Activities & Adventure 10 MINS READ

9 Affordable US Ski Towns For Shredding On A Budget

9 Affordable US Ski Towns For Shredding On A Budget

Activities & Adventure 10 MINS READ

Whether you’re planning your ski vacation or want to slide your snowboard on terrains in the US, there are many options for skiing on a budget. In the country where bigger is better, many of the ski resorts are very large. While Powder Mountain is the largest ski resort in North America, the connected Alta and Snowbird ski resort at 5100 acres is not only one of the largest, but also one of the most affordable US mountain ski resorts. Read on to learn about the 13 affordable US ski towns for skiing on a budget.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Whitefish Mountain Resort — Whitefish, Montana

The Whitefish in Montana, Northwest US, is an authentic mountain town in the northern Rockies. Not only is it surrounded by exquisite beauty; it has been ranked as one of the top 52 places to visit in the world by The New York Times in 2020, rated as one of the most beautiful in the US, and the most beautiful town in Montana. The town is well known for environmentalism and is a good place to live for hippies.

For skiing, the Whitefish Mountain Resort on the near Glacier National Park has some of the most affordable mountain ski tickets and equipment rental prices. It was ranked No.3 Best Resort in the West by SKI Magazine Readers for the 2020-21 ski season and placed second in overall value. The swing skiing starts at 1pm and includes night skiing, but night skiing itself is also available.

One-day lift ticket (adults): $85

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 3,000 acres 

Tips on how to save: while skiing in the resort is one of the most affordable in the US, the prices of accommodation go up in the high season, that is, during the summer and winter months. You can save by staying in Kalispell instead, which is a 20-minute drive away. Kalispell, being home to Glacier National Park, also has two ski resorts, lakes, and streams for fishing, and also boasts an outstanding art and culture scene.

budget ski towns in us budget ski resorts

Schweitzer Mountain — Sandpoint, Idaho

Sandpoint in Idaho is the largest city in Bonner County of Idaho, but more than that, it is also an amazing place to visit for anyone seeking an escape from the busy city life. Nestled between three mountain ranges on Lake Pend Oreille with possibilities to hike in summers and enjoy winter with snowshoeing and skiing, this ski town is a great place to visit if you are from the Pacific Northwest. Even if you are from far away, the Spokane, Wash airport is just 80 miles away with Amtrak.

Sandpoint offers affordable skiing options, but Schweitzer Mountain resort is the largest resort in Idaho and Washington, with an elevation of 6,389 feet, it is a great resort if you are seeking a place that is big on powder, and light on parties. Schweitzer mountain resort has enough varied slopes to keep most intermediate-and-up skiers happy, with lots of free runs and plenty of steeps. If you are traveling with family and want the elderly to enjoy their time on safer activities, Schweitzer mountain also offers Nordic ski trails and, of course, ski school for kids. Forty percent of the terrain is classified as intermediate, 35 as advanced, and 15 percent as an expert with the remaining ten left for beginner level. However, if you are there for a party, then the off-slope life can feel a bit dead. The 4,700-foot-elevation village is shut down early, making it a peaceful and family-oriented resort. Apart from two lodges, vacation homes, two pubs, and one restaurant around a compact street pizza place, there is nothing more in the town. But for a family vacation, that’s a perfect fit.

One-day lift ticket (adults): $89 (midweek, with $95 on weekends and holidays)

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 2,900 acres 

Tips on how to save: If you want to save on skiing, plan your ski vacation on midweek days, so you can ski for less. Also, if you choose Alaska Airlines, the boarding passes count for free ski days at resorts near airports. Check it out and save huge on your winter vacation this season.

budget ski towns in us bridger bowl

Bridger Bowl—Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman is a great escape for skiing, biking, and hiking – the nearby Bridger Range, to the North, and the Spanish Peaks, to the South, offer great outdoor activities for any season.

However, if you wish to ski on cheap in affordable ski resorts in North America, then Bridger Bowl might be one of the best bets. While being one of the best ski areas in North America, the place is run for no-profit, making it much more affordable. With areas for beginners, intermediate guests (500 acres) and advanced skiers are available. The resort also includes a bar and lounge, and on your free time in afternoons off-slopes you can visit Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National park in Montana to hike or car-ride some of the most beautiful trails, such as Bozeman to Norris Geyser Basin looking out for Trumpeter Swans on the rivers and bison on the roads.

