Thursday, April 4, 2013


I am searching for a destination that I can fly to and back next Sunday, no Visa required for entry, there is snow left, and I have not been there before.

This is surprisingly difficult. First off, I've been to most of the the easy places. Secondly, many of our neighbouring countries have visa requirements. I travel so much that I may never be able to leave my passport in the Russian embassy for six working days, for instance. Does someone know if I can get a second passport in Finland for this purpose?

Secondly, a day trip works best when I can fly direct. A six hour wait in Copenhagen or Frankfurt will not help,  as getting to a ski area also takes time... at least a few hours both ways, and I obviously want some time at the area as well. This time I could probably return early Monday as well, but in general, it is not easy to find flights. Particularly when I do not want to pay for that last remaining business class seat.

Here are the European countries that I have not been to yet:
  • Iceland: Difficult to find flights that get there early enough on the day.
  • Ireland: Is there snow or indoor skiing?
  • Lithuania: I'll do this someday, as there is a very interesting indoor ski place. But it seems like a waste to do it during the winter. And there no direct flights on Sundays.
  • Belarus: Requires a visa.
  • Russia: Requires a visa. 
  • Greece: No snow, ever.
  • Portugal: No snow?
  • Hungary: The best ski area closed two days ago.
  • Ukraine: No visa required, great! But is there something to ski?
  • Romania: Is there snow?
  • Croatia: No easy flights, but otherwise this would be very interesting. Could I drive there from Milan?
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina: Is there snow?
  • Serbia: I know nothing about this place. Snow?
  • Moldova: No visa, great! But is there snow?
  • Montenegro: Snow?
  • Monaco: No snow, ever. (Or is there?)
  • Albania: This would be great, is there snow? Are there flights?
  • Macedonia: I know nothing about it.
  • Kosovo: I know nothing about it.
  • Bulgaria: Is there snow?
Any ideas? Do I have any friends in the above places that could provide some advice?

Photo credits (c) 2013 by Jari Arkko


  1. Some extra info...

    Serbia: There are great ski resorts in the south of Serbia, might even be snow left.

    Romania: Skiing is supposed to be decent in the Transalvianian mountains, might be snow left.

    Greece: They actually do have ski resorts, but here the snow if probably gone by now, and they are a ways from Athens.

    Croatia: The mountains are pretty far from Milan. Would be better to fly to e.g. Vienna and drive down.

    Bulgaria: They surely have snow still, and supposed to be great mountains for skiing.

  2. Sorry for posting in Finnish, but this is not that relevant for non-finns :)

    Tiedän ainakin yhden tapauksen, joissa ainakin Helsingin poliisi on tulkinnut passiasetuksen 9§ varsin väljästi (muistaakseni kyseessä oli paljon leimoja kaukasukselta ja työmatkoja yhdysvaltoihin)


    Uusi henkilökohtainen passi voidaan antaa voimassa olevaa passia peruuttamatta, jos voimassa oleva passi on ulkomaan viranomaisen hallussa tai ulkomaan viranomaisen passiin tekemät merkinnät estävät matkustamisen toiseen maahan ja jos uusi passi on tarpeen hakijan työn tai muun erityisen painavan henkilökohtaisen syyn vuoksi.

  3. Lithuania is quite a short drive from Riga (where you can definitely get flights to/from)...

  4. Thank you both for the replies!

    I also got some information from my friend Jarmo, like Zach pointing me to ski areas in Greece ( and Cyprus ( How did I miss Cyprys? Unfortunately, there is no snow left in their ski areas and no money left in their banks :-)

  5. For Greece, Hiutale crew was there few years ago:

  6. Kimvais: Unfortunately, the ski arena in Druskininkai, Lithuania is on the wrong side of the country. 4:58 hours from Riga airport and 4:57 hours from Warsaw airport :-)

    Actually, I'm getting a bit desperate by now. I was keeping Lithuania as the backup option, but I'm not sure I can find anything. Croatia was looking good for a moment, but then it turned out that their open ski areas aren't open on weekends, only on weekday evenings...

  7. No skiing, that I know of, in Ireland, but they did have a horrendous blizzard 2 weeks ago that still left villages cut off this week.

  8. Mark: As I was searching for possible destinations, I came across this interesting artificial slope: Unfortunately, they closed yesterday. And won't be open when I'm Dublin next month :-(

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