Romania is one of Europe’s most underrated ski destinations. A hot hiking destination in the summer months, in winter its mountains also offer plenty of beginner and intermediate slopes and several expert ones. Check out our list of the 10 best ski resorts in Romania and make the Carpathians your winter playground.
A two-hour drive from Bucharest, Poiana Braşov is the best and most popular ski resort in the country. Located at an altitude of 1,020 metres (3,347 feet), it offers 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of slopes, stunning views of snow-capped peaks and an unmissable party vibe. There are 3.4 kilometres (2.1 miles) of slopes for beginners and 11.7 kilometres (7.3 miles) for intermediate skiers, while experts can test their skills on a 4.9 kilometre (3 mile)-long slope.
Located in Hunedoara county, the Straja ski resort is a great mix of great slopes, idyllic landscapes and affordable prices. Most of its 12 slopes, found at an elevation of 1,445 metres (4,741 feet) , are lit at night, making it a perfect destination for skiing after sunset. The resort’s top selling point is the duration of the ski season, which here lasts from November until April. Also, due to the low temperatures the layer of snow of the 26 kilometres (16.2 miles) of slopes much thicker.
Transalpina Ski Resort
The newest addition to the list, Transalpina Ski Resort, found at 1,940 metres (6,365 feet), in Valcea county, offers seven ski slopes for beginner and intermediate skiers. The views over Făgăraș and Parâng mountains are some of the best you can get while skiing, 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, 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) away, more than makes up for that.
Predeal is one of the most popular mountain resorts in Romania, particularly in the summer and winter months. Its slopes, totalling 8.5 kilometres (5.3 miles), are quite popular with skiers and its intermediate 2 kilometre (1.2 mile)-long piste, Clăbucet, is one of the most famous in the country. Due to its location on Valea Prahovei, skiing in Predeal can be easily combined with a visit to Sinaia’s Peleș Castle as well as a trip to Brașov.
Skiing in Şuior can be a great opportunity to discover the fantastic traditions, food and hospitality of people in Maramureş. Its 12 ski slopes are great for beginners and intermediate level skiers, most popular of them being Mogoşa. The resort is located a one-hour and a half drive from the Merry Cemetery of Săpânța, while the eight wooden churches of the region on UNESCO’s World Heritage List are also easily reachable.
Known for the spectacular Peleș Castle, one of the most charming in Europe, as well as its beautiful interwar villas, Sinaia has it all. Its 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of slopes of all levels of difficulty, as well as its proximity to Bucharest, make it one of the best options for a sky or snowboarding day trip.
Azuga takes pride in being, year-after-year, the ski resort that kickstarts the winter sports season on Romania’s Prahova Valley. Its most famous ski slopes, Sorica and Cazacu, both around 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) long, are less crowded than those in more polar resorts, making them a great option for a relaxing day on the mountains. The ‘BabyCazacu’ slope in particular, is a major attraction for young skiers who are just starting out.
First mentioned in the year 500 BC by Aeschylus and Herodotus, Parâng Mountains are home to Rânca ski resort offering 9 ski slopes, most of them for intermediate and expert skiers. One of the highest mountain ridges in the Carpathians, at 2,519 metres (8,264 feet), Parâng Mountains offer stunning views over the surrounding peaks. The resort can be reached some 17.9 kilometres (11.1 miles) away from Novaci, Gorj county.
Although not technically a ski resort, Bâlea Lake, at an elevation of 2,034 metres (6,673 feet), is one of the most spectacular spots in the Carpathians. Here expert skiers and snowboarders find in Bâlea Lac a very attractive destination for off-piste skiing and snowboarding. The two chalets nearby the lake, which are open year-round, provide great accommodation options. An hour drive from Sibiu, it can also be reached by cable car when the road between Bâlea Falls and the lake is closed.
Also near Sibiu, Păltiniş is the oldest ski resort in the country. At 1,442 metres (4,731 feet), it is the mountain resort found at the highest altitude. It offers slopes for both beginner and intermediate skiers, as well as hiking opportunities in the surrounding area. Culture lovers can explore the resort’s beautifully preserved old villas, dating from the end of the 19th century, some of which are open to the public.