Considering the time and expense involved with traveling south to the Alps, staying closer to home is not a bad option for those who live in the Czech Republic.
Believe it or not, there are 300 ski resorts listed in the Czech Republic, totaling 692 kilometers of slopes and more than 900 ski lifts scattered throughout the country’s mountain regions. So where do you begin when it comes to choosing the best place to hit the slopes?
Numerous resorts offer well-groomed slopes, terrain parks, and an abundance of amenities for recreational skiers and families. Whether venturing off with friends or family, here are five Czech ski resorts that are ideal for day trips and weekend getaways.
#1 Špindlerův Mlýn Ski Area
Best for: Intermediate to advanced skiers in need of speed; those who want to skip the skiing and just enjoy the numerous bars and restaurants.
Špindl, as it often called, offers skiers and snowboarders varied terrain among 27.8 kilometers of slopes serviced by 17 chair lifts. The Svatý Petr and Medvedin ski complex is tucked in the Czech Republic’s highest mountain range with trails ranging in elevation between 702 and 1,235 meters. The lifts provide access to areas on both sides of the Elbe River Valley. Thirty-six percent of the slopes are for novice skiers, 57% for intermediate and 7% expert.
For those seeking speed, try carving turns on the precipitous Svaty Petr Black piste, the same slope that the world’s best female ski racers – including three-time overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin and Slovak sensation Petra Vlhova – charged down at last January’s FIS World Cup races.
The town of Špindlerův Mlýn is conveniently located less than a kilometer from the base of the mountain with plentiful restaurant options and bustling nightlife. For those who prefer a cardio workout, there are also numerous cross-country skiing trails.
Purchasing the resort’s Gopass in advance online provides flexible prices and perks.
Lift Tickets: Adults 1,000 CZK; Juniors 800; Children 700. More information online: www.skiareal.cz
Best for: Families (four magic carpets ferry kids up and down the slopes), snowboarders, and free-skiers — check out the refurbished Cool-Fun-Park.
Among the largest ski areas in the Czech Republic, the ski resort of Klinovec-Neklid is located in the Erz Mountains near the German border. The recent agreement between Klinovec and its neighboring ski area Bozi Dar-Neklid provides skiers with 31 kilometers of connected slopes all under one lift ticket and without ever having to remove one’s skis. Top elevation at Klinovec is 1,244 meters.
Additionally, with four magic carpets to ferry children up and down the slopes, the resort is considered the most family friendly in the Czech Republic.
Snowboarders and free-skiers can attempt their best tricks in the refurbished Cool-Fun-Park and Snowpark Neklid, one of the oldest terrain parks in the country.
Lift Tickets: Adults 790 CZK; Juniors and Children 630 CZK. More information online: klinovec.cz
#3 Černá hora-Pec
Best for: Sledding and panoramic views; the resort boasts the country’s only eight-seat gondola – the Cernohorsky Express.
Rising above the village of Pec pod Sněžkou is Černá hora-Pec Ski Resort, another favorite in the Krkonoše Mountains. A two-section cable car system, which was modernized in 2014, brings skiers to the summit of Mount Sněžka, the highest peak in the Czech Republic at 1,603 meters.
Skiers and boarders can tackle slopes at the neighboring resort in a picturesque valley with panoramic views of the highest mountains in the country. Fifty kilometers of trails are serviced by 27 lifts. For those seeking adventure, the Funline Snowpark offers banked turns, berms and a tunnel. The resort also boasts the country’s only eight-seat gondola – the Cernohorsky Express.
The bottom of the Javor slope at Pec is open for families between 4-5 p.m with a magic carpet for children. It is also an adequate spot for sledging.
Lift Tickets: Adults 880 CZK; Juniors 750; Children 620. Tickets are 60-70 CZK less when purchased online. More information online: www.skiresort.cz
#4 Rokytnice nad Jizerou
Best for: Less advanced skiers and teaching little ones how to ski.
With its wide slopes and pleasant views, a viable option for less advanced skiers is Roktynice nad Lizerou. The ski area, also in the Krkonoše Mountains, provides forty slopes encompassing 22 kilometers of rolling terrain.
The summit elevation at Lysa Hora is 1,344 meters. Two primary chairlifts service the resort, along with 30 lifts of other varieties. A terrain park is also available. Roktynice nad Lizerou is an excellent choice for teaching young children to ski.
Lift Tickets: Adults 620 CZK, Juniors and Children 560. More information online: www.skiareal-rokytnice.cz
Best for: Families and beginners who seek gentle slopes (just three lifts).
Due south from Prague lies Lipno Ski Area in the Bohemian Forest in the Český Krumlov district, part of the country’s South Bohemian Region. Offering 12 kilometers of gentle slopes and three lifts, it is a perfect destination for beginners and families.
Situated at an elevation of 730 meters, Lipno nad Vltavou is a nice village alongside the Vltava River, adjacent to the Lipno Dam. Visitors can choose from ample dining and accommodation options or visit the treetop walk which is open year round.
Lift tickets: Adults 750 CZK; Youth 610; Children 500. More information online: www.lipno.info
TIP: Frequent skiers might consider the seasonal Czech Skipass valid at 20 ski areas across the Giant Mountains, Erz Mountains, Bohemian Forest, and Beskids. Pass holders gain access to 153 cable cars and lifts and more than 200 kilometers of slopes. Cost is 11,000 CZK, with a reduced option at 8,000 CZK. (www.czechskipass.cz).