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Some budget options in Europe

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ok so I’ve only been skiing twice, once to Ischgl and once to Val d’isere, and about to go to Bansko in January (i like change).
Next trip after that I want to surprise my father with a trip away somewhere but want to keep the price down as much as possible. Just bought a house hence choosing bulgaria next year and want somewhere cheap the year after too.

Only thing that puts me off about Bulgaria is the very limited amount of slopes. Are there any decent family type resorts which don’t cost an arm and a leg? Austria and Val d’isere cost approx 2000 each all in with spending money and would like to half this if possible lol.

I’d love to go to the alps again or maybe austria but found them very expensive (as we are big drinkers), so other options would be appreciated.

Looking for;
Good amount of slopes enough for 7 days
Any time of season doesn’t matter
Decent price for equipment/passes & beer


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 2-08-19 22:06; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Andorra has some reasonable deals out of holidays and half terms. Gran Valira is pretty big
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Ischgl and Val D et al are premium price resorts. But they are also premium price for a reason - they are good and there are enough people with the budget to pay.

No matter which resort you go to there are ways to save - mostly around nabbing cheap flights/accommodation when available and not eating/drinking in the restaurants too much. So this means getting a last minute TO deal (works well at less busy times) or Self Catering with packed lunches.

On top of this there is the option to downgrade resorts. So for example I skied La Norma one year were the apartment was much cheaper as was the lift pass. Flip side it's a smaller ski area with mostly French clientele and quiet apres.

There are definitely options lying between Val D and Bansko!
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Ischgl wasn’t too expensive for food and drink but as we booked late it was super pricey for accommodation. Val D’isere was just silly at 12-13 euros for a beer! But the skiing was unbelievable at both areas.

Do most people book package deals here or independent? Booked with crystal last year and it went smooth
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If your not fussy with no fixed dates, then consider last minute.

At least there is good food in bansko if you like your meat dishes
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nba2005uk wrote:
Ischgl wasn’t too expensive for food and drink but as we booked late it was super pricey for accommodation. Val D’isere was just silly at 12-13 euros for a beer! But the skiing was unbelievable at both areas.

Prepare to be disappointed with Bansko and other smaller (and cheaper) ski areas.

nba2005uk wrote:
Do most people book package deals here or independent?

It's a mix but there is probably more DIYers on here than in the wider general public. That is because there are lot of ski nuts who either have apartments, love nearer the mountains or simply know what they are doing in terms of organising a ski trip. But people know both.

nba2005uk wrote:
Booked with crystal last year and it went smooth

The big companies like Crystal are fine as long as they are fine if that makes sense. But if there are staffing issues it can all go tits up or if there is travel/weather issues don't expect them to manage it well. Who knows though, you could book 3/4 holidays with them and not have any issue. They will be very vanilla. But a lot of people use them when they start doing trips.
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Saalbach or Söll.
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@nba2005uk, how old is your dad? If he’s under 55 you can do UCPA (Action Outdoors) on some weeks and share a twin room.

For that budget I’d probably look where I can fly cheaply to Solvenia, Czech rep, Serbia etc. There is some decent skiing there, but not on the scale of Ischgl or Val D’Isere. You may be ruined now having experienced that Wink

Or go somewhere ‘different’ for the experience. There are some good value package details to Finland, and surprisingly Norway and Sweden are not as expensive as you’d think (if you don’t drink much and self-cater rather than eat out).

For my own interest I quickly priced up a week in Åre, Sweden flying from Gatwick to Åre-Östersund.

EasyJet: £85 return inc 20kg bag
Bus transfer: £53 return
Accommodation: £175 (each for 2)
Lift pass: £193
Ski hire: £107
Total £613 each

Accommodation is the biggest variable. I chose the cheapest 30m2 apartment in Åre village. It can be done cheaper staying in other parts of the resort, or more expensive of course. Dead easy to DIY via skistar website.
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Why not look at a snow head bash?
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queenie pretty please wrote:
Saalbach or Söll.


