Looking to hit the slopes this winter? Check out this handy guide to finding Europe’s most affordable resorts.
It’s almost time to dust off the salopettes, find the goggles hidden underneath the bed and open the ski wax for the first polish of a brand spanking new season. If you’re looking for inspiration for where to go on a budget then look no further. The following guide is based on a six-day lift pass, equipment hire, ski school and lunch on the slopes.
Top spot goes to Kranjska Gora right on the border between Slovenia, Italy and Austria. Expect great skiing at a fraction of the cost of its more fashionable neighbours.
Considering its pedigree (Bardonecchia hosted the snowboarding events in the 2006 Winter Olympics) it’s amazing the resort has remained affordable. This is probably owed to the high number of great ski resorts across Italy.
This charming resort is popular with Russians and Greeks looking to hit the slopes come winter. Bansko is also home to some exceptionally long and challenging runs which make it perfect for both beginners and experienced skiers.
Sestriere is a popular resort with young Italians looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Turin and Milan. Aprés is best served with pizza – this is Italy, after all!
One of only two French resorts to make the list, Morzine has it all – great snow, alpine runs and good connections to other resorts so you never run out of options.
Austria boasts some of the best ski slopes in the world. You probably won’t find too many opportunities at Ellmau because of the low altitude, but it’s well connected by local bus routes to other resorts in the SkiWelt area.
There’s nothing quite like skiing past the Matterhorn mountain. Cervinia’s skiing is top rate with a good mix of challenging and laid back runs, and large enough to mean you never have to hit the same slope twice in one day.
Soldeu goes pretty high (2,580m) for the Pyrenees, which can start to suffer from slush earlier than the Alps. Since 2007, the resort has hosted regular world cup races so you know the skiing will be good!
Most people wouldn’t think of Finland when it comes to planning a ski holiday, but Ruka is popular with fellow Nordic nations, as it boasts the best terrain for cross-country skiing (a leg-crusher of a pastime) and snowmobile tours.
Only last year La Thuile hosted three World Cup competitions (two downhill and one super G). The former mining town is now one of the best resorts in Italy with loads of runs that vary from short and simple to long and intense.
France’s second oldest ski resort is still great value for money. You’ll find year-round skiing conditions on Europe’s largest skiable glacier and some impressive vertical drops that will set hearts racing.
The information used in this article comes via Post Office and Crystal Ski Holidays.