Last Updated February, 2020
Skiing in Bukovel is definitely going to be a dreamy holiday for anyone who is interested in winter sports. The Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine is a very picturesque region with snowy peaks, high-quality and diverse tracks, a large selection of inexpensive hotels, clean frosty air and views that make you happy. And Bukovel is no doubt one of the best places for skiing in Europe if you are on a budget.
I have been to Bukovel during each season and it was always magical. If you are a skier or snowboarder, this is the place for you.
So, if you are planning Bukovel ski holidays, that’s a great decision! Keep in mind, there is much more to do than just to ski. It’s a wonderful destination for couples, families with children, parties and disco lovers and at the same those who are looking to distract from the fast pace of life. Take a look at my Bukovel ski resort guide and if there are any more questions left, ask it in the comment section.
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Bukovel Ski Resort Quick Overview
Bukovel is the largest and the most famous ski resort in Ukraine, also known far beyond the borders of the country. It is basically a large tourist town where visitors can find great opportunities for outdoor activities not only in winter but summer, fall and spring too. Although winter is especially popular.
The Bukovel ski resort is unique in its natural and climatic conditions. The Carpathian mountains close it from the cold winter winds what creates comfortable conditions for a vacation trip in winter. Bukovel is one of only a few ski resorts in Ukraine that uniquely combines peace and quiet with excellent conditions for winter sports and relaxation.
Holidays in Bukovel are possible all year round and include skiing, snowboarding, snow biking in winter and mountain biking and walks in summer.
You can come here to relax not only physically but emotionally. Beautiful views and beautiful landscapes please the soul and physical activity challenges the body.
Even if you are not physically fit, you can still visit for other reasons. Bukovel is also famous as a health-improving destination. After all, the resort is recognized as a medical and balneological center due to the presence of healing mineral waters. Therefore, in addition to outdoor activities, you can visit wellness and massage centers, spas, saunas, and baths.
Skiing in Bukovel Ski Resort Town – What You Get
Here is brief information about what you get in Bukovel during the ski season:
- Bukovel has 63 ski slopes of all difficulty levels, the total length of which is more than 60 km.
- The tracks are fully equipped with snow cannons, so even if it doesn’t snow outside the window, there will be definitely snow on slopes.
- Thanks to the cannons, the ski season starts early in December and lasts until April. For the most part, the season starts on December 1st.
- In Bukovel, both beginners and professionals will feel comfortable: everyone can find a track for themselves with an appropriate level of difficulty or hire an instructor.
- Accommodation is provided in 8 comfortable hotel complexes, as well as individual personal 4 and 5-star villas with their own ski areas.
The drawback of skiing in Bukovel for some people may be the price. On average it is higher than in other ski resorts in Ukraine and just a bit less than in many ski resorts around Europe. Still, Bukovel is considered one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe in winter. And there, you get a high level of quality and service.
In this section, I talk about prices in general, if you are not purchasing a ski pass. Below though you’ll also find a detailed price breakdown for that case when you have a Bukovel ski pass. So, here are the prices if you don’t have a ski pass:
- 1 lift for viewing platform only without skiing will cost 120 UAH (€4.5), on holidays – 155 UAH (€5.8).
- One lift for skiing – 290 UAH (€11).
- Night skiing (from 21:00 to 00:00) – 150 UAH (€5.6).
- Ski equipment rental costs from 170 to 430 UAH (€6.3 – €16) per day, depending on the condition and quality of equipment, for children – from 130 to 190 UAH (€5 – €7) per day.
- Prices for double economy rooms start from 1244 UAH (€45) per day, depending on the dates of arrival. New Year and Christmas (which in Ukraine is on Jan 7th) holidays are more expensive. You can find accommodation in Bukovel for every taste and budget on this website.
TIP: If you are looking to purchase a ski pass, I recommend also getting a ‘club card’ which will help you save a decent amount of money. For details, check below where I talk about Bukovel ski pass, lifts, and slopes.
How to Get to Bukovel
The Bukovel ski resort is located near the village Polyanitsa of the Yaremche city council, 30 km from the cozy town of Yaremche, and 10 km from the village of Tatars.
If you are already in Ukraine, you can either fly to Ivano-Frankivsk airport from any major city or take a train. There are multiple trains and some of them go overnight. It’s very easy to get by train to Ivano-Frankivsk from Lviv and Kyiv. From other cities in the east or south, it takes more time and you need to change trains.
Once in Ivano-Frankivsk, you need to take a bus to Bukovel, which is in route 2.5 hours and costs €3.
If you are based in Lviv, you can also hop on a bus. The trip takes 5 hours and costs about €7.
