Europe and skiing are never cheap vacations, but that doesn’t mean more affordable skiing doesn’t exist. Europe’s Big Five – Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland – may blow your Euro-drained bank account but rest assured countries like Poland and the Czech Republic feature skiing that is inexpensive but most importantly safe. Some Eastern European ski lifts have a bad rap thanks to dodgy infrastructure. But low and behold there are plenty of downhill opportunities match pocketbooks.
Nosal | Zakopane, Poland
Poland is a beautiful and affordable country. South of Krakow is Zakopane, a quaint mountain town with monetarily cheap skiing. Nosal Resort is notable its 15-ride for $16 deal. It’s the best in town, but Gubalowka offers 10-rides for the same price as Nosal. Nosal has four beginner runs and one vicious, steep slope for the experienced skier and snowboarder. Skiing is open from 9am to 10pm.
Černá hora | Czech Republic
Cerna Hora is home to the Czech’s longest run, a 1.2 mile run, which challenges the best of alpine skiers. For $89, skiers receive a three-day pass, which is highly affordable for skiing in the east. The resort features 14 slopes and over 70 miles of cross-country ski routes. This resort is located near spa town, Janske Lazne, which contains plenty of thermal pools for tired, achy ski legs.
Krkonose | Czech Republic
Krkonose mountains, also known as, “Giant Mountains,” are the largest and most well known range in the Czech Republic. This range has hosted sporting events since 1817 and known as one of Europe’s best skiing destinations. Cross-country to downhill, outdoor enthusiasts explore everything, including the backcountry trails of Spindleruv Mlyn.
Poiana Brasov | Romania
This is one of Romania’s top skiing destinations and located in the Carpathian Mountains. The slopes features an Olympic run and welcomes novice and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Known for its night skiing, the atmosphere is as fresh as it’s powder. Snowshoeing and winter camping are also popular activities at this resort.
Tatras | Slovakia
Known for its pocketbook-friendly prices, this overlooked resort as a high and low location. The High Tatras are beginner and family-friendly, especially Tatranska Lomnica and Skalnate Pleso. Intermediate and advanced skiers find more excitement in the Low Tatras at Jasna.
Bansko | Bulgaria
This popular ski resort is known best for snowboarding, affordable prices and heavy bar scene. Bansko is located at the foot of the Pirin Mountains and is the country’s largest and best ski resort. A five-day lift pass is approximately $186. Infrastructure and hotels now populate the region, but still offers budget-friendly and luxury accommodation options.
Soldeu | Andorra
Skiers often ask, “Where in the world is Andorra?” Located in the Pyrenees, in between France and Spain, is the tiny nation. Soldeu is the nation’s largest ski resort, featuring the best of novice and intermediate runs. A week pass costs approximately $259 or a one-day is $57. The weekly pass gets access to other local resorts, resulting in access to 126-miles of runs.