Skiing has long been seen as a pastime for those among us on a healthy income, images of 1980’s society types in Aran jumpers sipping Napoleon brandy by a roaring log fire spring to mind (or maybe that’s the just the Wham song!). In reality though thousands of fairly ordinary people head for the mountains every year to enjoy the challenge of learning and progressing through the slopes and make the most of the crisp air and stunning scenery attached to many ski resorts. Tesco Bank keeps a close eye on trends in the winter retreat market and this year, in preparation for the season they have put together a handy table, which clearly illustrates the top 10 ski resorts in terms of value for money/ piste per pound. With the value of the pound in flux after Brexit, some of the results are quite surprising! So, without further ado lets take a little look at the top ten and get planning our winter vacation…
Top 10 best value ski resorts from the Tesco Bank Ski Index
|Ski Resort||Piste Length||Cost of 6 day adult ski pass (£)||Cost per km of skiing (£)|
|Les Crosets, Switzerland||650||£213.10||£0.33|
|Saint Gervais Mont-Blanc, France||445||£193.11||£0.43|
|Val d’Azun, France||90||£40.77||£0.45|
|Sauze d’Oulx, Italy||320||£168.22||£0.53|
1,600 km above sea level in the majestic Dents Du Midi Mountains lies the delightfully authentic village of Champoussin surrounded by a spectacular 650 km of pistes suitable for all levels of ski and snowboarder. With no shortage of mountain huts and cosy taverns, excellent GPS routes for cross country skiers, snow shoe trails and other winter sports on offer the fact that you can get a 6 day ski pass for a paltry £210 means it would be rude not to really!
Les Crosets, Switzerland
In the south west canton of Valais and connected to Champoussin by one of a network of 35 ski lifts is the sun drenched jewel of the Swiss ski resort crown. The charming village of Les Crosets sits at the altitude of 1,660 km and caters for skiers of all abilities. It’s meticulously kept wide sweeping slopes are perfect for beginners whilst the more adventurous types can head for the steep mogul runs. The excellent facilities at the resort make it a perfect destination for families but it’s accessibility also means it’s perfect for those who crave a relaxing, no drama ski trip. 6 days on the impressive 650 km of piste come in at a modest £213.10, just 33p a km!
Nestled at the base of the Dents Du Midi Champeray is the western gateway to the Portes Du Soliel and one of the oldest resorts in Europe. It has access to 209 lifts across 430 pistes covering 650 km and whilst it is not ideal for beginners most other levels of ability will find themselves well catered for. The great thing about Champeray is that there is loads going on, so if you are travelling with a reluctant skier they will find themselves well occupied with pubs, clubs and restaurants, scenic strolls and cosy evenings by the log fire.
St Gervais Mont-Blanc, France
Thermal Spas, historic architecture, breathtaking views and miles and miles of Piste, the spa town- come-modern-ski-resort of St -Gervais- Les- Bains has all this and more. This high altitude resort sits close to the highest peak in the Alps in the middle of the Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area, in prime position for access to 445 km pistes and 217 downhill runs. It is one of 6 ski stations which are connected by a network of 116 lifts. The slopes offer a challenge for all ski enthusiasts… from absolute beginners to professional thrill seekers and it’s stunning location and spa centre make it the perfect place for a relaxing winter jaunt. A 6 day ski pass costs £193.11p for 6 days which breaks down to just 43p a km… not bad eh?
Val d’Azun, France
Sitting in a verdant valley in the Hautes Pyrenees the charming if comparatively petite resort of Val d’Azun is a great place for a family ski trip, especially if you enjoy cross country trails. It is an ideal place to sample winter sports and find out what you have a flair for. The cost of a 6 day ski pass which covers the 90km of pistes is just £40.77, yes you read that right, making it approximately 45p per km… but hey! Who’s counting?
This small traditional resort is reputed to be one of the friendliest in Europe, with it’s relaxed and chilled atmosphere more than compensating for the flaws in it’s slopes… the main one being that the main road between Montegenevre and Briancon divides it in two! One of the coolest things about it is that it is the closest resort to the French/ Italian border meaning you can easily zip between the two countries and although alone it is small it is part of the well connected ‘Milky Way’ ski area, 400 km of pistes straddling Italy and France. There is something for everyone here although it favours intermediate skiers and snowboarders, a 6 day pass costs £163.07 and gives you access to 320 km worth of slopes… an acceptable 51p a km.
The resort of Veysonnaz offers you the Alps at their very best, the authentic little villages in the area offer a unique atmosphere amongst some of the most stunning winter landscapes you’ll ever see. The infrastructure means that it is easy to get about, with 88 lifts servicing the 600km of runs and excellently maintained slopes for all abilities from gentle beginner friendly runs to ‘black pistes’ suitable for the most diligent of daredevils. A 6 day pass will set you back £211.52 but for that you have 412 km of piste at your disposal!
San Sicario, Italy
San Sicario is another Milky Way resort located close to the French border. It is a thoroughly modern and excellently organised affair with a monorail connecting the lower, middle and upper levels of the resort. This means holidaymakers do not need to use their cars and can really maximise their ski time. The resort also scores highly for it’s apres ski and is a favourite for expert and intermediate skiers with 8 black pistes and 13 red pistes in the vicinity. A pass will cost you £168.22 and give you free reign over 320 km of slopes across the resorts of Sauze d’Oulx, Sestrière Montgenèvre and Clavière
Sauze d’Oulx, Italy
Yes, it’s on the milky way again! This is the place to come if you like to socialise after you ski, with a plethora of bars, jazz clubs and live music the party continues long after the slopes have closed. There are 4 points of access from the village to the slopes and a ski bus which takes you up to the chair lifts. There are nursery slopes and a great plateau where much of the teaching takes place but this resort is really a winner for intermediate skiers because of it’s vast and varied terrain. The set up is the same as Sauze d’Oulx with the 6 day pass costing £168.22 and being valid on 320 km of pistes spanning 5 resorts.
Founded in by the owners of Fiat in 1932 Sestrière remains one of the highest resorts in Europe. It’s high altitude mean that it has hosted many competitions including the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 1997 Alpine World Championships. There are slopes suitable for all levels but again the intermediates will get the most enjoyment out of it. However good skiers will get a real kick out Mount Sises, the world cup and world championships giant slalom run and it is also immensely popular for heli-skiing! The resorts high altitude and international acclaim mean that it is not ideal for snowboarders who might have more fun elsewhere but for all you skiers out there the 6 day pass is a totally do-able £168.22 for 6 days, that works out at a very acceptable 53p per km.
So I hope that we – combined with Tesco’s handy breakdown – have helped you on your way to your winter hols! Enjoy and bare us a thought as you sip your hot toddy’s afront a roaring log fire!
For a little extra help with your skiing holiday…
Now it’s possible to help spread the cost of your skiing holiday as from tomorrow Tesco Bank Premium Credit Card customers will also be offered a very generous 0% interest on purchases for 6 months and eligible customers will also receive family travel insurance including winter sports cover as part of the card’s benefit package. For more information on the Tesco Bank Ski Index, head over to Tesco Bank or watch this video…