Skiing is notoriously expensive. It’s all those add-ons: equipment, ski passes, lunches on the mountain… Then, again, there’s the fresh air, the sense of adventure, the exercise.
So don’t let the price of living crisis put an end to your ski holiday. Bargains are available across the Alps this winter, and whilst distant as Canada.
Here’s our pick of the bunch…
CHEAP IN ANDORRA
Don’t let the price of living crisis put an end to your ski holiday – there are bargains available. Inghams is offering seven nights within the Andorran ski area of Grandvalira, pictured, from £539 per person
Head to the little principality of Andorra, sandwiched between France and Spain up within the Pyrenees, for duty-free shopping and excellent skiing. The foremost ski area known as Grandvalira, with 200 km of pistes suited to intermediates and beginners connecting the resorts of Soldeu, El Tarter and Pas de la Casa. There are many budget hotels.
The way to do it: Seven nights at Residence Andorra El Tarter from £539 pp based on 4 sharing with flights from Gatwick, Manchester and Bristol and transfers (inghams.co.uk).
Bulgaria is officially the most cost effective place to go skiing in Europe, in response to Post Office Travel Money’s latest ski report, with Borovets and Bansko the 2 best resorts. Expect reasonable runs suiting intermediates at each with pretty, tree-lined slopes.
The nightlife is energetic, with good value restaurants and bars. Among the packages offered by Crystal Ski and Inghams are dirt low-cost, lower than £500 for per week with hotels and flights.
The way to do it: Seven nights in Hotel Mura, with hot tub and steam room, in Bansko from £425 pp B&B with Manchester flights (crystalski.co.uk).
AUSTRIA FOR A SONG
Spend seven nights in the stunning little Austrian ski resort of Alpbach (pictured) from £498 per person with Crystal Ski
Alpbach is a stunning little Austrian ski resort with slopes snaking through woods, traditional mountain restaurants, chalet-style hotels and a sleepy atmosphere.
It’s not particularly suited to expert skiers, but there are just a few difficult runs and many to maintain intermediate level skiers joyful. Crystal Ski offers bargains for mid-January ski trips, with prices as much as 20 per cent off.
The way to do it: Seven nights at Pension Furstenhof from £498 pp B&B with Luton flights (crystalski.co.uk).
DEALS IN ITALY
The Italian ski resort of Bardonecchia, pictured, suits intermediates after an easy-going week. Sunweb is offering seven nights on the resort from £269 per person based on 4 sharing
Because of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, much money has been invested in lifts and accommodation on the resort of Bardonecchia, a railway town (train lovers can reach it from St Pancras in only 9h 40m, trainline.com).
The associated fee of living within the resort is low, with well-priced lift passes and equipment rental. Throughout the week it’s especially quiet, but on the weekend people flock to ski on the resort from nearby Turin. Suits intermediates after an easy-going week.
The way to do it: Seven nights at Residence Tabor from £269 pp based on 4 sharing, including lift passes but excluding flights (sunweb.co.uk).
FRANCE FOR LESS
Not many individuals have heard of the resort of Les Contamines, near better-known Chamonix and Megeve. It’s a small, friendly place best suited to beginners and intermediates, with a brief bus journey from the village to the foremost lifts and access to 120km of slopes. Experts may enjoy good off-piste runs. It’s at the highest of a valley, with wide-open pistes above the tree line rising to 2,500 m within the shadow of Mont Blanc.
The way to do it: Seven nights in a hotel with a six-day lift pass, six days’ ski instruction, ski rental and full-board from £597pp based on three or 4 sharing (action-outdoors.co.uk); flights to Geneva from London from £55 return.
The foremost resort in Bosnia’s capital is Jahorina (above), with greater than 47km of ski runs. Tackle the slopes yourself with Ski Sarajevo from £660 per person
Bosnia’s capital hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, so it’s got great slopes. The foremost resort is Jahorina, with greater than 47km of ski runs (considered one of which hosted the ladies’s downhill in 1984) and a quaint, traditional village with amazing value restaurants and bars: £1.50 for a pint.
Non-skiers can slip away to see the sights in Sarajevo, a £21/45-minute taxi journey, including the spot where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, sparking World War I.