As winter approaches, many travelers are gearing up to book their next ski vacation but are finding themselves priced out at many of the popular U.S. and European destinations. Inflation, energy prices, and economic uncertainty are driving up costs and making an already expensive activity unaffordable to many.
With the soaring strength of the U.S. dollar, ski enthusiasts might want to look towards Europe for more affordable ski vacations this winter. These six ski resorts are selling weekly ski passes for less than a one-day pass at many of the popular U.S. destinations and offer a unique, off the beaten path travel experience.
In a 2021 ranking of most expensive one-day ski passes in the U.S., Snow Brains found 9 resorts with prices in excess of $200. Deer Valley Resort in Utah had the highest one-day ticket price of $259. Even when accounting for flights, transportation, accommodation, and food, these destinations could prove a cheaper option for skiers who are seeking something different this winter.
Jasná is Slovakia’s largest ski resort with 30 miles of trails and an impressive network of eight lift-accessible backcountry zones. Nestled atop the 6640 foot Chopok mountain, Jasná offers challenges for adrenaline seekers who find thrills above the tree line, in the bowls, and in the mountain’s terrain park. There are several options for food and lodging, including an on-mountain hotel and 15 restaurants. A one-day pass starts at $48, while the average price of an après ski beer is under $2.
Poiana Brasov, Romania
Poiana Brasov, located in Transylvannia, is Romania’s most popular ski resort. Situated in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains, this 5900 foot resort has 10 lifts and nearly 14 miles of terrain. Day passes are under $30 and the resort is typically open from early December to early April. Poiana Brasov is also a short drive to some of Romania’s best tourist attractions – Dracula’s Castle, the Rasnov Fortress, and the medieval city of Brasov.
Jahorina is located 23 miles from Sarajevo International Airport, Bosnia’s largest airport, making it an accessible choice for ski tourists. The resort’s claim to fame is that it hosted several alpine competitions during the 1984 Winter Olympics. In recent years the mountain has seen significant investments and it now has 30 miles of terrain over 20 trails and is serviced by 8 lifts. Jahorina is a good choice for late-season skiing – the resort typically stays open until late April. A one-day lift pass at Jahorina sells for $35.
Vogel Ski Center in Bohinj is about an hour’s drive from Ljublijana, Slovenia’s capital city. The resort is 5900 feet tall and overlooks scenic Lake Bohinj and Triglav National Park, making it one of the country’s tallest resorts. Trails at Vogel are suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers, with one scenic run stretching out over four and a half miles and with an elevation change of nearly 4000 feet. Tickets at Vogel are $34, and a beer is likely to cost less than $2.50.
Borovets Resort has been operating in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria for over 120 years, and proudly boasts excellent onsite and nearby amenities. The resort is just over 40 miles from the capital city of Sofia and is a one-hour drive away from the Sofia Airport. Borovets has 13 lifts to transport skiers to the 24 trails which stretch over 36 miles. One-day lift passes are $36, leaving more in the pocket to spend at one of the resort’s many cheap and cheerful après ski spots.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com