Cheap Ski Resorts

The world’s best for budget skiing.

Flaine

All round resort , 265km well-groomed pistes, Ski in/...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Intermediates
  • Snow-sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Pas de la Casa

Largest ski area in Andorra, Great place to learn, Va...

Great for:

  • Après Ski
  • Cheap
  • Tax free shopping

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Sestriere

Relaxed atmosphere, Cuisine & Culture, vast Milky Way

Great for:

  • Families
  • Snow-sure
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Les Menuires

Value 3 Valleys resort, Outstanding skiing opportuni...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Livigno

One of Italy’s highest , Duty free shopping , Authen...

Great for:

  • Late season
  • Après ski
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Bansko

Ski World Cup slopes, Traditional architecture, Bulga...

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Night Skiing
  • Cheap ski holiday

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mayrhofen

Freestyling heaven, Tyrolean charm, Altitude & Snowbo...

Great for:

  • Families
  • groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

La Plagne

Paradiski Ski Area, Bobsledding, High Altitude Skiing

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Glacier Skiing
  • Off Piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Zell am See

Unparalleled panoramic skiing , Exceptional on piste...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Shopping
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Cervinia

Great for beginners, Ski 2 countries in 1 day , Glaci...

Great for:

  • Snow sure
  • Families
  • Beginners and intermediates

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

Driving, self-catering and bagging equipment hire and lift pass deals helps make skiing any old resort cheaper - but if you’re staying in one of the world’s cheapest ski resorts, you can keep all costs gloriously low.

That’s not to say you’re completely roughing it… These resorts often crop up as the world’s biggest and best for things like snow quality, family holidays and après – for a cracking week that doesn’t cost mountains.

Top 10 Cheap Ski Resorts

This is hands down one of the easiest resorts to drive to from the UK, which can shave quite a chunk off travel costs. The savings needn’t stop when you arrive: Even the simplest apartments are parked in first class spots, thanks to nearly the whole thing being ski in, ski out. Many come with free access to spas and pools to boot, so even when self-catering, you’re not fully roughing it… Home-cooked suppers are a canny choice - especially if you fill the car with supermarket food on the way over. But you could easily eat out all week on a shoestring – last time we checked Pizzeria Che Pierriot did a 3 course set menu for an utter steal at €10. And the good value doesn’t end on the slopes either: Flaine hogs the highest quarters of the fabulous Grand Massif ski area, so even if you scrimp with the local ski pass, you’ll be skiing some of the best snow in the country.

The Grandvalira ski area is no tiddler, with 210km of corduroy and three cracking snow parks. And Pas bags the snowiest part of it. It also has the biggest après scene, with some of the smallest drink prices in the mountains: We’ve never seen so many free shots doled out, and if you visit Paddy’s or Pas 83 at happy hour, a beer costs less than you’d spend on mineral water in other resorts. Accommodation follows suit, with half board hotels being cheaper than self-catered apartments elsewhere – and ski out apartments for an absolute steal. No-frills nosh is easy to find – McDonald’s and Burger King are always on call, and even a gourmet burger and chips at Oh! come in at €7.50. There’s also the small fact of duty-free, which makes Andorra prices a chunk cheaper than the other ski nations. The streets are brimming with shops like the Olympia department store, where everything from ski gear to scotch to shoes comes with a delightfully VAT-free price tag.

Fairy-tale Alpine charm Sestriere is not, but it’s a dream if you like to get from PJ’s to piste in a matter of minutes, with plenty of pennies to spare. Europe’s original purpose built wonder, the bulk of apartments and budget hotels are a short walk from the lifts at most. Though a good long walk’s the kind of thing you need here, with some of the cheapest, tastiest ski food we’ve ever seen: Pizzas are €6 a pop at Le 2 Stagioni - proper Italian ones that put pricier restaurants to shame. So it’s a good thing you’ve got a calorie-burning ski area at hand, with the Milky Way’s mammoth 400km of runs reaching all the way over to France. All kinds of skiers and snowboarders can make the most of it, even if you’ve never set foot to slope before - lessons with Scuola Sci Vialattea are known to cost half of what you’d spend in France.

The 3 Valleys is the greatest ski area in the world – by size, and (many would argue) nature. But that’s not to say skiing comes at great costs too. Enter Les Menuires, a purpose-built hub of chalets, apartments and hotels, plonked in the very middle of it. Sure, it’s not as trendy or traditional a base as Courchevel and Meribel… But when lodgings cost this much less and your main priority’s the skiing, it works a treat. On top of the whole 3V card, you’ll also find cheaper lift passes which might more than suffice. Sticking to the 160km of slopes in the immediate area (many will tell you it’s the best terrain in the region) clips around €100 off the whole area price. There’s also the Belleville Valley card, which unlocks 300km shared with the brilliantly snow-sure Val Thorens. Even better news for newbies - in recent years, the local green runs have been served by six free lifts, letting you grasp the ABC’s before spending a cent.

Rumour has it the tax man couldn’t reach Livigno way back when – there was just too much of the white stuff. It still gets a shedload of snow each season, and better yet the whole place has remained gloriously VAT free. Meaning there’s a LOT of shopping to be done here, whether you’re stocking up on bargain bubbly or this season’s Barbour. You’ll find some fabulously frugal feasts: Get a table for two at Bait Dal Ghet, and a banquet of pizzas and vino can come with change for €20 (weirdly, waiting for a table can be a good thing here, as they’re known to ply you with free grappa and espressos…). All of Livigno’s taxis have a flat rate, which helps when there’s such a big resort to explore – besides shops and restaurants galore, the place is packed with budget apartments and hotels. While it may not have suited Mr Tax Man, the cracking snow record makes for a superb ski area, with 115km of slopes, deep powder trails and a ginormous Snow Park. A final (and fabulous) trump card: If you’ve ever wanted to experience one of the world’s most luxurious resorts without the 5* price tag, Swiss St Moritz is ridiculously easy to reach from here.

