THREE FAVOURITE PLACES FOR WINTER SPREE IN CZECH REPUBLIC
“THERE’S NOTHING MORE EXCITING
than a day spent outside in cold and snow!”
Although there is still a month to the calendar winter, near Poznań you can already feel the frosty breath on your neck. I slowly hide my sneakers and light jeans into the closet, replacing them with scarves, gloves and mantles. Hard times are coming for thermophilic people and even though I belong to them, I rub my hands with excitement on the arrival of frosts and snow (if we experience them this year in Greater Poland). A real winter is my favorite time of the year because of one important thing. No, it's not Christmas, it's snowboarding in the mountains! ;)
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to participate in such a trip, you are an avid admirer of winter sports, or you just want to try something new, this post is for you. In addition to the places described below, I had the pleasure of riding in a few more, but either it was a long time ago and my memory could distort something, or I didn’t like them that much, that's why I focused on three to which I could go any time of the day or night :)
What do these towns offer? Why are they gripping our hearts? What are the ski routes and conditions? I will try to answer all these questions in detail below!
PEC POD SNEZKOU
Pec is definitely a beloved city of Greater Poland and Lower Silesia regions. There are probably more Poles than Czechs on their slopes in the winter. Located at the end of the road 296 (and yet it is not true that all roads lead to Rome), its southern, western and eastern borders are marked by mountain slopes. The center of the town is just one street, surrounded on both sides with mountain cottages, pubs and shops. A stream flows right next to them, splashing lively until it is covered with ice. Most hotels and guest houses are located on the slopes, interspersed here and there with numerous pine trees. Pec has its magic charm when it gets white all over the place and that's when I like visiting it the most.
SLOPES AND SKI ROUTES
Pec is not the best place for people who want to try winter sports for the first time, because the slopes or their lower parts for learning are short and crowded. To get to the longer blue routes (blue = the easiest, red = medium-difficult, black = difficult), you have to pull yourself up by a ski lift up a big mountain (red route) and from there take a pass (blue route, mostly flat, but narrow) and get through it. Certainly, it is not a comfortable solution for snowboarders and can pose difficulties for beginners. In addition to the blue routes with T-bar lifts, Pec also has two chairlifts leading to red trails (and one of them also to the only one in the complex of the black route). You can find the exact map of the routes HERE.
A day pass in the season costs 810 CZK + 50 CZK returnable deposit. Prices vary depending on the season, you can find the current price list HERE.
My favorite place is Hotel Krokus, run successfully for years by a private owner. The hotel is not modern, but very neat and clean; the rooms are quite cramped, but there is a cozy, idyllic atmosphere here. A modest but fresh and good breakfast buffet awaits you each morning. The hotel also has a ski cellar and sauna (for an additional fee). Krokus is located in front of the bus stop, which can be accessed by ski bus to the slopes. Price per person per night is about 40 euro.
Next to Krokus is a similarly priced Hotel Horec. The rooms here are bigger and more luxurious, but they lack climate. Price per person per night is about 50 euro and includes breakfast. The hotel also has a swimming pool and SPA facilities.
GotoPec Apartmany is an ideal accommodation option for families and larger groups. The apartments are new, spacious and well-furnished, and in addition they cost a little (the more people, the cheaper). The only minus is availability - it's hard to get a room, so be sure to book your stay well in advance.
Taxi Skutr is the most budget option in Pec. The rooms are rented by snowmobile owners who have their own office and garage downstairs. It is difficult to talk about luxuries here, but radiators operate and hot water is available. It is best to book a 4-bed room with a mini kitchenette and a private bathroom. The other rooms have a shared bathroom and are quite cramped. Prepare yourself for the specific smells coming from the bar on the ground floor ;) Despite everything, Taxi Skutr is a nice option, because it is located at the height of the main parking lot under the slopes, so the ticket office is only 500 meters away.
Delicious Czech dishes are served by Enzian Gril - a restaurant located on the main street, situated in a wooden cottage, and inside is decorated in a cozy, rustic style. In the second, separate part of the building, to which you have to enter the stairs there is a bar grill, where you can have a bite to eat in the glass-covered room with a fireplace in the late evening, or have a drink at the cellar bar.
