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Bulgaria offers most affordable ski holiday in Europe: TripAdvisor



Want to hit the slopes this winter without hitting financial ruin? Bypass France and Switzerland and look into booking a trip to lesser known ski destinations in Bulgaria and Andorra, suggest the results of a new TripAdvisor report.

 Because for the second year in a row, Bansko in Bulgaria emerged the most affordable ski holiday in Europe, while Andorra landed three spots on TripAdvisor’s TripIndex Ski which conducted a price comparison of 42 ski resorts across the continent.

To compile their ranking, analysts calculated the cost of a one-week holiday including hotel, ski lessons, ski pass, rental equipment and meals for a family of four between December 15 and April 15, 2016.

In Bansko, a family can eat, sleep and ski for one week at the modest price of €1,727 (€1,866 USD) -- about a fourth of the cost of the most expensive ski destination on the list in Zermatt, Switzerland, where the figure spikes to nearly €6,500 ($7,101 USD).

Moreover, prices in Bansko have fallen by €300 this year compared to last year.

Located about 150 km from the Bulgarian capital of Sofia at the foot of Pirin Mountain, Bansko is a popular ski town in Eastern Europe. In recent years, developers have been pumping millions of euros into the resort town, opening luxury hotels and upgrading facilities.

For avid skiers and snowboarders, here are a few specs:

- total length of ski runs: 70 km

- highest skiing area: 2,600 m

- longest track combo: 16 km

- cross-country track: 5 km

After Bansko, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi, Russia, is the second-most budget-friendly ski destination followed by Berchtesgaden, Germany.

Andorra, a principality sandwiched between France and Spain known for its ski resorts, also dominated the top 10 list of cheapest ski holidays, with three spots.

At the other end of the spectrum, snow bunnies on a budget may experience sticker shock when looking at prices in the most expensive ski country in Europe: Switzerland takes up five of the top 10 spots. Analysts attribute this to the strength of the Swiss franc.

The balance of the list is made up of French and Austrian ski resort towns.

Here are the 10 most affordable ski destinations in Europe this season:

1. Bansko, Bulgaria €1,727
2. Sochi, Russia, €2210
3. Berchtesgaden, Germany €2571
4. Candanchu, Spain, €2866
5. Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, €2881
6. Spitzingsee, Germany, €3057
7. Arinsal, Andorra, €3078
8. Baqueira Beret, Spain, €3151
9. Ordino Arcalis, Andorra, €3163
10. Pas de la Casa, Andorra, €3172

The top three most expensive ski resorts in Europe are:

Zermatt, Switzerland  €6494
Verbier, Switzerland €6339
St. Anton, Austria €6229

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