On the eve of the start of the winter season, I decided why not to write a post about the best destinations where to go snowboarding or skiing in Ukraine, because Bukovel is not the only place (contrary to popular belief that it is).
No seriously, Bukovel gets too much attention. Especially considering the fact that during the last few years it just became overly expensive and overcrowded. Actually it’s always been too expensive but more so now. The last time I was there, I felt it was as expensive as many ski resorts in Europe. Ugh. Just too much.
But besides Bukovel, Ukraine has some other winter ski resorts that are truly wonderful. They all have their own charm and uniqueness. Of course, they are not anywhere as big or fancy as Bukovel, but that doesn’t make them less attractive for a visit or ski getaway. They are just different.
So take a look at this post, get inspired, and plan your ski trip. Even if you are not a big skier, these places are still great for a winter visit!
NOTE: For hassle-free travel to and between all these ski resorts, I recommend you rent a car. Not that you can’t travel by public transport, you can, but having a car makes it much more comfortable.
I have a guide to renting a car in Ukraine that answers all questions starting with the best company to rent a car from and ending with tips about driving. Give it a read!
My 6 Top Destinations to Go Skiing in Ukraine
Ski Resort Slavske
I just recently discovered Slavske village for myself which is not only a great ski resort in Ukraine but a fantastic destination to visit any time of the year. So far, I’ve been to Slavske in summer and fall, but look forward to returning this coming winter! I’ll share more about our winter trip once we go.
Based on my other trips to Slavske and my friends’ multiple winter getaways, I can say with confidence that this destination is a great alternative to Bukovel for people who are on a budget and who want to go skiing in Ukraine (or just have a good winter vacation) while enjoying gorgeous nature of the Carpathian Mountains.
Unlike Bukovel, which is focused mainly on travelers with a high budget, Slavske is more focused on the average vacationer and people with low and medium incomes.
It has a very convenient location and is easy to drive to from Lviv. In about 2 hours, you are there. Also, there are many attractions around that are easy to reach by car as well.
And what I personally like about this village is that besides skiing, everyone who doesn’t ski can also go there for winter magic.
There are quite a few nice hotels with pools or chans (relaxing herbal and mineral baths), walking trails, and places to visit nearby. So you can just spend days relaxing, walking around, trying local dishes, and contemplating the magnificent mountain ranges of Beskydy and Gorgan.
By the way, Slavske has its own incomparable microclimate. The healing air of evergreen coniferous forests in combination with the purest mountain air is just another reason to visit. You can come here to ski or have a winter break on a budget while even improving your health.
Slavske offers skiing on two mountains – Mount Trostyan and Zakhar Berkut.
My Favorite Accommodation in Slavske
Kovals’ka Sadyba – an adults-only modern guesthouse in a very good location with panoramic windows and stylish design. They have different rooms on offer but look at that suite with its own terrace and views!
Cottage Chalet-Tiara – the best option for a family or group of friends. This is the entire cottage with a living room, separate bedroom, balcony, bathroom, barbeque, and mountains views.
Villa Alpiyka – located outside Slavske center but not far from the chair lift to Zakhar Berkut slopes in a picturesque valley. They have beautiful rooms with fireplaces, kitchenettes and terraces, and a sauna. The road to this accommodation is not very good, so you’d need to walk uphill a bit. But the advantage of staying here is the location with incredible mountain scenery.
Violetta – one of the best places to stay in Slavske for budget travelers! But if budget allows, reserve a room with a balcony because the view is magnificent.
How to Get to Slavske
If you don’t want to rent a car, the best way how to get to Slavske is by train. There are many trains in route between Kyiv – Uzhgorod, Kyiv – Chop, Odesa – Uzhgorod, Kharkiv – Uzhgorod, Lviv – Mukachevo (comfortable 2nd class carriage) and electric trains Lviv – Slavske and Kyiv – Lviv.
Slavske is the number one ski resort in Ukraine where getting by public transport is the easiest.
For more details on trains, check the timetables on the official website of the national railway company.
As with Slavske, Pylypets village was another discovery for me. Not that I didn’t hear about it before, I did, but I have never really wanted to visit.
Just because I thought it was a forgotten village in Transcarpathia (note, this is not Carpathian mountains but Transcarpathia) with zero things to do besides skiing in winter. But then we went on a road trip around Western Ukraine and I totally fell in love with this place.
Pylypets is all about mountains, vast open spaces, an incredibly peaceful atmosphere, and fresh air. In winter, this small village offers downhill skiing and snowboarding.
The lifts and ski slopes of Pylypets are located on Gemba and Magura-Zhid mountains. In total there are 6 lifts – 1 chair and 5 rope tow ski lifts.
There are officially 8 ski slopes with a total length of tracks 25 km. The longest route from the top to the foot of Mount Gimba is 6 km. On Mount Magura-Zhid, the maximum length of the descent is 1.5 km.