One-day lift ticket (adults): $63

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 2,000 acres 

Tips on how to save: We suggest checking the Bridger Bowl official website, as this season, all visitors are required to make a reservation before skiing or riding. Following ski conditions and managing reservations for both skiing, accommodation, and traveling to Bozeman is crucial to safeguard your holiday joy.

budget ski towns in us budget ski resorts taos

Taos Ski Valley—Taos, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley ski town is well known for free-skiing and also as a great resort for families. The Ski Valley is also very accessible, with Santa Fe (165 miles away; shuttle service offered) being serviced by American Airlines from Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix, and United to Denver International Airport. However, if you just want to ski occasionally, you may consider staying in Santa Fe, which is a bigger town with a ski area just 15 miles away.

The largest ski mountain resort in New Mexico being Taos, it is also among some of the most affordable ski resort options for affordable ski holidays. Although you should watch the snowfall (average snowfall 300 inches) for the trail openings, the Taos Ski Valley ski resort offers strong intermediate and advanced mountains with over half of marked runs being advanced or expert (51%). There are also 2 terrain parks —Maxie’s Terrain Park, Bambi Glade Terrain Park if you prefer snowboarding over skiing.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $85 (on Monday-Thursday, non-holiday and non-peak days; other days $128)

Lift day tickets (youth 7-17 y.o.): $90

Ski area: 1,3000 acres 

Tips on how to save: If you’re lookingto save even more, then consider the nearby Angelfire ski resort. It is cheaper, more accessible, and more of everyday family type skiers. The lifts for Angelfire are right in the town, whereas it can take 30 minutes to get from Taos to lifts.

budget ski towns in us budget ski resorts

Ski Cooper — Leadville, Colorado

The historic city of Leadville in Colorado at 10,152 feet above sea level is the highest incorporated city in North America. And unlike other Colorado mining towns, Leadville still looks like it did in years past, with 70 square blocks of downtown Leadville designed as a National Historic Landmark District of Victorian Architecture of late nineteenth century with the largest opera house of the Mississippi, the saloon visited by Oscar Wilde and so much more to discover on your off-slope time.

If you wish to have a great ski vacation without breaking a bank, give Leadville a go. The Ski Cooper is one of the oldest in the state, opened 78 years ago, and in between the base of 10,5000 feet and summit of 11,700 feet, the 59 trails served by 5 lifts give you an amazing ski experience with an all-natural snow base. However, keep in mind those expecting an area to perform tricks, Ski Cooper does not have much to offer — with no terrain parks, the mountain resort focuses on skiers and mountain snowboarders only. Altogether, Ski Cooper is a great alternative to more crowded ski areas. Generally, here there are no lift lines, high-rise condos, or man-made snow.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $80

Lift tickets (children 6-14 years): $60

Ski area: 470 acres 

Tips on how to save: If you ski a lot, you may buy the season pass instead, but overall, Ski Cooper is still one of the most affordable ski resorts in Colorado.

budget ski towns in us budget ski resorts

Donner Ski Ranch — Norden, Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe is a well-known winter ski destination. Norden receiving on average 500 inches of snow per year has the snowiest ski resorts in the High Sierra. But the winter fun does not stop here. The town is great for off-slope fun as well. You can book ski lodging at the lakefront and listen to Celtic Harp music. You can go to bars and wine-tastings, or take the whole afternoon to drive to a deer farm to see the Mule deer.

Donner Ski Ranch is one of the cheapest ski areas in Lake Tahoe. There are many affordable options — see the best Lake Tahoe lift ticket deals. Donner Ski Ranch, a family-owned ski area located at the Donner Summit in Tahoe National Forest of Nevada. The mountain terrain is mostly oriented towards beginner and intermediate skiers, with beginner runs at 31% and intermediate runs at 38%, with the remaining 21% and 10% targeting advanced and expert skiers. With 8 total lifts, it is a comparatively small ski resort, perfectly navigable for those just starting.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $35

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 500 acres 

Tips on how to save: Instead of getting a flight from San Francisco, consider taking a bus or train. In the case of a bus, you can travel to Norden for much less, at the same time not spending more time on the road.

budget ski towns in us

Cranmore Mountain — North Conway, New Hampshire

The North Conway village in Carroll, New Hampshire, is a great place to escape the crowds and buzzing city. You can take a hike to Diana’s baths with smooth rocks and waterfalls any time of the year, and go shopping in the tax-free North Conway Settlers Green with over 60 national retailers.

