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HEIDI GUIDE TO
Poland Ski Holidays
Skiing with a Polish welcome
Skiing may not be the first thing that spring to mind when you think of Poland. But that is all about to change.
Where a skiing holiday can be combined with a culture trip.
Poland is well known for its culture, medieval cities and hospitality – less so for its skiing. This is changing. The Tatras mountains, which straddle the border with Slovakia south of Krakow, are a stunning range of peaks up to 2,600m that are home to wolves, bears and wildlife. The ski resorts are situated in the foothills closer to the city. They’re small, still developing and sometimes not as slick as their Alpine counterparts. But the lifts are modern and what they offer is an intimate network of easy slopes for skiers looking for somewhere culturally interesting, and a mountain break that can be combined with a trip to a city.
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Poland ski holidays Your questions answered by our Polish ski holiday expert
Alexander Blunt (Co-Founder)
What are the best family ski resorts in Poland?
Poland has a real ace up its sleeve for families wanting to hit the snow and not break the budget – it’s a fraction of the cost of skiing in France or Switzerland, with daily lift passes costing less than €30. Another big attraction of skiing in Poland are the uncrowded pistes – which are far less intimidating for little learners. It also ensures the snow maintains its quality.
What are the best beginner ski resorts in Poland?
Szczyrk is a great place for first timers as you can ski the entire resort on easy and wide slopes while the lifts are modern (meaning they’re easy to get on and off). There are good ski schools too. Kotelnica (part of the Białka Tatrzańska resort) also has a great network of blue runs which comprise almost 80% of the slopes. Facilities and rental equipment is up to date, and prices are also reasonable.
What are the best high altitude / snow-sure ski resorts in Poland?
The skiing is not as high and snow-sure as it can be in the Alps. The highest resort is Zakopane, which offers skiing up to 1,900m. In Szczyrk the slopes lie between 590m and 1,257m while in Białka Tatrzańska the skiing goes up to 1,350m. But when conditions are good there is plentiful amounts of snow and the main resorts have invested in snow-making equipment for when it gets a bit thin.
What is the best skiing food and drink in Poland?
Eating out in Poland requires a strong appetite – and when it comes to the drinks, a strong stomach too! Traditional dishes include hunter’s stew, made with sausages and sauerkraut, Pierogi dumplings filled with meats and pototo and Oscypek – smoked sheep’s milk cheese, which comes from the Tatras. When it comes to drinks, expect inexpensive local wines and beers – and several types of flavoured vodkas.
What are the best ski resorts for apres ski in Poland?
There are usually a few après bars at the bottom of the slopes. It’s not quite the party scene you get in the Alps but things can get lively in the traditional taverns and mountain huts, especially if you fall in with the locals. It’s fairly quiet in Szczyrk but there’s a nightclub in the Bania Hotel which is also where the thermal pools are to be found, a great way to relax after a day on the slopes. Zakopane is livelier, and home to vodka and jazz bars.
What are the best ski resorts for off piste skiing in Poland?
After a fresh snowfall, there are always opportunities to go off-piste and get some ‘freshies’ in. The scope isn’t as wide as you’ll find in the big resorts of the Alps but there’s always some fun to be had if you look hard. Options for hitting the powder in Kotelnica are a bit more limited. But if you’re really keen, hire a guide, who’ll show you where the good stuff is to be found.
What are the best ski resorts for skiing weekends and short breaks in Poland?
Poland’s ski resorts are only a couple of hours away from Krakow, which is serviced by regular flights from the UK, so it’s the perfect place for a short break. The ski resorts are all quite small so you can ski them in a day or two, then head into the city for some sightseeing and culture. Kotelnica is slightly closer than Szczyrk to Krakow but both can be done in a weekend.
What is the best time to ski in Poland?
The Polish ski season isn’t as long as it is in the western Alps as the mountains aren’t as high but it is comparable to some of their lower resorts. It starts in December and runs through to the end of March. The most snow-sure time is from mid January to the end of February. Outside of that snow coverage can be still be great, but it’s worth checking the snow reports.
Most popular ski resorts in Poland
Here are just some of our top ski resorts. To find the perfect one for you, speak to one of our specialists.
Kotelnica is a highly modernized ski resort in southern Poland, offering great value skiing and a picturesque setting. With its newly updated infrastructure and a variety of traditional bars and restaurants, it is an ideal destination for families and groups seeking an affordable ski holiday, especially for beginners and intermediate skiers.
Located in southern Poland, Szczyrk is a captivating town with numerous traditional bars and restaurants that offer exceptional value. With its ski area tailored for beginners and intermediate skiers, Szczyrk Mountain Resort presents an excellent choice for families and groups in search of an affordable yet rewarding ski holiday experience