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 cost of living crisis put an end to your ski holiday. Bargains are to be had across the Alps this winter, and even as far away as Canada.
Here’s our pick of the bunch…
CHEAP IN ANDORRA
Don’t let the cost of living crisis put an end to your ski holiday – there are bargains to be had. Inghams is offering seven nights in the Andorran ski area of Grandvalira, pictured, from £539 per person
Head to the little principality of Andorra, sandwiched between France and Spain up in the Pyrenees, for duty-free shopping and excellent skiing. The main ski area is called 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 plenty of budget hotels.
How to do it: Seven nights at Residence Andorra El Tarter from £539 pp based on four sharing with flights from Gatwick, Manchester and Bristol and transfers (inghams.co.uk).
Bulgaria is officially the cheapest place to go skiing in Europe, according to Post Office Travel Money’s latest ski report, with Borovets and Bansko the two best resorts. Expect reasonable runs suiting intermediates at both with pretty, tree-lined slopes.
The nightlife is lively, with good value restaurants and bars. Some of the packages offered by Crystal Ski and Inghams are dirt cheap, less than £500 for a week with hotels and flights.
How 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 lovely little Austrian ski resort of Alpbach (pictured) from £498 per person with Crystal Ski
Alpbach is a lovely 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 a few challenging runs and plenty to keep intermediate level skiers happy. Crystal Ski offers bargains for mid-January ski trips, with prices as much as 20 per cent off.
How 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 at the resort from £269 per person based on four sharing
Thanks to the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, much money has been invested in lifts and accommodation at the resort of Bardonecchia, a railway town (train lovers can reach it from St Pancras in just 9h 40m, trainline.com).
The cost of living in the resort is low, with well-priced lift passes and equipment rental. During the week it’s especially quiet, but at the weekend people flock to ski at the resort from nearby Turin. Suits intermediates after an easy-going week.
How to do it: Seven nights at Residence Tabor from £269 pp based on four sharing, including lift passes but excluding flights (sunweb.co.uk).
FRANCE FOR LESS
Not many people have heard of the resort of Les Contamines, close to better-known Chamonix and Megeve. It’s a small, friendly place best suited to beginners and intermediates, with a short bus journey from the village to the main lifts and access to 120km of slopes. Experts can also enjoy good off-piste runs. It’s at the top of a valley, with wide-open pistes above the tree line rising to 2,500 m in the shadow of Mont Blanc.
How 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 four sharing (action-outdoors.co.uk); flights to Geneva from London from £55 return.
The main resort in Bosnia’s capital is Jahorina (above), with more 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 main resort is Jahorina, with more than 47km of ski runs (one of which hosted the women’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.
How to do it: Luton to Sarajevo flights from £40 return (wizzair.com); six nights in a ‘gold’ chalet-apartment in resort and one night in Sarajevo from £660 pp (ski-sarajevo.com).