East coast skiing and snowboarding emphasize family skiing and although has less of a natural powder, the man-made and natural snow is hard to tell apart these days. After all, New Hampshire’s Gallatin Valley is where multi-medallist Bode Miller comes from.

Regarding budget-friendly family ski destinations, Cranmore is located in the heart of North Conway, has skiing and riding for all ability levels and premier learning programs plus off-the-hill activities for all the family. The newly-added night skiing is a thrilling option for those seeking a rush of adrenaline.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $69

Lift tickets (children): $42

Ski area: 200 acres 

Tips on how to save: Save  $5 off each ticket that is purchased online 24 hours in advance.

budget ski towns in us brighton

Brighton — Salt Lake City, Utah

Apart from skiing, Brighton offers great hiking trails in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Lake Blanche. You can also go to Donut Falls Trailhead for forest hiking.

Brighton is one of the most laid-back ski hills of Salt Lake, attracting a young crowd, many of whom are snowboarders. It is also the only Ski City’s night ski spot with over 200 acres of lighted runs to extend your day on the mountain. When hungry during the midday, go down to the base area, which sports its friendly tavern with burgers, beer, nachos, and sunny patio available.

One-day lift ticket cost(adults): $89 (with weekend and holiday tickets at $93)

Lift ticket (children): free

Ski area: 1050 acres 

Tips on how to save: Instead of booking a taxi or shuttle from SLC Airport to the ski resort, consider Uber Ski with ski racks or Lyft. If you are staying in Salt Lake City instead of Brighton, consider taking the Ski Bus.

budget ski towns in us bolton

Bolton Valley Resort—Burlington, Vermont

Burlington is just 17 miles away from Bolton Valley Resort, which makes it a great place to travel to during the winter holiday season if you are more of a holiday skier than a fanatic. Being the most populous city in Vermont, Burlington offers a lot of fun to anyone eager to explore its streets. Downtown with shops and restaurants, and American folk and decorative art collection of historic buildings in the vast Shelburne Museum will keep you entertained during your visit.

The Bolton Valley is just 30 minutes from Burlington, and, although there is no direct connection, you can change buses or rent a car in Vermont to get around. Bolton Valley resort has beginner runs (34%) and intermediate runs (38%), with some advanced runs (23%), but very little expert runs (6%), making it a family-friendly and laid-back ski destination for an average American. Like so many other New England ski areas, the average annual snowfall is 300 inches. The Bolton Valley Resort offers 64 trails accessed with 6 lifts, as well as night skiing.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $69 (midweek and non-peak; $59 on weekend and non-peak)

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 165 acres 

Tips on how to save: get the most out of your time on the mountain and save money by making your lunch sandwiches and taking them with you — this is a great money-saver if you have  a family to feed.

Now that you know the most affordable ski resorts with the best deals on lift tickets, lodging, and overall value in the United States, it is time to look to decide between these budget US ski destinations. Book your accommodation without breaking the bank on CuddlyNest.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels.

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The 5 Best Colorado Ski Resorts For Winter 2020

The 5 Best Colorado Ski Resorts For Winter 2020

Colorado 5 MINS READ

When it comes to winter holidays, Colorado ski resorts offer a wide range of exciting activities, especially for families. With Christmas just around the corner, a great vacation idea is to plan ski a trip to the mountains, where you can indulge in a variety of snow sports while experiencing some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the US.

We’ve rounded up the best Colorado ski resorts, so you can take advantage of the season, experience the true radiance of winter, and, of course, hit the slopes with your family.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

The Best Colorado Ski Resorts

The Steamboat Ski Resort, at Colorado Springs

Person downhill skiing at the Steamboat Resort, Colorado.

The Steamboat Resort is one of the best Colorado ski resorts for a Christmas vacation. Located on Mount Werner, in the Routt National Forest, this family-friendly resort is a major ski area in Colorado. Offering a myriad of outdoor activities, the Steamboat resort has 169 trails spread over 2,965 acres. Of those trails, 14% are beginner-level, 42% are intermediate, and 44% are advanced. So, If you’re heading out to this resort with your family, you are about to be impressed.

Steamboat Resort is a perfect match for all those looking for a family-oriented destination. In fact, they have several family programs, including amazing offers like “Kids Ski Free”, where kids under 12 can ride the chairlift for free if they’re with their parents. They also offer a range of seasonal packages, such as the Winter Wonderland Vacation 2020-21 at the Steamboat Grand Hotel, which includes 3-day lift tickets, lodging discounts, 10% off at the Grand Spa, and worry-free vacation planning.

