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Italy, Bulgaria and Germany Offer Europe’s Best-Value Skiing
TripAdvisor price-compares 43 popular European ski destinations for TripIndex Ski

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, releases its 2012 TripIndex Ski – a cost comparison of key ski destinations in Europe tracked against the British pound.

TripIndex Ski is based on the combined cost of one night’s hotel accommodation, one day’s ski pass, one day’s basic ski hire, a local meal and a bottle of beer.

Topping the list for affordability is Italy’s Mount Etna with a total TripIndex cost of just £98.40, while Bulgaria’s Bansko takes second place with £103.82 and Spain’s Astún ranks third with £109.44.  When it comes to the best value country, Germany takes the lead, laying claim to four destinations in the top ten.

In this year’s TripIndex Ski, two French destinations emerge as the costliest. The most expensive is Meribel with a total TripIndex cost of £354.91, closely followed by Courcheval which totals £354.06.  Both are over three times the cost of Mount Etna (Italy), Bansko (Bulgaria) and Astún (Spain).  There are five Swiss resorts in the top ten of the most expensive resorts in Europe, with St. Moritz the priciest with a TripIndex total of £349.79.

“The TripAdvisor TripIndex Ski helps British travellers to identify which European ski resorts deliver the best value for money this season. Skiing is often thought of as an expensive holiday, but TripIndex Ski shows that there are destinations where British travellers don’t have to break the bank,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “The biggest driver of expense is clearly the price of hotels, but with all outlays there are remarkable differences between resorts across Europe.”

A bite to eat sees biggest price gap, while closest cost is ski hire

The biggest single expense is clearly the price of hotels, but with all items there are significant cost differences between resorts across Europe. 

Basic meal – The most expensive destination for a meal is St Moritz, Switzerland where the average cost of a basic meal is £28.82, compared to £4.52 in Bansko, Bulgaria – that’s over six times that of the cheapest in the list

Hotel – Meribel, France has the highest hotel cost of £286.29 per night, compared to £55.38 in Astún, Spain – over five times that of the cheapest in the list

Bottle of beer – The most expensive destination for a bottle of beer is Saas Fee, Switzerland at £4.45, compared to £1.21 in Ordino Arcalis, Andorra – nearly four times that of the cheapest in the list


Ski pass – The most expensive one day’s ski pass is in Zermatt, Switzerland at £50.08, compared to £18.47 in Bansko, Bulgaria - nearly triple the price

TripIndex Best Value European Ski Destinations




Ski Hire

Ski Pass





Mt Etna, Italy








Bansko, Bulgaria








Astún, Spain








Berchtesgaden, Germany








Kranjska Gora, Slovenia








Spitzingsee, Germany








Candanchú, Spain








Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany








Oberstdorf, Germany








Serre-Chevalier, France








TripIndex Most Expensive European Ski Destination




Ski Hire

Ski Pass





Meribel, France








Courcheval, France








St. Moritz, Switzerland








Verbier, Switzerland








Gstaad, Switzerland








Zermatt, Switzerland








Klosters, Switzerland








Ischgl, Austria








Val D'Isere, France








St. Anton, Austria








 The full TripIndex link is available at

TripIndex Ski methodology:

TripIndex Ski looks at 43 popular ski destinations across Europe. The list was editorially compiled using information from ski and travel experts, as well as TripAdvisor site data.

Prices were collected through a variety of research methods as outlined below.  Prices were taken in local currencies between October and November 2012 and converted into GBP (£) on 12 November 2012.

Hotels: Hotel prices shown specify the average per room per night cost of a hotel found on TripAdvisor within a five-mile radius of the destination.  In all destinations, between four and 136 hotels were included to compute the average price. On average, 59 hotels were included in the calculations for each destination. Pricing information is taken from partner booking sites on TripAdvisor. 

Ski Pass: Ski pass identifies the cost of one day’s access to that destination’s ski area, sourced from suppliers in the destination. 

Ski Hire:  Ski hire prices specify the average cost of a basic ski hire package (boots, skis, poles).  The cost shown is the average price of three (or the maximum number available) ski hire packages provided by suppliers in the destination.

Meal: Meal prices shown specify the average cost of one basic meal taken from three local restaurants (or the maximum number available).  Where available this is a burger and chips and where not available a meal common to that destination was used as an alternative.

Meal types:

  • Austria – Schnitzel and chips

  • Germany– Schnitzel and chips

  • Switzerland – Schnitzel and chips

  • France – Fondue

  • Andorra – Burger and chips

  • Spain – Burger and chips

  • Bulgaria – Burger and chips

  • Slovenia – Burger and chips

  • Italy – Sausage and Polenta

Beer: Beer prices shown specify the average cost of a bottle of local beer (French beer in France, Italian beer in Italy, etc.) taken from three local restaurants.