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In January I spent a week skiing in the Balkans, discovering Slovenia’s affordable ski resorts. A good alternative to other famous European ski resorts.
Before you tell me that Slovenia is not in the Balkan. I know that this question is controversial but I am talking here from a geographic point of view.
Skiing in the Slovenia | practical informations
Slovenia is a small country. It takes you maximum 2 hours to go from East to West or North to South. That being said, you can imagine how easy it is to see a lot when visiting the country. In winter for example, you can hop from one ski resort to the next which is perfect as most ski resorts in Slovenia are rather small compare to the one in Switzerland, Austria or Italy (check my article about skiing in Laax, skiing in Alta Badia in the Dolomites or in Kirchberg in Tirol in Austria).
The advantages of skiing in the Balkans are definitely the prices. If you have a smaller budget or if you want to ski as a family, Slovenia is a great option. Not only the ski passes are cheaper than in other countries (count around 30Euros per day), but so is also the accommodation, the ski rentals and the food. All in all you will spend less in Slovenia.
Also Slovenia is a beautiful country. It truly looks like a winter wonderland and is still very authentic. Also no mass tourism here! The fact that it is not that popular yet for tourism is great as you will find few people on the slopes!
Plus, did I mention that Slovenia is with Finland the most sustainable travel destination?! Perfect if you want to travel green!
Below, an overview of some of Slovenia’s affordable ski resort!
Slovenia : the most sustainable travel destination
Biggest ski resort in Slovenia | Mariborsko Pohorje ski resort
With it’s 42 kilometers of slopes, Pohorje ski resort is the biggest in Slovenia with also the longest night skiing available in Slovenia with 7 kilometers of illuminated ski trails. It starts at only 325 meters but has a micro climate and snow cannons that allow skiing during all the winter season.
The resort is perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers (like me) but it also has 3 black slopes for better skiers.
Beside skiing and snowboarding, it also has 27 km of cross-country ski runs.
Day pass is 32Euros!
Pohorje ski resort is situated close to Maribor (6 kilometers away), Slovenia’s second biggest city. Buses connects the ski resorts to the city. Perfect to combine a city trip and a few hours on the slopes.
Check for direct flights to Maribor!
Hotel tip for Pohorje ski resort : Hotel Bolfenk (4stars). The hotel is directly situated on the ski slopes at 1050 meters high so that you can directly ski almost up to your room 😉 It also has a very nice spa area for those who want to relax in between two ski session.
Closest ski resort near Ljubjana | Krvavec ski resort
Krvavec ski resort is the closest ski resort near Ljubjana. It is the perfect ski destination if you plan only a weekend in Slovenia as it is situated 25 kilometers from the city and only 8 kilometers away from the airport. Not only it is close to the station it is also a lovely ski resort with amazing views over the Alps. It has 33km of slopes and is suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers as it does not have a black slope.
Day pass is 33Euros.
You can sleep directly on the slopes or in the closest city that is Cerklje.
Slovenia’s affordable ski resort | Kranjska Gora ski resort
Kranjska gora ski resort is the most popular ski resort in Slovenia. It is 70 years old and was awarded the most valuable ski resort in Slovenia. It is perfect for all the family and all levels. Next to skiing, snowboarding and crosscountry skiing, it also offers many activities such as ice climbing, snowshoeing, snow biking, etc. Also for those interested in ski jumping there is a museum dedicated at the Planica Nordic Center. You can even try it on one of the seven new ski jumping hills.
Hotel tip : Vila Triglav. A small family owned hotel with pool and sauna.
PS : their breakfast is delicious with home made jam and juices!
Skiing in the Balkans | Authenticity at Soriska Planina ski resort
Soriska Planina is a family owned ski resort. It has only 6 km of ski slopes and 5 km of cross-country skiing tracks as well as a sledding slope. It might be small but is is perfect for families or those who want to train their ski skills. It also has cross-country ski runs in a winter fairytale landscape.
The ski resort is planing on opening an eco hotel very soon but for now your best option is to sleep in Bohinj. We slept at the Bohinj Eco resort for two nights.
The most beautiful ski resort in Slovenia | Vogel ski resort
Vogel ski resort is named by locals the most beautiful ski resort in Slovenia. And it definitely is. My breath was taking away already in the lift up to the resort with the magnificient views over lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps. Even f you don’t ski it is worth taking the lift for the view and maybe have a coffee or lunch at the Vogel panorama restaurant!
The Vogel ski resort is at 1922 meters and situated in the Trigav national park. It is not very big but it is perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers or for those who want to ski in a beautiful landscape. Vogel, I can’t say it enough took my breath away with it’s beauty. And it is so quiet. Definitely a plus!
Day pass is 32Euros.
Extras |Winter in Bohinj and surroundings
Bohinj is the closest town to the ski resorts of Vogel, Soriska Planina and and it’s fabulous lake. The town of Radovljica is also worth a visit if you are interested in Slovenia history and tradition. There you can stroll through the old part of the town and visit :
- the apiculture museum (Slovenia is famous for apiculture),
- the Gingerbread museum (perfect if you look for a souvenirs as gingerbread is a typical Slovenian gift)
- the Elan museum. Elan was the founder of curving ski. In the museum you can learn about the evolution of ski and maybe buy some equipment if needed.
- Avsenic museum to learn about traditional Slovenian folk music
Also in Radovjiva, don’t miss Kunstelj Inn for traditional Slovenian food!
Skiing in the Balkans | Conclusion
Skiing in the Balkans is definitely a trend happening. As I said earlier, in Slovenia the slopes are rather small compared to other European ski destination. But the beauty of it’s landscape and Slovenia’s affordable ski resorts are worth traveling there. It all depends on what you are looking for during your winter holiday but will definitely change from what you know from other ski resorts. No mass tourism, mostly eco and family run hotels, authenticity etc is what you will find in Slovenia!