Lonely Planet Writer

Where to go to get the best value on the slopes this winter

Skiers love a big freeze – not just on the piste but more especially when it applies to resort prices as well.

Ski slope in Bansko.
Ski slope in Bansko. Image by GettyRF

And as many holiday-makers look around to plan the destination of their next downhill experience, the advice for this year in Europe is: “Go East.”

Kranjska Gora in Slovenia and Bansko in Bulgaria will certainly allow you ski in the right financial direction. They are rated best value on the slopes for those seeking bargain breaks, according to the 10th annual Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report.

This assessment is carried out for Britain’s leading foreign currency provider working in tandem with Crystal Ski Holidays, who will be releasing family ski holiday information in December.

Right now for just over £277 (€308), you can buy six days of skiing as well as your equipment and tuition. And yes, Bansko throws in a meal and drink off the slopes.

Bansko, Bulgaria.
Bansko, Bulgaria. Image by Lonely Planet staff

The Bulgarian resort comes out as the cheapest destination for skiers out of 20 holiday resorts that were surveyed. Bansko has shown a clean pair of heels to all its competitors with the next best runner-up Kranjska Gora coming in at st£337.62 (€37) or a fifth more expensive than the 2015 season and about a quarter more costly than Bansko.

It’s not just Eastern Europe that is good for skiers this year – Italy’s four resorts surveyed are either cheaper or still anchored at the same rates as last year. And Sestriere is now in third place for value which makes it tops in the Eurozone.

However, the traditional snow playgrounds like France, Austria and Switzerland have witnessed something of a snowballing of prices.

Skiers in Salzburg, Austria.
Skiers in Salzburg, Austria. Image by SteFou! / CC BY 2.0

British skiers can expect to pay up to one fifth more this year in Austrian resorts and over a quarter extra across France.

Switzerland remains the most expensive of the traditional ‘Top Four’ skiing destination on a country basis, though locally the price has remained at 2015 prices.