A small and beautiful resort in Slovenia’s Julian Alps has been named the cheapest place for British travellers to ski in winter 2017/18.
With falling local prices and a rise in sterling’s value, Post Office Travel and Crystal Ski Holidays have named Kranjska Gora the most affordable resort for a winter ski holiday.
Prices for ski equipment, lift passes, ski school, meals and drinks have dropped six per cent at the resort to £325, while the low cost of ski tuition was the key factor enabling Kranjska Gora to power past Bulgaria’s Bansko (£352), a six-time winner in Post Office Travel’s annual report.
Kranjska Gora is ideal for beginners and families, home to an excellent ski school, a picturesque village and lively après-ski options, along with many quiet places to take in the superb surroundings. It boasts a black run used for the FIS World Cup races and also offers affordable accommodation for skiers.
Italy’s Bardonecchia (£347) pushed Bansko into third place and is not only the highest position ever achieved by an Italian resort, but three others – Sestriere (£410, 5th), Cervinia (£443, 7th) and La Thuile (£454, 10th) feature in the best value top 10 too. This signals a strong challenge to Eastern Europe from one of the ‘Big Four’ ski countries (Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland).
Sestriere was also easily the best value of nine world-class resorts surveyed for the report (Cervinia, Selva Val Gardena, Val d’Isère, Courchevel, Kitzbühel, St Anton, Wengen and Zermatt). UK skiers choosing Zermatt (£839) can expect to pay over twice as much. But, although Swiss resorts – also including Wengen (£712) and Saas Fee (£688) – were again the most expensive in Europe, researchers found price falls of five-six per cent.
Meanwhile, Morzine saw the biggest price fall and is the only French resort to make it into the top ten. At £400, prices have plummeted 13 per cent since last season. Overall, France is the ski destination to register the biggest drop in costs: Les Deux Alpes (£462) down 11 per cent, Serre Chevalier (£470) down 9.3 per cent and Val d’Isère (£606) down 7.6 per cent.
By contrast, UK skiers visiting the popular Austrian resorts face increased costs. The biggest rise is in Ellmau – up 4.5 per cent to £432, pushing the Tyrolean resort down to sixth place from fifth a year ago. There have also been small rises of 3.2 per cent in Kaprun (£588) and 2.7 per cent in Kitzbühel (£647). Skiers can expect to pay marginally less (1 per cent) in both Mayrhofen (£499) and St Anton (£676).
The top 10 cheapest ski resorts for winter 2017/18 (based on six-day ski pass, six-day ski/boot hire, six half-day ski school lessons, one coffee, one coke, one glass of wine, one beer, one lunch on slopes):
1. Kranjska Gora, Slovenia – £325.47
2. Bardonecchia, Italy – £347.12
3. Bansko, Bulgaria – £351.54
4. Morzine, France – £399.85
5. Sestriere, Italy – £410.47
6. Ellmau, Austria – £431.97
7. Cervinia, Italy – £442.94
8. Soldeu, Andorra – £448.86
9. Ruka, Finland – £453.08
10. La Thuile, Italy – £454.19