Some French resorts may be charging €7+ for an après-ski beer these days, but fear not – there’s still somewhere in Europe where a pint comes in at under a couple of euros! Welcome to Jasná Nízke Tatry, Central Europe’s emerging snow star. Offering excellent value, great terrain and an experience a little off the beaten piste, Jasná has a season lasting five months, and with lifts dropping you off on the peaks of the freeride zones even advanced riders are well catered to.
- Highest Point: 2,004m
- Descent: 1,061m
- No. lifts: 28
- Pistes: 50km
In recent years, the North and South side of the resort have been joined by two fancy new gondolas. They’ve also splashed out on another chair, cut some new pistes and added more snowmaking – 34km of the resort’s trails are now covered by cannons.
Though often designated as Eastern European, Slovakia prefers to think of itself as being in Central Europe, having removed the rust from the Iron Curtain long ago. New investment has poured in, providing modern facilities and well-maintained slopes, and Jasná is attracting adventurous snowboarders looking for quality riding at prices that undercut most resorts in Western Europe.
Propaganda Snowboards, a group of pioneering Brits, set up shop in Jasná during the early ‘00s and have established themselves as local experts, offering accommodation, transport, lessons and guiding. Jasná may not have quite as much terrain as its more westerly counterparts but it retains a relaxed, local atmosphere untainted by Brits abroad package tourism.
If you’re looking for low prices, great off-piste, and somewhere a little different, get to Jasná before this post-Soviet secret gets out.
“Jasná retains a relaxed, local atmosphere untainted by Brits abroad package tourism“
The Pistes – 3/5
The slopes are divided into two separate ski areas; North and South Chopok, which together offer almost 40km of piste and over 1000m of vertical served by 27 lifts, ranging from a modern gondola, to zippy chairs, to poma drags.
About 30% of the slopes are aimed at beginners, with gentle greens and blues ideal for learners; about 50% is suited to intermediates, with a variety of reds and cruisers, and the remaining 20% are steeper blacks for the more advanced.
The lower two-thirds of the mountain are forested, offering very attractive scenery and the chance to dive off into the trunks on a powder day. The upper third is treeless, and is where the open bowls are to be found.
The snowboard school offers well-trained instructors who speak good English, so beginners will be in good hands. And for those who just don’t want to stop snowboarding, there are two slopes that offer night-riding.