Ski Resort Transalpina – the best place to ski in Romania

Good news! We discovered the coolest place to ski in Romania: Ski Resort Transalpina (SRT). Actually we discovered it in 2013 which was the first season of this young ski resort. After a large sum of money invested, a lot of devotion, love for the mountain and for this beautiful sport, we now have the most modern ski resort in Romania in Vâlcea county 🙂


I would have liked to say that everything is perfect here and there is no need to go skiing in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, etc. It’s not perfect and we will tell you the good parts and the not so good parts. Something is certain though: we love this place and you will as well when you get here! 🙂

road to SRT, DN 7A

The first negative part is the road. DN 7A is the road linking Petroșani (Hunedoara county) with Brezoi (Vâlcea county). It’s terrible, at least the section from Petroșani towards SRT. It’s full of potholes, there is no tarmac on large portions, there are land slides and rock falling. It’s uncivilised and dangerous. When you enter this road when coming from Petroșani you immediately cross the Jieț Gorges on which we already had a post. This part is really spectacular since all the mountain sides are trapped in a thick ice shield which huge icicles hanging over the steep slopes.

Brief useful information:
Pricing: 80 RON/day/unlimited, more about pricing on their site.
Ski slopes: 
  1. Under the Gondola
    1. Category: red
    2. Length: 2.3 km
    3. Average slope: 23%
    4. Start altitude: 1850 m
    5. Arrival altitude: 1350 m
    6. Width: 50 m
    7. Transport: gondola
  2. Chairlift ski slope:
    1. Category: blue
    2. Length: 1.3 km
    3. Start altitude: 1949 m
    4. Arrival altitude: 1850 m
    5. Width: 40 m
    6. Transport: chairlift
  3. * There are two more smaller ski slopes about which you can find information on their site.
Under the Gondola ski slope

Here we are @SRT. Perfect weather for skiing. Not too cold, not too hot. Unfortunately we forgot to take our sun cream because the sun was present throughout the day and the snow reflected it and we got quite tanned. Lesson learnt! 🙂
 
SRT is placed on the banks of the large Vidra Lake in a dream-like scenery. You are surrounded by mountains: Latoriței (where SRT is placed) and Lotrului (vis-a-vis). The dense fir tree forests are extraordinary and their intense green colour contrasts nicely with the never ending white of the snow. The first ski season here was in the 2012/2013 winter. We were here then and since we’ve come multiple times. It’s a very young ski resort, in fact the youngest in Romania, with huge growing potential. The Latorița slow ridges are perfect for extending this ski resort. All the equipment you find here is the latest there is and it functions perfectly.

Under the Gondola ski slope – hundreds of gondola cabins
Our skies are waiting to go on the ski slope 🙂
Under the Gondola ski slope – black ski slope portion

So, we buy our ski passes, hop on on of the hundreds of gondola cabins and admire the scenery and the ski slopes. The view is spectacular. Vidra Lake is impressive and is one of SRT’s trademarks 🙂 The snow, the ski slopes, the gondola, the fir trees, the lake and the ridges which surround this place make this our favourite ski resort in Romania! 🙂

Under the Gondola ski slope – Vidra lake in the background
Under the Gondola ski slope
Intermediate station – the ski slope with the longest lift (800 m)

At SRT the gondola line has 3 stations: the base one (1320 m), the intermediate station (1850 m) and the superior station (1925 m). We first got off at the intermediate station. Here you can find most of the services offered to tourists, the smaller ski slopes and a sledge slope. We warm up by going on the slope fitted with the longest lift multiple times and then we decide to go on the longest ski slope here, under the gondola.

on the top of the longest ski slope fitted with a lift, at about 2000 meters high
view from the top of  the longest ski slope fitted with a lift, at about 2000 meters high, towards the intermediate station
start of descent on the ski slope under the gondola

It must be said that the ski slopes at SRT are perfectly prepared for skiers. It’s exactly the best quality like you see in the West. You can see this from the images 🙂

We started off on the longest ski slope. You can link this one with the longest ski slope fitted with a lift and thus you can continuously ski for over 3 km 🙂

I wouldn’t recommend the red ski slope for a beginner since it’s pretty steep and it takes a lot of effort since it’s also quite long. There are two steeper areas. In these areas there are crossroads and the easier way is to the right in both cases. The first detour to the right avoids the only black ski slope at SRT. The second detour is close to the base. We stop from place to place to admire the view. The unique thing about this ski slope is that you have the feeling you’re going to end up in Vidra Lake since it’s so close to the base. It’s fantastic! 🙂 These are the strong points of this ski resort: the quality of the ski slopes, the incredible scenery, the modern transport equipment, the civilised and friendly people 🙂

Under the Gondola ski slope
Under the Gondola ski slope


Mushroom Apres Ski – the place to have fun @SRT

After we went on the gondola ski slope multiple times we started to feel the effort so we decided to take a break. We’re not the most professional skiers. I’d say we’re at an intermediate level. We went on this long ski slope about 10 times and then we decided to relax a bit at the Mushroom Apres Ski. This is the place to be: good music, friendly people, friendly staff and always a party atmosphere 🙂 It’s called Transalpina Ski and you can follow them on Facebook. These guys are in love with this place, as you can see on the panel in the pictures below 🙂 It’s a place where you can drink a hot tea, a cold beer or a quality brandy.

