Step forward Andorra
The ski resorts of Andorra have been singled out as offering the cheapest skiing in the Eurozone, according to new survey analysing the cost of skiing – a subject particularly close to our hearts, given the current economic climate.
The Ski Resort Report is published annually by the Post Office, with data from the UK’s largest tour operator, Crystal. It compares the average prices of lift passes, ski hire and tuition and food and drink in ten representative resorts across Europe and North America.
Andorra is also a superb choice as a family destination: it has a reasonably reliable snow record; excellent ski schools with lost of English-speaking instructors, excellent snow-making facilities and piste-grooming fleets and plenty of slopes suitable for beginners and intermediates.
Bulgaria and Slovenia were also singled out as good bets for low-budget skiers, with Bansko in Bulgaria as the cheapest featured resort in the report. By contrast, prices in Switzerland appear to have risen by more than 26% this season – a combination of inflated resort charges in an already-expensive ski destination and the poor exchange rate with the Swiss franc. The cost of six days’ ski equipment, lift passes, ski school, drinks and evening meals for two is a whopping £654 in Adelboden, but just £362 in Bansko. In Arinsal, Andorra, it costs £367 – with prices 28 per cent less than in France (Serre Chevalier).
The USA and Canada remain the most expensive ski destinations for British budgets, even though prices have dropped more than 25 per cent in Banff, Canada.
Here are the ten selected resorts from the Ski Resort Report, with their approximate in-resort costs:
1 Bansko, Bulgaria £263.00
2 Arinsal, Andorra £367.88
3 Bohinj, Slovenia £370.95
4 Formigal, Spain £397.83
5 Livigno, Italy £451.43
6 Schladming, Austria £484.71
7 Serre Chevalier, France £508.50
8 Adelboden, Switzerland £654.54
9 Banff, Canada £673.72
10 Killington, USA £683.25
As everyone feels the pinch, resort costs have become a key factor in determining holiday destinations. According to Crystal, resorts in Andorra, Bulgaria, France, Italy and the USA are currently booking well, while Austria, Canada and Switzerland are lagging behind. There are many ways to keep costs down – by booking early; pre-booking ski equipment and lift passes; and selecting resorts with special incentives such as free lift passes for children. For more tips, see FamilySkiNews’ Keeping Costs Down, and don’t forget to check the News section regularly for special holiday offers.