8 Cheapest European Ski Resorts

Where are the cheapest European ski resorts?

Snowboarding isn’t cheap. When you’re dropping £150+ for a week’s lift pass alone and beer is €7 a pint, it can start to be a bit too expensive to justify. And we’re not even talking hot-footing it over to the USA to relax in a hot tub in Aspen.

So you have two options. You could move to the mountains and then prices will start to seem normal…ish. However, if uprooting your life in search of shred is (understandably) not a viable option, you need to find a cheap ‘n’ cheerful alternative.

Often these resorts don’t have the swish accommodation, monster parks or vast piste area of other resorts, but they’re incredibly affordable and offer decent untracked pow.

We’ve found a whole host of resorts where you could easily spend a week for under £500 quid. So when your bank balance drops into dangerously low figures, you won’t have to put that shred trip on the back burner ’til next year.

Bansko, Bulgaria

Fresh air in Bansko. Photo: E-Stone

Powder, few crowds and not a whiff of the Euro in sight (just yet anyway), Bansko is a long-established favourite for British bargain-hunting shredders.

It may not be a chocolate box resort, but there’s been over 80 million Euros invested in lifts, facilities and the surrounding area, so the resort is definitely on the up. It doesn’t exactly rival the Espace Killy in terms of number of runs, but there’s plenty of off-piste to explore and you can still easily find fresh lines for days after a dump.

A major bonus is you can actually afford to eat out and have a pint or seven in Bansko’s local bars, as you shouldn’t have to spend more than £2 a pint.

Flights: From £35 return to Sofia
Accommodation: offer week’s accommodation with return transfer for under £100 per person!
6 day lift pass: 172BGN (£76)
Pint: 4.50 BGN (£1.90)

Zakopane, Poland

Polish night sessions. Photo: Dan Medhurst

My Polish dentist last week said to me, “If you like snowboarding, you’ve got to go to Poland.” She’s not wrong. Poland is fast becoming one of the best affordable places to go riding in Europe.

Like Bansko, Zakopane doesn’t have the vast kilometres of pistes that the Alps does but it does have good nightlife and a variety of spots to explore without breaking the bank. Great for beginners and intermediate but probably best avoided if you’re park rat or mileage clocker – check out our feature on Zakopane here.

Flights: From £41 return to Krakow
Accommodation: White Side Holidays offer 7 nights bed & breakfast with rental, tuition, lift pass and return transfers for £395.
6 one-day lift passes: 80 PLN (£15)
Pint:  7 PLN (£1.40)

Cairngorm, UK

It’s been a good season for Scotland. Photo: CairnGorm Mountain Ltd.

Without a doubt, Cairngorm is the most popular Scottish resort. Why? Well it’s got some of the most consistent snow, lasting right up until May and sometimes even June.

It’s definitely a good idea to get up there at the crack of dawn before the crowds arrive and finish the day with a pint in Aviemore’s Old Bridge Inn.

If you can get decent snow then guaranteed you’ll be back time and time again.

Flights: From £63 return to Inverness from London
Accommodation: Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel has singles from £17 per night, while AirBnB have self-catering places to rent in the area from £40.
5 day lift pass: £160
Pint: £3.50

Vogel, Slovenia

THAT is what Slovenia looks like. Photo: Vogel Ski Center

If you’re looking for unspoilt terrain and adventure for a seriously good price, then Vogel is the resort for you.

Don’t be put off by the low altitude. Vogel is Slovenia’s most snowsure resort, getting more snow than any resort in the Alps at a similar height. The views over Lake Bohinj are meant to be spectacular.

There currently aren’t any British tour operators over there, so you won’t need to worry about it being overrun with other Brits. Just check out Cooler editor Sam Haddad’s experience there!

Flights: From £41 return to Ljubljana
Accommodation: Hostel Pod Voglom near Lake Bohinj offer rooms from £13 per night.
6 day lift pass: €141
Pint: £1.70

Monterosa, Italy

Remind me why we live in the UK again? Photo: Monterosa Ski

If you’re looking for fantastic off-piste and heliboarding, then Monterosa is worth checking out. It’s is made up of three pretty remote villages – Champoluc and Gressoney are both an hour’s drive from the Aosta valley while Alagna is a bit further.

Party animals might be disappointed to find that the après isn’t as pumping as other resorts, but it’s a great place to escape the crowds and glide through knee-deep, untouched pow.

Flights: From £37 return to Turin
Accommodation: Stay in a homestay in Champoluc with AirBnB for just £22 per night
6 day lift pass: €200
Pint: £4

Jasna, Slovakia

Like the other resorts in Eastern Europe, Jasna remained relatively undiscovered by Brits until a few years ago. You can tell that it’s not overrun with Westerners by the silly cheap prices – you can get a pint for a mere 60p!

Pow hounds will enjoy the awesome tree runs this resort has to offer. It used to be difficult to access some of the best areas. Multi-million pound investment in the resort means it’s now much better connected than it used to be.

Flights: From £41 return to Krakow
Accommodation: Propaganda Snowboards have rooms from £179pp for 7 nights including breakfast and guiding
6 day lift pass: €162
Pint: £0.60

Soldeu, Andorra

Andorra is a tiny little country squished between France and Spain, often regarded as a sweet, cheap alternative to the expensive Alps. Lift passes are half the price of those in the Alps and tax-free booze means your après is guaranteed to be eventful.

It’s well connected to Grandvalira, so you can explore hundreds of kilometres of piste. I the park looks SICK – check it out above!

Interesting titbit of info: Andorrans have the 7th highest life expectancy in the world – an average of 82 years! Maybe it’s all that fresh mountain air they’ve been breathing. Oh, and there’s no tax on booze!

Flights: From £34 return to Barcelona
Accommodation: Self-catered apartments with AirBnB start at £56 per night.
6 day lift pass: €249
Pint: €3

Les Carroz, France

Photo: Les Carroz

The Grand Massif (as the name suggests) is a vast high-altitude ski area with amazing panoramic views of the Mont Blanc mountain range. Most people stay in the resorts of Samoëns, Morillon and Flaine.

However, just a bit further down the mountain is the underrated resort of Les Carroz. You get the traditional feel of a French alpine village with good shops and ace rustic food without the mega prices you get at higher altitudes.

Also, it’s less than an hour from Geneva so ideal for a long weekend break!

Flights: From £36 return to Geneva
Accommodation: From £499 per person per week with Skiology
6 day lift pass: €242.40
Pint: €5

Know of any more of the cheapest European ski resorts out there? Let us know below!


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