If Slovakia is the next big thing in European skiing, Jasna could well be its beating heart. The country’s largest ski resort, Jasna has seen a huge investment over the past decade or so in both high-speed lifts and off-slope facilities, backed up by extensive new snowmaking.
The resort is located in the Low Tatras mountain range, which is part of the national park the highest peak of which is Ďumbier at 2043m.
The lift system is one of the best in the region, with high-speed lifts serving most of the principal runs, many of which are backed up with snowmaking. Investment is ongoing which is continually increasing the size of the ski area.
The 46km of varied terrain has something for everyone and includes 12 patrolled, in-bound freeride zones which offer some of the best off piste in the area, especially when fresh powder has fallen!
Jasná offers varied skiing on the northern and southern side of Mt Chopok, from December to May. You can also night ski on two floodlit slopes. There are 40 brand new cable cars and lifts capable of carrying more than 30,000 skiers per hour.
Beginners will find an excellent learner’s slope that can be accessed from the ski bus drop off point at Biela Put. Once they have progressed from this there are a number of easier options including the recently redeveloped Grand Jet slopes and also the Rovna Hola to Zahradky slope, a long, winding blue run that is great fun for all levels.
Overall, though, Jasna is best suited to intermediates with a large variety of red runs. The Lucky Cableway lift that has linked the north and south sides of the mountain since 2012 has opened up further terrain for intermediates.
Off the slopes and apres-ski
Accommodation has improved along with the rest of the resort facilities, and the Hotel Grand, right on the slopes, is a great option, with a wonderful spa.
Nightlife has improved at Jasna with the addition of the Happy End bar, but in general the resort can be a little quiet in the evening so think about heading to the nearby town of Liptovsky Mikulas where there are plenty of good value bars and restaurants.
There are around 15 restaurants and mountain huts serving everything from typical Slovakian specialities to burgers. One highlight is the Von Roll Restaurant at the Luková mountain station at 1670m, with its small wine cellar. For ‘hut cuisine’ try Klobúk on slope 13 Biela Pút: you get an open fire and good, home style cooking. In the evening, again Liptovsky Mikulas is your best bet for decent restaurants including Route 66, Atlas and the Soda Club. The good news is that a good meal still costs less than a tenner and a beer not much more than a quid.