The best pizza and several other Italian dishes are served by the Andel Pizzeria, located near the Krokus Hotel. Thin crust and fresh, good quality ingredients make sure that this pizza can compete with your favorite one (now it's my favorite!).
Mini BullBar - the best bar, right next to the ticket office under the main slope. You will not eat dinner here, but you will satisfy your first hunger. This bar has a typical ski atmosphere and people usually rest in it, tired of ski and snowboard hassle.
Jańskie Łaźnie is a favorite place for snowboarders, because chair lifts prevail here, and a gondola runs from the bottom to the top! In addition, this area is characterized by a specific microclimate, which keeps the snow longer on the slopes. Personally, I like to come to Janskie for one-day winter madness, giving up renting a room because I'm not convinced by the accommodation facilities of this place. And it's easy to get here, for example, with the free ski bus that runs regularly from Pec. You can also go back to Pec, or take advantage of the great taxi option, which sets off from the top at the exit of the gondola and transports skiers and snowboarders on flat terrain, who ski or snowboard the rest of the route, all the way to Pec! *
Slopes and ski routes
Jansky Lazne offers two types of routes: blue and red. The slopes are suitable for beginners and intermediate-advanced riders. Flat, low-lying slopes have been adapted for learning to drive, and you can easily get to the higher-lying blue routes by gondola, and then slide it safely down. For this reason, Jańskie will be better for people just starting their adventure with winter sports. In Jansky there are two chairlifts (one modern: closed and heated, the other much older, with no amenities), a gondola and several ski lifts. You can find the exact map of the routes HERE.
A day pass in the season costs 810 CZK + 50 CZK returnable deposit. The current price list can be found HERE.
*the pass is valid both in Jańskie and in Pec; the price also includes taxi.
In Jansky there are two ticket offices. One next to the main parking lot, where usually a lot more people come, and located higher up, right next to the road and smaller parking lot. There are no buses here, so there are smaller queues, but you have to arrive early because the parking lot can fill up quickly.
Jansky Lazne does not have its own center, and all buildings are loosely scattered around and close to the slopes. For this reason, I have never stayed in Jansky. However, I’ve heard from my friends that you can find a good, inexpensive accommodation, so you should always check the options, e.g. on Booking.com
A favorite pub located at one of the downhill runs is Uax Ski Bar, where you can grab a bite to eat, drink warm tea or mulled wine. Usually, there are more Czechs here than Poles, and the atmosphere of this place encourages everyone to feast together. You can also sit outside if the weather is good.
Everything in Spindleruv is a bit more, a bit more. Spindleruv is located a bit further than Pec or Jansky, it is a bit bigger town, the slopes are a little more difficult, and the tickets are slightly more expensive. It should be noted that there are two ski complexes here: easier, with one ski lift and the main one, more difficult, with more routes. Different types of skiing and snowboarding competitions take place in it, so check the current events before you go, as some routes may be closed. Besides, the main ticket offices often organize events and festivities that may discourage some visitors.
SLOPES AND SKI ROUTES
Spindleruv Mlyn Skiareal offers several routes of varying difficulty: from blue to black. In my opinion, this is not a place suitable for beginner riders, because even the blue routes are long and seem more demanding than those, for example in Jańskich. However, as in the Jankowski family, chairlifts dominate here. An additional attraction is the mini snowpark on one of the routes, where you can train a few tricks. Map of routes can be found HERE.
A day pass in the season is currently 820 CZK + 50 CZK returnable deposit. The current price list can be found HERE.
You can also buy a pass through the GoPass website, thanks to which we can save.
Pension Hatlik - budget place in Spindleruv, but very pleasant. You will not find any luxuries here, but breakfast is included in the room rate. The guest house is a obliging and hospitable host.
Which of the above places do I like the most? Each is unique, so I would like to spend a few days every year in each of them! In Pec, among other things, thanks to the many atmospheric pubs located on the downhill routes, you can feel the best atmosphere characteristic of winter madness. Mostly the best weather, downhill and entry conditions in Janskée! However, in Spindleruv, you can have fun in the snowpark or train your skills on slightly more difficult routes. However, the best goes where there are no people, so I do not recommend trips during the holidays and during the winter holidays for Czechs, Lower Silesia and Wielkopolska. Remember also that changes of stays take place on Saturdays and it happens that the slope is the smallest crowd!
And what is your favorite place for winter madness?