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Budget European skiing resorts this winter

Budget European skiing resorts this winter Illustrative photo (
Author: Maria Kholina

Mountain skiing vacations in Europe are not limited to expensive resorts in the French or Swiss Alps. You can enjoy skiing at affordable prices in the Balkan countries - Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro, and Serbia, according to travel blogger Iryna Savina.

Popular resort Bansko in Bulgaria

Mountain skiing vacations in Bulgaria were popular among Ukrainian tourists before the war. The level of resorts and the quality of skiing in Bulgaria are high thanks to well-developed infrastructure. The popular mountain skiing resort Bansko (160 km from Sofia) hosted the freestyle skiing championship for 7 consecutive years. However, the slopes there are suitable for beginners as well.

The Bansko season lasts from early January to mid-April. The resort is popular due to low prices for ski passes and accommodation, as well as diverse slopes. There are 70 km of various slopes and 13 lifts.

The skiing area is high in the mountains, accessible only by a gondola cableway or by car via a serpentine road. During the high season, waiting in line for the lift can take up to an hour.

Skiers then ride two chairlifts to red and black slopes located above the gondola cableway. Beginners usually descend on blue slopes to the final station of the gondola. There, a ski school operates on the easiest training slope.

Бюджетні курорти. Де покататися на лижах у Європі за доступними цінами

Photo: Bansko Resort in Bulgaria (

In addition to skiing, tourists can enjoy thermal relaxation. In the village of Banya, there are 70 thermal springs. In the town of Dobrinishte, there are another 17 springs.

Resort Poiana Brasov in Romania

Romania has several mountain skiing resorts. The most popular and largest is Poiana Brasov (165 km from Bucharest). It is located at the foot of the Postavaru mountain, 13 km from the city of Brasov.

The resort is great for families with children. The slopes are on the sunny side of the ridge, making it warmer and more enjoyable with beautiful nature around. The resort is also known for its affordable prices for ski passes, accommodation, restaurants, and excursions.

The skiing season lasts from mid-December to mid-April, with snow cannons in operation. The skiing area is at an altitude of 1020-1775 m. The total length of the slopes is 14 km, with the longest being 4.6 km. There are also two ski jumps and 3 km of trails for cross-country skiing. The resort is suitable for both experienced skiers and beginners.

Бюджетні курорти. Де покататися на лижах у Європі за доступними цінами

Photo: Resort in Romania (

You can reach the top with a high-speed funicular. Lifts include chairlifts and T-bar lifts.

Accommodation at the resort caters to all budgets, from hotels with spas to mini-hotels. Many tourists rent cheaper apartments in Brasov and come to ski from there.

Resort Zabljak in Montenegro

Montenegro is known for its mountain skiing resorts in winter. The most popular place is the Durmitor mountain massif, 150 km north of Podgorica. This unique natural reserve and national park are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The almost 400 square kilometers area includes over 20 peaks over 2200 meters high, 18 glacial lakes, and over 700 springs.

Бюджетні курорти. Де покататися на лижах у Європі за доступними цінами

Photo: Ski resort in Zabljak (

Zabljak resort, with its climate and landscape, resembles the Swiss Alps. People go there for snowboarding, mountain and cross-country skiing, and to learn skiing in ski schools.

The resort has three main slopes. The Savin Kuk trail starts at an altitude of 2313 m and is 3.5 km long, with a vertical drop of 750 m. There are 2 chairlifts, 4 T-bar lifts, and 2 children's lifts in operation. The Javorovaca trail is for beginners, with a length of just 800 meters. The lifts do not operate on the old Stuč trail.

Zabljak offers a variety of accomodations, from hotels to cottages, as well as relaxing spa complexes.

Resort Kopaonik in Serbia

Serbian mountain skiing resorts are less known to Ukrainian skiers. It is a very affordable option compared to the Alps.

On the largest and highest mountain massif in Serbia, Kopaonik, 220 km from Belgrade, the sun shines for 250 days a year. However, this does not affect the significant snow cover. The resort season lasts from December to early May.

The skiing slopes of the Kopaonik resort are located on the slopes of the Pancicev Vrh mountain, served by 22 lifts. Most of them are modern high-speed 4-seat chairlifts, with a few T-bar and J-bar lifts. The highest point reached by the lifts is 2017 m.

Бюджетні курорти. Де покататися на лижах у Європі за доступними цінами

Photo: Kopaonic Resort (

There are about 60 km of slopes on Kopaonik: most are easy blue slopes, and there are 4 specially designed for children, totaling 11 km. The slopes are not very long but diverse. There are sports slopes - slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, and speed skiing. Kopaonik also offers night skiing on the Malo Jezero trail, which is 450 m long and illuminated in the evening. There are also 20 km of trails for cross-country skiing.

The resort has a ski school, a kindergarten, and a free bus service during the day. Accommodation prices in hotels are very affordable. Entertainment options include a night disco and a spa center.