Our favorite way is to go by car. The road from Lviv and Kyiv to Bukovel is new and the drive through the settlements of Ivano-Frankivsk, Nadvirna, Yaremche, Mykulychin, and Tatars is very scenic with traditional villages of that region.
Where to Stay in Bukovel
There are a lot of choices of where to stay in Bukovel. You can choose a full-service hotel, villa or a room in a guest house.
According to your budget, you can live in a chalet right on the slope, near the descent of one of the slopes and with a lift 50 meters from it. One of the hotels where we stayed and enjoyed it very much was Amarena Spa – a hotel with very clean and stylish rooms, good service, delicious breakfast, and a cool spa. Another interesting property is Mushroom House – a quirky style hotel with a restaurant that serves authentic Hutsul cuisine.
If you are a budget traveler, I suggest looking into accommodation in the surrounding villages. In fact, if staying in a guest house, you’ll experience an authentic stay with breakfast and dinner from the hospitable Carpathian hostesses who know exactly what the skier needs. Prices for guest house stays start from €10 per person, and also increase during the New Year period and weekends.
It is convenient to search for accommodation on Booking or on karpaty.info where you will find direct contacts of the owners. The villages closest to the Bukovel ski resort are Polyanitsa, Yablunytsya, Lazeshchyna, Yasinya, Tatarov. And it is definitely more convenient if you have a car.
Where to Eat in Bukovel
You definitely won’t be hungry in Bukovel. The range of various restaurants and cafes is wide. From delicious street food at the markets to thematic restaurants of Ukrainian, Italians and other cuisines, you can choose whatever your heart desires.
A self-service cafe “BUGI.L” near the information center is probably the closest place to eat close to ski slopes in Bukovel. The food here is tasty and fresh, the service is quick and the cost of dishes is €1-3.
For delicious tea, coffee or mulled wine go to the “Filvarok” restaurant, you‘ll see it when you go up the mountain on a lift No. 2. By the way, near this restaurant, you can take some pretty epic photos.
KOLYBA: An ideal place located on the top of the mountains. Come here between the slopes to treat yourself to mulled wine and have a tasty meal. Kolyba cafe menu offers a choice of meat or fish dishes cooked in tandoor. The room can accommodate up to 80 people. And the food prices are inexpensive, it is quite possible to eat cheaply by the standards of the resort.
The manor hotel HRAZHDA opens the doors of the restaurant of the same name. This cozy place serves Hutsul and traditional Ukrainian cuisine. If you go there, try banosh and potato pancakes, kalganovka, mulled wine, and grilled trout. By the way, I stayed in this hotel-museum with my parents on one of the visits during the summer and we absolutely loved the place. Check them out.
Bukovel Ski Pass, Club Card, Lifts & Slopes
In Bukovel, 16 lifts will take you to the beginning of descents of varying difficulty – to children’s descents where you have to push with your ski poles, to “black descents” which are even scary to look at (man, how do people even ski on those?).
Most of the tracks are equipped with snow cannons and special snowmobiles, so don’t worry about the ice crust. Some of the slopes are backlit for lovers of evening skiing. The map for ski tracks in Bukovel is here.
For the Bukovel ski pass, if you want to save money, purchase it online in advance. Besides that, get a special club card. With it, you’ll be able to save approximately 50-60% of the original ski pass price.
The club card is good not only for skiing and snowboarding but also for the purpose of saving in restaurants such as VODA day & night, and Carte.L. Cardholders, wellness treatments, when booking rooms in some hotels and restaurant complexes of the resort area.
There are three types of club cards in Bukovel: Vip Brilliant, Vip Ski Pass Gold, and Discount VIP cards.
With the first one, holders are able to save up to fifteen percent on accommodation in hotels as “Bukovel Hotel” and “Shelter”, “VIP-residence” and “Edelweiss”, as well as on meals in restaurants. The card also saves up to 60% on ski equipment rental, up to 100% on ski lifts, and also provides the right to freely pass through VIP turnstiles.
Vip Ski Pass Gold Card enables owners to receive privileges similar to those provided on a VIP Brilliant club card. The exception is the discount on the use of lifts.
Discount VIP cards provide another type of savings – the right to use promotions and discounts on ski passes.
How and Where to Purchase Bukovel Ski Pass
In order not to let scammers deceive you, first of all, do not buy ski passes online from unverified sources. When purchasing a Bukovel ski pass, you should be absolutely confident that it is sold by an authorized dealer.
So, the safest way to buy ski passes would be through:
- The official website of the Bukovel Ski Resort Town. If you want to purchase Bukovel’s ski pass online, you can do it on this online resource. And the company will deliver it.
- In Bukovel near lifts number 2 and 2R.
- At the ticket offices working around the ski resort town.
