Skiing holidays are rarely cheap. But you usually get what you pay for, according to our analysis of 50 of the world’s most popular destinations. Trips to the Alps and North America are particularly expensive: a nine-day break will typically cost more than $4,000 for ski passes and four-star accommodation, based on data from Expedia, a travel bookings firm. A comparable break anywhere else will cost $2,600. With good reason: resorts outside the Alps and North America are smaller and reviewed less favourably on Skiresort.info and Snow-forecast.com, two websites which give ratings out of five for the quality of the slopes, restaurants, accommodation and après-ski entertainment. An extra $500 in your budget would generally buy you an extra 30km (19 miles) more of piste and a one-fifteenth increase in resort rating points.
At the peak of the market are the usual, glamorous spots: Vail and Aspen in America, Verbier and Courchevel in Europe. Yet not all Alpine and Coloradan holidays require such a spending avalanche. A cluster of Austrian resorts – Kaltenbach, Kitzbühel, Schladming and Mayrhofen – cost barely half as much and are near the top of the pile on both review sites. France’s Serre Chevalier and Canada’s Mont Tremblant are also good value for money, while Scandinavian skiers can plump for Trysil in Norway or Levi in Finland.
Asians and South Americans are proud of their slopes: there are decently rated, picturesque options in Argentina and Japan. Europeans and North Americans, bored with the usual expensive holidays, might fancy a cheaper adventure off the beaten track. The real deal, however, is closer to home.