Snow Paradise statistics:
Bottom station elevation: 630 metres
SNOW Paradise Veľká Rača Oščadnica is a mid-sized ski resort located just 25 kilometres north of Žilina, near the Slovak-Polish border. The resort boasts a respectable 420 metres of skiable vertical and has snowmaking on 100 percent of its terrain. Just under a three-hour drive from Bratislava, Snow Paradise is quickly becoming one of Slovakia's most popular weekend destinations for winter sports enthusiasts.
Perfect for intermediates, the resort spreads across three valleys and is serviced by two new four-person chairs and a double chair. Skiers and riders can enjoy 11 trails, including a 2,350-metre long intermediate trail and two expert runs. Beginners will find a learning area complete with a designated learning lift, as well as several top-to-bottom beginner runs. The Dedovka valley offers night skiing on a 1,400-metre long slope from 17:00 to 21:00 every day, and the Marguška base area has a new terrain park for snowboarders. Snow Paradise's season runs from December to mid April. Day tickets cost Sk650 (€16) and night tickets Sk290 (€7.2).
The Skibus company runs a convenient motor coach service from Bajkalská station in Bratislava to Snow Paradise. The Sk870 (€21,30) package includes a round trip bus ticket and a day ski pass. Buses depart Bratislava at 6:00 and return thirty minutes after the lifts close. Snow Paradise rents lockers for Sk20 (€0.5) to day trippers who wish to store their street clothes while skiing. Chaty (huts) along the slopes offer hearty, reasonably priced lunch entrees, including baked sausages, goulash, and pirohy s bryndzou (pirogies filled with sheep cheese).
Those who wish to spend the night at the resort may stay at five nearby guest houses. Prices range from Sk450-850 (€11-21) a night. There is also an extensive network of bed and breakfast establishments in the Oščadnica village, with rooms for less than Sk400 (€10) a night. For more information on accommodations, transportation, and other services at the resort, see the Snow Paradise website listed above.
In addition to skiing, Snow Paradise offers a delightful snowshoe trail on the summit of Veľká Rača Oščadnica (1,236 meters), accessible by chairlift from the Laliky base. The resort also has a network of cross-country ski trails. Sightseers can visit Budatín Castle in the historic city of Žilina, just 45 minutes away by public bus. Not far from Žilina is the distinctive village of Čičmany, a showcase of well-preserved Slovak folk architecture. The thermal spa of Rajecké Teplice is also just 40 kilometres from the resort.