Snowboarding is never going to be a cheap vacation, but it needn’t cost a fortune. 2014/15 is shaping up to be an epic season and with more snow expected this winter, there has never been a better time to book a ski hostel.
This year should see plenty of fresh snow falling in the Alps and Eastern Europe and the weather conditions are predicted to be ‘fantastic’ by meteorologists.
Looking ahead we’ve rounded up some of the best budget snowboarding resorts in Europe, so even when funds are running low. There is now no excuse not to go!
1. Zakopane, Poland
Why: Poland is fast becoming one of the top budget places to go snowboarding in Europe. Zakopane hugs the foot of the Tatra Mountains and stretches about 50 miles into Slovakia and has epic peaks reaching 8,200 feet.
Great for beginners and intermediate snowboarders, the rural Polish town is a welcoming and accessible place and considerably cheaper than rival resorts in the Alps.
Where: South-West Poland – only a few hours by train from Krakow.
Stay: Dorms are available at Nowotarski from €17.
2. Krkonoše, Czech Republic
Why: The Krkonoše is the best known Czech mountain range and offers fantastic value for money. Situated on the border with Poland and Germany, the Czech snow resort is renowned for its cross-country skiing and ski tourism of all levels.
One of its most popular slopes, Harrachov is also known for its ski-jumping competitions, including World Cups and World Championships. If you’re feeling adventurous and fancy a few beers you can always stay over in Prague en route.
Where: Northern Czech Republic – only a few hours by train from Prague.
Stay: Dorms are available at Hotel Krakonoš from €20.
3. Bansko, Bulgaria
Why: Situated at the foot of the Pirin mountain in south-west Bulgaria, Bansko is one of the most affordable snowboarding resorts in Europe.
As the number one ski resort in Bulgaria, it offers excellent ski and snowboarding conditions and is the longest ski season of all Bulgarian ski resorts. The ski season in Bansko lasts from 15th December to 15 May.
Where: South-west Bulgaria, situated 6 km from nearby Razlog and 160 km from the capital Sofia.
Stay: Dorms are available at Balkan Jewel Resort from €7
4. Kopaonik, Serbia
Why: Kopaonik, Serbia has everything for snowboarding fans on a budget. Super cheap with low cost beer and coffee is standard in this part of the world.
The official ski area boasts of 23 lifts and a vertical drop of 821 metres, plus there’s also floodlit slopes for night skiing. Unknown to most European snowboarding fans, Kopaonik is a discerning choice for backpackers.
Where: Central Serbia mountain range, the nearest city is Brus.
Stay: Dorms are available at Montana from €11