A small and beautiful resort in Slovenia's Julian Alps has been named the cheapest place for British travellers to ski in winter 2017/18.
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With falling local prices and a rise in sterling's value, Post Office Travel and Crystal Ski Holidays have named Kranjska Gora the most affordable resort for a winter ski holiday.
Prices for ski equipment, lift passes, ski school, meals and drinks have dropped six per cent at the resort to £325, while the low cost of ski tuition was the key factor enabling Kranjska Gora to power past Bulgaria's Bansko (£352), a six-time winner in Post Office Travel's annual report.
Kranjska Gora is ideal for beginners and families, home to an excellent ski school, a picturesque village and lively après-ski options, along with many quiet places to take in the superb surroundings. It boasts a black run used for the FIS World Cup races and also offers affordable accommodation for skiers.
Italy's Bardonecchia (£347) pushed Bansko into third place and is not only the highest position ever achieved by an Italian resort, but three others – Sestriere (£410, 5th), Cervinia (£443, 7th) and La Thuile (£454, 10th) feature in the best value top 10 too. This signals a strong challenge to Eastern Europe from one of the 'Big Four' ski countries (Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland).
Meanwhile, Morzine saw the biggest price fall and is the only French resort to make it into the top ten. At £400, prices have plummeted 13 per cent since last season. Overall, France is the ski destination to register the biggest drop in costs: Les Deux Alpes (£462) down 11 per cent, Serre Chevalier (£470) down 9.3 per cent and Val d'Isère (£606) down 7.6 per cent.
By contrast, UK skiers visiting the popular Austrian resorts face increased costs. The biggest rise is in Ellmau – up 4.5 per cent to £432, pushing the Tyrolean resort down to sixth place from fifth a year ago. There have also been small rises of 3.2 per cent in Kaprun (£588) and 2.7 per cent in Kitzbühel (£647). Skiers can expect to pay marginally less (1 per cent) in both Mayrhofen (£499) and St Anton (£676).
The top 10 cheapest ski resorts for winter 2017/18 (based on six-day ski pass, six-day ski/boot hire, six half-day ski school lessons, one coffee, one coke, one glass of wine, one beer, one lunch on slopes):
1. Kranjska Gora, Slovenia - £325.47
2. Bardonecchia, Italy - £347.12
3. Bansko, Bulgaria - £351.54
4. Morzine, France - £399.85
5. Sestriere, Italy - £410.47
6. Ellmau, Austria - £431.97
7. Cervinia, Italy - £442.94
8. Soldeu, Andorra - £448.86
9. Ruka, Finland - £453.08
10. La Thuile, Italy - £454.19