The best and worst value places for Britons to go skiing in Europe, from Bulgaria to Switzerland


Borovets in Bulgaria has been revealed as the best-value ski resort in Europe for British skiers.

That’s according to a new survey by Post Office Travel Money, which has ranked 32 European resorts by cost by comparing the prices in each one of a bundle of ski essentials – including a one-week lift pass, ski equipment, six lunches on the slopes and ski school tuition.

This basket of goods comes to £506 in Borovets. The Italian ski resort of Bardonecchia swoops into second place thanks to the bundle costing £512, while another Bulgarian resort – Bansko (£537) – ranks third.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt (£1,367) has been revealed as the most expensive resort for Britons.

Borovets in Bulgaria (above) is the best-value ski resort in Europe for British skiers according to a new survey by Post Office Travel Money, which has ranked 32 European resorts by cost

Borovets in Bulgaria (above) is the best-value ski resort in Europe for British skiers according to a new survey by Post Office Travel Money, which has ranked 32 European resorts by cost

The report was carried out using local prices for adult skiers that were supplied by Crystal Ski Holidays. Even though it’s the cheapest, it found that costs have risen by 12.8 per cent year on year in table-topper Borovets, and that prices are up by seven per cent in third-place Bansko.

Echoing last year’s survey results, Italy continues to represent the best value for Britons among the ‘big four’ ski destinations – Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland – Post Office Travel Money reveals.

Along with Bardonecchia, four other Italian resorts rank in the top 10 for value – Sauze (fourth, £611), Sestriere (fifth, £635), La Thuile (sixth, £678) and Cervinia (ninth, £711).

The Italian ski resort of Bardonecchia is the second-cheapest resort for Britons. Four other Italian resorts rank in the top 10 for value

The Italian ski resort of Bardonecchia is the second-cheapest resort for Britons. Four other Italian resorts rank in the top 10 for value

Even though it's the cheapest, prices have risen by 12.8 per cent year on year in table-topper Borovets

Even though it’s the cheapest, prices have risen by 12.8 per cent year on year in table-topper Borovets

The rest of the top 10 comprises Ellmau, Austria (seventh, £702), Morzine, France (eighth, £704), and Finland’s Ruka resort (10th, £716).

The three Swiss resorts surveyed have emerged as the most expensive for British skiers, again reflecting last year’s survey results. 

Post Office Travel Money says this is in part because the strong Swiss franc has risen more than the euro against the sterling.

Of all the resorts, prices in Saas-Fee (30th) are cheapest at £1,178, almost 11 per cent more than last season, while visitors to Wengen (31st) can expect to pay £1,311 for the barometer items, a rise of 22 per cent – the highest in the survey.

The price of the ski bundle in Zermatt has increased 15 per cent year on year, the survey notes.

When it comes to family ski breaks, Bansko in Bulgaria has been named the best value – much like last year – with a bundle priced at £1,547 (that cost is for a family of four – two adults and two children aged six and eight).

The Bulgarian resort is almost 12 per cent cheaper than the second-cheapest resort for families, Italy’s Bardonecchia resort (£1,749).

Generally, Italy offers the best choice of competitively priced ski resorts for families as it does for adult skiers, Post Office Travel Money reveals.

It says that all five Italian resorts surveyed for family skiing are in the best value top six: Passo Tonale (third, £1,766), Cervinia (fourth, £1,972), Sestriere (fifth, £2,003) and La Thuile (sixth, £2,158).

Another budget solution for families is Arinsal, Andorra (£2,190), which ranks seventh in the best value table.

The rest of the best value top 10 for families is completed by two Austrian resorts – Rauris (eighth, £2,193) and Ellmau (ninth, £2,300) – and by Finland’s Ruka (10th), where family prices have risen just 2.9 per cent to £2,303. 

Following the pattern of recent years there is still no top 10 place in the family table for a French ski resort, Post Office Travel Money notes.

Post Office Travel Money compared the prices of a bundle of ski essentials for adult skiers, from the price of a ski pass to the cost of lunches on the slopes

Post Office Travel Money compared the prices of a bundle of ski essentials for adult skiers, from the price of a ski pass to the cost of lunches on the slopes 

In 11th place, Morzine (£2,409) is the best placed of nine surveyed in the family ranking, while Tignes (22nd, £2,926) is the most expensive, albeit with a price fall of 1.1 per cent on last season’s levels.

Switzerland is the most expensive destination by far for families, the study reveals. Prices in both Saas Fee (25th, £3,568) and Grindelwald (26th, £3,633) have risen by over 10 per cent. 

In Austria, Saalbach (24th, £3,238) and Kitzbuhel (23rd, £3,146) come closest to matching the high price of Swiss resorts.

The Bulgarian ski resort of Bansko, pictured, where a basket of ski essentials comes to £537, ranks third for value

The Bulgarian ski resort of Bansko, pictured, where a basket of ski essentials comes to £537, ranks third for value 

The Swiss ski resort of Zermatt (pictured) has been revealed as the most expensive resort for Britons

The Swiss ski resort of Zermatt (pictured) has been revealed as the most expensive resort for Britons

Post Office Travel Money notes that families planning trips during the February half-term or the Easter holidays need to be aware that prices have risen in all barring one of the 26 ski resorts that were rated most suitable for skiers with children. 

However, it adds that well over half (16) of those increases were below 10 per cent.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Nick Boden of Post Office Travel Money says: ‘With every penny counting this year, make sure you get more for your money by changing cash before leaving home rather than at the airport or ski resort where you risk getting a poor rate. 

 

When it comes to family ski breaks, Bansko in Bulgaria has been named the best value for families. Prices shown are for a family of four (two adults and two children aged six and eight)

When it comes to family ski breaks, Bansko in Bulgaria has been named the best value for families. Prices shown are for a family of four (two adults and two children aged six and eight)

‘Take enough cash to cover ski and living costs and be aware that transactions of over £500 will get you a better rate in our branches or on the Post Office website.’

Chris Logan, Managing Director of Crystal Ski Holidays, adds: ‘Customers are more cost savvy than ever, with bookings for places that offer the best value to UK travellers, like Bulgaria and Italy, particularly good. 

‘Another excellent bang for the British buck isn’t yet featured in the report because this season will be our first year operating there. But Bosnia and Herzegovina is a brand new budget destination offering excellent snow and great activities as well as rich culture and history.’



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