For many, getting a great value holiday is a priority when searching for the next ski trip. With pints and mountain lunches costing an arm and a leg in the well-known fashionable resorts, it’s obvious to seek out some cheaper alternatives.
Although less familiar ski resorts will cost a lot less to book and in resort, it is worth taking into account the compromise. Often these resorts are smaller ski areas, are quieter and at low altitudes with less chance of reliable snow, so it is worth adding up what you value you most in a ski holiday. If it’s a vast ski area and a variety of challenging runs, it may be worth paying that bit extra for a resort that offers that. There are exceptions however, with some unfamiliar resorts in vast ski areas providing excellent value for money in prime locations to the slopes.
So what are you looking for out of your next ski holiday? If it’s a budget-friendly one then have a read through our most affordable ski resorts to point you in the right direction.
Browse our cheap ski holiday deals
Without a doubt the cheapest way to go on a ski holiday, Bansko is Bulgaria’s most modern resort ski resort having reinvested £20 million into the resort so its ski lifts are fast and comfortable and their snow making facilities are efficient. Bansko has a variety of slopes but is ideal for families, beginners and intermediates as advanced skiers will find the total slopes of 75km very limited. The town itself is very lively with a great après scene and combined with cheap food, drinks and lift passes makes for a popular destination for those looking to go skiing without breaking the bank.
Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
Located in the Julian Alps and bordered by Italy and Austria, Kranjska Gora is a beautiful resort dominated by pine forests. A quiet and family friendly resort, it’s good for beginner families looking to learn the basics of skiing. It lacks challenging terrain so is best avoided by advanced skiers with only 20km of pistes to ski and most of its runs are gentle and well-groomed pistes as well as cross country trails. But if you’re new to skiing or want to try somewhere different with the family, Kranjska Gora is a great choice with many comfortable hotels that won’t cost a fortune.
Pas de la Casa, Andorra
Although a tax haven, Pas de la Casa is not quite like the bargain it once was. Despite this, there has been a lot of investment into its infrastructure in the Grandvalira area where Pas de la Casa is situated along with Soldeu and El Tarter. The size of the area, nestled in the Pyranees Mountains, rivals that of many across the Alps with a total of 210km. It still holds a reputation of being a party town and is the best resort for those looking for a buzzing après ski scene and nightlife as the drinks are very cheap. Pas de la Casa is best suited for groups of friends and confident intermediates.
Serre Chevalier, France
Where? Not many have heard of Serre Chevalier and that’s the best bit! A quiet resort with the largest ski area in the southern Alps with 157km of slopes, Serre Chevalier is a quaint and unspoiled resort made up village clusters. Its runs are varied to suit all abilities with many of them tree-lined which makes for a picturesque descent. Its runs and ski lifts also never tend to get crowded and makes for an ideal resort to go with family, especially during peak weeks. It also doesn’t carry the typical après buzz that is seen in many French resorts which also makes it perfect for families looking for a quiet holiday.
Above all Serre Chevalier’s accommodation, food and drink and lift passes are a lot more budget friendly compared to other French resorts. (Courchevel we’re looking at you, 30 euro burger and chips? No thank you.)
Les Menuires, France
That being said, this resort in the 3 Valleys is often forgotten about. Although it’s not the prettiest of resorts, Les Menuires is the cheapest way to do the 3 Valleys whilst providing great access to its slopes. It has snow sure and off piste skiing and varied runs for a range of skiing standards both local and in its neighbouring resorts. Its cheap accommodation, especially its self-catering apartments, are often slopeside and close to the lifts meaning you’ll be in prime position to hit the slopes and have the possibility of skiing back to your door. Accommodation prices in Les Menuires are a lot more budget friendly compared to the resorts of Meribel and Courchevel which are associated with luxury accommodation and high prices even for more basic properties.
Alpbach is known as Austria’s ‘prettiest village’ with its buildings all built in a traditional Tyrolean style implemented by the law. It is also a working village with more than 100 farms in resort and your ski instructor may even be a farmer during the summer. Part of the SkiJuwel area, it combines the resorts of Niederau, Oberau and Auffach to create a network of 145km of slopes, best catered to beginners and intermediates. Forget the prices associated with St Anton, Alpbach offers some of the best prices in Austria with its luxury accommodation coming in cheaper than French standards as well as cheap restaurants and bars.
High altitude, snow sure slopes, 115km of pistes and tax free! Livigno is fantastic for snow confidence at a low cost. Attracting more advanced skiers since its off-piste ban was scrapped in 2013, it is also suited well to beginners and intermediates and well known for its freestyle at the Mottolino fun park, the best known in Italy. Livigno is 100% one for the party goers with cheap drinks and entry to clubs that don’t close way until the early hours of the morning. Plus its lift pass also includes access over the Swiss border into the neighbouring luxe resort of St Moritz, so you can feel glamorous without paying the prices!
Sauze d'Oulx, Italy
Sauze d’Oulx forms part of the Milky Way ski area which stretches across the French and Italian border offering 440km of pistes. It has the best of both worlds with high quality skiing at low costs and a party destination yet with a quiet and charming village core. Sauze d’Oulx and the Milky Way provide prime terrain for intermediate skiers but for beginners and experts, it’s not the best of choices as runs for these abilities are limited. To top it off it doesn’t cost a lot for some delicious Italian cuisine at the restaurants on the mountain or in the resort centre.