Bet on Bulgaria: Survey Says Go East for Bargain Ski Breaks
Skiing enthusiasts seeking a bargain this winter should steer clear of traditional destinations and head east to less-considered options such as Bulgaria and Slovenia, according to a new survey.
The report, by Post Office Travel Money, assessed the cost of a six-day ski break for a family of four – including tuition costs, lift passes and food – in resorts across the globe, and came out with a revealing range of prices.
The resulting list gives pride of place to Bansko, the Bulgarian resort – where the six-day cost was calculated as £818.
In contrast, the same holiday in the Swiss resort of Nendaz cost £1,829, and £1,879 at the Winter Park in Colorado.
Rated the best value and the most suitable option for novice and intermediate skiers, Bansko was also deemed to be 17 per cent cheaper than in 2010.
For cash-strapped families, the survey also revealed that ‘Kids Ski Free’ deals and price discounts in resorts have sent prices downhill for both Europe and North America – by up to 31 per cent.
Sarah Munro of Post Office Travel Money says: ‘This year’s report revealed welcome news for cash-conscious family skiers.
‘We found good examples of price cuts in most of the resorts surveyed – especially in North America.
‘Prices are more competitive than before in the bargain hunter’s resort of Bansko in Bulgaria, and Switzerland is working hard to combat the negative impact of the poor exchange rate.’
With the exception of Switzerland, where the franc is strengthening against the pound, Brits will find that prices have fallen by up to 20 per cent compared with their highest point in 2009.
Family ski and boot hire was cheapest in Ellmau in Austria.
At £188, this was less than half the £385 charged in Les Menuires in France’s Trois Vallées.
This helped to push the Austrian resort’s prices down 11 per cent from their 2009 high, making it the cheapest of the ‘Big 4’ European ski destinations surveyed.
Resort costs in Ellmau were 34.6 per cent lower than in Nendaz in Switzerland – the highest-priced of the traditional ski destinations, where a 9.5 per cent rise in value for the Swiss franc disguises the fact that costs locally are on par with last year.
Of the resorts surveyed, Selva in Italy had the highest ski-school prices in Europe.
Six days’ tuition cost £722.94 – nearly a third more than the £552 in Les Menuires and 75 per cent higher than the £413 in Ellmau.
For families not needing tuition, the Italian resort was cheaper than France for a lift pass and ski equipment.