Europe’s cheapest ski resorts for 2024 aren’t where you’d think

Europe’s cheapest ski resorts for 2024 aren’t where you’d think

A ski resort in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been named the value for families, toppling a Bulgarian resort from the top spot for the first time in a decade.

Jahorina is a new addition to an annual ranking and the cheapest of 32 family resorts included in the Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report 2024, which was produced in partnership with Crystal Ski Holidays.

The cost analysis was based on the price for a family of four (two adults and two children aged six and eight) for a six-day ski pass, ski and boot hire for six days, 5–6 half days of ski school, various drinks and six lunches on the slopes.

This year, eight new resorts that were rated as suitable for family skiers were included in the report.

Bansko in Bulgaria was the cheapest family option in the 2023 report, but has fallen to sixth place following an increase in ski school prices and a 27 per cent rise in its total one-week holiday cost.

In a separate breakdown of the best value options for adult skiers, an Italian resort was the cheapest. Bardonecchia dislodged Borovets in Bulgaria, which had been the lowest cost destination for several years.

In Bardonecchia, the shopping list of ski holiday activities and items came to a total of £531.65 per person for adults.

Chairlift. Melezet. Bardonecchia. Piedmont. Italy. Europe. (Photo by: Giorgio Mesturini/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Bardonecchia in Italy was the best-value option for adults (Photo: Getty)

There was an 8.2 per cent year-on-year increase for the cost of one week in Borovets, meanwhile, with the common ski holiday costs coming in at £553.98pp.

Borovets is now the second cheapest resort for adults, followed by two new entrants to the annual report, Le Corbier in France (£611.32) and Livigno in Italy (£614.25).

The first Spanish resort to be included in the ranking, Baqueira Beret, was the seventh cheapest for adults (£695.63).

Of the 36 places included in the analysis of adult ski resort costs, the three most expensive were in Switzerland, with Zermatt showing the highest price (£1,334.76).

Year-on-year price rises were moderate in most resorts that had featured in 2023’s report. However, there were cost increases of more than 10 per cent in two resorts named in the adult holiday costs survey and two in the family resort ranking.

Prices had fallen year-on-year in more than half of the family resorts.

And, despite the high cost of living, consumer research for Post Office reveals strong demand for European ski holidays following heavy snowfall in the Alps. Twelve per cent of people surveyed in a poll of 2,001 adults were planning a ski trip between December 2023 and April 2024.

A third of those planning to take a ski holiday would be going as a family.

After Jahorina, their money will stretch furthest in Passo Tonale, Italy, where prices had fallen 6.6 per cent since the 2023 survey. The included costs for a week for a family of four came to a total of £1,677.95. Italy also had the third cheapest resort for families, Bardonecchi (£1,751.70).

The most expensive resort for families is Niseko, Japan, followed by Kitzbühel and Saalbach, both in Austria.

Laura Plunkett, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Many parents taking their children skiing will want them to attend ski school and the cost of this can add considerably to a ski holiday.

“Before choosing a ski resort it will therefore make sense to check our barometer to compare tuition costs.”

The consumer research revealed that fifty-seven per cent of family skiers planned to increase their budget, 36 per cent said they would stick to the budget they had allowed for their last trip and seven per cent were looking to cut back.

Cost-reducing tactics suggested by the family skiers who do not intend to increase their budget include self-catering, eating out in cheaper restaurants and reducing the number of skiing days. More than one-in-five plan to swap to a cheaper ski resort this season.

Chris Logan, managing director at Crystal Ski Holidays, said: “With the rising cost of living, offering value for money when it comes to ski holidays is more important than ever before.

“We’re continuing to see strong demand in destinations that offer great value to bargain-conscious Brits, with Italy remaining a firm favourite for our customers for the winter 2023–24 season – which is consistent with the top 10 best value resorts for adults as outlined in this report.

“We’ve also seen growth in budget-friendly destinations such as Bosnia and Herzegovina since it was introduced last season.”