Janské Láznê is a ski resort and spa town located in the Czech Republic in the Hradec Králove Region. It has a population of about 850 and is best known for hosting the 1925 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and the 1937 Workers' Winter Olympiad.
It is near the other ski resorts of: Pec Pod Snežkou, Černy Dul, Velká Úpa, and Svoboda Nad Úpou. All of these places share a ski bus so that if you stay in one town, you can still explore all that the other ones have to offer. Plus, they're all relatively easy to get to from Prague.
We took a 3 hour bus ride from Černy Most (the main bus terminal in Prague) with many stops (but only 1 transfer) along the way. Some beautiful countryside scenery. Some dilapidated buildings. All in all an easy, uneventful journey.
Our one transfer was at Svoboda Nad Úpou where we met a really friendly Czech guy. He saw us looking lost and helped us figure out the next bus to our final holiday destination. Apparently he had lived in Missouri with a host family for a while and loved being able to practice his English. What a small world! So with his guidance, we safely made it to our hotel.
It's a small enough town, one main road really, that it's virtually impossible to get lost. While English isn't the main language, you can still make your way around. And those that do speak it are enthousiastic to have the chance to practice it with you! There are quite a few menus with English translations and every place we visited we managed to not only get by but also enjoy our time there.
Our hotel had recently been rebuilt and everything was spotless. It was a cute, quaint, atmosphere. Unfortunately for us, the small town spirit also meant that businesses chose when to be open and when to close. Which, happened to mean that most of the mom and pop stores (which is most of the businnesses in the town) were closed for the first couple of days of our visit. Note to travelers, buy your groceries in Trutnov or some other large town before arriving here. Or, like us, you may be at the mercy of store owners whimsical operating hours.
Which, lead to us finding our favorite restaurant and staff. Hotel Arnika . While we didn't stay at the hotel, we did have quite a few dinners there. The food was always delicious, the waiting staff attentive, and the prices unbeatable!
We got our snowboard lessons from K + K ski school. Our first day with Jan was interesting. It was good to have someone show us how things worked with buying the tickets and how to use the lifts. Especially since none of that was in English. It's pretty simple though. It's a points system. A certain amount of points to go up various lifts, and a certain amount of points if you come back down using the lift. And at the end, you deposit your card into a machine and it returns money to you.
Also nice was this really cozy restaurant/hotel about 10 minute walk from the top of the lift that we stopped at for lunch that we may never have found without the help of our instructor. Lee found a new favorite soup, Soljanka. And I thought that the hamburger was delicious. Plus, the water is fresh from their own well!
So, our first day on the slopes was a bit tricky. It hadn't snowed recently and it was foggy and there was more ice than snow. Not ideal conditions to learn in. But, if we could snowboard in this then fresh powder would be nothing. Luckily for us, by the next day it had snowed a bunch and by the end of our trip we were almost making it down the mountain.
Overall, we found it to be a very pleasant and welcoming community. Maybe even the best kept secret in Tsjechië!
-To plan your trip from Prague to your ski resort by public transportation, use THIS WEBSITE . Note that exact time tables may not be available until a few days in advance.
-When travelling from Prague by bus: buy reserved seats. This can be done at the main bus terminal where you buy your tickets if you haven't already done so through the website. That is, unless you want to be one of the passengers left standing or sitting in the aisle. (Yes, the bus really did get that crowded.)
- And, the cross country buses DO NOT announce what stop their pulling up to. So if you have multiple transfers, be sure to check the time of arrival and when in doubt, ask! :)
-For hotels and more information on the town CLICK HERE
-The best snow forecast for the area can be found HERE