When you start adding up the costs of your skiing holiday, it can be frightening. You need to budget for ski hire, lift passes, instructor courses and additional insurance. That’s all before you’ve booked the flights and accommodation. It’s the lure of the big slopes that puts the price so high. The temptation to ski the famous Val D’Isere or Whistler is strong, but you must be prepared to pay for it.
However, there are plenty of cheap alternatives. Incredible ski resorts are opening up in eastern Europe. In many cases, the skiing is just as good as their expensive French cousins. Unfortunately, you might lose out on number of runs and vertical drop length. Check out this ski holiday infographic for the biggest European resorts. But what if we told you that the average price of beer was £1? Or that a lift pass was a third of the price of those in Switzerland? It would get you thinking. Here’s our breakdown of the cheapest, accessible ski resorts out there.
Thanks to Trysil for the image.
Janské Lazne – Czech Republic
This resort is set in a stunning forest. Think of a fairytale woodland and you’re not far wrong. The area’s name translates literally as ‘Giant Mountains’ and it doesn’t disappoint. Although they are not as huge as those in France or Austria, there are still plenty of runs. The resort is great for intermediates with its lengthy wooded slopes that go on forever.
Jahorina – Bosnia
Bosnia hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics so it’s not stranger to a great skier. If it’s good enough for the pros, it’s good enough for you! If that’s not quite enough to convince you, then the price might. A 6-day lift pass in Jahorina will cost only £65. That wouldn’t even get you a day in some large European resorts. If you’re a savvy traveller, you know the tips and tricks to cutting costs.
Jasna – Slovakia
Although the mountains are a little smaller, that doesn’t mean extreme skiing isn’t possible. Jasna plays host to Red Bull’s Free Riding qualifications. Some of the best skiers in the world descend on the resort to fight it out. The resort was not chosen lightly, it has some of the best free riding slopes in the world.
Borovets – Bulgaria
Borovets is Bulgaria’s biggest ski resort and will keep intermediates happy for months. Experts will also find plenty to keep them busy with amazing off-piste opportunities. Borovets’ real draw is its nightlife. The town is buzzing with bars and restaurants open late into the night. Oh, and their prices are the lowest in Europe.
Livigno – Italy
If you prefer the familiarity of Italian slopes, Livigno is the cheapest option. You’ll also find a huge terrain park here with pro jumps and rails.
Highlands – Scotland
A little closer to home are the Scottish Highlands. On a good day, they’ll challenge the Alps on skiing and views. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many good days as the Alps. You’ll have to do this one last minute to make sure conditions are good. If you get it right, you’ll be rewarded!
Skiing doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re willing to travel a little further and explore new slopes you’ll find a bargain. Remember, these slopes are also less crowded so benefit extends beyond price. Try one out. Your bank balance will thank you.