I dont think saalbach can be called a budget resort!
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@Mr.Egg, plenty of value accommodation in Saalbach.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
queenie pretty please wrote:
@Mr.Egg, plenty of value accommodation in Saalbach.


in Saalbach? or do you mean around the saalbach ski area.... most places charge per person even when sharing. Lots of cheaper options elsewhere...
Then there is the £250+ ski pass.
Completely different kind of budget compared to somewhere like Bansko where you can go for £500 inc. half board, lift pass, hire, transfers, flights. Beer is less than £2 & massive meal less than £10
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Look at Sunweb for a semi DIY option and book your own flights, or drive. Last season we got an accommodation and lift pass deal for £289 for a week. This valued the accommodation at £3 per night once the cost of the list pass had been deducted!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
nba2005uk wrote:
Ischgl wasn’t too expensive for food and drink but as we booked late it was super pricey for accommodation. Val D’isere was just silly at 12-13 euros for a beer! But the skiing was unbelievable at both areas.

Do most people book package deals here or independent? Booked with crystal last year and it went smooth


I stopped skiing in EK ten years ago just because of the silly prices. I doubt France as a whole misses me!

However, if you want great skiing and budget prices try staying out of resorts. Pettneu just outside of St Anton is an example, try Booking.com/Airbnb/Trivago to get the best value accommodation. Best go very last minute as well. The TO's do have great prices even in high season.

As regards value for money resorts look at Italian ski resorts, but do your homework on snow conditions especially. snoweye.com
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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The Espace San Bernado is great value for money, a good variety of slopes in France and Italy with almost 200kms of pistes. The resorts are La Rosiere in France and La Thuile in Italy. Both are very reasonable compared to the mega ski-stations nearby and La Rosiere gets more snow in a season than Val d'Isere. The area is covered by a single lift pass, well worth a look.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It's 2 years since I went to Val D, but I'd love to know where you pay 12-13 Euro for a beer?
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@nba2005uk, to be frank, after 2 weeks skiing i doubt anywhere will really be too small! Italy can be better value. No idea re Austria. No idea re places East.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Has your father skied in the past?
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Westendorf can be done very reasonably, and has good links to a big ski area.

We went in March, it was fab.

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3215022&highlight=#3215022
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My father is late 50’s. He has skiid in past although a long time ago. I just know he wouldn’t enjoy bansko too busy on the slopes and too many stags lol. I’m going to Bansko this time around with the boys so its a different trip.

I’ll look into Italy as a few have suggested it.

What are ‘TO’s?’
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I usually find the best deals are with T.O, wait until 3-4weeks prior to departure, that is often when their pricing is best. plus you then have a view on the 'state' of the season, country, resort.
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you'll find some cheap places in Alps for a decent price in http://www.snowtrex.com

bulgaria, slovakia, poland, czech will be a huge step back after places you already have been.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
nba2005uk wrote:


What are ‘TO’s?’


Tour operators who do package deals like Crystal Ski, etc.

If you want to DIY, look at airports you are prepared to travel to & where they fly.
Work out how long you are prepared to allow for transfers.
Anything under 90mins, then you are looking at Geneva, Innsbruck, Salzburg & Maybe Turin at push. 2hrs & a bit then add in Venice, Lyon/Grenoble/Chambery, etc.

Once you have settled on an airport/Transfer time, you can start looking at resorts. Forget large French Ski domains for cheap budget, you could look at Maurienne Valley though (Esp. if Flying Lyon/Grenoble/Chambery).
Austria is a small country, so again, lots of options with a 90-120min transfer.
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Quote:


queenie pretty please wrote:
Saalbach or Söll.


I dont think saalbach can be called a budget resort!

Probably not, although there are ways of minimising costs, and budget accommodation available, and now with 408km of skiing to go at, it represents good value. From the feedback I get the prices are more reasonable than St Anton and Ischgl (as well obviously as the big French/Swiss resorts).
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Val Cenis in the Maurienne Valley would probably suit:

https://www.peakretreats.co.uk/winter/ski-resorts/maurienne-valley/val-cenis
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Val Cenis / Aussois / Valloire would all do the trick. Lots of options . . . flight to Geneva and train or bus to Maurienne. Go direct to hotel

If you went for Valloire you could get the train to St Michel and there is a bus up the hill https://vente-bellesavoieexpress.fr/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/M8_2019.pdf
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You don't need to go to eastern Europe in order to do a skiing holiday for under £2k pp.

In fact you don't need to go there in order to do one for half that.
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@mikeycharlton, yeah right. None of my 15 trips to date have been anywhere near that cost. The PreBB last year was probably about the most expensive because I spent hours in the bar each night, but was still under £1500.

