Lonely Planet Writer

The Italian resort that is best value for family ski holidays this season

The family-friendly resort of Bardonecchia in the Italian Alps has emerged as the cheapest choice for a ski holiday in Europe. A Post Office report, produced in partnership with tour operator Crystal Ski Holidays, rated 20 European resorts as most suitable for family skiing, comparing the cost of six days’ ski and boot hire, lift passes and ski school, plus lunch and drink for two adults and two children.

The Italian resort of Bardonecchia has emerged as the best value family ski destination. Image by Getty

Bardonecchia came out on top for the first time in the 12-year history of the report, where a week for a family-of-four will cost around £1478 (€1645). The underrated Italian resort is great for families with generous snowfall and tranquil slopes that’s often overlooked in favour of its big-hitting neighbour Via Lattea. It also offers great terrain for beginning and intermediate skiing.

Cross country skiing at Pian del Colle, Bardonecchia, Turin, Piedmont, Italy. Image by Getty

Meanwhile, over in Bansko, Bulgaria’s leading ski resort, prices have risen by over 18% this year but it still offers value for money and comes in a close second place at £1487 (€1655). The Italian resort of Sestriere came in third place at £1634 (€1818), thanks to the relatively cheap cost of a child’s lift pass (around £46/€51 for six days).

There has been a slight upward trend in prices across Eastern European resorts which have traditionally been among the cheapest ski destinations. Kranjska Gora in Slovenia has risen by 23% to £1636 (€1821), coming in fourth in this year’s table. The main reason for this, according to the report, is a steep rise in the cost of equipment hire, which has increased from £294 (€327) last year to £384 (€427) this season. However, tuition remains cheaper in Kranjska Gora than in any other resort surveyed at £355 (€395) for a family-of-four.

Kranjska Gora in Slovenia has been recommended as a budget-friendly family ski destination. Image by Getty

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Ski school costs are definitely something to bear in mind because they can add hundreds of pounds to the family ski trip budget.  In today’s cash-conscious environment it is worth comparing tuition fees and swapping to a resort like Kranjska Gora where you can shave two or three hundred pounds off the price.”

At the other end of the scale, the chic, car-free resort of Saas Fee in Switzerland has been revealed as the most expensive ski resort surveyed at £2925 (€3256), a rise of 13% year-on-year and almost twice the cost of skiing in Bardonecchia.

The cost of skiing has risen by 10% in Saas Fee, Switzerland . Image by Getty

The report found that the cost of skiing has risen in two-thirds of the resorts this season but families can still bag a good deal if they plan trips carefully, swapping the high-season of February half-term for a pre-Christmas or Easter break.

The top five cheapest resorts for UK families according to the report are: Bardonecchia, Italy; Bansko, Bulgaria; Sestriere, Italy; Kranjska Gora, Slovenia; Canillo, Andorra.