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Bansko in Bulgaria regains top spot for cheapest family skiing but Italian resorts rate best for value overall.


Families planning a ski holiday this winter will find the cheapest prices in Bansko, according to the latest Post Office Travel Money Family Ski Resort Report.

The report is produced in partnership with the UK's largest ski tour operator, Crystal Ski Holidays.

The report found that prices have dropped since last season, making the Bulgarian resort best value by far of the 25 European ski resorts surveyed - nine of these included for the first time.

  • Bulgaria's Bansko is cheapest for family skiing out of 25 ski resorts surveyed
  •  Italy trumps Austria, France and Switzerland to take four of the top five places in the Family Ski Resort Report
  • Prices have fallen in six of the most popular European resorts - but families can expect to pay over 10 per cent more in Grindelwald and Kranjska Gora

Crystal Ski Holidays says Italy is a family favourite destination, thanks to the family friendly resorts and variety on offer.

"It is no surprise to see Bansko take the number one spot. The resort has been offering great value skiing for families for many seasons," said Crystal Ski Holidays Managing, Chris Logan.

See here for more on Crystal Ski Holidays.

"Italy has also dominated this year's results when it comes to great value family ski holidays. Four out of the top five resorts in this year's findings are in Italy showing there is real value in the destination.

"As we approach the start of the season, the report will hopefully give families some ideas as to where they can book this winter's ski holiday."

Chris Logan, Crystal Ski HolidaysChris Logan, Crystal Ski Holidays

The report compares the cost of six days' ski and boot hire, lift passes and ski school.

Plus lunch and drinks for two adults and two children for the same number of days to give a realistic view of what it will cost a family of four on a one week holiday.














Passo Tonale


Ski pass (6 days)






Ski/boot hire (6 days)






Ski school (5-6 half-day lessons)












12 cups of coffee (large)






12 glasses of Coca-Cola (small)






12 glasses of wine (50cl)






12 bottles of beer (25cl)






Six lunches on the slopes for four


















2019 vs 2018 % +/-






Bansko, BulgariaBansko, Bulgaria














At £1,530 for one week's ski resort costs, Bansko has overtaken last year's survey leader Bardonecchia (£1,622) to regain its place as the best value for a pound-stretching ski holiday.

Prices have dropped by 0.3%  in Bansko but a 9.8% rise in the Italian resort means a family of four can expect to pay nearly £100 less in the Bulgarian resort than in Bardonecchia, the 2019 runner-up.

Italy emerges as this year's best value country when it comes to the wide choice of low-priced ski resorts it offers.

Bardonecchia is one of four Italian resorts that dominate the top places in the Family Ski Resort Report.

Two of these - Passo Tonale (£1,736 4th) and Claviere (£1,759, 5th) - have been included for the first time.

They join Bardonecchia and Sestriere (£1,725 3rd) in the best value top five.

La Thuile (£2,075, 10th) also features in the top 10.

Bardonecchia, ItalyBardonecchia, Italy













"While Bansko offers unbeatable value overall for families on a tight budget, resorts in the Italian Alps are a great choice for a pound-stretching ski holiday,"  said the Head of Post Office Travel Money, Nick Boden.

"With few exceptions, we found that Italian ski resorts were cheaper than in Austria, France or Switzerland.

"It is also worth noting that some ski essentials are cheaper in Italian resorts than in Bansko. For example, a week's family ski lift pass costs less in Bardonecchia, Sestriere and Claviere, while  ski and boot hire is cheaper in Passo Tonale. It all depends what you need to pay out for."

While two Austrian ski resorts - Ellmau (£1,858, 7th) and Rauris (£1,943, 8th) - join Arinsal, Andorra (£1969, 9th) in the best value top 10, none of the seven French resorts surveyed have made it into the leading 10 resorts.

Tignes, surveyed for the first time, was most expensive of the seven new additions at £2,547.

Morzine (£2,089) was highest-placed in 11th position and benefited from a four per cent price fall. It was one of six resorts surveyed this year where prices have fallen:

1. Ruka, Finland -4.3%
2. Morzine, France -4.0%
3. Les Deux Alpes, France -2.2%
4. Saas Fee, Switzerland -0.8%
5. Cervinia, Italy -0.3%
6. Bansko, Bulgaria -0.3%

"Not only is Bansko outstanding value for money for families who want to ski, but the resort is perfect for multi-generational groups," said Louise Newton from Balkan Holidays.

"Small-group tuition with good English spoken is a big bonus, plus reductions and benefits for all ages, from babies to the over 65s."

To find out more on Bansko and other resorts in the Balkans see this earlier PlanetSKI feature from the specialist company, Balkan Holidays:

Family skiing in BulgariaFamily skiing in Bulgaria





Although there have been year-on-year price rises in 10 resorts, only two saw percentage increases in double digits.

Prices have risen by 11% in Grindelwald (£2,773, 23rd), while Kranjska Gora (£1,830), previously rated cheapest in the 2016 Family Ski Resort Report, has fallen to sixth place this season after registering the biggest increase of 11.8%.

This is because tuition costs in the Slovenian resort have been very low in the past but have risen from £355 last year to £527 after ski school hours were extended from two to three hours.

The most expensive ski resorts proved to be Kitzbühel  in the Tirol (£2,817, 24th) and Saas Fee in Switzerland (£2,902, 25th), with prices almost double those of Bansko.

Families planning to take a ski holiday are most likely to do so in the school holidays at Christmas or half term so now is the time when they will be choosing where to ski.

With price falls in some resorts and limited increases in others, it will pay to do some homework before booking to find the best value.

It is also worth considering whether to switch to cheaper options in Italy and Eastern Europe.

Another money-saving option could be to avoid half term and plan an Easter break instead.

"With continuing uncertainty about sterling's value, we advise parents to monitor exchange rate movements carefully before changing money and to be sure to do so before leaving home to avoid getting poor rates at the airport or incurring charges at ATMs abroad," added Nick Bowden.


The Post Office Travel Money Family Ski Resort Report was compiled using prices for one week (six active days) in 25 European resorts that are suitable for a range of skiing levels.

These were provided by Crystal Ski Holidays (, the UK's leading ski holiday specialist.

Costs are based on mid-season pricing and entry level skis and boots.

Ski school daily hours vary depending on the resort.

Lunch prices are based on two courses (main course and dessert) excluding drinks.

A full breakdown of prices is published in the Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report tables.

All prices are based on the Post Office exchange rates on 3 October 2019 and are rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.

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