Review and Report of Our Winter Trip to Bukovel – Road, Prices, Accommodation, Skiing, Trails, Infrastructure, Photos, Useful Information, and How to Save Money at the “Most Expensive” Ski Resort in Ukraine.
Skiing or Hiking, just like going to the sea, is our annual must-do program. Last year in January, we were in Gudauri and Bakuriani in Georgia, and this year, for obvious reasons, our choice fell on Bukovel.
Overall, this year has been fortunate for Bukovel – an incredible amount of snow fell, snowplows were silent – they simply weren’t needed. And the closure of most European ski resorts added to its popularity. In addition to Ukrainians, many Moldovans, as well as French, Germans, and residents of the Baltic countries, were noticed. In general, the resort has long ceased to be a source of embarrassment; it is very high-quality and much better than anything we’ve seen in Eastern Europe.
Road to Bukovel from Kyiv
We traveled from Kyiv in our own car, and we brought our own skis and equipment. We were warned about snowy drifts and poor road conditions at every corner. I know a few people from Lviv who, peeking and listening to couch experts on TV, postponed their plans. In vain, of course! The road was challenging due to the weather, but nothing critical. All major roads were cleared, although there may have been issues with secondary roads, but we didn’t need to go there.
I recommend traveling from Kyiv only through Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk – the M06 and N09 roads. There were no problems, except for a few accidents on the N09, which delayed us by 30-40 minutes on the way back. But this happens in the spring and summer as well, and it’s by no means a reason to postpone your trip.
The distance from Kyiv to Bukovel is exactly 750 km. I’ve already written about the road in detail; I won’t repeat it.
For those traveling for the first time, I recommend not staying overnight on the way – there’s no need. You leave in the morning, preferably early – around 6 in the morning, and you arrive in Bukovel in daylight. If you wish, you can make it in time for evening skiing – starting at 4:00 PM.
Accommodation – Where to Stay, How to Book, Accommodation Quality
When choosing accommodation, we focus on two things – our budget and proximity to the ski lifts.
If you want to save money, choose Yablunytsia or Tatariv. It will be too far to drive daily from Mykulychyn and Yaremche. In the neighboring Palianytsia, it will be more expensive, and you still need a car to get to the lifts.
The best option is to stay in Bukovel itself, more expensive by 30-50%, but comfortable. Plus, you save on parking, fuel, and queues at the entrance, which occur especially in the morning and evening on weekends.
Now, about prices. We prefer sufficient comfort without unnecessary options. In Bukovel itself, such hotels and guesthouses cost $50-$125 for two. In Tatariv and Yablunytsia, it’s 30% cheaper. Even cheaper in Mykulychyn or Yaremche, but that’s plus an extra 60-100 km of driving back and forth daily.
We stayed in Tatariv, in the new Edelberg apartment complex, modern and without the “Hutsul flavor,” warm and spacious. Located along the road to Tatariv, it’s 15 km or 15 minutes by car from the parking lots and ski lifts in Bukovel.
Parking at Bukovel in February costs 100 UAH, cheaper in the low season – 60-70 UAH.
The apartments have good internet – it’s important to us since we work a bit in the evening. It’s very warm – autonomous heating, adjustable temperature, good sound insulation – despite the location along the road, you can hardly hear the noise of passing trucks and cars.
We deliberately chose accommodation along the road because we didn’t want to go uphill in such weather. In Palianytsia, for example, many hotels and apartments are located on the slopes.
We booked accommodation in advance, a week before the trip. It’s more comfortable for us. Many years of experience show that accommodation with the best price-quality ratio gets booked first. Despite the weekdays, we rested from Monday to Friday, there were enough people, but not critical.
We looked on Booking.com – Bukovel, I like it for its predictability and good selection – over 1050 options. I don’t use local resources – they are unreliable (I had experience before).
Prices in Bukovel and How to Save
Bukovel is considered an expensive place, especially for those who have never been there before. However, experienced travelers know how not to be disappointed and still enjoy their time.
Cost of Ski Vacation
First of all, it’s worth noting that a ski vacation, in general, is more expensive than a beach vacation, so you’ll have to reconcile with some expenses. However, the satisfaction from it is much higher than lying on the beach. But, of course, each to their own.
What’s Expensive in Bukovel?
Accommodation in Bukovel is relatively expensive. However, compared to vacationing in the Alps, it’s still more affordable. The quality of the vacation is higher than in the Polish Tatras, for example. You can check this on Booking.com.
For savings, I recommend choosing accommodation in Palianytsia, Tatariv, or Yablunytsia. I especially recommend Tatariv or Yablunytsia, where prices are genuinely accessible. In the village of Palianytsia, prices are almost the same as in Bukovel itself.
Cost of Food on the Mountain
Food on the mountain is quite expensive. Potato pancakes, dumplings, or a simple hot dog can cost from 150 to 260 hryvnias for a small portion. Demand generates supply, and there’s not much you can do about it here. If you want to save, bring a snack with you to the mountain, and have breakfast and dinner in the surrounding villages – it will be tastier and cheaper.
Cost of Lunch and Dinner
The cost of lunch or dinner at local restaurants, huts, or cafes is 150-250 hryvnias per person, including a glass of wine or mulled wine. In the photo below, you can see our restaurant in Palianytsia – “Stara Pravda,” a very picturesque and pleasant place, with prices much lower than on the mountain, and the quality is much better. I highly recommend visiting it – delicious, beautiful, with a view of the resort.
