Skiing in the Apuseni Mountains

One of the most picturesque places to ski in Romania is in Arieșeni village. More specifically in Vârtop village which belongs to Arieșeni, just on the edge of Alba and Bihor counties. It’s not a ski resort for advanced skiers because you only have 3 ski slopes available which are not very long. For those who want to learn to ski and enjoy the beautiful sights of the Apuseni Mountains, I recommend you come here in the winter or in the summer.

Brief useful information:

Accommodation prices: 40 – 100 RON/person/night

Piatra Grăitoare ski slope (the newest one):
 
Length: 1830 m
Difficulty: medium (red slope)
Transportation: chairlift with 4 seats
Prices: 7 RON/one way in the weekend

Vârtop 1 ski slope:
 
Length: 780 m
Difficulty: medium (red slope)
Transportation: lift
Prices: 5 RON/one way

Vârtop 2 ski slope:
Length: 430 m
Difficulty: easy (blue slope)
Transportation: lift
Prices: 3 RON/one way

We’ve been a lot of times here because our families originate from these places. We also went skiing here a few times. Basically this is where we started skiing. In the past years a lot of guest houses and hotels were built here due to the ever growing number of tourists coming here. We don’t completely agree with this massive expansion especially because some of them are not well fitted in the scenery.

on top of Vârtop 2 ski slope

on top of Vârtop 2 ski slope

You can get here on the route from Ștei to Nucet (DN 75 road) if you’re coming from the West and if you’re coming from the East you can follow the route through Câmpeni – Albac – Arieșeni. The road is acceptable and the snow is removed constantly. As I said, now you have numerous accommodation options in Vârtop where the ski slopes are or in Arieșeni which is 10 km away from Vârtop. Generally the weekends are full of tourists and it’s possible you’ll have to wait for the chairlift even a half an hour…
The area is full of trekking trails suitable in the summer but also in the winter and if you don’t fancy skiing all that much I suggest you go on some of these trails.

road to Vârtop (DN 75)
trekking on the nearby trails
view from the chairlift
view from the chairlift

The new ski slope (the one with the chairlift) has a small parking lot but you might be lucky enough to find an empty parking space. Every ski slope has rental centres for ski equipment and the prices are quite OK (20 – 35 RON/day for a pair of skies, ski shoes and ski poles). You also have a big variety of restaurants where you can try the delicious local food, drink mulled wine or a hot tea 🙂 Those who are new to skiing can find a lot of ski instructors to teach them this beautiful sport.

Those who don’t want to ski can visit the nearby attractions such as The Scărișoara Underground Glaciar and the most beautiful cave in Romania: Bears Cave. Below you can find some more pictures from this place and we hope they will convince to come visit this region 🙂

Vârtop 1 & 2 ski slopes
Vârtop 1 ski slope – the lift
Vârtop 2 ski slope
Vârtop 2 ski slope
view from our room
heavy snow falls
our accommodation
cold and a lot of snow
full of snow
fully loaded
the lift
Vârtop 2 ski slope
Piatra Grăitoare ski slope
Piatra Grăitoare ski slope
Piatra Grăitoare ski slope – view from the chairlift
Piatra Grăitoare ski slope – view from the chairlift
Piatra Grăitoare ski slope – the departure station

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