While Poland’s finest slopes are unquestionably in the southern Tatra Mountains, around the self-proclaimed “Winter Capital” of Zakopane some two hours away from Krakow, it is also possible to don the salopettes closer to the city. In fact, leave town any time during the winter, venturing into the rising hills that line the Vistula valley, and snow, pistes and resorts abound – the perfect option for any travellers eager to combine culture with skiing in Krakow.
Krakow Valley, Krzeszowice
Nestled in the countryside just to the north of Krakow town, Krakow Valley is unquestionably the closest option for winter enthusiasts looking to hit the slopes. Accessible by bus from the centre, this summertime golf resort and country club transforms itself during the colder months to make the most of the town’s sporadic snow cover with two separate drag lifts of up to 650 meters in length. Granted the on-snow action ain’t going to rival the Alps and there’s nothing to cater to more advanced riders, but at just 30 minutes’ drive from the heart of the city, this spot is sure thing for skiiers in search of a speedy in and out!
Paczółtowice 328, +48 12 258 60 00
Podstolice SKI, Wieliczka
Just to the south-west of the famous salt mining town of Wieliczka (the same of UNESCO fame), Podstolice SKI offers up three small and simple pistes on the slopes of Krakow’s soft surrounding hills. Passes cost just 20 PLN for one hour’s riding and offer patrons access to three separate lifts, which open runs with a maximum length of 350 meters. There’s also an on-site ski school with affordable tuition, along with a classic Polish karczma for those mid-ski pierogi and piwo (beer) needs!
Podstolice 260, +48 12 278 58 78
A mere 45 minutes south of the city and draped over the rising foothills of the Tatra Mountains, Myslenice ski resort is one of the better-equipped and more expansive of the options for skiing in Krakow. At the time of writing, riders here enjoy access to two long and winding pistes that make their way through the thick fir forests from the tips of Chełm Mountain to the meandering courses of the Raba River. The views are fantastic, the prices are low and there are even plans to add on a longer blue run that will bring Myslenice into the forefront of skiing close to Krakow.
Jodłowa 1, +48 509 300 914
This three-run ski station makes its home between the beautiful undulating hills that eventually give way to the Tatra Moutains further to the south of the city, offering two of the longer pistes of all the resorts boasting close proximity riding to Krakow. Skiing here is easily accessible and great for beginners and intermediates alike, with the map split between a green nursery slope, a long blue of 1,450 meters and a more challenging red that weaves between the poles of the main four-person ski lift to the base of the valley at Kasina Wielka.
Kasina Wielka 672, +48 18 506 51 00
Boasting some fantastic broadside views of the Carpathian Mountains and the national parks close to Zakopane, Lubomierz Ski touts its selection of short blue to black (although black surely is pushing it here) runs just 65 kilometres from the city, making it a great choice for skiing in Krakow. The slopes are wide and well groomed, while all the pistes are well-lit for afterhours riding and there’s a ski school on site too. In short, this one’s a fine option for combining with an overnight outing from Krakow into the mountains just to the south.
Lubomierz 186, +48 18 448 85 48