You’ve always dreamed of skiing down the slopes of historic (and expensive) ski resorts throughout Europe: the Swiss Alps, the Zakopane in Poland, the list goes on. But then you look at the price tag of a trip to just one of these ski destinations and…the dream quickly dies. But luckily there’s some new Hotwire coupon codes that’ll cut the cost of one of these trips by 40%…including the lift ticket! Now we can start planning our ski trip. But where to go? We’ve narrowed our list to these 6 (newly!) affordable ski resorts in Europe.
6 Affordable Ski Resorts in Europe:
Skiing is rarely considered to be an affordable hobby, but neither is it a sport restricted to the wealthy and bourgeois as it once was. While a skiing trip in France, Austria or Switzerland will likely still set you back a fair amount of money, there are many other more affordable options, particularly in emerging destinations in Eastern Europe. Although many of the more budget-friendly ski resorts have reputations that leave a lot to be desired, things are rapidly changing for the better. Provided that you take your own equipment and don’t expect local people to speak English, you’ll likely find the following six ski resorts to be both affordable and civilized:
1 – Zakopane, Poland
Located in the majestic Tatra Mountains in southern Poland, Zakopane is the country’s most popular ski resort. With a population of around 28,000, Zakopane is a fairly large place with plenty of accommodation options and attractions to suit a wide range of budgets. The most popular time of year to visit Zakopane for a skiing holiday is any time around the Christmas period or February. There are plenty of slopes for beginners as well, with the most popular being Kasprowy Wierch, Nosal and Gubałówka among others. The cheapest way to get to Zakopane is to fly to Kraków with one of the budget airlines and take a five-hour bus or train journey.
2 – Krkonoše, Czech Republic
With its beautiful nature, the Krkonoše mountain range in northern Czech Republic is home to the most popular ski destinations in the region, and they are particularly suitable for casuals and beginners thanks to the relatively shallow slopes and lower elevations, though the highest point is the peak of Sněžka Mountain at over 5,000 feet. Krkonoše is not particularly far from the Czech capital of Prague, and there are plenty of bus connections to the region. Among the most popular ski resorts in the region is the town of Harrachov near the Polish border and the resorts of Špindlerův mlýn, and for more experienced skiers, Pec pod Sněžkou.
3 – Slavsko, Ukraine
Slavsko in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine is among the most affordable ski resorts in Europe, and most visitors no longer need a visa to enter the country either. Some 80 miles southwest of the picturesque city of Lviv near the Polish border, Slavsko is a suitable ski destination for beginners, and it is home to many budget-friendly accommodation options. The most popular ski slope is Mount Trostian with a peak of just over 4,000 feet, while a new ski resort is currently under construction at the nearby Mount Zvorets. The easiest and cheapest way to get to Slavsko is to fly to Lviv and take a local train for a few hours.
4 – Bansko, Bulgaria
With a maximum elevation of around 3,000 feet, the Pirin Mountains of south-western Bulgaria are home to one of the country’s number on ski resorts; Bansko. There is also a small spa town called Banya in the region, which is home to 27 thermal mineral springs. Although Bansko had a fairly bad reputation as a ski resort until recently, a great deal of reconstruction has been done since 2009, with the resort booming in popularity during the following year. The cheapest way to get to Bansko is to take a budget flight to the capital of Sofia before taking a bus for around four hours.
5 – Astún, Spain
Located in the western Pyrenees Mountains in Spain, Astún is one of the more affordable ski resorts of Western Europe. One of the most modern resorts in the region, it is home to some 26 miles of marked pistes, and the highest point is 7,500 feet at La Raca. Astún is a suitable resort for skiers of every level, with five being designated for beginners and eighteen for experts. The ski pass for Astún is also valid at the nearby resort of Candanchú, which is slightly larger and has more slopes for beginners. The closest major cities to the region are Zaragoza and Toulouse in France, both of which are served by the budget airlines.
6 – Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
One of the most respected ski resorts in the beautiful mountain country of Slovenia is Kranjska Gora, a small town with a population of around 1,500. A historical place and very much a winter wonderland very near to the borders of Austria and Italy, the town offers plenty of accommodation options and ski slopes for a range of experience levels. The best slopes for either skiing or snowboarding are those at Vitranc, which also hosts the Alpine Skiing World Cup event every year. The ski slopes are served by five chairlifts and thirteen drag lifts. Most visitors to Kranjska Gora take a bus or train from the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.