Ipsos Mori recently crowned Bansko the cheapest resort for families – with holiday costs coming in less than half of what you’d pay in the top Swiss, French and Austrian resorts. Granted, the ski area’s not as vast as the big guns, but totalling 75km, the slopes cover all gradients and see the snowiest conditions in the country. And with the whole place being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the scenery’s up there with the best of them. This is the land of cheap luxury: 4 star apartments in spa complexes and 5 star hotels with every bell and whistle are a smidgeon of the price you’d find elsewhere. With the town being on the larger side, there are a number of supermarkets – Valan was the cheapest last time we checked – but with restaurants like these nothing’s stopping you from eating out all week. Natasha and Spencer at The London Pub do homely British mains for under €10 (don’t miss their full English) and being on the outskirts, they usually provide free transport back to the centre.

Skiing one of Austria’s finest resorts needn’t cost a shedload, and Mayrhofen’s brimming with bargains. Innbruck’s only an hour away, keeping costs down if you’re planning your own travel - though if transfers can be included in your accommodation package, the price shrinks even more. Speaking of which, there’s a broad spectrum of digs here: from self-catered chalets on the outskirts to Snow Homes slap bang in the centre (no-frills rooms and half board meals in a local restaurant). You get a lot of pistes for your penny on the local Ahorn and Penken mountains, including the bucket-list Harakiri run and the whacking great Vans Snowpark. And the fact that every last inch has snowmaking only adds to the value. Food costs are amazing compared to the French and Swiss Alps: We’re talking three courses of hearty Austrian nosh at Bruggerstube’s for under €15, and big fat meat sandwiches for €5 at Gasser’s. When it comes to après, it’s a bit like happy hour all day long over here, with beers going for around €3 in most venues.

La Plagne’s a whopper: 11 villages, 425km of pistes… And with great size comes great affordability. You’ll find stacks of self-catered apartments, ranging from diddy ski-and-crash pads to ones with perks like pools. Though there are food shops in each village, it might be worth stopping off in Bourg on the drive in, where Lidl’s prices can be quite a bit lower. But it’s not all about DIY catering - you’ve also got all-inclusive hotels like Club Med, which save pennies by bundling food, drink, ski lessons AND a pass into the price of the hotel. For an easy-on-the-pocket night out, Bellecote’s Spitting Feathers bar serves up monster portions of nachos - with THREE happy hours starting from 5pm. When it comes to the ski pass, we tend to go for the lower-priced local one, which opens up half of the Paradiski at a hefty 225km. That often works out to be enough skiing for a week, but nothing’s stopping you from upgrading later down the line if you fancy exploring the rest...

Zell’s a full blown city - and while you’ll find all manner of luxury in its five star gourmet and spa hotels, there’s also plenty of scope to ski it on the cheap. When it comes to lodgings, opt for a self-catered apartment or 3 star hotel - views of Lake Zeller might not grace your window, but the lake, ski lifts and centre are only a few minutes away. If you’re cooking your own nosh, there are a number of supermarkets like Lidl. That’s not to say dining out breaks the bank: In resort, Kupferkessel do simple pizzas for €8 or so (there’s even a McDonald’s). Even on the mountain, you’ll find hearty soups for under €4 and Austrian fare like Gröstl with change from €10. Which is handy, as having three ski areas included in one lift pass rather ramps up the appetite: Including the local Schmitten Mountain and the snow sure Kitzsteinhorn glacier, there’s 138km of slopes to sink your skis into. They’ve even thrown in free WiFi (no nasty data charges to welcome you home) – which can be accessed all the way up to 3000m.

The wonderful thing about Cervinia is that it’s a way of skiing Alpine legend Zermatt at an absolute fraction of the price. Sure it’s less of a chocolate box charmer, and doesn’t have quite the heritage of its iconic Swiss neighbour - but what it all boils down to is that you’ve got the same stonking great ski area on your doorstep. We’re talking about 360km of pistes including the highest, most snow sure ones in Europe – not to mention world-beating powder terrain. Last time we checked, the lift passes were cheaper on the Italian side, with lessons and guides costing half as much as you’d pay in Switzerland. If you’re not fussed about the gourmet nosh over the border, eating out’s really reasonable in Cervinia: Copa Pan might not have any Michelin stars, but it’s spot on when it comes to hearty pizzas and fondue. At the end of the day, the range of accommodation’s greater here too – with self-catered apartments, budget hotels and all-inclusive options like Club Med (where food, drink, lift pass and lessons are included).

Instead of arriving with barely enough left for your lift ticket, why not go to a cheap ski resort where your ski holiday, ski accommodation and ski pass are all cheaper.

Stay in the cheapest ski resorts and your budget will go far enough to still enjoy yourself after the holiday and extras are paid for.

To refine your search to a particular country, check out our guides to the cheapest French, Italian, Austrian and Swiss resorts.

But by a country mile, the cheapest way to ski from the UK is to STAY in the UK. Instead of forking out on flights and transfers, set off on a self-drive trip to Hemel. Here there’s 160m of corduroy plus a hundred metre learner’s slope. The best things in life are FREE, like the tea and coffee from the Schuss Bar during your ski session. And when you’ve skied yourself hungry, gobble sharing platters and mains for around £10 at The Lodge, or skip straight to pudding where Ben & Jerrys and Belgian Waffles grace the menu.


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