No doubt about it, Europe has great slopes to offer skiers of all ages or skills. But if you venture up the most famous mountains in Austria or Switzerland, they’ll set you back a pretty penny, with expensive ski passes, overpriced food, pricey accommodation… you name it.
However, snow hounds on a budget, shouldn’t despair. Europe still has many great destinations where you can speed down snow-covered mountains at lower prices. We’ve gathered our top five spots for budget skiing in Europe, located in five different countries. We’re here to help you plan your next European ski trip, the cheapo way!
Top 5 destinations for budget skiing in Europe
Located about 100 miles from Sofia’s airport, Bansko has the longest ski season in Bulgaria, with snow-covered slopes from mid-December to mid-May. The town is nestled at the foot of the scenic Pirin Mountains and features a quaint old town square with stone buildings mixed in with modern lodges and restaurants that have popped up in recent years.
The ski runs are located in two main areas: Chalin Valog (3,600 – 5,250 feet) and Shilgarnika (5,577 – 8,202 feet). Although it does offer one black ski run, this ski resort is more suitable for beginner or intermediate skiers. Snowboarders can try out new tricks at the Balkans’ first snow park, complete with a half-pipe for ripping up the flakes.
Hotels: Rates start as low as $30 for a double room in Bansko. Search for accommodations in Bansko.
Slovenia’s best-known ski resort is located a mere four miles from the border of both Italy and Austria, but you can blaze down the slopes here for far less cash. Kranjska Gora, a narrow valley situated between the Julian Alps and the Karavanke, offers nearly 20 miles of ski slopes serviced by 16 ski lifts, as well as breathtaking alpine views.
This family-friendly ski resort has several slopes ranging from around 2,600 to 5,325 feet. Although most of the trails are geared towards the beginner or intermediate skier, the Podkoren trail is more demanding. In fact, some of the world’s best skiers compete on this run every year for the acclaimed Vitranc Cup in men’s slalom and giant slalom races.
Hotels in Kranjska Gora: Rates for four-star hotels start under $70 per night. Search over 140 hotels in Kranjska Gora.
Because of its remote location high up in the mountains of northern Italy, Livigno ski resort is known to locals as “Piccollo Tibet” (Little Tibet). Located near the Swiss border, Livigno makes an excellent alternative for skiers on a budget. Not only are the prices far less than their Swiss neighbors, this area, known as the Spol Valley, also enjoys a duty-free status. This means you can hit the slopes, then shop ‘til you drop, before partaking in a little lively après ski party time. Most suited to intermediate skiers, Livigno does have a handful of black runs as well as a snow park.
Hotels: The village of Livigno is comprised of three original villages that have merged to create a resort town that runs about 2.5 miles long. When choosing accommodation, make sure you have easy access to the ski lift and amenities. Although the village does offer a free ski bus service, the service doesn’t run regularly and stops fairly early in the evening. Search over 350 hotels in Livigno.
Located just over an hour south of Munich, the ski area on Brauneck Mountain has a lot to offer skiers of all ages and abilities. A family-friendly ski resort, Brauneck has everything from children’s areas with ski schools to cross-country ski trails and World Cup ski runs.
The town of Lenggries has a storybook charm. You’ll find plenty of guesthouses off country roads that serve up local Bavarian cuisine and beer at a nice price. If you want to add some sightseeing to your ski vacation, great sights and cities such as Munich, Salzburg, Oberammergau, Germany’s Romantic Road, and Neuschwanstein are all an easy drive an hour or less away.
Zakopane is a ski resort nestled in the Tatra mountains, about two hours south of Krakow. An airport transfer bus from both Krakow and Katowice is possible, with prices ranging from $90 for 1 to 3 people. Most lifts in the area offer a pay-as-you-go rate. For beginners, this means lower prices than the more common day pass at other resorts, and more advanced skiers hankering to hit the slopes hard will still pay less than they would at pricier resorts in Western Europe.
Zakopane also boasts plenty of cheap eats and bargain drinks, so be sure and chow down on some pierogi washed down with a Polish Zywiec beer after your day of snowy fun. Check out our guide to Zakopane, Poland’s premier mountain resort.
Hotels in Zakopane: Rooms can be found for $50 and under per night. Search over 1,000 hotels in Zakopane.
Do you have a favorite ski slope that won’t break the bank? Let us know in the comments!
The post 5 Affordable Ski Villages in Europe: The best budget-friendly slopes appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.
Source: Euro Cheapo