Winter resorts are set to stay open despite the upcoming nationwide lockdown in January.
And while travel restrictions are in force between most countries, traveling to ski or for thermal water recreation in Ukraine can be an escape plan for many. Not only are these fun activities, they might also boost people’s immune systems amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kyiv Post has picked out some of the country’s best resorts to visit this winter season.
Bukovel is the largest and most popular resort in the Ukrainian Carpathians, located in Polianytsia village of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast at an altitude of 920 meters above sea level. Though the winter season normally lasts from November until April, Bukovel welcomes tourists all year round.
The resort is famous for its numerous versatile slopes, well-developed infrastructure and high-level hotel and restaurant sector. There are about 60 tracks of different levels of difficulty with a total length of 68 kilometers. It’s also a good choice for family vacations, since it has specially-equipped slopes for children.
In addition to skiing, Bukovel offers snowmobile riding, ice skating, dog sled trips, tobogganing, snow tubing, slope riding and the highest rope jumping site in Ukraine.
There are also snow parks for equipped winter sports and the longest trolley in Ukraine, with a length of 1,130 meters, which allows tourists to enjoy a picturesque view during a trip from the top of Bukovel Mountain to the rooftop of the trade center in the heart of the resort.
After hitting the slopes, visitors can relax in the Voda club spa area, spending time in the pools and saunas or trying massage treatments.
Bukovel rents equipment sets for Hr 213-1,794 ($7-65) for two days, depending on the skill level of the skier.
A regular ski pass for two consecutive days during high season (Dec. 17 – March 17) costs Hr 1,641 ($58). A low season ski pass is Hr 986 ($35). Prices for accommodations start at Hr 500 ($18) per night, depending on the type of accommodation and the distance to ski lifts.
The distance from Kyiv to Bukovel is around 780 kilometers. There are direct buses to Bukovel for Hr 700 ($25). A plane ticket from Kyiv to Ivano-Frankivsk, located 110 kilometers from Bukovel, is Hr 2,279 ($81). From there, travelers can take a cab or a bus to the resort for Hr 105 ($4).
Dragobrat ski resort, the highest mountain resort with a peak point at 1,707 meters above sea level, is a suitable option for experienced skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. It’s also a great choice for fans of off-piste skiing, descending any slope that is not marked or prepared by a piste grooming machine.
The resort is located in Zakarpattia Oblast, 18 kilometers away from the village of Yasinya.
Dragobrat also has a wide choice of other entertainment, including air hockey, a Finnish sauna, snow football, winter fishing, spa treatments, baths and saunas.
The resort offers a ski pass covering 50 lifts for Hr 1,300 ($46) for adults and Hr 650 ($23) for children under 14.
Prices for a room in a cottage near the ski lifts start at Hr 400 ($14) for one night. The village of Yasinya can be reached from Kyiv by bus, train or car. The price of a train ticket starts at Hr 261 ($10). A bus ticket costs Hr 550 ($20) or more.
Kosyno Thermal Water Health Resort
Immersing oneself in hot thermal water outside in the frigid air in the middle of winter can be a very unusual and pleasant experience. One can try it at Kosyno Thermal Water Health Resort, located in the village of Koson, Zakarpattia Oblast.
Travelers can enjoy swimming in seven pools with fresh and thermal waters that reach about 40 degrees Celsius. They also contain iron, zinc, calcium and other useful minerals.
In addition to swimming pools, there are several saunas including the salt and eucalyptus ones, as well as a water park and an ice cave.
The thermal baths are believed to be beneficial for health, especially helping improve the function of the nervous, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems and the gastrointestinal tract.
Spending three hours in the thermal complex costs Hr 450 ($16). An unlimited one-day ticket costs Hr 900 ($32). Prices for a room at the hotel Iváncsó Birtok in the Kosyno complex for two adults start at Hr 5,400 ($192) for a night.
Kosyno resort can be reached by bus or taxi from the town of Berehove, located 636 kilometers from Kyiv. The cheapest train ticket from Kyiv to Berehove costs Hr 287 ($10).
Eco-resort in Izky village
Located between the Carpathian valleys, the authentic eco-resort in the village of Izky offers visitors an experience of unity with nature and a getaway from the bustle of the city.
This resort has everything necessary to help visitors experience the mountain lifestyle: wooden houses, local food, saunas and traditional activities. In winter, visitors ride sledges and horse-drawn carriages, go hiking, sledding and snow tubing or just enjoy the tranquility of the mountains. For skiing lovers, the resort offers ski slopes with lifts.
The local trails, up to 200 meters wide and a maximum of 3 kilometers long, are of medium difficulty. And there are training skiing lessons available upon request. So both beginners and experienced skiers and snowboarders are welcome at Izky.
In addition, the resort produces environmentally friendly soap, which is handmade from natural ingredients, right on its territory. It also has a pottery workshop, cheese factory, apiary and yoga club.
The cheapest double room at Izky Hotel costs Hr 1,260 ($45) for one night. During winter holidays, from Dec. 28 till Jan. 9, a one-day pass for skiing costs Hr 800 ($29) for adults and Hr 500 ($18) for children. On other dates, it’s Hr 600 ($21) and 500 accordingly. The resort rents ski equipment packages for Hr 150 ($5) per day or Hr 390 ($14) for three days.
Izky can be reached by train or car. The complex is located 18 kilometers from the railway station in the village of Volovets, Zakarpattia Oblast. A train ticket from Kyiv to Volovets costs Hr 247 (9$). The resort offers a transfer from Volovets to Izky for Hr 100 for adults and Hr 80 for children.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter