Macedonia: Easily Accessible Resorts; Cheap Ski Passes
The small, landlocked country of Macedonia is located in the southernmost part of what was once known as Yugoslavia. Macedonia's mountainous region boasts snow cover until the end of May, despite being one of the most southerly countries in Europe.
The once war-torn country of Macedonia is making a name for itself as a winter destination for skiers on a budget; €69 for a six-day ski pass in its leading resort. Resorts are still mostly frequented by local Macedonian skiers, particularly on weekends, as well as Albanians and Greeks. Macedonia's most popular ski resorts are Popova Sapka and Zare Lazarevski.
Macedonia's top ski resort Popova Sapka (1780 metres) is a large complex, set on the northwestern side of Macedonia, filled with hotels, bars, and restaurants. The resort has hosted both European and Balkan Ski Championships and the Sar Cup is held here every year, Feb. 15th-16th.
Popova Sapka's ski area is made up of wide open runs with a maximum skiable height of 2501 metres and features plenty of off-piste. The surrounding countryside is largely untouched and features glacial lakes and lush forests. The high altitude of the resort guarantees excellent snow cover and a long winter season.
The runs are accessed by six lifts, both chair and drag lifts, and the longest run is 10 kilometres. The resort is also connected to the city of Tetova by a seven-kilometre-long cableway which takes less than 40 minutes. Popova Sapka is easily accessible, just 48 kilometres (30 minutes) from the capital and airport of Skopje.
Located in the Mavrova national park, the Macedonian resort of Zare Lazarevski (1250 metres) is surrounded by a beautiful winter landscape. The resort offers skiing up to 1960 metres. It is also home to an approved FIS downhill as well as a super giant and giant slalom pistes.
Zare Lazarevski offers pistes for all levels, from beginners to experts. Freestylers can head to the snowpark with halfpipe while advanced skiers have their choice of tree-lined black runs and challenging off-piste. The ski area is served by two double chair lifts, one single chair lift, and several drags.
The Mavrovo region is easily accessed by car or bus. The E65 motorway passes near the Mavrovo region and the local roads connect the villages. The capital and airport of Skopje is just 95 kilometres away (approximately one hour's drive).