Ski trips that won't break the bank

Ski companies are ramping up their prices this winter, but there are still bargains to be found – if you know where to look.

But first the bad news. The ski brochures that are currently dropping through letterboxes around the country contain some nasty shocks. Prices have shot up this winter – often by 20% in just 12 months. Add to that the fact that the pound is sinking back towards parity against the euro – ramping up the cost of lift passes, equipment hire and eating on the slopes – and you begin to wonder if you can afford to go skiing at all.

But a bit of sofa diving and then hiding behind the sofa when the rent man calls should see you on the piste in no time. Basics first, avoid France - got that? Good. You won’t be doing the escargot shuffle this year, but you will be slipping and sliding all over the likes of Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Serbia and Macedonia for a fraction of the cost.

Balkan Holidays, BalkanHolidays, offers ski packages to Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. But the biggest saving is when you get there – a week's lift pass in Kopaonik, Serbia, costs £80; in Poiana Brasov, Romania, it's £60. Inghams (as before) has 'all-inclusive' weeks in Poiana Brasov from £349, including three-star hotel accommodation, flights and transfers, or £443 to include lift pass, ski hire and lessons.

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