With 169 miles of trails, 2,965 miles of skiable acres, and 18 lifts, the Steamboat Colorado Resort is well-known for its famous champagne powder snow. This dry, light, and smooth snow has an average of 6 percent water content, while other ski locations have 15% water on their snow. This snow creates the perfect conditions for skiing, and this is why the Steamboat Colorado Resort is one of the best ski resorts in the US. Wondering how they ever came up with such a quirky name? The term was coined by a local rancher named Joe McElroy in the 1950s. While McElroy was skiing, he said that the snow tickled his nose, just like champagne!

If you need a break from skiing, sleighing, and snowboarding, a good idea is to explore Steamboat Springs, which is the ski town where the Steamboat Resort is Located. Framed by huge snowy mountains, Steamboat Springs has 130 restaurants, bars, breweries, a multitude of art galleries, and a rustic relaxation water oasis, the Steamboat Hot Springs. Located downtown, the Old Town Hot Springs has waterslides and hot spring pools for you to relax after hitting the slopes.

Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

Ski lifts in the snowy mountains of Aspen Snowmass, Colorado.

Aspen Snowmass is a ski resort located in Snowmass Village near Aspen, Colorado. Considered one of the best ski resorts in Colorado, Aspen Snowmass has 150 miles of trails and 3,339 acres of skiable terrain. Of those, 5% are for beginners, 48% intermediate, 17% advanced, and 30% for expert skiers.

You can expect 300 inches of snow per year in this area, and Aspen Snowmass is one of the best choices for skiing in Colorado thanks to its variety of mountain terrains, which include the Burnt Mountain Glades, the High Alpine, and the Cirque.

The Aspen Snowmass also has a ski and snowboard school for newcomers of all age groups. Aside from group lessons, you can also request one-on-one training and get a personalized class in the mountains before you hit the slopes.

And, in case you’re tired of skiing, you can head over to the new Snowmass Base Village, which has an ice rink, and a climbing wall. 

Families with kids can also benefit from a holiday vacation in Aspen Snowmass, as the ski resort arranges a variety of free activities for kids, such as S’mores making and cookies decorating.

Winter Park Resort

Ski lifts surrounded by snow and pine trees.

Located 67 miles from Denver, along the Continental Divide, the Winter Park Resort is the longest continually operated ski resort in Colorado. With more than 75-years of history, this resort features seven ski territories spread across 3,081 acres

With over 320 inches of snow per year, the Winter Park Ski Resort is known for being a family-friendly destination in the mountains, and also for its award-winning Ride + Ski School. Aside from skiing at this mountain resort, you can also indulge in other fun outdoor activities, such as sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, snowshoeing, and dog mushing.

Telluride Ski Resort

View of the snowy mountains at Telluride, in Colorado.

Located in southwest Colorado, Telluride Ski Resort offers both alpine skiing and cross-country skiing opportunities to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Most of the terrain of this ski resort (60%) is dedicated to beginners and intermediates. Advanced skiers have access to the legendary inbound terrain with moguls, glades, and Hike-to- terrain on the upper mountain.

Telluride has the highest concentration of 13,000 and 14,000- foot peaks in North America, and if you climb to the top of the San Juan Mountains, you’ll have a 360-degree scenic view of the mountainous landscape of Colorado.

And if you are into Nordic skiing, you can head over to the Mountain Village Town, which is located close to Telluride and has approximately 8 miles of winter trails. Just beware of the fact that this is not an exclusive-to-skiers-only trail, as it also accommodates hikers, snowshoers, bikers, and dogs. 

Copper Mountain Resort

Entrance of the Copper Mountain Ski Resort, in Colorado.

Considered one of the best Colorado ski resorts, the Copper Mountain Resort is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, approximately  75 miles west of Denver. This ski resort is ideal for all ages and abilities.

With 2,490 skiable acres, Copper Mountain is one of Summit County’s largest ski areas. Aside from terrain parks for skiing, this ski resort in Colorado also offers a variety of activities, such as snowshoe tours, ice skating, and the famous Mountain Coaster, an alpine coaster that will take you cruising through the forests at 25 miles per hour. Just a couple of years ago, Copper Mountain added a new activity called Apres Alley and it’s set up to offer fun activities such as ladder golf, ping pong, and live music, and even shuffleboard every Saturday.

