Not really a Balkan state in both geographical and cultural connotation of that definition and at the same time not from the western family despite being a part of the Alpine mountain range and neighbouring Italy and Austria. This is Slovenia – a small country in the heart of Europe, combining the best of both worlds. Sure, you’ve heard that cliché employed million times for any reason but speaking of skiing and snowboarding in Slovenia, this is really the Goldilocks zone. The quality of the service matches the western competition in many ways while the price is comparable to the ski resorts of eastward countries – a little higher than the expense in Bulgaria or Romania for example but closer to the West.
Almost fifty separate winter resorts can be pinned on the map of the former republic of Yugoslavia. The most densely developed region for skiing and snowboarding in Slovenia is Northwestern, known as the Julian Alps. This is where you’ll undoubtedly the most recognizable name from the country’s snow sports fame – Kranjska Gora. A small village on the corner of the map right next to Austria and Italy gained wide appreciation hosting World Cup competition in Alpine skiing for nearly half a century now. No wonder that the demand for that site is high during the whole winter and especially in the weekend when the top-level international stars run the slopes the hotels are booked months in advance. The value to be paid for such a renowned venue isn’t high – the ski pass on a random day costs 32.50 Euro or 184 Euro for a week per person, and the accommodation for a couple in a span of 7 days is available in the range of 1000 GBP.
Kranjska Gora is only the most popular site in the northwestern region where you need not more than three songs on the radio to reach from one resort to another. Among the other recognizable centres for skiing and snowboarding in Slovenia worth mentioning are Kanin, Pokljuka, Vogel, Kobla. The last two are located in the area of the biggest permanent lake in the country – Bohinj. Gorgeously beautiful, it is one of the favourite places to visit within the Triglav National Park borders any time of year. Vogel Ski Park has a high repute among those who love to ride on the slope, Kobla on the other hands is often regarded to offer the best ratio of quality for price in all Slovenia.
Visit the fairytale lakes
Let’s now draw a triangle on the map, starting from Kranjska Gora, moving southeast to Lake Bohinj and then northeast to another favourite destination – Lake Bled. A scenery that has been drawn out of the fairytales, it attracts the tourists all the time but is relatively quiet in the winter. The ski resort located right next to Bled – Straza, is small and do not provide so much thrill to the riders. But in the near vicinity of the lake, the traveller can reach several larger sites for skiing and snowboarding in Slovenia for less than a half-hour trip.
What is considered to be a drawback for the ski resorts in the country is the relatively low altitude so the snow melts faster sometimes. Well, sites like Kranjska Gora have snow machines but even the most well-known area of skiing and snowboarding in Slovenia is short in terms of the track lengths. There is no resort to provide 3-digit combined distance to ride, but there are not many people able to ski for more than 20 or 30 km during the day. So the only Slavic speaking Alpine country remains a wonderful option for a budget winter holiday with some great deals found on travel companies like Balkan Holidays.