Here’s where to go skiing, snowboarding in Ukraine
With holidays approaching and the first snowfalls of winter already here, Ukrainians have started looking for places where to enjoy winter sports. The ski resorts at the Carpathian Mountains are an obvious destination, but there are places for skiing in other parts of the country, too. The Kyiv Post checked out some of the country’s winter sports venues.
Kyiv: Protasiv Yar
Those who can’t get away from the capital can visit Protasiv Yar, a venue that offers skiing and snowboarding right almost in the center of Kyiv.
Kyiv’s first ski resort, Protasiv Yar has been operating since 1998 and doubles up as a training base for Ukraine’s Winter Olympics sport teams.
The winter sports season started at Protasiv Yar on Dec. 4, and now its four runs are open, from the small 150-meter run for children, to the 500-meter run for professional athletes and experienced ski fans.
Entrance to the ski resort now costs Hr 80 on weekdays, and Hr 100 on the weekends, with an additional payment for each ski lift — Hr 20 on weekdays, and Hr 30 during the weekends.
Protasiv Yar also offers ski and snowboard equipment rental — Hr 250 for skis, ski poles, boots and fasteners, and Hr 300 for snowboard, boots and fasteners for adults per day.
Those who have their own boots or poles can rent equipment separately as well, with Hr 200 for skis, and Hr 300 for snowboard and boots. Apart from that, Protasiv Yar rents helmets, masks and mittens for Hr 50.
Moreover, Kyiv’s Protasiv Yar has floodlighting so visitors can enjoy skiing or snowboarding at night, every Saturday from 10:30 p.m.— 4 a.m., for Hr 350, and has a restaurant open until 5 a.m.
Additionally, for those new to winter sports, Protasiv Yar offers snowboarding and skiing with an instructor for Hr 500 per hour.
Protasiv Yar. (23A Protasiv Yar St.) Tue-Sun 10 a.m.— 10 p.m., Mon 2–10 p.m., Sat 10–4 a.m. +38044 338 2682. www.gora.com.ua
Ukraine’s most famous and most expensive ski resort, Bukovel, every
year welcomes thousands of tourists from Ukraine and all over the world for skiing and snowboarding on the snowy hills of Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains, where they can enjoy its breathtakingly beautiful winter landscapes.
Bukovel is in the mountainous part of Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, 620 kilometers west from Kyiv, and offers a total of 65 kilometers of ski and snowboard runs for all tastes and levels of experience. Each ride on the ski lift costs Hr 290, and Hr 375 during the New Year’s holidays from Jan. 2–6, 2018. A ski pass, which gives access to all the ski lifts, costs Hr 1,120, per day and is valid from 8:30 a.m.— 4:30 p.m. A five-day ski pass costs Hr 4,425, and allows skiing and snowboarding on all of Bukovel’s open runs.
Bukovel also offers one-day ski equipment hire, including skis, boots, ski poles and a helmet for Hr 130–430, depending on their size and category. Prices for snowboarding equipment are the same, and includes snowboard, boots and a helmet. Equipment rental for nighttime skiing or snowboarding, starting from 6 p.m. every day, is Hr 140–450.
Besides providing the opportunity to ski and snowboard, Bukovel is also known for its many spa-centers and saunas, sledding hills, outdoor ice-rinks, fairs with food and drinks, and a great variety of restaurants and cafes. To stay at Bukovel during winter holidays will cost from Hr 1,244 to Hr 10,194 ($44 to $364) per night for a double room. The price for one night at the five-star Radisson Blue hotel starts from Hr 10,000 ($357) during the Christmas holidays.
Bukovel. (Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast) Mon-Sun — 9 a.m.— 5 p.m. +38034 2595 546. www.bukovel.com
Located about 120 kilometers south of Lviv, a city some 540 kilometers west from Kyiv, the ski and snowboard season at the Play ski resort is about to open, with the temperature in the west of Ukraine now dropping below zero degrees.
Play is not as well-known and crowded as Bukovel, and stands out for its more reasonable prices.
With five runs of different levels of difficulty, with the longest one being 1,200 meters long, Play also offers a number of restaurants, cafes, and spa-centers with saunas and swimming pools.
The price for a one-day ski pass is Hr 740 on weekdays, and Hr 840 on weekends, or Hr 70–100 for one ride on the ski lift, the price depending on the type of lift. Ski and snowboard equipment rental starts from Hr 250, and depends on its size and quality.
Play also has four hotels located on the resort’s territory. A room for two goes for Hr 2,000–5,500 per night.
Play. (Plavie Village, Lviv Oblast) Mon-Sun — 5 a.m.— 4 a.m. +38097 380 9740. www.play-karpaty.com
Poltava: Sorochyn Yar
While Sorochyn Yar has no hotel on its territory, this ski resort in central Ukraine still offers a plenty of activities to keep people busy all day long.
Located about 20 kilometers north of Poltava, a city some 350 kilometers east from Kyiv, this ski resort is a great place for those who have their own equipment: entrance to Sorochyn Yar is free, so people with their own skis or snowboards don’t spend anything.
Those who do need to rent equipment will not pay much, as Sorochyn Yar’s reasonable prices cover full ski and snowboarding equipment for Hr 150–200 per day, with Hr 130 for students and children’s equipment. A ski pass at Sorochyn Yar costs just Hr 30, and the price for skiing and snowboarding with an instructor starts from Hr 300 per person per hour.
Apart from skiing and snowboard- ing, Sorochyn Yar features tubing hills for snow tubing fans — sliding down the slope on a round inflatable tube. Snow tubing costs Hr 200–250 per hour.
Additionally, Sorochyn Yar’s website has a live stream that shows people skiing and snowboarding down the resort’s slopes. The easiest way to get to Sorochyn Yar, near the village of Kamianka is by taxi.
Sorochyn Yar. (1A Yarova St. Kamianka Village, Poltava) TueSun — 10 a.m.— 10 p.m., Mon — 1–10 p.m. +38067 532 3285. www. sorochin-yar.com.ua
Kharkiv: Alpine Valley
There is no need to go to Austria or Germany to ski down the Alpine hills, as Ukraine’s Alpine Valley ski resort does all it can to make visitors feel like they are in the Alps — but for a much lower price. Established in 2003, Alpine Valley is the first ski resort near Kharkiv, a city some 480 kilometers east from Kyiv. The resort is next to the village of Borova, 23 kilometers south of Kharkiv city center.
Alpine Valley currently has two runs, 450 meters long, and one ride on the ski lift costs Hr 15–20. A ski pass at Alpine Valley costs Hr 300 for three hours.
For those who want to rent equipment, Alpine Valley has ski and snowboard equipment rental for Hr 90 per hour on weekdays, and Hr 120 per hour on weekends. Alpine Valley also offers snow tubing for Hr 70 for 30 minutes.
For those who enjoy nighttime skiing, Alpine Valley has floodlighting all over its slopes and offers skiing and snowboarding until late night to all visitors.
Alpine Valley’s café also welcomes visitors to warm up and relax next to the fireplace after a long day of skiing and snowboarding.
Alpine Valley. (Borova, Kharkiv Oblast) Mon-Fri — 11 a.m.— 10 p.m., Sat-Sun — 9 a.m.— 11 p.m. + 38050 400 0708
People ski at Bukovel, Ukraine`s most popular ski resort, located in the mountainous part of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast in western Ukraine, on Dec. 24, 2017. (UNIAN)
A snowboarder slides down a slope at ski resort Protasiv Yar in Kyiv, during a snowboarding contest on Feb. 11, 2016. (Oleg Petrasiuk)