort, Bâlea Lac, at an elevation of 2,034m (6,673ft), is one of the most spectacular spots in the Carpathians. It is popular for ski touring, where skiers access the mountain without lifts. Stay at the Bâlea Lake Mountain Chalet before getting up at dawn to explore the surrounding peaks, accompanied by an experienced mountain guide. Needless to say, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the lake below. An hour’s drive from Sibiu, it can also be reached by cable car when the road between Bâlea Falls and the lake is closed.

Păltiniş

Ski Resort
Map View

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.

Additional reporting by Nina Zietman

These recommendations were updated on September 28, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.