The two most popular winter activities in Poland are skiing and snowboarding and the country is the ideal location for those who have not skied before or are still in the learning phase. Poland is not the Alps however and experienced skiers and snowboarders will probably not find the excitement they are looking for, black runs in Poland are akin to a tricky red run in the Alps.
Despite not having huge vertical drops and above treeline bowls, Poland still attracts many winter sports enthusiasts, mainly due to the fact that it is so much cheaper to ski there and costs are much less than in the well-known resorts such as Courchevel, Zermatt and St. Moritz. Typically, accommodation in a Polish resort can range from as little as 40zł for a hostel to 300zł + for a decent hotel. Ski-lift passes are approx. 100zł per day.
There’s around 500 kilometres of slopes in Poland to enjoy in addition to swathes of countryside, which are ideal for cross-country skiing. Due to the increasing popularity of winter sports, new pistes have been developed recently in the Kasuby, Podlasie and Masury regions and you’ll also find artificial slopes popping up such as Malta Park in Poznan and Szczesliwice park in Warsaw.
Kasprowy Wierch (1985m) in the Tatras is very popular with Polish skiers and is suitable for all skill levels and has a 4300m run. Gubałówka with its 1500m run is also a decent place to ski and has fantastic views. The good thing about Zakopane is that the ski season can often last into April some years. Snowboarders in Zakopane have a couple of good spots to choose such as the Szymoszkowa Clearing, Witow and Bialka Tatrzanska.
A great alternative to the Tatras is the Sudetes Mountains with Karpacz and Szklarska Poręba in Silesia being the most visited. Situated at the foot of Mount Szrenica, the city provides outdoor types with almost 15km of skiing and walking routes including some decent cross-country trails.
In the Silesian Beskids, you’ll find the village of Szczyrk; which is home to the Polish Winter Olympics training centre. This is the preferred destination for novice skiers and snowboarders. Other good locations are Jaworzyna Krynicka, Wisła and Korbielow.
There are alternative winter activities other than skiing and snowboarding that can be enjoyed in Poland. Snowmobile tours are very popular, there are many places where you can find sleigh rides and for the adventurous, Poland’s lakes freeze over in the winter and make excellent locations for ice skating and ice sailing.