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Italy Provides Best Value for Skiers

That’s the claim from the Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report by the UK’s largest ski operator, Crystal Ski Holidays. PlanetSKI has been given a peak of it ahead of the main annual report in December. UPDATED

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The analysis looks at 30 main resorts across Europe.

It concludes that Italian resorts are likely to offer UK skiers the best value at a time when Bulgaria’s bargain destinations, traditionally the lowest priced in Europe, are off limits to UK visitors.

Entry to Bulgaria for UK visits remains prohibited at time of posting this article (13th October 2021) and, for this reason, Bulgarian ski resorts have been excluded from the Ski Resort Report pending a change to that position.

All five Italian favourites surveyed for the report are among the 10 resorts with the cheapest prices.

Bardonecchia rates as best value of 30 European ski resorts after the cost of ski passes, equipment, tuition and living costs fell 6.4 per cent to £505.10.

Italy’s Sauze d’Oulx (£588.78, prices down 1.2 per cent) and Sestriere (£601.98, up 0.4 per cent) take the runner-up spots ahead of the cheapest French and Austrian resorts.

Prices in fourth-placed Morzine (£630.88) have increased by just 1.4 per cent, enabling the French resort to overtake Ellmau (£661.62, 7th) in the Austrian Tyrol, where costs have risen by 6.9 per cent.

“Each year Morzine consistently ranks highly in the Post Office’s best value listing,” said Sara Burdon from the Morzine tourist office to PlanetSKI.

“We’re pleased to see that we are once again the best value French resort, and in the overall top 5.

“Great value lift passes for one of the world’s biggest ski areas, and keen competition between small scale local businesses keeps costs low and quality high.

“After a difficult period we’re now looking forward to an incredible winter season.”

Although prices are up 6.2 per cent in Soldeu (£651.96), the Andorran resort is sixth cheapest in the survey and remains one of the best value choices.

Similarly, Finland’s Ruka (£662.17) offers a value alternative to more expensive Austrian and French resorts, taking eighth place after recording a price fall of 3.2 per cent year-on-year.

Three more Italian resorts complete the top 10.

La Thuile (£640.83, down one per cent) is fifth cheapest, while Cervinia (£663.35, -4.7 per cent) is ninth, and Selva (£693.04, -6.1 per cent) is in 10th place.

La Thuille, Aosta Valley, Italy

La Thuille, Aosta Valley, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Crystal Ski Holidays is adding Cortina in Italy to its programme for this winter.

“We’re offering more than 700 accommodations, in 10 destinations across over 100 resorts, including the addition of Cortina d’Ampezzo,” said the MD of Crystal Ski Holidays, Chris Logan.

” This season will be on a par with our pre-covid programme. But we appreciate there’s still a level of uncertainty about travel and that people want reassurance.

“Our Crystal Holiday Promise does just that, giving Covid-19 flexibility, fee free changes and package holiday refund guarantee”.

Lets get back to the mountains. Image c/o Crystal Ski Holidays

Boosted by the buoyant pound, prices have fallen in one-third of the 30 resorts surveyed, with the most marked falls in resorts that feature in the best value top 10.

The biggest price increases have been in Austrian and French resorts.

In Austria, prices have risen by 10.1 per cent in Kitzbühel and by nine cent in Zell am See, while in France they are up 8.1 per cent in Les Menuires and by 6.9 per cent in Val Thorens.

Swiss resorts rate as the priciest of all with Saas Fee (£1,024,63), Wengen (£1,037.31) and Zermatt (£1,147.64) each registering totals exceeding £1,000.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

However, prices have remained steady in all three resorts compared with their world class competitors in France and Austria.

Prices have risen by 4.3 per cent in St Anton (£950.82, 26th) and 5.2 per cent in Val d’Isère (£1,001.58, 27th).

“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,” said the Head of Post Office Travel Money, Nick Boden.

“This makes it vitally important for skiers looking for a bargain break to do their homework before booking a ski holiday.

“Italy is again looking great value but both Andorra and Finland are good alternatives to more expensive resorts in France, Austria and Switzerland.”

The barometer is based on prices for one week (six active days) for one adult.

The items surveyed were:

1.     Ski lift pass for one week (6 days)

2.     Ski equipment for one week (6 days)

3.     Ski school tuition (5-6 days half-day lesson)

4.     Cup of coffee

5.     Bottle of Coca Cola

6.     Glass of house wine

7.     Bottle of beer

8.     Six lunches on the slopes

Image © PlanetSKI

Image © PlanetSKI

 Best value European ski resorts showing year-on-year percentage price rises and falls:

1.     Italy: Bardonecchia       £505.10           -6.4%

2.     Italy: Sauze                   £588.78           -1.2%

3.     Italy: Sestriere              £601.98           +0.4%

4.     France: Morzine            £630.88           +1.4%

5.     Italy: La Thuile              £640.83           -1.0%

6.     Andorra: Soldeu           £651.96           +6.2%

7.     Austria: Ellmau             £661.62           +6.9%

8.     Finland: Ruka               £662.17           -3.2%

9.     Italy: Cervinia               £663.35           -4.7%

10.  Italy: Selva                   £693.04           -6.1%

The Post Office offers around 60 currencies for pre-order at around 7,000 Post Office branches or online for next day branch or home delivery.

3,600 larger Post Office branches stock the leading currencies and around 7,000 offer euros over the counter without pre-order.

These can also be ordered online for same day ‘click and collect’ at selected branches, next day collection at any branch or home delivery.

Image © PlanetSKI

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