7 of the best destinations for a budget ski vacation

Winter holidays with skiing fun usually leave a big hole in your wallet, especially if the whole family is there.

But as travel experts we know: it can also be done cheaply! We have found 7 cheap ski resorts in Europe for you where the price is still right and you don’t have to sacrifice your summer vacation plans for a week of skiing.

1. Falakro, Greece

Greece is not immediately associated with skiing fun. But in the north of the country there is a ski area around Mount Falakro with a good 22 km of slopes and a total of nine lifts at an altitude of 1,615 to 2,232 meters. The different levels of difficulty offer beginners and professionals plenty of opportunities to let off steam. If you want to take a break from the descent, you can also go hiking or strap on cross-country skis and explore the area that way. The ski area is also popular with families with children, especially because of the low prices.

By the way, you can safely leave your equipment at home and rent the equipment on site, as the rental prices are usually lower than the extra costs on the plane. The only thing that takes some getting used to is the opening times: the ski area is only open from Thursday to Sunday. And the familiar Greek feeling comes when you enjoy an ouzo after dinner in one of the restaurants…

2. Szrenica, Poland

In southwestern Poland, a true ski paradise awaits you in the Sudetes. The entire region is well equipped on the Polish and Czech sides – but we are concentrating here on the Szrenica Ski Arena with its 12 km of ski slopes, three cable cars and five ski lifts up to 1362 m above sea level. You can stay overnight in the ski resorts of Szklarska Poreba or Karpacz, which are very well known and popular in Poland.

Small hotels and large holiday resorts offer accommodation in every price range. You can enjoy and have fun to your heart’s content in the countless restaurants, bars and discos. And even the little ones get their money’s worth, whether in the rope park in Szklarska or the many indoor playgrounds. Culture and shopping await you, if desired, on a trip to Jelenia Góra (20 minutes by car).

3. Gällivare, Sweden

Sweden doesn’t have to be expensive! In Gällivare you can still go skiing at reasonable prices – north of the Arctic Circle! 12 km of slopes are available here at an altitude of 420 to 750 m, until the beginning of May. So if you would like to get on the boards again in early summer, you should come here. Here there are optimal conditions for skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. And if you climb to the summit of the local mountain, Dundret, you will have a breathtaking view over Lapland when visibility is good.

Do you want more than just skiing fun? Then book a dog sled or snowmobile tour or go underground: a copper and iron ore mine can be visited nearby.

4. Bansko, Bulgaria

Bulgaria is also more likely to be thought of as a sunny country – but there are also some inexpensive ski resorts there, the best known and largest being Bansko in the southwest of the country. Almost 50 kilometers of slopes at 990 to 2,560 m altitude, 8 km of ski routes and 15 modern lifts offer something for everyone, whether beginner or professional. Numerous restaurants, bars, shopping opportunities and lots of events during the season make Bansko a highlight among European ski resorts – in 2022 Bansko was even named the best ski resort in Bulgaria at the World Ski Awards.

If you discover the area as a regular destination, it is worth becoming a member of the Bansko Loyalty Club: Here you can get vouchers, discounts and access to exclusive events, e.g. from the International Ski Federation FIS.

5. Kolašin, Montenegro

In the extensive ski arena, two areas are connected by lifts and slopes: Kolašin 1450 and Kolašin 1600. 45 km of slopes at 1420 to 2072 m and seven lifts are waiting for you here, whether on a snowboard or skis. Because of its southern location, the ski season here doesn’t start until mid-December, perfect for the winter holidays. You can easily travel by plane and you can rent your equipment for little money: a ski or snowboard set is available for €12 per day. Each additional day costs €10.

But of course the country doesn’t just offer cheap ski areas. Our tip beyond the slopes: a trip to the sea. For example, it is 125 km to Budva, which you cover through a unique landscape. In the other direction is the Biogradska Gora National Park with one of the few remaining virgin forests in Europe – definitely worth a hike!

6. Arber, Germany

Yes, you can still ski cheaply in our homeland, for example in the Bavarian Forest. In Arberland you have 11.5 km of slopes and 5 km of ski routes at an altitude of 1,050 to 1,456 m. There is something for all skill levels here, from sunny slopes for families to difficult runs below the summit of the Großer Arber.

Alternatively, you can go for a walk on the many winter hiking trails, put on cross-country skis or go tobogganing – on an illuminated track that is located directly in the ski area. The many hotels in the region invite you to wellness, where you can also use saunas or wellness areas as non-guests.

7. Les Houches, France

Only 6 km from the famous Chamonix is the Les Houches ski area in Upper Savoy. The view of Mont Blanc from here is just as spectacular as from Chamonix, but fortunately the prices are not. Here you can ski or snowboard relatively cheaply with your family: 55 km of slopes at 950 to 1,900 m altitude with a World Cup course, 15 lifts and two free-style parks offer you everything your heart desires.

In addition to ski passes for Les Houches alone, there is also the Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass: This allows you to ski throughout the entire valley, i.e. in Les Houches, Chamonix, Verbier (Switzerland) and Courmayeur (Italy).

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