Oliver Lynch

Oliver Lynch

Long time traveller who is all about food, language and doing random stuff. Also writes screenplays and drinks lot of beer.

Winter Is Coming! Where Are Europe’s Best Value Budget Ski Resorts?

Summer holiday done? Maybe it’s time to think about where to head this winter…

If you’re heading to the slopes this winter, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting the best deal. Us here at Gone Travelling are always waiting for the next winter season, so if you’re like us and you want to be getting the most bang for your snow buck read on.

These are the best value ski resorts in Europe for beginner to intermediate skiers and snowboarders. We’ve based this list on:

  • Cost of lift pass.
  • Cost of accommodation.
  • Value for money for food/drink.
  • Apres ski options.
  • Options for beginners and intermediates.

So, read on for our advice about where to get your snow fix this winter!



 

Krvavec, Slovenia

Early morning in Krvavec – pic: Lena1

This compact resort in this pretty compact country is ideal for beginner to intermediate skiers and snowboarders. It doesn’t have the sprawling valleys of the French Alps to keep you occupied for a week, but you do have two great cities half an hour from the slopes; Both the capital Ljubljana and smaller university town, Kranj, are a stones throw from the mountain.

What this means is you get an affordable lift pass plus access to some culture in the evenings, if thats your kind of thing. This also means very cheap food and drink and great apres…

Cost? Do-able under £500

Zakopane, Poland

Enjoying Zakopane – pic: Whiteside Holidays

We ran a whole article about Zakopane as we were that impressed! Just to save you reading the whole article again… It’s super cheap, it’s not far from Krakow airport and you have a fantastic selection of slopes from mountains to smaller runs.

If you’re a beginner or you’re looking for budget skiing or snowboarding then we can’t recommend Zakopane highly enough.

We recommend Whiteside or Go Ski for your affordable all in ski and snowboard packages.

Cost? Easily do-able under £500.

Sauze D’Oulx, Italy

The Italian Alps – pic: Miras_72

Just across the border from the much more expensive Swiss Alps, Sauze D’Oulx has an awesome array of slopes, plus a great town packed full of nightlife. Oh and it’s much cheaper than Switzerland or France!

Sauze is generally geared more to intermediates with around half the runs ‘red’. The ski area also links in to neighbouring Sestriere which is also a great place to base yourself.

Cost? £500-700 all in.

Bansko, Bulgaria

Clear run at Bansko – pic: Yossi2

The stalwart of the cheap ski scene, Bulgaria has quite a few cheap options but Bansko is the best of the bunch. The slopes are a decent mix of beginner and intermediate, although access is via one fairly cramped gondola.

The mountain slopes have enough variety to keep all but the most demanding busy for a week and the town has excellent apres and cheap food and lodgings. Easily one of the best deals out there for beginners and bargain ski deal hunters.

Cost? Under £500.

 

Sumava, Czech Republic

Lipno in the Sumava area – pic: Iva Balk

Similar to Zakopane in Poland, Sumava has several smaller resorts spread out around a picturesque national park. Definitely more suited to beginners or casual intermediates, you’ll be able to practice your turns on simple and nearly empty slopes. You’ll need a different lift pass for each ski area but at around €15 per day each you won’t be too bothered.

Apres ski isn’t exactly bumping, but you will find quaint Czech bars and restaurants where you can eat and get drunk for loose change.

Cost? Well under £500.

St Anton, Austria

Austria’s Zillertal Alps at Mayrhofen – pic: Oliver Lynch

Us at Gone Travelling have had some great times in Austria. Both Mayrhofen and St Anton are great resorts with a massive range of slopes and apres ski options. Plus, they’re pretty damn cheap considering you’re getting world class pistes.

Take a look at any of the ski package providers and pick a resort in Austria as you can be rest assured you’ll be getting some great deals. From St Anton to Zell-am-See to Ellmau, it doesn’t really matter where you end up. The apres will be easily as good as the skiing.

Cost? From around £500 and up.

Grandvalira, Andorra

Andorra’s slopes

One of the original budget ski destinations, Andorra is high in the Pyrenees and duty free. The Grandvalira resort is a result of joining up the massive and popular Soldeu, El Tarter and Pas de la Casa resorts into what is now the fifth biggest ski area in the world. Add to the fact that it’s relatively cheap and you’ll looking at a bargain ski holiday.

Andorra is notorious for it’s raucous apres ski, so expect to be downing plenty of those duty free bevvies.

Cost? From around £500 and up.

Oukaimeden, Morocco

Oukaimeden in Morocco pic: Simon White

Hang on, what? Morocco for skiing? Well… The country is fringed by the Atlas mountains so of course there is some half decent skiing. Honestly, it’s not going to be giving Val d’Isere or Zermatt a run for it’s money any time soon, but when you consider you can get a lift pass for around £10 you can’t really complain.

Oukaimeden is more the sort of place you go to for a day or so when you’re in Morocco anyway, rather than as a proper ski destination. If you’re on a winter sun break to Morocco, why not give it a shot? If nothing else you’ll be able to say you carved up the snow with a view of the Sahara desert!



 

Find Your Budget Ski or Snowboard Holiday

Looking for the best deal on budget ski and snowboard breaks can be a case of weighing up costs, transfers and whether or not to go self catering or half board.

To find the best price we recommend the following sites:

  • Inghams: Offer great great selection of premium resort packages and several cheaper ones too.
  • Ski Total: More premium options in most of the more popular resorts. Worth checking their deals pages and getting in on the early bookings.
  • Sunweb: Some of the best budget snowboarding and ski deals at many of the best resorts. Definitely worth a look.

Our site is paid for by advertising so if you do book please use links on this page.


Been on a good budget ski or snowboard holiday recently? Got any recommendations as to where to go or who to use? Comments below are welcome!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Andorra brings back memories of hanging upside in a bar from skis that were nailed to the ceiling, while two barmaids poured neat spirits into my mouth! Damn, we should go back 🙂

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