Hot Wine on the Mountain
Hot wine on the mountain costs 80 hryvnias for a 150 ml portion. If you want to save, you can skip it altogether; you won’t lose anything. You can have it at the bottom if you wish. For comparison, in Yaremche at the market, a glass of excellent mulled wine costs 20 hryvnias – less than 1 dollar.
The ski pass is the main expense item after accommodation. The cost of a daily ski pass in peak season is 980 hryvnias per person. Skiing hours are from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. If you want to save, buy a half-day ski pass.
Half-Day Ski Pass costs 770-790 hryvnias. You’ll save almost 200 hryvnias per person.
Promotions and Sales
If you want to save even more, buy a ski pass before the start of the season. Bukovel’s website often has promotions and sales.
If you want to vacation almost for free, go in the late or spring season, at the beginning or end of March. You’ll save more than 50% of the cost.
Evening and Night Skiing
The cost of evening skiing (from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM) and night skiing (from 9:00 PM to 11:59 PM) is quite affordable. It costs 370 hryvnias and 150 hryvnias, respectively. The savings are evident. The drawback is the limited number of slopes, and night skiing is only available on lift No. 14 (for beginners), near the Radisson hotel.
Parking on the Mountain
Parking on the mountain costs 100 hryvnias. You can save by arriving early in the morning and parking in the free parking area near Lake Molodist.
We had our equipment, but we checked rental prices. In Bukovel, the rental of a full set of ski equipment costs from 250 to 500 hryvnias per day, depending on the equipment class. You can save by using rental services in Tatariv or Mykulychyn – neighboring villages.
However, if you don’t have a car, it’s better to rent equipment at the resort, right next to the ski lift. It’s hard to imagine lying on skis in Tatariv, waiting for a taxi, and then trying to get all that gear to the mountain – we saw a few people attempting that. If you have a car, take the equipment from rental points in neighboring villages – Yablunytsia, Tatariv, Mykulychyn. If you don’t have a car, rent skis directly at the resort.
This year in Bukovel, a new ski lift No.3 and two new trails, 3d and 3a, have opened. The slopes are long, over two kilometers, with good high-speed sections and turns. The trails seamlessly connect with ski lifts No.1 and No.2. All slopes and lifts are interconnected, allowing you to explore the entire Bukovel. The total length of the trails has increased from 50 km to 75 km, which is a significant improvement compared to Slavske, Pylypets, or Play. In Bukovel, blue trails predominate, there are many excellent fast red trails, and a few black ones.
Skiing left a pleasant impression. The new 6-seater lift was liked; it’s fast, taking only 2 minutes to reach the top, and there are no long queues. The number of people on the slopes is the second fear of people who watch television. But do you know how they show you “crowds” in Bukovel?
A person arrives on television in Bukovel on a Saturday, goes to lift No.14 or No.2 in the resort center, and records the crowd of people. There can indeed be terrible crowds on weekends and even during weekdays at lunchtime, but the secret is that crowds are only in these two places.
Go up higher and switch to lift No.13, for example, and you can enjoy skiing without queues. Or ski on the new trails – lift No.3, where the waiting time is zero seconds, either no people at all, or very few. The same story with the lifts on Mount Dovha.
So, if you’re looking for crowds and problems, you’ll find them. But if you want to relax and ski in comfortable conditions, there are many opportunities for that.
Bukovel is becoming more like a stylish city district with hotels, sidewalks, parking lots, and restaurants. In addition to skiing, there is a zip line and something similar to a bobsled track – winter American slides that cost 700 hryvnias and are located in the center of the resort near lift No.2. We didn’t try the local spa center Voda Club in winter, but in summer, it left a pleasant impression.
Bukovel is the best place in Ukraine for a winter vacation for a few days, ideally for 2-5 days. Staying longer may become expensive or just boring. There has been a lot of snowfall this year, and it is likely to last until the end of March or the beginning of April. Accommodations are available for all budgets, ranging from 500 hryvnias to several thousand per night. I didn’t notice any specific areas in Bukovel that are expensive. Even prices for ski passes and accommodations are reasonable, making it an ideal destination.
Compared to any Western resort, it’s cheaper, and even slightly cheaper than in Erzurum, Turkey. If you want to ski in Bukovel comfortably and without queues, come on weekdays from Monday to Friday. There are no queues at the entrance or exit on these days.
Where to Book Accommodation in Bukovel
Booking.com – Bukovel – offers a wide selection of options by price and location, with the option to cancel, allowing you to choose options that suit your budget and preferences.
Is Travel Insurance Necessary
This is a rhetorical question. After all, this is alpine skiing, so I recommend purchasing insurance for the duration of your skiing. It costs a pittance but saves you money and nerves. Of course, the likelihood of an insurance event is extremely low if you ski carefully, but insurance is convenient. You can buy it online without leaving your computer.
We buy it on Hotline Finance, select the insurance company, receive the policy via email, and print it if necessary. To date, this is the best platform for purchasing insurance services. It has reliably served us. We also purchase third-party liability insurance for a car or a green card for trips abroad there.