Restricted round-trip flights from Boston to Prague, Czech Republic, on Alitalia, Lufthansa, British Airways or Air France begin at $365 including taxes. Frequent buses and occasional trains serve the 80-mile route to Harrachov.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 420 (country code for the Czech Republic) and then the number listed below.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Sedy VLK; (481) 528-159, www.hotelsedyvlk.cz. This hotel is next to a bunny slope where children can practice as parents watch from bedroom windows. Room 201 was spotless, if spartan, and the staff was laid-back and happy. A double with breakfast is $114 per night.
Hotel Bily Horec; (481) 548-111, www.bilyhorec.cz. With a central location across from the ski jump, this is the hotel I'd reserve next time. I liked the intimate lobby with its warm interior and sepia-toned photos lining the walls. The small double room I saw, Room 102, was very clean with a new tiled bathroom. Doubles with breakfast run $56 in the shoulder season and go up to $167 for the days between Christmas and New Year's. Winter season is $96 for a double with breakfast.
Hotel Fit Fun, Ryzoviste 427; (481) 528-117, www.hotelfitfun.cz. This renovated 157-room place has all the amenities to compete with the better chain hotels, and even with kinks it is a bargain. Doubles with full Czech breakfast start at $179 a night. The meals started out a bit bland but improved as the week went on. The buffets included goulash and dumplings, pork with potatoes, cucumber salads and nice crusty rolls.
WHERE TO EAT
Sedy Vlk; (481) 528-159, fax (481) 529-284, www.hotelsedyvlk.cz. The tourist information office said this was the place for authentic Czech food; menu items ranged from $4 for beef goulash with dumplings to $10 for beef medallions Budweiser.
Verde Rosa Pizzeria; (602) 852-775. Entrees range from pizzas starting at $3.50 up to pepper steak for $10.50. And there was the ubiquitous Red Bull.
TO LEARN MORE
Tourist Information Center, (481) 529-600, fax (481) 529-425. The usual information on accommodations, events, day trips and lessons is available, but this is also a good place for using the Internet, laminating a map or buying a postcard.
www.holidayinfo.cz is nice site that shows current conditions in ski areas across the Czech Republic via chart and webcam from slopes.
RENTALS AND LESSONS
JPK Harrachov, 51246 Centrum Rotunda; (481) 529-635, www.jpk.cz. We each paid $10 a day to rent gear and the four boarders formed a small group for which they paid $104 total for four hours of lessons.