Of the over 40 ski locations in Romania, the most attractive are those in the Prahova Valley and Poiana Brasov. Besides being the most accessible, about 140-180 km from capital city Bucharest, they are equipped with snow cannons and flood lighting and accommodation facilities for all tastes and pockets.
Just 12km away from Brasov city, in a glade surrounded by coniferous forests, at the foot of the Postavaru Massif, you will find Romania’s most famous skiing resort, Poiana Brasov. It is referred to in ski directories all over the world, often compared to other major resorts like Chamonix, Zakopane or Cortina D’Ampezzo in terms of natural setting. The snow layer lasts for about 120 days a year. It features great hotels and restaurants, very modern winter sports facilities, 9 ski slopes. It is preferred by some tourists because it is relatively inexpensive compared to ski resorts in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and other European states.
Founded in 1895, Poiana Brasov was first a tourist district of Brasov. In 1906, Poiana was designated as a winter resort, and three years later the first ski competition in Romania was held here. In 1951 Poiana hosted The International Winter Games for students. Nowadays the resort resembles more a town than a ski resort with its luxurious hotels, fantastic apartments and classy restaurants.
It is located at about 1,312 yards (1,200 m) above sea level, at the foot of Postavaru Massif (highest elevation-Postavaru Peak – 1799m). It is surrounded by four mountains: the already mentioned Postavaru, Piatra Craiului (2,238 m), Bucegi (2,505 m) and Piatra Mare (1,848 m).
Poiana Brasov has a temperate-continental climate. The transition between summer and winter occurs gradually by the insertion of spring and autumn. The average temperature in summer is 20 degrees C and in winter -4 degrees C, while the annual average humidity in the air is 75%. There is a snow cover of on average about 50-60 cm which lasts from the middle of November until the end of March, for about 120 days a year. However you can expect snowfalls since the end of September.
Flora and Fauna
The floral year starts at the beginning of March with the colsfoot, the snowdrop and the pheasant’s eye. In July and August the slides and the rock walls are turned into multicolored canvases by the other plants in bloom: little lilies of the valley, pigeon chins, bird’s eye or yellow gentians. Autumn time is announced by the swallow wort gentian. The forest of Poiana are home to squirrels, foxes, bears, lynx.
Winter in Poiana Brasov
Poiana is one of the most frequented resorts in Romania, mostly because of its modern sports infrastructure, including artificial skating ring, sport fields and riding centers. There is an Olympic ski-track and 9 downhill and slalom runs (the biggest number of ski slopes in the country) covering over 20 km. One of the advantages of the resort is the artificial snow making installation which enables the most passionate skiers to practice their favorite sport from autumn until spring. Another attraction you will find here is the opportunity to ride in a horse-drawn sleigh.
The ski area stretches along one side of the Postavaru Massif. As Poiana Brasov is situated at an altitude of 1030 m, there are ski slopes 4600 m long and covering a descent of 600 m. The ski slopes of various difficulty degrees are equipped with 2 cable cars, one gondola and 8 ski lifts with a capacity of 7000 people per hour.
The most important slopes are:
Sulinar-Intermediate, 2441 m;
Kanzel- Intermediate, 350 m;
Ruia- Advanced, 540 m;
Sub teleferic- Advanced, 1000 m;
Drumul Rosu-Beginner, 3821 m;
Bradul-Beginner 458 m, 77;
Slalom Poiana-Intermediate, 575 m;
Stadion-Beginner, 300 m;
Lupului-Advanced, 2860 m;
Poiana Brasov is perfect for beginners. The nursery slopes are wide and gentle and there is a plateau at the top of the mountain. The excellent English and German speaking ski instructors make learning great fun, and normally there are about 10-12 people appointed to each class. At the end of the learning week most beginners can afford to ski at the blue run from the top of the Cristianu Mare all the way down to the village. This is also a good resort for intermediate skiers to improve their skills as the blue runs are not too testing and not too crowded, great for perfecting your parallel turn. Try the red runs that take you over varied terrain. Please make the most of the excellent ski school. Advanced skiers will find skiing limited as there are only a few black runs.
Floodlights have been installed on the lower slopes so that you can enjoy your skiing until 9 o’clock in the evenings. For snow boarders, the gentle slopes are ideal for learning, and if you are an experienced boarder there are boards available for hire too. There are also 9 km of marked runs for cross-country skiing.
Poiana Brasov is fun, lively and great value for money. There is a wide range of bars, restaurants and discos to choose from, open until late in the evening. There is also opportunity to go swimming, horse riding and bowling. For an authentic Romanian evening we recommended an evening spent at either “Sura Dacilor (Dacian’s Shed) or “Coliba Haiducilor” (The Outlaws Hut). Both restaurants have a lively atmosphere with Romanian folk music and serve delicious and plentiful cuisine. The Stâna Turistica is a sheepfold a couple of kilometres away where groups are taken to enjoy fresh milk, cheese and slabs of meat.
Summer in Poiana Brasov
Actually Poiana Brasov is an all-season resort. In summertime there are several tourist paths, quite well marked and beaten, which lead to the summit, to Brasov City or towards Bucegi Mountains, over Spinarea Calului (“the Horse’s Back”) Ridge. At the entrance in the resort there is a horse-riding center. There are tennis courts, swimming-pools and many other leisure time facilities to make your stay in Poiana as relaxing and pleasurable as possible.
There is a good selection of restaurants in the resort, serving Romanian and international cuisine. Bars are lively and open till late! There are a couple of discos and nightclubs too.
The resort boasts many hotels, villas, chalets and pensions.
There are regular buses from Brasov to Poiana Brasov (bus #20 every half-hour from Livada Postei, by the Parc Central). They have a standard price per journey. Tickets can be bought at the RAT Bv kiosks.