Winter holidays in the Carpathians: why to go, what to do and where to stay?
01 November 2021
Nowadays winter vacation is considered to be more interesting than summer one, because the Ukrainian travel industry is developing actively, offering new ways for the whole family to spend free time. During the cold season the resorts of the hospitable Carpathian Mountains are waiting for Ukrainians. Here you can spend New Year holidays, enjoy active or secluded rest. In winter the Carpathians are like a fairy tale: secular forests under the shimmering snow-white cover look mysterious, and gentle slopes attract people.
Features and advantages of a vacation in the Carpathian Mountains in winter
- Interesting activities for everyone. Bukovel and other popular resorts offer a lot of entertainment for guests of all ages: from exciting tours to sports, from romantic leisure to adventures in theme parks. You can go here even without skis!
- A wide choice of accommodations. Even with a modest budget it is easy enough to find a place to stay. The exception is the period of the New Year holidays.
- Spa and wellness. Many hotels and private estates offer wood-fired baths, bathing in vats with aromatic herbs. Also there are a lot of balneal resorts and hotels with SPA complexes (massage, cosmetic procedures).
- Transport accessibility. Most resorts are easily accessible by road, so you won’t come across any snow drifts in winter. Travelers can take a cab, bus from the nearest railway or bus station, or arrive in their own car.
What Carpathian resort should I choose for a winter vacation?
Winter in the Carpathian Mountains is multifaceted and beautiful. Leisure options depend a lot on the chosen region of the mountains. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous options.
The resort is popular because of its European-standard skiing infrastructure. There is a wide range of slopes of various complexity levels and qualified instructors. Moreover, you can go sledding, dog sled and horse riding.
Tourist location has an observation elevator, year-round zip-lines and other attractions.
You can go to natural or man-made attractions and attend local youth parties. Bukovel in winter is amazingly beautiful because it is quite high in the mountains. Exceptional comfort and comfort of the resort will win over even the most demanding travelers.
Another mountain ski resort, located on the banks of the Black Cheremosh. Here you can go on excursions, for example, to the observatory on the top of Mount Pop Ivan. You can take a Jeep tour, a snowmobile tour, or a one-day hike. Verkhovyna’s ski slopes are gentle, so they are good for those who are just learning to ski. One of the two elevators will take you to the top.
This place allows you to see the traditional houses of Ukrainian mountaineers, visit local museums (for example, dedicated to the movie “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” or folk magic). Verkhovyna is also a perfect place for those who want to try unique Carpathian dishes. Also you will find dozens of healing mineral springs.
If you want an inexpensive but pleasant winter vacation in the Carpathian Mountains, Vorokhta might be a good option. The village, located on the banks of the fast Prut River, has a variety of locations for family and romantic vacations. This place is also a perfect destination for winter sports. Although the choice of slopes is limited, the snow holds for quite a long time. Here you can go hiking to the mountain peaks, such as Hoverla. Fans of sightseeing will love a trip to Nesamovyte lake, ancient bridges and the Church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, as well as a visit to the local history museum.
Yaremche is a picturesque place in the Carpathian Mountains that is definitely worth visiting in winter! There are slopes of different difficulty levels, so even a child can ski or snowboard. Don’t feel like playing sports? Then you will enjoy horse-riding or snowmobile safari. Cozy restaurants in the ethnic style invite you to enjoy unique dishes and hot mulled wine by the fireplace.
From Yaremche you can take a trip to Probiy waterfall, Ilyinska and Mykhailivska churches and other local attractions. Fans of cognitive rest should definitely visit the museum of ethnography and Ukrainian history and the museum-restaurant “Hutsulschyna”. Young guests are welcome to visit the contact zoo.
One of the most budget-friendly Carpathian resorts. Mykulychyn is the longest village in Ukraine – it stretches for 44 kilometers along the Prut River! It is a good place for a quiet vacation. Fans of extreme sports rent accommodations here only if they plan to go to nearby Bukovel or Yablunytsa. But in Mykulychyn you can also find a place for sledging, skiing and snowboarding.
Guests of the resort should also go on a scenic excursion to the waterfall Zhenetsky Guk or to one of the local peaks (Javornik-Gorgan, Great Rokyta, Makowytsa), from which you can enjoy breathtaking scenery. Here you can see the colorful Church of the Holy Trinity, built in the ethnic style, or have a warm meal in one of the local restaurants.
To summarize our brief review, we can say that Bukovel is still the most popular winter resort. This is the best resort in terms of infrastructure and service. Here you can find a lot of entertainment, regardless of your personal preferences and tastes. Such a trip will be remembered by the whole family for a long time and will give you a lot of positive energy and Carpathian health for a whole year.
What accommodation to rent for a winter vacation in the Carpathians?
- Hotel room at a ski resort. These accommodations won’t be cheap, but they are suitable for fans of winter sports. From the hotel you can easily get to the ski elevator and other local attractions. If you want to cut your vacation costs a bit, plan your trip for the “low” season: the beginning of December, February or even March. The advantages of hotels in ski resorts include a very large list and a high level of services. This option is suitable for those who are going on vacation for a few days, so they don’t want to spend time on the way from the hotel to the elevators and back.
- Apartment in a Carpathian hotel in a traditional style. These hotels are mostly located on the outskirts of the ski resorts, in the neighboring villages. They offer much more attractive prices, different promotions and discounts, especially when the season is over. Moreover, it is easy enough to get to the ski elevator from here. These kinds of hotels win the love of their guests with magnificent interiors in traditional style and excellent level of service, so they are considered to be the “golden mean” for everyone who travels to the Carpathian Mountains in winter.
3. Room in a Balneal Spa Resort. If you need recovery after an illness or injury, it makes sense to pay more attention to the balneal resorts of the Carpathian Mountains. They are located in the places where the healing mineral waters and muds come to the surface. However, such locations usually do not allow combining recovery with active sports entertainment. Rooms at modern health resorts can boast cozy interiors, so they are suitable for travelers seeking a quiet rest.
4. Romantic house in the mountains. Winter in the Carpathians is an unusually romantic time of year when you want to enjoy the frosty air, long walks with your loved one, and to warm up by the fire with mulled wine in the evenings. The secluded mountain lodge will appeal to lovers who do not need an active entertainment program.
It’s a great way to get away from the city, to be alone with nature, yourself, and each other. Some estates are equipped with jacuzzis and other pleasant amenities, while others offer a more discreet setting. In any case, you can plunge into the winter fairy tale of the snow-covered Carpathians.
To decide where to go in winter and for what period, it is worth analyzing the prices of accommodation in different months. These costs will be key in the vacation. If you plan to ski or snowboard, in order to save money, you can buy ski passes in advance that are sold at a discount. Also when choosing a location, you should compare the list of available attractions to your own preferences and tastes. If you need a rich entertainment program, you should consider the most popular ski resorts. You won’t get bored there. Note that most of the entertainment is paid separately, which can also be a significant item of vacation spending.
The variety of possible scenarios for vacations in the mountains makes the Carpathians an ideal place for a holiday that can please even the most demanding tourist.