There is Czech Republic skiing within an hour of Prague, something that will be good news to enthusiasts who find themselves visiting the capital city during the winter weather. Ski in the Czech Republic and you won’t be on the continent’s highest mountains or at the fashionable jet set resorts you will find in the Alps of France, Switzerland, northern Italy, and Austria. But there is excellent Czech Republic skiing to be found in several places in the country.
You will find that ski resorts in Czech Republic offer a number of advantages over the more popular spots in Western Europe. The two most important advantages are the attractive prices relative to the rest of Europe and the fact that there are far fewer tourists. This means shorter lift lines and fewer skiers crowding the slopes. The lower prices mean that vacation packages with skiing options are much better deals. It is possible to spend hundreds per day only on lifts at Zermatt (Switzerland) or Chamonix (France). You will spend a fraction of that at any Czech Republic ski area you happen to choose. Everything else—from dining costs to shopping and luxury hotels—is also less expensive.
Attractions other than Czech Republic skiing also beckon during this time of year. The cities, towns, and villages are lovely during the winter. Virtually all attractions, like the country’s many castles and fine museums, remain open throughout the year. You can even take sightseeing river cruises in Prague during the winter, because many of the boats are heated. As an added bonus, the city is particularly beautiful from the water after a fresh snowfall. Many towns and villages hold special events and festivals during the winter, especially around the Christmas and the New Year holidays. Each Czech Republic ski area is apt to participate in whatever winter carnival or Christmas fair is being celebrated in the region.
The best places to ski in the Czech Republic are in the Krkonose Mountains, which lie in the northeast part of the country along the border with Poland. The highest peak in the country is here—Mount Sniezka at 5,256 feet—and the region is very popular with skiing tourists from the Netherlands and Germany. Large areas of the mountains are protected as national parks, and activities like cycling and hiking are very popular during the rest of the year. The very best Czech Republic ski area here is around Spindleruv Mlyn. There are numerous very nice hotels here, including many charming boutique hotels and pensions, as well as an excellent selection of vacation rentals. You will pay higher prices here than elsewhere in the country, but still far less than in the Alps of Western Europe. Another bonus if you ski in the Czech Republic here is the area’s proximity to Prague—as close as a one hour drive. Also in this region are ski resorts the Jizerske Hory Range.
Other good Czech Republic skiing will be found in the Sumava Mountains, along the border with Germany and Austria. This region has a fairly low elevation, but the resorts are less crowded and the infrastructure is still excellent. The Moravia mountain ranges are the second highest in the country. There are very popular resorts here, but because the area is quite large, there still are few crowds.