^^^ The Video above shows our Favourite ski area – Bialka Tatrzanska
An all day unlimited pass at Bialka costing just 100zl you can’t go far wrong. Also the fact that from 4pm onwards the slopes become much quieter meaning that even in peak season it is possible for keen sportspeople to get in plenty of quality runs without having to queue too much as long as you choose your times on the slopes wisely.
One of the hardest things to organise is often the transport to and from the slopes (which is included in all our “all inclusive” packages). Booking taxis or minibusses can prove very difficult if travelling independently and prices can and will vary wildly depending on your driver. There are public transport options to some of the areas although again information and logistics regarding this solution is very hard unless you are good at speaking Polish.
Another advantage of the ski areas in Zakopane is that as they do not currently work well together amongst themselves they constantly try to compete and undercut each other on price which keeps their standards reasonably high (although certainly not on a par with the best resorts in western Europe and north America) while keeping the costs for the consumer to an absolute minimum. Personally I feel as though the quality for what you pay in Zakopane is the very best possible for travellers from the UK and Ireland. While customer services and relations are often not as good as what we are used to back home it is easy to forgive once you check your wallet and make a quick calculation as to how much is still in there compared with choosing a western European resort- A recent news report by the BBC confirmed that a plate of spaghetti Bolognese in one of the big canteen style restaurants on the slopes of Val D’Isere, France currently costs a whopping 30 Euros for just one portion! That price will happily feed a family of four on the slopes in Zakopane including at least two courses each plus drinks (even including table service, beer and mulled wine!)
Ski Areas Around Zakopane
One of the best all round ski and snowboard areas. Bialka has recently started to grow and take its ski area to a much more professional level. New to the season 2014/15 there was 2 new ski lifts and runs. There is also a brand new lift and run that has just opened (April 2015) which links to Wysoki Wierch. This has now ( 2017) linked the Bialka and Kaniowka ski areas. Each season a new snow park sponsored by Burton snowboard company or similar is built. At the bottom of Bialka they have created a snow tubing zone (large rubber rings that you sit on and slide down a track in) which is included on your lift pass for the little ones where they get dragged up the hill in a rubber ring by a little lift and then slide down a designated course like a little bobsled run.
If you are a first time skier or snowboarder then there are 3 wide beginner areas served by I draglift, 1 magic carpet and a 4-person chair lift. If you are more an intermediate skier or snowboarder then there are long and wide runs perfect for practicing those turns, which is served by 4 high speed detachable 6-person chair lifts. However, if you fancy yourself as a bit of an expert then there are 2 chair lifts and 2 drag lifts at the top or the first 6 man lift with a choice of steeper runs. The drive to Bialka takes about 30 minutes (can be more or less than this depending on traffic) but once you are there it is fully equipped to keep you entertained even if you do not want to ski. There are a selection of good and comparatively cheap restaurants and bars with a large decked area at the top and bottom of each lift. There is not only the wonderful view of the Tatra mountain range but a designated sledging area, restaurants, cafes, bars, games rooms, ski shops and even a local market.
Introduced in 2012, there is a Thermaly heated Aqua park right next to the slopes, perfect for an afternoon of relaxations after a morning on the slopes.
Sunshine World also arrange bother Snowmobiling trips as well as Husky sled rides in Bialka.
Kasprowy Wierch is located high in the middle of the Tatra Mountains, 1987m above sea level it is the biggest and most challenging ski area in Poland. Not only does it offer superb skiing and snowboarding but spectacular scenery as you are in the heart of the Tatra Mountains. From the bottom of Kasprowy, Kuznice, the brand new Aerial Cable Ropeway, capable of carrying 60 people at a time will take you to the top of Kasprowy in less than 15 minutes. From the top you can ski in either of 2 valleys, to the left in the Gasienicowa valley and to the right the Goryczkowa valley. Each valley is served by a chair lift operating between 9am and 2.45pm – 4.45pm (depending on the time of season). At the top of the cable car there is a large restaurant and snack bars. At the end of the day you can take the cable car back to Kuznice or ski all the way down the 6km long Goryczkowa valley, past the bottom of the chair lift and onto a long winding run that leads you back to Kuznice.
New in 2009 Kasprowy Wierch hosted Zakopane’s first Red Bull “Zjazd Na Kreche” (Translation- Straight to the Base”) race with over 226 male and female skiiers and snowboarders all starting at the SAME TIME down the 6km long extreme slopes from the top! Kasprowy has hosted many international competitions throughout the last 70+ years and is gradually coming back onto the international scene as it’s facilities are upgraded year on year.
It is worth noting that while Kasprowy is only serviced by the main high speed cable car and two chair lifts these lifts allow access to two HUGE bowls with hundreds of possible lines down with very little traversing necessary. Skiing and snowboarding off piste is technically illegal on Kasprowy Wierch and doing so may result in an angry park Ranger demanding your ID and maybe even fining you! If you are careful not to stray too far from the ropes they generally leave you alone altough we cannot guarantee this so if you duck under the red ropes at any time the day may prove more costly than you had originally planned for (up to 500zl fine per person!)
Hopefully the attitude towards skiing and snowboarding in Poland’s favorite National Park will become more reasonable in the near future. The general attitude of the last few years does seem to be swinging more in favour of sport and less of unneccessary protectionism of what has so far only seemed to be to “protect the trees from skis and snowboards” which can’t possibly cause any real damage to them!
A full day pass on Kasprowy – (2017) is 140PLN/ about £30. You can also choose a 4 hour pass.