Slovenia’s small resorts - Krvavec

15th March 2010, by Chris Gill

Krvavec's slopes overlook the airport

Krvavec's slopes overlook the airport

Author: Wendy King

If you know anything about Slovenian skiing, you’ll know of small resorts limited in extent. What you may not know is that the country claims one of the closest ski areas to any International airport (vies with Innsbruck!), that the majority of resorts are within half-an hour to an hour’s drive of each other and that they offer quite different experiences and scenery. What’s more, when your fuel for an easy six-day driving tour costs just 23 euros it remains pretty good value for independent travellers.

The appeal of Slovenia as a winter destination is certainly increasing, as was revealed on my short tour of the western region in January 2010. The country’s compact size (similar to Wales) and 30 or so ski areas makes the place a compelling choice for a road trip, or as day trips from one base. Small resort fans should be flocking there, yet we continue to overlook it. Why?

My first stop was Krvavec [Kre-vav-etch].

Krvavec: best short break?

Few British visitors to Slovenia venture to this dynamic little ski area, despite its accessibility and jolly Austrian-influenced atmosphere. Krvavec wins points though for easy transfers, maximising slope time, relatively low prices and red run territory; it loses a few on base facilities, but then the majority of visitors are family day-trippers.

The slopes of Slovenia’s second highest resort are just 8km from Ljubljana’s airport terminal. You park at the gondola station and take a 10-minute ride up to the ski area – a typical feature of many Slovenian resorts is an access lift with no run back down it. With three major towns nearby (including Slovenia’s capital – 25km away) it is perfectly possible to stay in one of them and still be on the slopes by 9.30am.

Krvavec is small by alpine standards, and most good skiers will cover the 30km slopes in a day or two. But the upper slopes are quite steep, broadly spread across three hills on a mix of open and lightly wooded terrain – so it’s sufficiently varied to occupy a short visit. Intermediates will gain most from the resort; beginners have their own area, but few of the blue runs make easy progression. The lift system is efficient, with a mix of modern and slow chairs, so queues are rare too. Apparently, the old single seat chair that parallels the new six-pack has been kept for nostalgic reasons though, not surprisingly, it was hardly used.

My Sunday visit was busy with local families but not overcrowded, and I happily zipped around the slopes with few concerns. Lunchtime activity seemed to revolve around an area that translates as ‘the beach’, where fast food outlets and picnics are the preferred routine – though there are several pleasant huts with sun terraces dotted around too. And being less commercialised internationally, prices are lower in Krvavec.

Lift passes

Since Slovenia joined the euro in 2007 lift passes prices have risen, though they still offer a good saving on equivalent Alpine tickets; a day pass for Krvavec costs 28 euros, two days 53 euros. Multi-day tickets also cover the twinned resort of Rogla – further east, so only suitable for touring holidays.

Rental equipment

Good quality ski and boots are available from 22 euros per day. And various ski clothing garments are available to hire too, including helmets.

Staying there

Most people arrive from Ljubljana, Kranj or Bled. There is little accommodation at the resort itself, though one or two local villages offer private guest houses and apartments. You can stay up on the slopes in the Hotel Raj, a 24-room simple lodging that offers double rooms from 60 euros (half board), or 51 euros (B&B).

I stayed in Bled and made the 40 minute journey by free ski bus. Try the family hotel Savica, a fine 3-star. Crystal offers package holidays from there too.

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