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Balkans Ready for Skiers

Vlašić mount near Travnik – Bosnia (Courtesy photo)

(Webpublicapress/Sarajevo) -- The first snow in Balkan was not waited very long, and it looks the coming holidays will be the joy for the skiers. As BIRN (Balkan Inside News) reports –  each year, fresh snow and the winter holidays bring crowds to ski resorts such as  Jahorina in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Popova Šapka in Macedonia, Žabljak in Montenegro and Sljeme in Croatia. “Besides fine slopes and beautiful landscapes, what also draw them are affordable prices for ski lifts, ski lessons and hotel rooms”, BIRN reports. Hopefully it will not be very cold.

The beginning of 2012 started with record lows: The so-called European cold wave was a deadly cold wave that started on January 27, 2012 and brought snow and freezing temperatures to much of the European continent. There were 824+ deaths reported.Particularly low temperatures hit several Eastern and Northern European countries, reaching as low as −39.2 °C (−38.6 °F) in Finland. The heaviest snow was recorded in the Balkan region, especially in the Romanian Plain, where snow depth was even 9 m.

 

Olympic Beauty Jahorina

 

Mount Jahorina, in southeast Bosnia, 30km from Sarajevo, is the second tallest mountain (1,913m) in the country. With an average of 106cm of snow in February, and a good three metres in some seasons, the season there promises to get underway soon. On average it is covered with snow 175 days a year, from October to late May. It was one of the “big three” mounts – with Igman and Bjelašnica in the center of the Sarajevo Winter Olympic games in 1984.

Olympic Beauty, as Jahorina is still called – is a popular destination for skiing, hiking, and sledding, with over 20km of ski trails and modern facilities.

It has around ten ski lifts with a capacity to carry 12,000 skiers per hour. Ski schools, ski rentals services and ski equipment are available. Near the slopes are barbecue houses with sunbathing areas where visitors can grab a bite to eat from the grill or have a warm drink.

Besides skiing, sledding, night skiing and mountain walks, Jahorina offers a variety of programs. It offers numerous apartments, hotels and restaurants at affordable prices.

Price for a day ski pass average around €17, BIRN reports.

 

Sar Planina in Macedonia

 

Popova Sapka, on Sara Mountain, is one of the most attractive ski resort in Macedonia, 18km from the northwest town of Tetovo.

Papova Sapka has a lot of sunny days and is usually covered with snow from October to May.

Popova Sapka has 35km sq of slopes that differ in difficulty, and are adapted to both beginners and experts.

It has two B category hotels with views of the ski resorts, restaurants, swimming pools and more.

Another interesting place for skiing is Macedonia’s Mt Kozuf, in the south, some 30km from the town of Gevgelia.

Once finished, this recently built ski resort will be one of the biggest in the region, with 140km of slopes and 80 cannons for artificial snow. It will also have 200 ski huts for rent, 40 small hotels, and six large ones.

 

Sljeme ner Zagreb

 

This ski resort, located only 10 minutes’ drive from Zagreb, presents an experience all of its own.

Located on Mt Medvednica, at a height around 1,000m, it includes some three kilometres of tracks connected by five ski lifts, carrying a capacity of 3,300 skiers per hour.

Equipped with a system for making artificial snow, as well as reflectors for night skiing, Sljeme is a venue for international skiing events such as the FIS International Ski Cup Competition.

Ski lifts cost about €10 per day.

 

Zabljak in Monte Negro

 

Zabljak, in northwest Montenegro, in the centre of the Durmitor area, is the highest urban settlement in the Balkans at 1,500m.

There are many various ski slopes here with a total length of 4.3km located on the edges of the town of Zabljak and in its surroundings.

Five kilometres from town is the ski resort of Savin kuk, which has six ski lifts with a capacity to carry 4,000 skiers per hour, and one slope for night skiing.

Whatever one prefers, now might be the best time to make reservations, as the coming of the holidays and the first snow will soon jam phone lines and create queues in front of travel agencies, BIRN reports.

 

 

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