An expert guide to ski holidays in Jasná

Advice

Ever heard of Jasná (pronounced Yaznah)? Most people haven’t, but as Slovakia’s biggest ski resort, it’s well worth considering by intermediates – and off-piste aficionados, if snow conditions are good. It’s very convenient for short breaks if Luton airport is an option. Low-cost airline Wizz Air has two flights a week between Luton and Poprad-Tatry airport, just 45 minutes from the resort.

Slovakia offers amazing value for money compared with mainstream Alpine resorts. Good rooms in four-star hotels with extensive wellness facilities come at surprisingly affordable prices and drinks and meals out are also far easier on the wallet.

Stay on track with the essential facts from the resort below, and scroll down for our insider guide to a day on the pistes, expert ratings and advice. For further Jasná inspiration, see our guides to the resort’s best accommodationrestaurants and après ski.

In this guide:


Inside the resort

Hotels and restaurants in Jasná are strung out along the road from the town of Liptovský Mikuláš 17km away, with lift access at two points along the road and near the end of the valley.

The nearest thing to a resort centre is at the foot of the lifts at Biela Pút near the end of the valley, where there are a couple of four‑star hotels, a daytime restaurant and a couple of sports shops.

The first ski lift was opened in 1949 and most of the resort buildings were built since then. It has grown into a fair-sized ski area with 20 lifts and over 50km of pistes, most of them suiting intermediates best. It’s not a huge area by Alpine standards (it’s on a par with places such as Courmayeur in Italy, Mürren in Switzerland and Arinsal in Andorra) but it does have some outstanding off piste.

A new Biela púť – Priehyba cable car, with 25 cabins each carrying up to 15 people, opened for 2022/23, linking the areas of Biela púť and Priehyba and aimed at solving the problem of long waits and lengthy queues as people transferred to the Twinliner funicular from a four-seater chairlift.



Jasná


The first ski lift in Jasná opened in 1949 and the resort has grown and grown ever since

Popular with families, Jasná has plenty of off-slope activities. Tatralandia near Liptovský Mikuláš is the biggest and best aquapark in the region, with 10 pools (some thermal, some salt water, including a snorkelling pool with fish swimming below a transparent floor), raft rides in rapids, waterslides, tubes and a special surfing pool with man-made waves. There’s a pirate-themed area, complete with wooden pirate ship, and a children’s sauna, as well as a huge wellness centre for adults with 21 different types of sauna and steam rooms. 

The resort’s good value continues with the lift passes. The resort has a flexi price approach, with rates varying according to date of purchase, number of passes sold and resort capacity. Multi-day Jasná ski passes include a day at Tatralandia, in lieu of a day on the slopes. See gopass.sk for more details.


On the slopes

With just over 50km of pistes, Jasná’s ski area isn’t huge, but it is varied. Nearly all the hotels and other accommodation are on the North Side of the ski area – the north-facing aspect means the snow stays in good condition. In January 2024, the resort hosts the women’s Audi FIS World Cup slalom.

A gondola from mid-mountain goes up to the summit at Chopok, where there’s the choice of coming back down the North Side or dropping over to the sunny South Side. The lift system is good, with six modern gondolas and five high‑speed chairlifts (including one eight-seater and two six-seaters) which shift the queues quickly.

There are a couple of easy wide blue runs to progress to – especially runs 5 and 14 at the extreme edge of the North Side ski area above the Lúčky lift base (pronounced Loochee). But some of the blues, including the top‑to‑bottom run on the South Side, are narrow, winding roads.

The red runs tend to be at the challenging end of the spectrum and suit confident intermediates best. Most of the black runs are at the easier end of the grading and are much the same gradient and difficulty as many of the reds. Strong intermediates will love doing laps on long red runs 1 and 11 and black runs 6 and 7 on the North Side, as well as the top‑to‑bottom run 33 on the South Side. Offering almost 1,000m vertical, the 33 is an easy black at the top, becoming red lower down.



Jasná


The off piste in Jasná is easily accessible and varied


Credit: sylvain cochard

For experts, the key attraction of Jasná is its varied, easily accessible off piste. It has Freeride Zones marked on the piste map and described in a special Freeride Manual in English as well as other languages. The manual shows off‑piste runs graded blue, red and black according to steepness and level of difficulty – the shallowest are generally 25° to 30° and the steepest 37° to 50°, which is seriously steep.

The nine North Side zones are the most challenging, with plenty of couloirs and rocks to negotiate. The three on the South Side are much gentler, going through open bowls and lightly wooded terrain – ideal for first attempts off piste and delightful in fresh powder.

There’s a Freeride Centre at Biela Pút with a freeride school and safety equipment to rent (transceiver, shovel and probe). In order to book a mountain guide, you first have to take an off-piste lesson to check your skiing standard, which helps them identify suitable terrain to take you to – an excellent idea.

The terrain park has a good selection of jumps, rails, boxes, waves and a tunnel. The upper part is more suited to novice and intermediate freestylers, while the lower part is for experts, with some huge jumps.


Who should go?

Slovakia offers amazing value for money compared with mainstream Alpine resorts. Across Eastern Europe the value is undeniable, the welcome is genuine and thousands of British visitors have a great time each winter. On the slopes in Jasná confident intermediates and experts will be best pleased, with challenging runs both on and off the pistes, plus the dedicated Freeride Zones marked on the piste map. By Eastern European standards the nightlife in Jasná is pretty quiet, but there are a number of good-value bars to choose from.


Know before you go

Essential information

  • British Embassy/Consulate: +421 2 5998 2000
  • Ambulance: dial 155
  • Police: dial 158
  • Fire: dial 150
  • Tourist office: See jasna.sk, the website for the Jasná Tourist Board, for weather reports, lift status, webcams, traffic details and accommodation listings.

The basics

  • Currency: Euro
  • Telephone code: from abroad, dial 00 421, then leave off the zero at the start of the 10-figure number. 
  • Time difference: +1 hour

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