It all depends what you’re willing to book in terms of accommodation and when you can go. For a trip in late January or March (whichever dates don’t clash with school holidays) I’d say a trip for a grand is quite doable, in fact it’s what I’d usually budget.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
They cost more like 1800-2000. Ischgl was mainly our fault as booked so last minute, accommodation was very limited. Val d’isere was for my 30th birthday and cost a bomb on food and drink.

We just booked Bansko for £650 each (inc passes and equipment), and this was the second cheapest option available for mid January. No school holidays during that week as far as I’m aware. This was with 2for1 lift passes too.

I will definitely look at the options people have recommended though thanks all!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We booked to La Tania with Silver ski catered chalet with transfers and ski carriage for under a grand with lift pass
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Holland .. everything within a few kms

https://www.snowworld.com/zoetermeer/nl
http://www.dutchwaterdreams.nl/
https://elysium.nl/faciliteiten/saunas
https://www.deapresskihut.nl/
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nba2005uk wrote:
Ischgl wasn’t too expensive for food and drink but as we booked late it was super pricey for accommodation.


Food and (particularly) drink is also cheaper pretty much anywhere else in Austria too wink

I reckon Saalbach is a good shout too.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@nba2005uk, Silly you!!

If you're going skiing mid-January you are best waiting until just after New Year! All the TO's prices are weighted on some punters (like you!) booking way in advance of the ski season. This is the 21st century, best deals are a week or 10 days before going, when you can check out the current snow conditions, weigh up the best deal for Chalet/Hotel/SC and choice of resort and departure point. Whilst your Bansko-deal may currently look cheap, in the days before you depart for Bulgaria there will be quite a choice for you elsewhere.
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@skimastaaah, take it easy on the lad.

And actually, booking really early isn't always so bad for deals...
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@skimastaaah, not always easy to keep the troops calm when you’re booking for a group either, lots of people get nervous.

If you’re spending £1800 on a trip then you either have expensive tastes or are missing a trick. If that’s what you’re spending for self catering then you can definitely do it for a lot cheaper.

I’m currently budgeting a Japan trip for £2500 with 9 days skiing and 2 days in Tokyo. I’ve possibly undersold the food/drink allowance but I’ve also spent more on the hire car than was needed....although I’ll tell you after the trip if I actually stay anywhere near the budget!

This isn’t having a dig, just saying that you could be doing better with a bit of research and asking questions on snowheads.
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Klamm Franzer wrote:
Look at Sunweb for a semi DIY option and book your own flights, or drive. Last season we got an accommodation and lift pass deal for £289 for a week. This valued the accommodation at £3 per night once the cost of the list pass had been deducted!


Excellent suggestion. I don't know how Sunweb do some of the offers they do. Some offers include flights, transfers, accommodation, ski pass and ski/boot rental! And you can mix and match, removing or adding elements as you require.

My only caveat would be, is to check the exact accommodation on Trip Advisor or such like. For instance, some of the apartments they offer in Val Thorens are a real dump.
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skimastaaah wrote:
@nba2005uk, Silly you!!

If you're going skiing mid-January you are best waiting until just after New Year! All the TO's prices are weighted on some punters (like you!) booking way in advance of the ski season. This is the 21st century, best deals are a week or 10 days before going, when you can check out the current snow conditions, weigh up the best deal for Chalet/Hotel/SC and choice of resort and departure point. Whilst your Bansko-deal may currently look cheap, in the days before you depart for Bulgaria there will be quite a choice for you elsewhere.


Spot on. If you are flexible on where you want to go, then you can amazing deals last minute with Tour Operators. Often, they have already booked and paid for the flights and accommodation, and so they are desperate to get of them. Just give them a call and be cheeky, and claim that you have suddenly got some time off from work, but you don't have much money. That way, they don't feel you are taking the mickey.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Some unbelievable deals on sunweb. Never come across it before.
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nba2005uk wrote:
Some unbelievable deals on sunweb. Never come across it before.


They are kosher, but do please check the accommodation on Trip Advisor, as some of it (at the lower end) can be total dregs.

Also, they often include a ski-pass, but that might just be for your local area and not the full ski area. But they give you an option to upgrade. And I would imagine that where they include a transfer from the airport, you maybe waiting for a number of hours before enough flights have arrived for them to fill the coach.

But yer pays yer money, and you takes yer choice.
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Sunweb was/is a huge Dutch Travel company but its now HQ in Switzerland.
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