- In the villages located near Bukovel.
Note that in the high tourist season during the holidays (from 2.01.2019 to 6.01.2019), ski passes are sold exclusively at the box office of the resort.
Prices of Bukovel Ski Pass
The cost of ski passes at the ticket office in Bukovel (all days of the season, except for the “Holiday” period which falls on January 2 – 6) is the next:
- A ski pass for half a day (from 8:30 – 14:00 or from 12:00 – 19:30) costs 770 UAH (€29)
- The one-day ski pass is 1120 UAH (€42), on holidays (from January 1 to 6) – 1455 UAH (€54.5)
- Three days cost 3400 UAH (€127.5)
- For five days the price is 5370 UAH (€201.2) and for ten days 9545 UAH (€357.75)
- Eight days cost – 6455 UAH (€242)
- Two weeks Bukovel ski pass costs 8405 UAH (€315).
- A ski pass in the holiday season for all 4 days costs 3300 UAH (€123.7). And for seven days – 5280 UAH (€198).
Children under six years go through the turnstiles with parents for free. Small tourists and adolescents aged six to twelve, retired people, people with disabilities (upon presentation of a supporting document with a photo) are entitled to receive a thirty percent discount on ski passes valid for the current day only.
Bukovel Ski Pass – Things to Remember
Important: The ski pass is the property of the person who paid the money for it. And only he/she has the right to use it.
In case there are suspicions that the authorized ski pass has been transferred to another tourist, the personnel will immediately block it. Passing a ski pass to another person after passing a turnstile is considered fraud.
When passing through the turnstiles, five-minute delays are possible.
Tips for Skiing in Bukovel
Winter in Bukovel is a time of a real fairy tale as well as outdoor activities. Every year, a lot of travelers from Ukraine choose to spend their vacation in the Carpathian Mountains and particularly in Bukovel. If you are thinking to come to ski in Bukovel, keep in mind a few important nuances:
First of all, make reservations with a lot of time in advance. Often hotels get fully booked 2-3 months before the arrival date. All of my friends who plan to travel in winter to Bukovel start reserving hotels in the summer. Do the same if you are planning a winter holiday in Bukovel for the month of January.
Buy ski passes at home, using the services of online shops. This is a real opportunity to save up to 40-50% of their price. The start of sales begins a few weeks before the start of the skiing season in Bukovel. The official ski season in Bukovel starts on December 1st, unofficial earlier if there is snow. You can check on the official website.
Bukovel Activities Besides Skiing
Bukovel is famous not for skiing only. If many ski resorts in Europe close for any other season than winter, Bukovel stays open and hosts guests all year round. If you are a skier, here are more ideas for you what to do after a few hours of skiing:
- After skiing, warm yourself up with mulled wine in a hut with a fireplace or take a steam bath.
- Relax in a hot tub or go bowling.
- Play pool or watch a movie.
For more winter activities besides skiing you can do the next:
Go Snowmobiling in Bukovel
The ideal place for skiing is loose snow and a track laid by another snowmobile. 10 minutes of snowmobiling in Bukovel costs 400 UAH (€15), 5 minutes for children – 100 UAH (€3.75). One hour of snowmobiling will cost as much as 1600 UAH (€60).
Go Dog Sledding in Bukovel
Riding in a team of frisky dogs is an indescribable experience that brings so much fun to children and adults alike. There are 4-6 dogs in the team.
You can find a booth which offers dog sledding in Bukovel near the rental of equipment, located near lift number 14. The service is available only until 15:30 with various tracks, 2 and 5 km long offered for skiing.
This exciting winter activity costs 25 UAH (€0.95) and takes place on a separate track designed for tuning only.
Bukovel also has its own outdoor ice rink where you can have no less fun. The equipment rental points are located near the rink, the cost of 45 minutes of riding for an adult is 55 UAH (€2), for a child – from 15 UAH (€0.55) and the equipment costs between 45–65 UAH (€1.7-€2.5).
If you have your own skates, feel free to use them. The schedule of the rink can be found on the official website.
More Ukraine Travel Resources
If you are planning to travel in Ukraine outside Bukovel ski resort, I have some resources to help you get the most of your trip. Check out my guides to life in Ukraine and Ukraine Travel Tips. They will give you an idea of what to expect, how much it costs to travel in Ukraine and more.
If you are traveling to Ukraine from Poland, take a look at my Krakow to Lviv transportation guide.
If you will also be spending time in Kyiv, check out things to do in Kyiv in winter, day trips from Kyiv and breakfast places in Kyiv posts to help guide your way through the city I called home for many years.
Are you a traveler who loves to vacation in the winter season? Check out a few of my other posts on winter travel: