Little Rusin Ski occupies a series of shallow slopes on the northern fringes of the Polish Tatra Mountains. It sits somewhere between the sprawling resort of Białka Tatrzańska and the enchanting, larger-than-life resort city of Zakopane; encompassed by some beautiful vistas and home to a series of easy-going, beginner-friendly pistes that are perfect for novices in search of their snow feet.
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This is a splinter guide from our ultimate guide to skiing in Poland.
What’s the skiing like in Rusin Ski?
While the Rusin Ski piste map promises a selection of reds and blues, the reality is that this humble little collection of short runs is best viewed as a beginner’s haven. It’s basically really well-suited for first-time riders looking to escape the larger crowds of nearby Zakopane and Białka Tatrzańska. The longest runs clock up a total of 1,200 metres in length. The shortest nursery slopes are an easy-going 200 metres from start to finish.
The six runs are all served by a collection of drag-lifts and two separate chairlifts,. One of those is a brand-new Bartholet-Porsche six-seater that covers the full extent of the longest piste. Nifty. There are no cross-country ski slopes at Rusin Ski resort.
There is an official ski school located on the resort, which offers private, hour-long lessons starting at 70 PLN (just below average for this part of Poland).
The snow making facilities ensure the season runs in-line with that in Zakopane (late December to late March). In addition, the whole ski field is flood lit for evening riding during the height of the winter. Ski rental services are plentiful. Find the at the entrance to the resort, or in the nearby towns of Bukowina Tatrzańska and Białka Tatrzańska.
Where to stay for skiing in Rusin Ski
Aside from a few sporadic hotels set along the road that leads up to the top of the pistes at Rusin Ski, the vast majority of accommodation options here are centred in the quaint and charming mountain town of Bukowina Tatrzańska.
Famed for its wealth of spa resorts and thermal springs, this little highland village actually has plenty of luxury hotels.
Be sure to check out Hotel BUKOVINA. It’s got its own thermal spa facility and indoor and outdoor pools. It also comes with billiards rooms and plush suites with flat-screen TVs. Exquisite
If you’re in need of something a little more budget-friendly, consider bedding down in Ośrodek Wczasowy Anna or Ośrodek Wczasowy Panorama. They are both nestled in the hills just down the road from the Rusin Ski slopes themselves.
Where to eat near the Rusin slopes
The Tatra foothills spring up all around Rusin Ski, coming littered with a clutch of charming Polish taverns. The best of those include Bury Mis, just on the edge of Bukowina Tatrzańska. And then there’s timber-clad Szalas. That’s a classic Polish Karczma (pub, tavern and restaurant combo) complete with roaring wood fire and hearty regional meals.
On the pistes of the resort there is also a single Karczma Regionalna. That offers a range of classic Polish foods and flavours from the Tatra highlands. You can expect the likes of smoked sheeps’ cheese and bubbling Zurek soups.
Après in Rusin Ski
With the resident crowd of locals at Rusin Ski heavily weighted to school kids, families and beginners, it’s hardly surprising that the après offering here is a little on the slow side. Most skiers will enjoy a Slavic beer or two with lunch (provided they aren’t the designated driver – because Rusin Ski isn’t really accessible by foot). Alternatively, retire to nearby Bukowina Tatrzańska for the evening’s enjoyment. It’s got some low-key pubs clustered in the shadow of the mountain.
If you like the sound of Rusin Ski’s beginner-friendly vibe, but also want to let loose a little once the salopettes are off, consider heading back to Zakopane (20 minutes’ drive by car or half-an-hour by local bus). Tat offers WAY more in the evening. In addition, the thumping party town of Krakow lies just under two hours’ journey to the north. Rusin is a potential day-trip destination from there if you have a car.
How to get here
Rusin Ski is best accessed from Krakow airport just to the north, but is also well-connected to Katowice. Journey time from Krakow by car on route S7 takes around 2-3 hours, depending on traffic. Local buses may take just a little more than that. On-site parking is available, but can get busy during the height of the season and on Polish national holidays.