Czechs are enthusiastic and gifted skiers, and the country's northern border regions with Germany and Poland hold many small ski resorts. Czechs generally acknowledge the Krkonoše Mountains, which straddle a border with Poland, to be the best. Experienced skiers may find the hills here a little small and the facilities not quite up to international standards. (Hard-core Czech skiers usually head to Austria or France.) Nevertheless, if you're here in midwinter and you get a good snowfall, the Czech resorts can make for a fun overnight trip from the capital. All the area ski resorts are regularly served by buses leaving from Florenc.

Černá Hora. Černá Hora is 180 km (112 miles, about a four-hour drive) east of Prague. The resort has a cable car, one chairlift, and a couple of drag lifts. The "Black Mountain" is not the biggest of ski resorts, but is often fairly quiet, meaning less waiting and a nice unofficial run, with plenty of forest to explore, directly under the cable car. Cernohorská 265, Janské Lázne, Královéhradecký. 840–888–229;

Harrachov. On weekends, when you want to take in some crisp mountain air and clap on a pair of skis, head for Harrachov. In the west of the Krkonoše, around 120 km (74 miles, a three-hour drive) from the capital, the resort offers red and blue runs served by two chairlifts and 11 rope tows. This small and friendly resort is ideal for beginners and intermediates. Harrachov, Liberecký. 481–529–600;

Skiareal Špindlerův Mlýn. The biggest and most popular ski resort in the Czech Republic is Skiareal Špindlerův Mlýn, which is 160 km (99 miles, about a 3½-hour drive) from Prague. The twin slopes, Svatý Petr and Medvedín, gaze at each other over the small village and offer blue, red, and black runs served by four chairlifts and numerous rope tows. Weekends here are mobbed to a point well past frustration. Špindleruv Mlýn, Královéhradecký. 499–467–101;