The sorry state of skiing in Romania (again)

If you understand Romanian, it is well worth taking ten minutes to watch this report from Pro TV which compares skiing in Austria with Romania (specifically, how communal ownership and consistent reinvestment of profits have allowed Austria’s resorts to bloom while Romania’s have suffered from haphazard and often disastrous ‘development’). Other reports on the subject will follow: we will keep you posted.

Right on cue, this was posted last night by the people running Sinaia’s Facebook account.

Skiing in Romania in a nutshell.

Yep, you read that correctly. Despite excellent snow conditions up top, Sinaia’s lifts will not open today until lunchtime as they are closed for maintenance. Imagine turning up in Bormio (where we skied last Tuesday) to discover that the lifts are closed until lunchtime. It just doesn’t happen (even in Italy, where opening hours are often a total work of fiction and lunch breaks five hours long).

  • Andy Hockley

    We went a couple of weeks ago for a few days to Bukovel in Ukraine. Only 2 hours drive* from the border at Sighetul Marmatiei, which might make it prohibitively far from Bucharest, but very much doable from much of Transylvania. And Bukovel is great -It’s advertised as being on a par with Austria/Switzerland in terms of lifts/runs/etc – though having never been skiing in Western Europe, I can’t compare it. I can say though that it is way way better than anywhere in Romania. It makes Poiana Brasov, which i understand is the best Romania offers, look like, well, like Harghita Bai)

    (*Roads are awful though. Like Romania 15 years ago. Plus the fact that you need to bribe all the border guards makes it feel refreshingly old school for Romanians)

    • I have been aware of Bukovel for a while after one of our partners in Kyiv told me about it. While certainly a bit too far from Bucharest it is only a few hours from the in-laws. Where did you cross the border? Sighet?

      What about prices: cheap? And most important question: any queues?

      • Andy Hockley

        Yes we crossed at Sighet (I suspect there are only a couple of places where you can actually cross into Ukraine and the other one will be in Bukovina somewhere.)

        Prices were I would say cheap (though I’d be interested in comparing with Austria/Italy etc). Lift tickets were the biggest cost, coming in at around 115 RON / day (per person), which seemed high to me at first, but then when I realised how extensive and good the infrastructure was I felt it was reasonable. (There are 16 lifts, all of which are the ones you sit down on just like in Western Europe :-), and 65 km of ski trails. At the bottom of the two lifts which led from the centre of the resort, there were occasionally some manageable queues – though I never waited longer than about 3 minutes. All the other lifts were straight on). Two large multi storey carparks at the foot of the bigger lifts too, so never any issues about parking in case your hotel wasn’t one you could just ski straight out of (as ours wasn’t)

        Accommodation was probably the biggest saving compared to the west – we paid something like 250 Euros for 6 nights for a family of 4. And our hotel owners spoke Romanian as they were originally from Cernauti.

        We’ll definitely go again.

        • Great info, thanks.

          By the way, a day at Poiana Brasov costs 145 lei for much, much less. In Italy last week, at Aprica you pay €108 for four days, Bormio €48 for two. Large Austrian and French resorts are pricier but given the amount of infrastructure you get access too, nobody complains.

  • Émile

    Hi, welcome back. A piece of news for you to comment: the Israelipolitical strategists that helped PSD win, Moshe Klughaft and Sefi Shaked are most likely the ones who suggested PSD the strategy to attack the USR and the anti-PSD NGOs as being on “Soros’ list”. They’ve couseld an extreme-right Israeli party, (yes, they have their Legionaries too!), Im Tirtzu to use a similar strategy. Oh, the irony…


  • Tyler Barnett

    I’m not surprised, more often than not when I want to ride the gondola or telecabina, they’re shut down for “technical revision”.

    The 2nd to last time I tried to go to 2000m (the last time everything was shut down, on a Saturday) was the first time I rode the new gondola from 1400-2000. This was in May, 2016. The top was (and I wouldn’t be surprised if not much has changed) unfinished, with ledges and hazards everywhere. Walking from there to the restaurant was questionable, with a leap over a 1m deep .5m wide trench required.

    When we first moved to Romania, I was surprised at this kind of stuff. Now, I expect it, and am surprised when I travel outside Romania and things are in good shape and properly maintained.

    • Émile

      Probably that is why there were no cable car accidents with causalities in Romania during my lifetime…