Snowboarding in Ukraine

Bukovel ski resort is a new large ski resort in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast 30 km to the west of Yaremcha. It is Ukraine's first European-class resort, with a couple high-speed chair lifts, meticulously groomed slopes and snow-making machines, turnstyles for letting skiers through lines, and ubiquitous security personnel. It's unusual to see this degree of organization in Ukraine. Bukovel resort has been carefully planned to make skiing enjoyable and convenient and to avoid lift lines and congestion. Lift lines longer than five minutes are rare.

Bukovel's base elevation is nearly 900 m above sea level, and the highest ski lift rises to 1370 m, making Bukovel the second highest ski resort in Ukraine after Dragobrat. All categories of difficulty are available. There is a very long gradual slope that is perfect for beginners, a couple short tows for children and "super-beginners," all levels of intermediate runs, and several black diamonds. Night skiing is available from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., but currently only on one slope that is upper intermediate. Bukovel is growing rapidly, and new equipment and runs are being added each year. Most visitors drive their own cars or take the train into Ivano-Frankivsk, the nearest major transportation hub. Many international visitors fly into Lviv and order an airport transfer or take the local bus to Bukovel.Bukovel at night

Slavsko ski resort (sometimes called Slavske) is located 120 km from Lviv on the Kiev-Uzhhorod railroad line. Perhaps this fact alone made it the most popular ski resort in Ukraine during the Soviet-era. You can get on the train in Kyiv in the evening, get off the train the next morning at Slavsko railway station and be on the slopes by 10:00 a.m. No other ski resort is so easily accessible from so many places.

Slavsko is accessible by train and elektrichka from Lviv, Kiev, and Kharkov, and by minibus from Lviv. In addition, Slavsko has a large variety of mountains and ski slopes and has a large tourist community. There's always lots to do. Not everything is perfect at Slavsko, though. The resort's main weakness is that different sections are owned by different groups, who seem unable to coordinate efforts and improve infrastructure. You must get to ski areas (which can be several km apart) by Soviet-era military trucks because the road is so bad. Perhaps lack of clear private ownership also contributes to a somewhat lackadaisical attitude towards resort visitors. Malfunctioning ski lifts and long lines (especially on weekends) are typical of Slavsko.

Drahobrat (commonly spelled "Dragobrat") is Ukraine's highest ski resort, with a base elevation at 1300 m. This puts the entire resort in the zone of high snowfall and stable snowpack. Drahobrat is the first ski resort to open its lifts and the last to turn them off usually around May 1st. At the same time, blizzards and low visibility are more common than at other ski resorts, which can keep you off the slopes for considerable amounts of time. When the clouds clear you will be rewarded with the best views of any Carpathian ski resort. Drahobrat is located in the region with the most dramatic peaks in the Carpathians. Just across the valley is the Chornohora ridge with Ukraine's highest mountain, Hoverla, at 2061 m. And, with no snowmaking equipment, diminishing snowfalls in recent years have left many skiers disappointed with the slopes. At Drahobrat you can enjoy up to 350 m of elevation drop. Five or six tow lifts from 350 to 1000 m in length reach up the mountainside as far as the summit of Stig mountain at 1703 m. The skiing is as wild as it gets in Ukraine. The "resort" began as a hikers' refuge (turbaza) back in Soviet times and has been steadily expanding, with new lodgings being built from year to year