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‘Ski resort costs fall in two-thirds of leading European resorts’

Prices for ski school, equipment, lift passes, meals and drinks have fallen this winter in two-thirds of European resorts surveyed in a new report.

Families planning trips during February half-term or Easter will find that prices have dropped year-on-year in 19 of 28 ski resorts rated most suitable for skiers with children, although they vary by hundreds of pounds across Europe.

While cost-conscious skiers will again find prices cheapest in Bulgaria and Italy, the cost of ski essentials in resort are higher in Switzerland.

The 15th annual Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report, produced with Crystal Ski Holidays, found Bansko in Bulgaria offering the lowest prices.

At a total of £1,358 for two adults and two children, prices have fallen by 12% in Bansko, making it the best value resort for the fourth year running.

Bardonecchia in the Italian Alps again emerged as cheapest in the eurozone for families.

Bardonecchia, runner-up in the survey to Bansko, has seen its prices fall back to £1,592 – more than 20% lower than a year ago when the resort registered a big increase in ski costs.

Comparing this season’s prices with those in 2019, the last full ski season prior to the pandemic, families can expect to pay around 2.3% more.

Among seven countries surveyed, Italy offers bargain the widest range of well-priced ski resorts, according to the research.

Sestriere (£1,761) is in third place after its prices fell 5.9% year-on-year, while Passo Tonale is fourth cheapest at £1,782, a 10.2% drop.

La Thuile (£1,887) takes sixth place with a price fall of 9.2% while Cervinia (£2,106) is in 10th place, registering one of the biggest falls at 14.4%.

Arinsal in Andorra (£1,883) is fifth cheapest, although prices are 6.3% higher than last year. Soldeu also features in the top 10 after prices fell 9.3% over a year ago to £1,941.

The remaining two places in the best value top ten are taken by the Austrian resorts of Rauris (£1,974) and Ellmau (£2,045).

None of the nine French ski resorts surveyed made the top ten, with Morzine (£2,134) best-placed in 11th position.  Elsewhere in France, there have been big price rises for Tigne (£2,868) of 8.1% and Alpe d’Huez (£2,481), where prices are up by 11.1%.

High prices in Saas Fee (£3,120) and Grindelwald (£3,119) have again made Switzerland the most expensive destination for families, although prices in Saas Fee have fallen 2.6% year-on-year.

Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “This year’s comparison of prices in all the leading European ski destinations shows that the cost of lift passes, equipment hire, tuition and living costs continues to vary by hundreds of pounds.

“This makes it vitally important for skiers looking for a bargain break to do their homework before booking a ski holiday.  Bulgaria and Italy are again looking great value but both Andorra and Finland are good alternatives to more expensive resorts in France, Austria and Switzerland.”

Crystal Ski Holidays has seen demand return to pre-pandemic levels with families keen to get back to the slopes after being denied time on the mountains for so long.

Managing director Chris Logan said: “Skiers and snowboarders have embraced the opportunity to take to the snow once again and families can look forward to taking their half term or Easter ski holiday with confidence.

“The results of this report show improved value for skiers across Europe, with Bulgaria once again offering the lowest prices.

“Whilst it’s still important for people to understand entry requirements for the destination they are visiting, the season’s looking bright and the mountains are calling.”

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