Bansko in Bulgaria is the Cheapest Place in Europe to go Skiing this Winter

Business » TOURISM | October 15, 2018, Monday // 10:22
Bulgaria: Bansko in Bulgaria is the Cheapest Place in Europe to go Skiing this Winter

Bansko in Bulgaria is ranked as the cheapest European ski resort for this winter in new research issued yesterday (Saturday).

A marginal year-on-year fall in resort prices mean that the Bulgarian ski spot and Bardonecchia in Italy are now better value than last year’s bargain resort of Kranjska Gora in Slovenia.

Although prices have fallen by only one per cent year-on-year, Bansko’s total cost of six days essential items at £405.20 is 10% less than in Kranjska Gora because prices there have risen by 13% to £452.

The 12th annual Post Office Travel Money ski resort report, produced in conjunction with Crystal Ski Holidays, reveals that prices have fallen marginally in both Bansko and Bardonecchia for a week’s ski holiday essentials including equipment hire, lift pass, ski tuition, lunch on the slopes and a range of drinks.

Zermatt is the most expensive resort surveyed in Europe at £1,026, although prices are down marginally by 0.3% year-on-year.

Italy is rated as the cheapest country overall, boasting four resorts in the best value top ten.

Sestriere is in seventh place (£529) despite recording a 1.4% increase in the essential items list compared with last year. Prices in eighth-placed La Thuile (£555) are down 1.9% on last season but Cervinia in tenth place at around £606 has seen a rise of 7.5%.

No French ski resorts make in this year’s top ten for value. The cheapest of five surveyed was Morzine at £608.

Elsewhere in France, Crystal Ski resort staff found some of the biggest price rises.

Visitors to Val d’Isère, at £884, can expect to pay almost 13% more this season, while prices in Courchevel (£855) are up 8.9% and they are 8.1% higher in Les Deux Alpes (£656).

However, in Serre Chevalier the same ski essentials cost just under £637, only 3.6% more than a year ago.

This year’s report features five new European resorts: Garmisch Partenkirchen in Germany, Grindelwald, Switzerland; Rauris, Austria; Trysil, Norway and Vemdalen, Sweden.

Vemdalen at £514 proved to be the cheapest of the five and has taken fourth place in the table ahead of all the Austrian, French and Swiss resorts surveyed.

Rauris emerged as best value of five Austrian resorts and is slightly cheaper than Ellmau at around £522 compared with £527. However, prices in Ellmau have dropped by more than 4% since last year, the biggest fall among the 25 European resorts.

By comparison, costs have risen 12.7% in St Anton to £922, making it 75% pricier than Ellmau.

The cost of living in the Swiss resort is more than two-thirds higher than in Cervinia, across the border in Italy, and the only other resort with access to the Matterhorn.

New addition Grindelwald at £871 is almost 2% cheaper than the cost in nearby Wengen last season.

The Canadian resort of Banff was again the best value of six resorts surveyed in North America at £563 for a week, or 40% cheaper than Vail, the most expensive at £933,

Prices in all three Canadian resorts surveyed – Banff, Tremblant (£604) and Whistler (£828) – were lower than in the US with Breckenridge at £832 and Heavenly at £845.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “There is no denying that Bulgaria is a great destination for cash-conscious skiers.
“Not only are prices in Bansko at least 10% lower than in its closest competitors, but ski essentials cost less than half those in a third of the European resorts surveyed – including top ones in France, Austria and Switzerland. Bansko is ideal for beginners but also offers challenging red runs for experienced skiers.”

He added: “With growing pressure on the holiday purse, resort costs should be a key factor in deciding where to ski this season.
“Sterling is currently stronger against currencies for most European ski resorts compared with last year so it is local prices that will make all the difference.

“We found big variations in costs across the eurozone so we urge people to do their homework.”

Crystal Ski Holidays managing director Cris Logan said: “Bulgaria is known for being a great value destination for ski so it’s little wonder Bankso has taken the top spot this year, but it’s great to see so many other resorts in the mix for price conscious customers.

“We’ve also got some new resorts featuring in the report for this year, including Rauris in Austria where we’ve featured offers such as free lift pass and equipment hire for children up to the age of 12, making it even better value for money for families.

“Pre-booking ski passes and equipment is another way those heading to the mountains this winter can reduce their costs.”

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