Pylypets offers unique conditions for skiing since there you can circle between evergreen conifers and virgin lands. It is also one of the best places in Ukraine for cross-country skiing where the official cross-country track reaches 2 km.
The ski season in Pylypets opens with the first snow in December and closes at the end of March. The climate here is temperate, so there won’t be any sharp change in weather conditions. Winter temperatures are on average between -5-7С degrees.
The cold season is mild and with frequent snowfalls, providing excellent cover for skiing.
My Favorite Accommodation in Pylypets
You shouldn’t have any problem with finding accommodation in this picturesque corner of the Carpathians. There are more than 60 guesthouses and private cottages in the village! But there are also a few hotels:
Grand Hotel Pylypets – has a status of a 4-star hotel and is located near the chairlift to Mount Gemba. This is probably the most fashionable hotel in the area, although the location is touristy.
In addition to cozy rooms, you will find a SPA center, a classic wood-fired bath over the river, a heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and many other nice little things that make a stay comfortable.
Michelle’s Travel House – if you have a car, you can also stay outside Pylypets surrounded by a different landscape. One of my favorite places is Michelle’s House in Mizhhir’ya village near Pylypets on the way to one of the most famous places in Ukraine – Synevir Lake. It has beautiful rooms, a chic terrace, and restaurant with good food.
How to Get to Pylypets
The easiest way to reach Pylypets is through Volovets town located nearby which has the nearest railway station. Trains to Volovets run from Uzhhorod, Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhia. You can literally get to this town from anywhere in Ukraine.
But be attentive, the train stop in Volovets lasts only 2-3 minutes. Don’t miss your stop.
Our favorite way to travel is by car. The road is great and you can easily drive to Pylypets from Uzhhorod, Mukachevo, or Lviv making many stops on the way.
Dragobrat Ski Resort
Dragobrat ski resort, famous for its nature and various descents, is another excellent place to go snowboarding or skiing in Ukraine Carpathians. Although it is probably more suitable for pro skiers than for beginners.
There are no equipped ski slopes, just the mountain where you can ski at your own discretion in any direction. This is why this destination is especially popular among professionals and freeride enthusiasts.
Dragobrat is considered to be the highest ski resort in Ukraine situated at an altitude of 1,400 meters at the foot of Mount Stih. Skiing starts from an altitude of 1700-1800 m. This height guarantees a stable snow cover even without snow cannons.
You can use a rope tow lift or chair lift to go to the top. And with snowmobile get even higher to the very top of the mountains Blyznytsya, Gendarme, and Stih for 5 black trails. There is also a track for freestyle skiing.
The total length of ski trails is up to 10 km, the length of each trail varies between 300 meters to 2 kilometers. If necessary, you can go even higher on the snowmobile this way extending the descent from 2 to 3 km.
The lifts are open from 9 am to 6 pm but unfortunately, there is no lighting on the trails, so you can’t ride in the evening.
Dragobrat is not far from Bukovel, thus if you have a car, you can spend time on both resorts. Although do not expect similar to Bukovel’s infrastructure and development. Dragobrat is developing just now. Although it has hotels of various levels, huts and restaurants, it is a village with a homey feel while Bukovel’ is now a big town with all you need.
This resort is great for people who look for freeride skiing and are ok to be in a rather simple setting.
Where to Stay in Dragobrat
If you want to visit this ski resort in Ukraine, I’d say that it would be probably better to stay in adjacent villages like Yasinya, Lazeshchyna, or Kvasy. Because accommodation options there are cheaper and much better (also with better reviews).
Accommodation options that I recommend are:
Hof Guesthouse – an excellent place to stay for people on a tight budget.
Rosky Mini Hotel – a cozy little place with the best reviews in the middle of the way between Bukovel’ and Dragobrat. The price includes breakfast and dinner.
Pik Hotel – in the heart of Dragobrat near the slopes.
How to Get to Dragobrat
If you don’t have a car, the best and shortest way to get to Dragobrat is through the town Yasinya that can be reached by train from any city. You need to look for a train in the direction of Rakhiv which passes Yasinya station. In Yasinya, make a transfer to a local marshrutka or private transfer.
Since Dragobrat is an alpine resort, a road that leads to it from Yasinya is a difficult road.
In winter, it is better to leave your car (even all-wheel drive) in Yasinya and get to Dragobrat via transfer with one of the locals in his 4WD. The Yasinya-Dragobrat route is well known to them. In summer, if you have good driving skills, you can go yourself.
Myhove Ski Resort
And now I want to bring to your attention a lesser-known and relatively new to Ukraine ski resort. It is just now becoming more and more popular on the ski arena of Ukraine and the peculiarity here is that unlike other small “ski resorts”, it is built right next to the lower stations with lifts, just like the famous resort of Bukovel. Albeit prices here are several times lower than in Bukovel.
Myhove is situated in a different part of the Carpathians next to the village with the same name and 60 km away from Chernivtsi city.
