Winter ski resorts
The Czech Republic is surrounded by mountains and, as a rule, good winter conditions allow for winter sports to be enjoyed for several months. One can take advantage of hundreds of kilometers of groomed cross-country trails, downhill runs of varying difficulty, snow parks, skating and sledding. Most winter resorts in the Czech Republic are situated in national parks or in protected areas.
Ski areas also provide a variety of services including mountain pubs and restaurants. Newcomers to the winter sports scene are also looked after in the Czech mountains, as rental shops provide both ski equipment and experienced instructors for help first-time skiers.
KrkonošeThe Krkonoše Mountains are the highest and the most popular mountains in Bohemia. The country’s best known ski areas are in this mountain range, including Špindlerův Mlýn, Pec pod Sněžkou, Harrachov and Rokytnice nad Jizerou. Excellent conditions ensure that even the most demanding skier or snowboarder will have something to chose from.
The combination of Pec pod Sněžkou , Černá hora - Janské Lázně and Velká Malá Úpa led to the establishment of the Krkonoš ski area. The area makes up one of the largest ski areas in the Czech Republic and allows visitors to ski on all mountains using only one ski pass. Four cable cars are available, as well as 28 ski lifts and 26,6 kilometers of ski runs. A regularly scheduled ski bus shuttles skiers between each of the areas. In addition to skiing, Janské Lázně offers skiers and snowboards a wide range of choices for relaxation, including a fitness and wellness center.
The Špindlerův Mlýn ski area offers 26 km of runs and more than 100 kms of cross-country trails. Last year a new, longer and faster cable car was put into operation to Hromovce and Labske with a modern new terminal.
Harrachov also offers a variety of downhill and cross-country trails and is well known amongst fans of ski jumping. It’s eight ski jumps have witnessed many a broken world record, which makes the area one of the stops on the ski jumping World Cup circuit. The history of Harrachov is also connected with the production of glass. The former glassworks is now a museum, where one can see some of the oldest cut glass in the world.
Rokytnice nad Jizerou is another area that makes up the ski regions. An array of downhill slopes entices skiers of every skill level. The mountain also offers a variety of services. Visitors to all areas can take advantage of the free ski bus all season long.
Snowboarders can find their thrills in the sown park at St. Peter , which comprises jumps and pipes for all kinds of acrobatic riding. St. Peter is the venue for Czech and international competitions. The snow park at Horní Mísečky has a place to ride for beginners and advanced riders alike. Other parks can be found at Pec pod Sněžkou and Harrachov.
The services available in the Krkonoš mountains include ski servicing, rental shops and ski schools. Anyone interested in adrenaline sports can take a tandem skydive with a professional instructor at Špindlerův Mlýn, Medvědín and Harrachov.
Sledding trails are fun for both skiers and non-skiers. Černa Hora and Janské Lázně are connected by the 3.5 km Bell Trail, which has been used for the last one hundred years. A four km toboggan trail at Špindler starts at Malý Šišák and ends at Dívčí Lávká u Bílého Labe. If you like the wind whistling by your ears, then you might also try the bobsleigh at Špindlerův Mlýn or Harrachov.
Weather permitting, visitors to the Krkonoš can take a cable car from Pec pod Sněžkou to Sněžka, the Czech Republic’s highest peak. The view of the Czech and Polish mountains as well as the cross-country trail make for an unforgettable experience.
Czech cross-country trails go for hundreds of kilometersThe Czech Republic is second to none in the sheer length of cross-country trails that is has to offer. Every trail in the vast network is very well marked and regularly maintained. The Krkonoš cross-country highway is something of a novelty in Europe as it is comprised of 520 km of maintained trails, 69 km see regular competitions.
A favorite destination for cross-country skiers are the Jizersky mountains, which claims some 130 km of groomed trails. The Jizersky Highway is very well known.
Dominating the large northern Czech town of Liberec is Ještěd and its unique television transmitter. As testament to the quality of conditions in the area, in 2009 an FIS World Cup event will be held at Ještěd. Beyond the skiing, Liberec’s Babylon Center offers other opportunities for relaxation, including an aqua park, bowling and laser tag. The most popular ski areas in the Jizersky mountains are Špičák a Bedřichov.
Nové Město na Moravě in the Žďár peaks region celebrated the Golden Ski s (Zlatá lyže), which is a part of the cross-country World Cup circuit.
Winter sport and spas: Unbeatable relaxationIn the Czech Republic, this unique combination can be experience at several different places. The Krušný mountain foothills have been eternalized as the western Czech triangle of spas, combining the famous spa towns of Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně . Relief after a day of skiing can be sought through the fitness and wellness procedures available at any of the spas in the cities.
The Krušný mountains largest ski area is at Klínovec, situated some 120 km from Prague. Man-made snow covers all the runs, which allows for skiing even without a large base of snow. Snowboarders are usually keen on the snow park, where they find half-pipes and kickers as well as smaller jumps for beginners and children. In fact, a mini ski area was opened for children, including a free children’s lift. Two ski schools, two rental shops and nine cafeterias and restaurants round off the area’s comprehensive offering.
Other resorts in the Krušný mountains include Zadní Telnice a Boží Dar, the highest town in Central Europe. The areas’ terrain of easy and moderate runs will appeal mainly to beginners and families with children. One hundred kilometers of cross-country trails often criss-cross the border with Germany. Meanwhile, snowboarders have an available snow park, while children and adults can amuse themselves by snow tubing.
The Jeseník spas were established as the first hydropathic spas in the world. One of the best known resorts for downhill skiing in the area is Červenohorské sedlo. Klepáčov and Ramzová are two other resorts in the area. Červenohorské sedlo has many kilometers of cross-country track, with the most popular being the southern Velky Klínovec trail to Švýcárna and Praděd.
Family vacations in the mountainsAlmost untouched wilderness, small ski areas, easy and moderate runs make the mountains of Šumava, Orlický Hory and Beskydy an ideal winter destination for families with children.
Zadov, Špičák a Kramolín make up the ski areas of Šumava . The best possibility for skiing on the Czech side of Šumava would be the Špičák ski area. Snowboarders have their own area within the confines of Zadov, while cross-country enthusiasts have more than 150 kilometers of trails to choose from. After skiing, tired skiers can look for relaxation in the aqua world water park or try some of the local delicacies.
The Orlicky mountains invite skiers to the resorts of Deštna a Říčky. Some 80 kilometers of cross-country trails run through the Orlicky mountains. One of the more unusual events held here is the Šediváčkův long dog-sled race.
Cross-country skiers travel to Beskydy to take advantage of more than 100 kilometers of trails. The Lysohorská trail, the Těšínských Beskyd and the Pusteven trail are just a few of the famous routes in the area. Downhill skiers can find what they are looking for at Pusteven and the Bílá ski resort. Every year, spectators of all ages come to Pusteven for the areas sněhovánky. Meanwhile, those who visit the Valašsky museum on February 2008 will get to experience Shrove Tuesday while taking in the results of the competition for the best valašsky sausage.