The best cheap ski holidays
Our pick of the best resorts for skiing on a budget
For many people, a ski trip is a second holiday and, even if you'd happily forego a beach holiday in favour of the mountains, we'd bet that you'd still like to squeeze a second trip in if your budget allows. There is a perception that a ski holiday is hugely expensive; however, that doesn't have to be the case. Okay, the above image may be pushing it a little too far, so we thought we'd show you how you can get your snow fix for a lot less than you might think.
Our top tips for an affordable ski holiday
- Choose off-peak dates
Obviously not everyone has this luxury; however, if you're not tied to school holidays, travelling during the quieter periods, such as January, mid-March and after Easter will save you lots and give you access to uncrowded pistes and shorter lift queues. If you have no choice but to travel during the school holidays, Easter offers great value compared to the popular New Year and February Half Term holidays.
- Step off the beaten track
Certain well known destinations will always be popular, so expect to pay a premium to ski in the Three Valleys, Portes du Soleil and Paradiski (comprising Les Arcs & La Plagne) regions, to name a few. There are many less well known ski areas that still offer lots of terrain, great snow and a more traditional French atmosphere. If you absolutely have to ski one of the better known areas, look at some of the smaller satellite villages that still give you access to world-class skiing, without the price tag.
- Search for added value
Book early to ensure the best deal on your accommodation, as many residences offer early booking discounts of up to 20%. You can also save money on ski passes by choosing a resort that offers discounted rates for families of groups of friends skiing together. If you're travelling with children, check the age ranges on ski passes, as these vary from resort to resort, so your kids may pay the child rate in some resorts and and adults in others. Younger kids may even ski for free in some resorts.
- Consider self-drive
If there are several of you travelling, the cost of flights and transfers can soon add up, so why not make an adventure of it and drive to the Alps?
You can drive to the Alps for less than £100 per person, including Eurotunnel crossing, tolls and petrol (based on four sharing a vehicle).
Read more about driving to the Alps »
The best cheap ski holidays
Recommended for: Families
Ski Area: Valloire Galibier
Summit Altitude: 2,594m
Total Pistes: 150 km
6 day ski pass: €200 (€170 for children)
8h50m hours from Calais
Grenoble (2h15m), Lyon (2h15m), Geneva (2h30m)
The resorts of Valloire and Valmienier, in the Maurienne Valley, are linked to form the Valloire Galibier ski area, giving access to 150km of pistes. Valloire is a pretty, traditional town with attractive architecture and a good range of shops, bars and restaurants. Valmeinier on the other hand is a smaller, purpose-built village located on the hillside, which is ideal for families with convenient access to the slopes and ski school meeting points.
Added value: Kids under 5 yrs of age ski for free / Get discounted rates for adults and children under 18 yrs with a family pass.
Recommended Valloire & Valmeinier ski accommodation
Les Chalets de Valoria
7 Nights from as little as £310 per apartment
The Chalets de Valoria is situated just 300m from the nearest ski lift and sits just above the authentic Savoyard village of Valloire, offering superb views overlooking the Alps and the Maurienne Valley.
Grand Panorama I
7 Nights from as little as £314 per apartment
The residence, located in Valmeinier, is ideally located close to the heart of this charming village and benefits from a heated outdoor swimming pool and its own in-house ski rental shop.
Recommended for: Families with young children / backcountry skiers
Ski Area: Sainte Foy Tarentaise
Summit Altitude: 2,622m
Total Pistes: 41 km
6 day ski pass: €170 (€132 for children)
9 hours from Calais
Chambery (1h40m), Geneva (2h30m)
Sainte Foy is a pretty, traditional village in the Tarentaise Valley, which is ever popular, especially for families with young children. The village itself is compact, so everything is within easy reach and its small size means that the resort rarely gets busy, even during the holiday periods. The ski area is also a big draw for more advanced skiers, due to the varied and easily accessible off-piste itineraries.
Added value: Kids under 5 yrs of age ski for free / discounted family passes available.
Recommended Sainte Foy ski accommodation
L'Etoile des Cimes
7 Nights from as little as £500 per apartment
Perfectly located in the village centre and close to the slopes, this residence boasts spacious and contemporary apartments, and guests can relax in the residence’s lounge with fireplace, indoor pool and150m² ‘O Pure’ spa.
Les Fermes de Sainte Foy
7 Nights from as little as £751 per apartment
Les Fermes is ideally located at the foot of the slopes, in the village centre and boasts an indoor heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, saunas and steam rooms. A lounge with open fireplace and pool table is also available for guests.
Recommended for: Skiers looking to access a large ski area
Ski Area: Les Sybelles
Summit Altitude: 2,620m
Total Pistes: 310 km
6 day ski pass: €222 (€189 for children)
8h40m hours from Calais
Grenoble (1h50m), Lyon (1h50m), Geneva (2hrs)
Despite being relatively unknown in the UK, the Sybelles ski area is similar in size to the Espace Killy and links six different ski resorts. Located in the Maurienne Valley, it is easily accessible, both for self-drive holidaymakers, or from Geneva airport and offers a great alternative to the more well-known resorts in the nearby Tarentaise valley.
Added value: Get discounted rates for adults and children under 20 yrs with a family pass.
Recommended La Toussuire ski accommodation
Les Chalets Goelia
7 Nights from as little as £267 per apartment
The residence offers both individual chalets and standard apartments - all are south facing and offer great views. The ESF meeting point is 100m away and it is possible to ski via a track to the pistes.
L'Ecrin des Sybelles
7 Nights from as little as £501 per apartment
This residence consists of four chalet style buildings located close to the resort centre and shops. Amenities include an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and bakery service*.
Recommended for: Affordable access to a world-class ski area
Ski Area: Alpe d'Huez Grand Domain Ski
Summit Altitude: 3,300m
Total Pistes: 250 km
6 day ski pass: €267 (€211 for children)
8h30m hours from Calais
Grenoble (1h30m), Lyon (1h50m)
Vaujany is a traditional French village that links into the expansive Alpe d'Huez ski area, giving you access to 250 km of pistes and snow-sure skiing up to 3,300m. The accommodation in Vaujany offers excellent value for money and is conveniently located close to the telecabine for easy access to the pistes.
Added value: Kids under 5 yrs of age ski for free.
Recommended Vaujany ski accommodation
Le Dome des Rousses
7 Nights from as little as £247 per apartment
Close to the shops and amenities and just 350m from the cable car, the 2* residence Les Domes Rousses is located in the heart of Vaujany.
La Cascade / Les Epinettes
7 nights from as little as £331 per apartment
This modern residence boasts a fantastic location, situated at the bottom of Vaujany just 10m from the nearest shops and just 50m from the cable-car.
For more information on the best resorts for skiing on a budget, call our team of experts now on 0207 584 2841. There's nothing we like more that chatting about skiing.
* Supplements apply for bakery service; one sauna/steam room session per apartment/week included, with a supplement payable for additional sessions.