To get here, you’d need to take a different road through Khmelnytskyi, Kam’yanets-Podilsky, and Chernivtsi. And if you travel by car, plan to devote at least one full day to a road trip because the road to Myhove is a separate adventure! There are a few castles to visit, waterfalls to see, and these three cities with their own attractions.
The mountains in Myhove are lower (since this area is the beginning of the range) but no less picturesque. But besides the mountains, this resort is also famous for its mineral waters and spa centers. Since it’s also part of another region of Ukraine, the cuisine is different too. So when coming to ski in Myhove, you have a chance to see and experience somewhat different Ukraine.
Here, you can rent accommodation directly at the foot of the ski slopes and it will cost you about 1000 UAH (€32) a day. There are also cheaper guesthouses but they are located a bit farther.
Lunch and dinner for two will cost about 300-500 UAH (€9-€16). This is much cheaper than in Bukovel. And for this money, you can live right next to the slopes and eat in restaurants.
However, do not expect to see the same resort as Bukovel just for much less money. Myhove is smaller and has only a few lifts and ski slopes. There is one chair lift intended for sightseeing and two ski lifts to the slopes on Mala Kichera mountain. One is easy down the slope and the more difficult one through the forest. Snow tubing is also available on site.
If the winter is snowy, unlike Pylypets and Slavske, snow cannons work and cover the track with artificial snow.
Myhove is a modern, rapidly developing ski resort in Ukraine that is gradually gaining popularity among vacationers. A convenient road leads to it, so travel by car is very enjoyable. Not far from the village is the Solonets tract, famous for its mineral waters.
Snow in Myhove falls early (at the beginning of December) and lasts until the end of March. Thanks to the professional care of the tracks and the use of snow cannons, you can plan your vacation here with confidence!
Where to Stay in Myhove
Karpaty Mihove – a family-type hotel that consists of wooded cottages with 22 rooms of different categories. All cottages meet both centuries-old Hutsul traditions and modern construction technologies. There is also an indoor pool, hammam, and spa.
Skhovanka Dovbusha – a wooden cottage with views of the mountains for travelers on a budget.
How to Get to Myhove
A car would be the best type of transportation. Otherwise, take a train to Chernivtsi and from there, from bus station #1 take a marshrutka.
Rakhiv is the only Ukrainian ski resort on this list that will be suitable mainly for people who are taking their first steps on skis or snowboards.
Ski slopes are quite gentle and simple. In fact, there are only two of them – 300 and 1000 m long (height difference – 230 m). You can rent equipment and an experienced English-speaking instructor who will make the process of mastering skiing pleasant and safe.
But it is well worth visiting it in winter outside skiing too. As with Slavske and Pylypets, Rakhiv also has a good infrastructure and beautiful surroundings. Plus, it’s the highest mountainous city of Ukraine with incredible views and stunning Hutsul flavor.
Ukrainians like to go to Rakhiv in winter, first of all, to admire the nature of the Carpathians, visit local biosphere reserves and other attractions in the area. The disadvantages of ski slopes are offset by other winter things to do.
You can arrange a walking tour of the mountains, in particular, visit the Trufanets waterfall, ride a horse, take a snowmobile or sled. The city also has many billiards, saunas, spas, and other leisure options.
Prices for skiing on only two ski slopes in Rakhiv are among the lowest among all ski resorts in Ukraine.
And then if you have a car, you can go on a road trip, visiting two ski resorts from this list (Dragobrat and Rakhiv) and Bukovel.
Where to Stay in Rakhiv
Salo i Mandry – a huge apartment-style accommodation for a mid-range budget. It can accommodate up to 4 guests and rooms have big panoramic windows and a fireplace. There is beautiful nature around the hotel, a mineral water spring, terrace for sunbathing, sauna, and solarium.
Camelot guesthouse – a simple but clean and cozy guesthouse for budget travelers. The price is the lowest you can find in the area while the quality is high.
How to Get to Rakhiv
Reaching Rakhiv by public transportation is very easy as well as coming by car. Rakhiv has a railway station, so you can just come there by train from Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Chernivtsi, Ternopil’, or Mukachhevo.
The road to Rakhiv is new and in excellent condition, so you can drive from Mukachevo/Uzhgorod through Khust and Solotvyno, or from Ivano-Frankivsk through Tatariv and Yablunytsya.
More Inspiration For Ukraine Travel
- 14 Amazing Day Trips From Lviv – to see a bit of Western Ukraine
- Travel Tips For Ukraine – what you need to know before you go
- 10 Cheap Hotels in Bukovel – for any season
- 9 Books About Ukraine – to help you understand this country
So this is my list of the best places for skiing in Ukraine. There are a few more ski resorts in the Carpathian Mountains where you could go but they are either undeveloped or just don’t have much to offer.
I included those places where Ukrainians themselves go and where they invite guests.