• Euro’s downhill slide means ski resorts up to 22 per cent cheaper
• Biggest falls are in world class French resorts
The cost of a ski holiday is always lower as the season draws to a close in March and April and the heavy snowfall seen in recent weeks provides an added incentive to plan a skiing break during the Easter holidays. However, this year falls of a different kind promise to make this one of the best ever ends to the season as the value of the euro heads downhill against the powerful pound.
Since December when Post Office Travel Money published its annual Ski Resort Report, prices researched by Crystal Ski Holidays for ski equipment, lift passes, tuition, meals and a range of drinks have fallen by between £26 and £52¹. This adds to the big prices falls reported in December and means that skiers can look forward to shaving up to 22 per cent off last season’s prices.
The revised Post Office prices apply to 12 resorts – eight of them in the eurozone – where Ski Resort Report partner Crystal confirms availability for late March and early April ski holidays. The biggest falls are in Courchevel where the barometer of ski costs for one person now totals £470, compared with £600 a year ago and over £503 in December – a difference of more than £33.
Two other French resorts – Val d’Isère and Les Deux Alpes – have seen the next biggest falls of almost 16 per cent each. At £393 for the Ski Resort Report items Les Deux Alpes is second cheapest of the 12 resorts, costing more than £27 less than in December.
Italy’s Selva Val Gardena emerges as the cheapest resort with good Easter holiday availability left. The resort’s barometer total of £382 saves skiers nearly £27 on prices in December and is over 14 per cent lower than a year ago.
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The euro is continuing to fall steadily against the pound and is now worth over 12 per cent less than a year ago. With snow falling in the Alps as well, skiers can look forward to some of the best Easter skiing of the past decade as the runs are great for skiers of all standards and their travel cash will stretch much further.”
Resorts are still open for business in Canada and the fall in its dollar means big savings in the three resorts surveyed for the Ski Resort Report. Tremblant is cheapest at £524 – a saving of almost £42 on December ski and cost of living prices. And there are even bigger savings in Whistler (down to £655, over £52 less than December) or Banff (now £613, almost £49 less than December).
However, prices have gone up, not down in Zermatt as a result of the recent revaluation of the Swiss franc. The Swiss favourite was already the most expensive resort surveyed for the Ski Resort Report but a 4.7 per cent rise in prices means that UK skiers can now expect to pay over £32 more than in December – making Zermatt 21 per cent pricier than a year ago.
FAMILIES BENEFIT TOO
Families who are planning to head to the slopes once the school term ends can also expect prices to be lower. Cheapest of the 12 resorts surveyed for the cost of family skiing is Kaprun where the current total of £1,380 for two adults and two children is 14 per cent lower than a year ago and over £96 cheaper than in December. The biggest three month fall is in Val d’Isère (£1,766 for four), where families can expect to pay over £123 less than at the start of December.
Tamsin Todd, Crystal Ski Holidays managing director, said: “It is much cheaper to go skiing in the spring because late season means low season. What’s more, it is also quieter. Skiing and snowboarding in late season means fewer people on the slopes, and less chance of lift queues.
“Perhaps the most attractive element of late season skiing is the weather. As spring approaches it means longer daylight hours and longer lift opening times giving holidaymakers the chance to enjoy the BBQs and beer drinking that takes place on the sun terraces of slope-side cafes and bars.”
Skiers can purchase euro over the counter at over 10,000 Post Office branches while the Swiss franc and Canadian dollar are available on demand at over 1,600 branches. Up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery, where a range of travel insurance policies suitable for ski trips are also available.