Set beautifully between the undulating hills of the Lower Beskid Mountains, Kiczera Ski certainly makes up for its lack of runs and infrastructure with a healthy dose of rustic Polish authenticity and wonderful backcountry. The handful of pistes run from red to blue. Meanwhile, the surrounding forests and scenery make it a fine place for learning and casual cruising away from the bigger resorts around Krakow and Zakopane.
We’d say it’s one for the learners and the more relaxed skiers. There’s not the same abundance of pistes as in Bialka Tatrzanska but then there aren’t the same level of crowds, either. Be warned: It’s a long trip from Krakow to Kiczera. Pretty, though. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer…
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This is a splinter guide to our ultimate guide to skiing in Poland
Where is Kiczera?
The Kiczera Ski station is within the Subcarpathian mountains of southeastern Poland. It’s roughly 100 miles away from Krakow as the crow flies, and almost directly south of the city of Rzeszow, which is the favored base for skiing in this part of the country. To get there, drive east down the E-40 from Krakow itself and then head south on the E371. The drive takes roughly three hours, but probably more in the snow.
The skiing at Kiczera Ski resort
Kiczera Ski boasts just one chairlift and a few drag lifts, which are actually plenty for serving the smattering of easy-going runs here. The longest piste goes for 1,200 meters through the clusters of pine and fir forest that dot the mountain. It’s an easy blue run that’s both shallow and wide – great for learners.
There are two harder runs (rated red) that go from the top of the main chairlift. One leads directly down to the base of the life. Another joins a blue midway down the hill. There are also some much smaller nursery slopes on offer at the Kiczera Ski resort, each served by its own drag lift.
Despite Kiczera Ski’s relatively limited size it does feature both a snowpark and one cross-country trail (4 kilometres long). Both of these are real draws and help to add a bid of variation to a skiing holiday.
The ski season in Kiczera
The season in Kiczera Ski typically runs from late December to March. Snow making is prevalent and works well on most of the major routes, while the three largest pistes are illuminated throughout the winter to allow for evening skiing too. There is also a well-equipped and value ski school located on-site. Note that this part of the Polish Beskid mountains isn’t quite as high as the peaks in Zakopane, which means you won’t get the same long season coverage lasting, potentially, into April.
Where to stay for Kiczera
For real proximity to the pistes of Kiczera Ski, opt to bed down in Pensjonat Salamander. This self-proclaimed “agrotourist” accommodation option offers well-equipped rooms with balconies and en suite bathrooms, along with an attic dorm room for larger groups. There is also a Finnish sauna and mini fitness center on site.
For something a little further afield, skiers can retire to Krosno, the largest town in the area of the resort. Here, Hotel Nafta is both modern, comfortable and well-equipped. We also really like the cozy highland cottage at Domek przy Debrzy. It’s nestled in the Polish countryside, with big deck spaces and views over the rolling mountains. It’s actually just as nice staying there for walking in the summer if you’re coming in the warmer months.
The best restaurants near Kiczera Ski
Located right at the base of the slopes at Kiczera Ski, Restaurant Amadeus offers the whole range of Polish dishes: Soups, pierogi dumplings, potato pancakes. There is also a range of international dishes on offer here, from hamburgers to French fries and more. More options await in the nearby village of Rymanów, but that’s really casual stuff (mainly pierogi dumpling kitchens). Real foodies should head back to Rzeszow, where there’s oodles to keep you fed after a day on the slopes.
Après in Kiczera Ski
As to be expected, the après scene of this isolated but beautiful resort in the Beskidy Mountains is hardly riotous. However that doesn’t stop skiers from retiring to the local taverns for some frothy Polish beers at base of the slope towards the end of the day. The best of them might just be the aforementioned Restauracja Amadeus, although it’s more of a tavern for Polish staples like blood sausage and zapiekanki. Drive to Rzeszow after you day on the slopes if you really want to have a party. It’s the hub of the eastern region and has plenty of bars on the main Rynek (square), along with a few nightclubs, although Browar Manufaktura is the best watering hole of the bunch by a long shot.