Romania has 44 resorts dedicated to skiing, and the one with the most slopes, 23, is located in Harghita County. It is followed by the counties of Prahova, Brasov, Hunedoara and Maramures, according to data from the National Tourism Authority
Our first stop over is 30 km away from Sibiu, the 2007 European Capital of Culture. The resort of Paltinis is the oldest Romanian mountain resort, founded in 1894. In addition, we get to the mountain resort at the highest altitude, 1,442 meters. In 2010, this resort opened the Platos Arena, a family sports and health complex.
Ioana Dragomir, administrator of Platos Arena, has more: “Beginner skiers have at their disposal over 20 qualified instructors. Platos Arena is a family resort for beginners. We have slopes of beginner to medium difficulty. The ski slope has an escalator. Apart from this one, we boast the longest escalator in Romania. We do all we can to help beginners get initiated in the secrets of skiing. There is also a rental center for equipment for tourists of all ages. Those who like to practice other winter sports, can also go sledding. We also opened a skiing kindergarten, for children between three and six.”
For the first time this year, Platos Arena rolled out three street food stalls, with good Austrian food at Romanian prices, with a wide range of choices across the board, according to Ioana Dragomir: “We have packages that include five days of skiing, outside the season. We have skiing packages for 18 hours costing 350 lei per person, that is about 75 Euro. During holidays, our peak season periods, the same package goes up to 450 lei, about 95 Euro. We also have activities unrelated to skiing. We have karaoke and parties held after hours. At the weekend, we host one or two events, designed by us or by other winter sports fans. On February 3 we hold an event we are proud of, a competition of the highest number of laps a skier can run in 12 hours. The facilities will be open between 21:30 PM and 9:30 AM. Skiers willing to defy records are eagerly awaited. We are also proud of late season events, in March. One of them is ‘Slide and Freeze’. We are building a pool at the foot of the slope, and skiers and snowboarders try to jump over it. We also have a competition for funny improvised boats.”
And now we head for the newest ski slope in Romania, which opened on January 26, 2018, namely Oprea Slope in Valea Mare, which is 600 meters long. That is not much, according to Robert Gruman, vice-president of the Covasna County Council, but it has a ski lift with 70 seats, night lighting, and a restaurant: “We are located between the counties of Harghita and Brasov, famous among skiers and very popular with tourists, which probably puts us at a disadvantage. At Sugas Bay there are two ski slopes, close to Sfantu Gheorghe, in the town of Covasna and the village of Valea Mare. They are open two or three months a year. In Covasna, the Lorincz Zsigmond ski slope is 1,400 meters long, gathering here tourists from across the country and from abroad. According to statistics, 90% of visitors to Covasna County are Romanian, and only 10% are foreign. Most are from Hungary, but we also have tourists from other European Union countries.”
Covasna is an area of Romania that is worth visiting irrespective of season. The beauty of the scenery and its multicultural character are always surprising. If you don't manage to get to Covasna for skiing, there are a few places that are available to visit all year round.
Robert Gruman: “Last year, upon the initiative of the Covasna County Council, the year 2017 was declared Year of Tourism in our county. We also created a tourism brand for the county, centered on the 160 mansions here, many of them being open for visiting. We have invited over 200 bloggers and journalists from Bucharest, to introduce them to our tourist offer. In addition to the mansions, the area is also famous for its spas and its crafts. We have large scale events, attended by tens of thousands of tourists from Romania and from abroad: the Sfantu Gheorghe City Days, and the Kurtoskalacs Festival. We invite all your listeners and foreign tourists to visit Covasna County at least once. If they come here and experience our hospitality, they are sure to return.”
Here are only some of the reasons why a skiing trip to Romania is sure to be a pleasant experience. If you are an experienced skier, the slopes in Brasov County and northern Romania are just the thing for you, and travel agents can personalize your holiday experience.