Șureanu Ski Resort – promising but not there yet

For a year now we’ve been hearing about Șureanu Ski Resort. This winter (2015-2016) we didn’t manage to go skiing anywhere so we figured it would be a good idea to try out this new ski resort that we’ve been hearing about. So we headed skiing in the middle of March : ))

The good thing about this ski resort is that it’s situated pretty high up in the mountains at over 2000 meters. It’s actually the highest ski resort in the country so lack of snow was not one of our worries here. Getting there was of greater concern to be honest because of the long way from Timișoara (Western Romania) through Lugoj, Deva, Sebeș and then Transalpina highway (DN 67C, the highest highway in Romania, over 2100 meters).

We reached Oașa Lake on Transalpina and this is the place where the tarmac ended for us. From here up to where we had accommodation there were 16 km remaining of uncharted territory 😛

The road from Oașa Lake to the ski slopes

If I had to resume it in one word, I’d say: terrible. Until Luncile Prigoanei (~ 11 km, a place with multiple cottages where you can book accommodation) it’s pretty decent. It’s muddy but wide enough for two cars to fit. It’s ‘doable’.

From Luncile Prigoanei until Poarta Raiului (~ 4 km, the closest place where you can stay relative to the ski slopes) the road is narrow and two cars cannot fit next to each other in many parts of this road. The good part is that traffic usually takes place one way only: towards the ski slopes in the morning and back from the ski slopes in the afternoon. If you don’t go with the flow you might find yourself stuck and you’ll get others stuck 😀 The worst part about this bit of road are the ditches that form on the middle of the road because of frosted snow and mud and if your car is too low it will hit its bottom for sure. Another danger is that the cars can get out of control in these ditches.

From Poarta Raiului until the ski slopes (~ 3 km) the road is as bad as the previous section, maybe even worse because at this altitude snow can be very present and you should really be equipped with chains on you tires, even if you have sow tires.

Accommodation

We made a booking at one of the 4 places where you can stay in the Poarta Raiului area, the closest to the ski slopes (~ 3 km, 15 min by car). The hotels and guesthouses here are all newly built and are of great comfort and I recommend them. Prices start from 190 lei/night/2 persons room (~ 40 Euro).

The other area where you can stay is Luncile Prigoanei but unless there is no alternative I wouldn’t advice staying there because of the road you’ll have to confront twice a day (going and coming back from the ski slopes). That’s the only reasons because the cottages and guesthouses here are also very nice. One way will take you about 30 minutes and I’d avoid if I could 😀 Prices here are almost have of those in Poarta Raiului, though! Another thing to consider is that accommodation in this place does not include meals because there are no accommodations with restaurants as far as I know. You’ll have a fully equipped kitchen but I’m not in the mood for cooking after skiing an entire day : ))

Șureanu Ski Resort

We’ve been digging for information about this relatively new ski resort in Romania before we decided to go. Some call it Little Switzerland. I wouldn’t go that far to be honest but there is no doubt that the scenery is amazing here at over 2000 meters altitude.

The resort has 9 slopes out of which 7 were functioning when we were here. There is a ski-lift and a chairlift operating these slopes. The chairlift seemed very slow. It takes about 15 minutes to get from the bottom to the top. Another thing is that each chair fits only 2 people so you might way for a bit especially in the weekends.

Most of the slopes fall in the red category (medium difficulty). There is also a blue slope (C1) which also leads to Ada Apres Ski which is a very interesting building with a very pointy roof 😀 The length of the slopes vary from 600 m to 2000 m. The longest slope is A3 (2060 m) but a significant part of its length is a actually a road which means it’s pretty narrow (about 6 meters wide) and pretty flat 🙂 The most crowded slope is A1 (red slope, length 1650 m).

The slopes starting with letter C (C1, C2, C3, C4) are also interesting because they are not so crowded but they are shorter on the other hand. You can have a drink or grab a bite to eat at Ada Apres Ski that you can reach using C1 slope. The pizza here is good! 🙂 It will get crowded starting from 1 PM.

We liked:
Șureanu Mountains are very picturesque, with beautiful fir tree forests
– a lot of off-piste areas, brilliant for snowboarders
– there are easy links between the chairlift and ski-lift
civilised tourists
– you have slopes to chose from, you don’t get bored easily

We didn’t like:
– the horrible dirt road from Oașa Lake to the ski slopes
– slow chairlift
– the way the slopes are levelled (in our last day they were full of frozen snow balls)

Our conclusion

Exactly what we said in the title 😀 I guess that’s what titles are for, huh? :))) We are a bit disappointed by the 16 km of dirt road that lead to this beautiful place. There could be better progress in the infrastructure part, I mean the skiing infrastructure (newer and more efficient equipment).

We don’t regret coming to ski here. We loved the mountains and the slopes (until they were destroyed on our last day, in the first part of the day :D) The views are spectacular and we truly enjoyed the skiing experience. However I stick with what I said in the post about Ski Resort Transalpina – that it is the best place to ski in Romania at this moment 🙂

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