Mushroom Apres Ski – the place to have fun @SRT
Mushroom Apres Ski – the place to have fun @SRT
Mushroom Apres Ski – the place to have fun @SRT
I Love This Place – Mushroom Apres Ski – the place to have fun @SRT

You’ll easily find it because it’s yellow, they have a generous collection of empty Jägermeister bottles just in front and they have their trademark panel, I Love This Place! 🙂

2000 meters high

After we relaxed at the mushroom apres – ski and got tanned a bit we decided to take it up a notch and took the gondola from the intermediate station until the superior station at about 2000 meters altitude.
 
Here you can find the second longest ski slope at SRT, 1.3 km long and transportation is assured by a 4 – seats chairlift. On the way to the superior gondola station we cross a great abyss where gondola pols couldn’t be fitted. It’s absolutely quiet since all sounds are absorbed by the great white infinity.

Gondola II – between the intermediate and superior station
Gondola II – between the intermediate and superior station
Gondola II – between the intermediate and superior station

We were pretty lucky to find this part of SRT open because usually it’s closed due to dense fog and high winds. This part of SRT is very exposed and thus it is usually closed. The superior gondola station leaves you at 1920 meters high and you can immediately put on your skies and go on the second longest ski slope here.
 
2/3 of this ski slope is quite flat and you even have to use your poles to go further. The only steeper part is just before you reach the base station of the chairlift, though this is also nothing to worry about. I would recommend this ski slope and the other two slopes fitted with lifts at the intermediate station for learning to ski since they are pretty flat and very wide.

Gondola II arrival – 1920 m
Gondola II arrival – 1920 m
Gondola II arrival – 1920 m
Chairlift ski slope
Chairlift ski slope
Chairlift arrival

After we went on the chairlift ski slope a couple of times we stopped at the top of the chairlift station, took off our skies and walked around to admire the beautiful panorama. You are surrounded by mountain ridges full with snow. In the afternoon sun, the mountain ridges and the snow on top of them seem like they are gilded. It’s incredible! 🙂
 
One of the great advantages of SRT is it’s perfect positioning: surrounded by mountains and on the Northern mountain side. This results in the longest ski season in Romania: from December until May. These pictures were taken at the end of March 2015 and you can see how much snow there was. And it was no accident, believe us! 🙂

Panorama from 2000 meters high
Panorama from 2000 meters high
Panorama from 2000 meters high
Panorama from 2000 meters high
Panorama from 2000 meters high

At the end of the part dedicated to Ski Resort Transapina I want to also mention the other disadvantages aside from the terrible road. The services are quite poor. Beside the mushroom apres ski, which we like, there is just one other place where tourists can relax. There is also only one place to eat and the food is OK, but the prices are exaggerated. So if you want cooked food there is a monopoly here and the place is tiny.
 
Another disadvantage is that it’s very hard to find accommodation close to the ski slopes. Most of the guest houses are in Voineasa and you’ll drive for about an hour from Voineasa to SRT on a terrible road. There are also no buses to take tourists to the ski slopes. Close to the ski slopes there is a resort, called Vidra, which was built by the communists and now is left in decay. Maybe a good idea is to revitalise this resort for tourists to find accommodation easier. There are only 5 guest houses closer to the ski slopes but which have about 100 places available in total. So it’s definitely not enough. Investments should be made because this place is perfect for skiing and it has huge growth potential!

Groapa Seacă – authentic mountain cottage

Groapa Seacă cottage
Groapa Seacă cottage

One of the times we were at SRT we stayed at Groapa Seacă cottage. Here we found a very welcoming cottage which shows the love for the mountain the owners have. Most of the people coming here are mountaineers. You have normal cottage conditions, it’s no luxury, it’s just a simple and friendly mountain cottage.
 
The restaurant is fitted with a beautiful fire place and the entire room is decorated in a very mountain way 🙂 It encourages story telling, laughter and friendships. It’s a nice place to be and we loved it here. The only problem is that it’s 40 minutes away from the ski slopes and you have to go on the infamous road.

Let’s not forget this cottage’s main attraction: a beautiful and huge Saint Bernard, called Ben 🙂 He is very gentile even though his size is intimidating. Children play with him all the time and he is as gentile as when he is sleeping with snoring included 🙂

Groapa Seacă cottage – Ben
Groapa Seacă cottage – Ben

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