Skiing can be a fairly expensive hobby.
But despite what you may think, a wintry getaway doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
In fact, there are plenty of skiing packages on offer for around just £550pp – or even less. And that’s for a full week on the slopes.
From all-round Andorra to the dreamy Dolomites, read on for the best bargain skiing breaks that Europe can offer.
Mayrhofen is typically Tyrolean – think timber chalets, distant cow bells, a horse-drawn sleigh or two and Christmas stalls in December. Combining two mountains, this Austrian town’s pistes are well-balanced, although intermediate runs just about hold sway. A ski bus carries experts up to the Hintertux glacier.
Pubs dominate the centre, where you’ll also find the locally owned Pension Valentina. Complete with a boot room, this simple but homely guesthouse is centred on a wood-panelled dining room in which alpine breakfast buffets are served. Mayrhofen’s gondola is only three minutes away on foot.
Seven nights from £544pp, B&B, including flights from London Luton and transfers, departing December 17, via Crystal Ski.
A spirited Italian all-rounder, the uncrowded San Martino di Castrozza has three small ski areas spanning 60km of marked slopes. Intermediates are best served here but there’splenty of free-riding potential plus three snowparks and a double helping of ski schools.
The resort itself is relatively quiet but there’s a good smattering of eating and drinking venues. Trentino – the wider region – has stupendous scenery dominated by its Dolomites peaks.
Just 100m from the nearest lift, the yellow Hotel Fratazza has traditional rooms and its own Italian restaurant.
Seven nights from £518pp, room only, including flights from Gatwick to Verona, departing Jan 4, via Expedia.
Full board in France
France’s non-profit Union Nationale des Centres Sportifs de Plein Air (UCPA) pledges to make outdoor sports holidays more available for 18- to 25-year-olds.
This entails hostels that are relatively basic but modern and well run. In the Alps at the dramatic Val Thorens – Europe’s highest ski resort – the UCPA’s centre has a bar, sun terrace, games room and a large restaurant.
Linking to the Méribel and Courchevel valleys, the surrounding terrain suits all abilities.
Seven nights from £481pp, full board in a shared four-person room, including a three-day lift pass, equipment hire and instruction, departing Apr 22, via Action Outdoors. Flights from London to Geneva from £58 return with EasyJet.
New year short break
In early January, the low-key village resort of Morzine in the French Alps will still be fairy-lit and enchanting. Encompassing the linked area of Les Gets, it has 120km of mostly blue and red pistes.
Stay at Hôtel Les Fleurs – it’s outside the centre but 50m from a stop with free buses serving Morzine’s lifts. Breakfasts are continental and four-course dinners focus on Savoyard cuisine.
Three nights from £295pp, half-board, incl transfers from Geneva airport, departing Jan 2, via Ski Weekends. Flights from London to Geneva from £94 return with EasyJet.
Après-ski in Andorra
Wedged in the Pyrenees, Grandvalira is Andorra’s premier place for skiing, courtesy of three linked resorts providing more than 200km of pistes – something nowhere else outside the Alps can boast.
Gentle slopes dominate, yet intermediates have an excellent selection of blue and red runs to choose from, while the off-piste opportunities should please advanced downhillers or boarders.
The spacious Residence Andorra Apartments are a few minutes from El Tarter’s gondola, shops and restaurants.
A free bus serves nearby Soldeu’s more extensive, Catalan-influenced après-ski offerings.
Seven nights from £509pp, self-catering, including flights from Gatwick, Birmingham or Bristol, departing Dec 12 via Inghams.
Big it up in Borovets
An option for more party-minded skiers is Bulgaria’s bargain-priced Borovets, which promises cheap beer in bass-pumping basement dens. Ski-wise, its 58km of runs – mostly red or blue – weave attractively between conifers under the gaze of Musala, the country’s highest mountain.
A minute’s walk from Borovets’ main gondola and built in sober Soviet-style, the 250-room Samokov Hotel has a bar, huge indoor pool, spa, buffet-style restaurant and bowling alley. Bedrooms are dated but spacious and afford fine views. It’s hardly five-star but it’s fun and does the job.
Seven nights from £492pp, B&B, including flights from Manchester and transfers, departing Mar 11 via Crystal Ski.
Stay stylish on the slopes
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Buy for £14.99 from Decathlon.
Woman’s ski jacket
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Green waterproof lined ski trousers
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