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Go East for a bargain
Monday November 10, 2008 - Email this article to a friend

That’s the message of a recent survey to find the best low cost skiing in these times of economic hardship.

A survey from the Post Office Travel service has revealed Poiana Brasov in Romania to be the best value for money resort, with High Tatras in Slovakia second and Borovets in Bulgaria third.

Costs in a resort for a  week in Poiana Brasov including the total ski costs plus food and drink costs £200.14 according to the survey.  That compares to the most expensive resort of Vail in the USA where a week will set you back £514.86 on average.

Here at we reckon all surveys should be taken with a pinch of salt since it depends on where you stay and how much you spend but this one is respected and shows the trends.

Also you can still have a decent holiday in a so-called expensive resort if you follow some of our tips on how to save money, but the overall trend is clear. 

Eastern Europe now offers the cheapest skiing in Europe.


That mantle used to be held by Andorra just a few years ago with its reputation for cheap and cheerful skiing all fuelled by duty free alcohol. 

However the Principality decided to try to re-invent itself with a multi-million pound investment programme several years ago. The lifts and accommodation have been upgraded and so have the prices.

A 6-day ticket in the main ski area of Grandvalira now costs €210 (£168) making it one of the most expensive in Europe. 

That’s more than a pass in Val d’Isere or Verbier.

It remains to be seen whether it will work for Andorra in the long run but so far visitor numbers from Britain have dropped sharply.  It used to have 12% of the British market but that has dropped to 7%.

However those going are spending more and for us at Andorra remains an excellent choice for skiing and snowboarding. Arcalis is one of our favourite areas.


The survey reveals that of the established ski countries Italy remains the cheapest.  It has 12% of the British market and a week in La Thuile has gone up 10% since last year, but will still only cost £272.29 for a week.

If you are prepared to go long haul and want to ski or snowboard somewhere a bit off the beaten track then Argentina comes out on top.  The cost of ski passes, equipment, accommodation and food and drink is under half the price of the USA and Canada.

If you want to see what Argentina is like then check out our resort review film here on  We love the place!

If you are keeping an eye on the cash this winter you may want to look at our specialist guide on how to save money

Post Office Ski Resort Report 2008: total costs of ski prices and basic commodities with 2007 positions in brackets.  Percentage cost movements given in brackets after prices:

1 (2) Romania (Poiana Brasov) £200.04 (+18%)
2 (-)          Slovakia (High Tatras) £236.28 (n/a)
3 (1)         Bulgaria (Borovets) £241.10 (+47%)
4 (5)         Italy (La Thuile) £272.29 (+10%)
5 (-)          Finland (Ylläs)   £280.75 (n/a)
6 (3)         Slovenia (Kranjska Gora) £281.06 (+26%)
7 (4)         Germany (Garmisch-Partenkirchen) £289.97 (+19%)
8 (8)         Norway (Geilo) £307.51 (-2%)
9 (7)         Andorra (Soldeu) £318.80 (+16%)
10 (9)       Austria (Obergurgl) £354.93 (+11%)
11 (6)       France (Courchevel) £380.58 (+41%)
12 (10)     Switzerland (Verbier) £395.81 (+21%)
13 (12)     Canada (Banff) £431.83 (-6%)
14 (11)     USA (Vail) £514.86 (+55%)

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