If you are planning a skiing trip this year but you are on a tight budget, these affordable European ski destinations will give you a chance to careen through fluffy powder for less.
Unlike the super-posh resorts of Italy or the French alps, these budget-friendly resorts offer the alpine sports experience for a realistic price that even the average family can get on board with.
With cheap flights from the UK, reasonable rates for accommodation and lift passes that won’t cost you a fortune, these are just a few of the best places to ski on a budget. (Plus, keep reading for helpful tips that will make your trip even cheaper.)
Affordable European Ski Destinations
Eastern Europe is the place to head when you are looking for budget skiing. Slovenia might not have been on your radar as a travel destination, but it offers truly gorgeous alpine scenery, challenging runs and cheap and cozy mountain chalets. Vogel is located with the Triglav National Park, part of the southern Julian Alps, and it is the biggest ski resort of its kind in Slovenia. The slopes are well-groomed and very diverse – development and artificial snow-making is not permitted in Triglav National Park.
Since Vogel is located close to the Adriatic Sea, it benefits from a more humid micro-climate and receives excellent snowfalls as a result. The apres ski scene is mostly family run restaurants and the odd small inn, where you’ll be welcomed warmly with homemade gnocchi and venison. Vogel is not only popular in the winter – it is also a great destination in the summer with plenty of excellent hiking.
- Go skiing in the afternoon when everyone is having lunch – it will be much less crowded on the slopes.
- When searching for accommodation, check out the nearby towns of Bled, Bovec, Dovje-Mojstrana, Kranjska and Gora as you may find more selection there.
- If you are travelling with a family, you can save money by purchasing a family pass for two adults and one child who all live at the same address.
How to Get There:
All roads to Vogel will go through Bled, so driving to the ski resort is quite straightforward. There is a Ski Bus available departing in the morning from Bled and returning in the afternoon. There is also a train from Jesenice which will take you from Bled Lake Station to the village of Bohinjska Bistrica. From there you can take the ski bus which departs 6 times per day.
Bulgaria is one of the hottest destinations for affordable European skiing adventures and Borovets is the oldest resort. It dates back to 1896 when it was established as a hunting palace for Bulgarian Kings.
These days it is a fantastic modern ski resort with a great network of slopes throughout the Rila Mountains. It is also known for being the host of the World Cup Alpine Skiing Rounds.
- The weather is mild with lots of snow and the snow will cover the slopes from December to April.
- The ski lifts will close for maintenance for a half day every week and a full day each month, so check out the local signs so you are aware of the dates and times.
How to Get There:
Borovets is located close to the capital city of Sofia, which is served by a bunch of budget airlines including Easyjet and WizzAir. You can also find cheap deals via Bulgaria Air and British Airways.
Many hotels in Borovets will offer transfer services from the airport with your booking. Or, you could take the public bus from Sofia to Borovets. You’ll travel to Samokov, which is just over an hour away, then take a 20 minute minibus to Borovets.
Poiana Brasov, Romania
When you think of Transylvania, vampires might be the first thing that pops into your mind. However, after you enjoy a skiing holiday here you will associate this region with excellent powder rather than Dracula’s fangs. Poiana Brasov is a budget-friendly resort with plenty of superb pistes, especially for beginners and intermediates.
Also, the skiing school here has a reputation for its high quality English-speaking instructors. The resort is large and offers a total of 775 metres of vertical descent, 13 pistes with a total length of 14km.
Poiana Brasov Tips:
- Be sure to try the traditional mulled wine and the tuica – a pepper spiced alcoholic drink.
- Taxis can be an affordable way to get around. They are clearly marked and the rates are posted on the front doors of the car.
- The best time to visit is during the week, as the resort will be less crowded than on weekends.
How to Get There:
There are plenty of cheap flights available to Bucharest, Romania with budget airlines such as RyanAir. It is also possible to reach the resort via train – the nearest station is at Brasov. It is approximately 12 kim from Brasov to Poiana Brasov. The local transport company is called RAT Brasov and it offers regular transport from Brasov to Poiana Brasov with departures every 30 minutes.
These are three great options for affordable skiing in Europe. If you have any other suggestions for cheap European ski destinations, please share them in the comments below.
Bonus Tips: Saving Money on Your Next Ski Trip
There are plenty of tips and tricks that you can use to cut down the cost of a skiing holiday. For example, sometimes staying in a chalet with board will end up cheaper, because you will receive breakfast, lunch and dinner within the cost of your stay. An all-inclusive package can also be economical, especially if it includes drinks, flights, lift passes, equipment hire and accommodation.You can also cut down on expenses by taking a packed lunch up the mountain with you, rather than eating in a restaurant every day.
Before you hit the slopes, make sure that you get ski holiday insurance to cover you in case something goes wrong. Your policy should include cover for medical emergencies and injuries, as well as lost, stolen or damaged equipment. Read the fine print to make sure that you are choosing the best possible option for you – so that you are not caught with a huge bill if something happens.
Also, you may find that you can discover sweet deals by being spontaneous and booking your skiing getaway at the last minute. Many tour operators will have great deals on last minute trips, because they would rather fill the room at a cheaper rate than have it go unoccupied. The second week of January is particularly advantageous for cheap skiing deals, so keep an eye out!
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