So you are in Lviv or Kiev and want to ski Ukraine style! Great but where do I go, and how do I get to the ski slope?
I was in Lviv in February 2017 and one of the hosts at my hostel took me skiing for a day. Oksana was my “local guide.” Without her it would have been very difficult. Therefore, I decided to write this post … to help those who don’t have a local guide!
There are lots of ski fields around the south west of Ukraine in the Carpathian Mountains. I went to this place; Trostyan resort. It is very close to the town of Slavske. It is a reasonable sized mountain with about 8 different lifts; all T-Bars and one single chair lift. It has a good variation of terrain and I recommend it for most people. I have worked on ski fields before and like very steep terrain. Although Trostyan wasn’t big mountain skiing it was still fun. This isn’t the Alps, remember.
For accommodation, I highly recommend Zig Zag Hostel in Kiev and Centrum Hostel in Lviv. Both these have some of the friendliest hostel staff I have met anywhere in the world. Alternatively, if you want to stay in Slavske itself, check This Link for accommodation options.
Go to the train station in Kiev or Lviv and ask for a ticket to Slavske. It seems popular so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a train. From Lviv it is about 2 hours. And Kiev, I think around 8 hours on a sleeper train. So you can travel overnight and arrive in the morning. On the overnight train you give the conductor your ticket and they wake you up just before you get to the station, so you don’t have to worry about oversleeping.
On arrival, don’t forget to buy a return ticket.
Cost: From Lviv, we paid 40 UAH or (€1.3) on the cheap electric train and the return was 90 UAH, (€3.12) on a sleeper train.
Sloveski has just one main street and this is where you can rent equipment. Straight across the small main street from the station there are at least 3 simple rental shops. Here, you can rent boots, skis, snowboard, helmet, goggles, jacket or pants; everything you will need. This is where it gets difficult because not many people speak English. Have Google Translate handy on your phone. (See my best apps for travelling). But you will work it out anyway.
The equipment is pretty basic. No twin tips. It’s mostly just Volkl rental skis.
Cost: Rental for boots and skis is about 100 UHA ( €3.4 ). I paid 170 UHA ( €5.8 ) to get pants and goggles as well.
From the town of Slaveske, it is a 4-5km drive in a 4×4 to the bottom of the ski lift. In the main street there are lots of tough green 4x4s. Tell the driver you want to go to Trostyan. It’s like a shared taxi. Wait until it’s full and off you go bumping your way up the icy road. It’s a fun ride!!
Cost: 40 UAH (€ 1,3 ) per person each way.
When you arrive at the bottom of the T-Bar lift buy a day pass right near the entrance to the lift itself.
You get a credit card-sized pass that you scan on each run. Return the pass at the end of the day to get the deposit back.
Hours for the main lift are 9am to 6pm. The side lifts close at 4pm.
Cost 380 UHA (€13) on week days and 450 UAH (€15) on weekends.
As you will find, the skiing is actually just a small part of the adventure! The rest is getting to and from the field.
There’s a shorter beginners’ slope or a very long T-bar that takes you right to the top. From the top, to your left there are other lifts to explore around through the trees. Some are steep, some not so steep. You won’t get lost and all lifts bring you back to the top. Below the single chairlift on your right is a really fun advanced run, for experts only. At the bottom it is really tight and difficult to get to the chair lift.
It was actually quite icy when I was there but it would be even more fun if you get some powder in the trees.
There are plenty of places to eat everywhere you go. Awesome local Ukrainian food! At the bottom and top of the ski lifts there are cafes and restaurants. Warm and cozy. And when you wait for the train in Slavske there are some restaurants along the main street.
Full day cost of skiing and transport: 740 UAH, (25 Euro)
So with these instructions you should be able to find your way to the slopes and back in a day trip from Lviv. It is a lot easier if you can find a local to go with. But if not, you will still have fun and adventure! Go Ski Ukraine style!