Now that you know the best Colorado ski resorts to enjoy your winter holiday, it’s time to plan your move. Find the best-priced ski resort homes and vacation rentals on CuddlyNest. You are just a few steps away from working from anywhere around the globe at an affordable price.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travellers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels

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The Top 8 Health Benefits Of Skiing

The Top 8 Health Benefits Of Skiing

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While curling up by the fireplace and hibernating are surely tempting during the winter, engaging in some outdoor fun is also a good idea. So why not take advantage of the season and plan the ultimate ski trip? After all, Skiing trips the best way to welcome the colder months and enjoy the holidays. You get the chance to go to an exciting destination, stay at a stunning resort, breath some fresh mountain air, and bond with friends and family. To gild the lily, skiing can help you sleep better and burn those extra holiday calories.

If an action-packed holiday on the slopes is what you’re looking for this year, get ready to feel healthier than ever. Here are the top 8 health benefits of skiing.

1. Strengthens Bones and Joints

A person downhill skiing in a mountain.

While you’re skiing, your knees have to endure the weight and tension from your body, especially when you glide downhill quickly. This means that every time you’re skiing or even snowboarding, you are also strengthening your knees. But it’s not just your knees that reap the benefits of this winter sport, as your bones will also become stronger as a result of the impact of bearing your weight on your legs. Not only will you be having fun out in the mountains, but you’re also going to be preventing osteoporosis and knee damage, which is one of the top health benefits of skiing.

2. Mood-Boosting Energy

A happy woman holding her ski equipments on top of a mountain.

How many times have you heard that people’s mood shifts downwards in the winter? This happens because of a few factors, such as less exposure to sunlight, and less time socializing outside. These can affect one’s mental health, and even cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D), which is a type of depression. And this is where skiing comes in handy as a great mood booster during the winter. While gliding down the hills, “feel good” chemicals like endorphins and adrenaline are increased, and this creates feelings of happiness and well-being. Also, while you’re outside skiing, you get more exposure to the sun, which is a natural mood-booster.

There’s one more important factor that makes mood-boosting energy one of the tops health benefits of skiing: socializing. When you’re out skiing and snowboarding, you’re more likely to meet new people and have a fun time with your loved ones, which are crucial for mental health improvement.

3. Strengthens Lower Body Muscles

A person downhill skiing in a mountain.

Skiing will put you in an almost constant squat position, which targets the lower body muscle groups. So, aside from strengthening your joints and muscles, this sport will also do wonders for your quads, hamstrings, glutes, outer and inner thighs. While skiing, you can even work on deep core stabilization, as core muscles are essential for helping you to balance. While skiing and snowboarding, you’ll surely get a bit tired, but you won’t even realize you’re getting an intense workout, as you will be surrounded by snowy mountainous landscapes.

And, if you feel a bit sore after skiing, you can always head over to your resort’s spa and have a relaxing massage.

4. Improved Sleep

An unmade hotel bed with white sheets.

By now you already know that skiing can be a great mood booster, as it increases the production of chemicals like endorphins and adrenaline. But, aside from putting you in a great mood, skiing can help you sleep better. First, because it makes you tired, as any physical activity does. Second, because it helps you sweat all the stress and anxiety away, which is something that will definitely help you drift away to sleep once your head hits your pillow. So, after some skiing or snowboarding time on the slopes, don’t be surprised if you turn out the lights ahead of time, as better sleep is one of the top health benefits of skiing.

Tip: for maximum relaxation make sure you choose a top winter ski resort with all the amenities one may need after skiing, such as a jacuzzi and a spa.

5. Cardiovascular Health

A person running in the snow.

Your cardiovascular system will benefit not only from the high altitude you’re at but also from your elevated heart rate. Skiing is an aerobic endurance activity and, while you’re doing it, your heart is working out to deliver more oxygen to the cells in your muscles. While your heart rate is up, your body will have increased blood circulation, resulting in your muscles bringing in more oxygen and blood, which means you’ll burn more calories in less time.

Fun fact – Did you know skiing can allow you to burn up to 400 calories per hour?

6. More Water Drinking

Young woman drinking water on a snowy mountain.

Being in higher altitudes and engaging in an aerobic endurance activity means you will be breathing heavier. It may only take a little bit of time to adjust to the altitude but to stay on top of it, you will find yourself wanting to chug more water than usual. So don‘t even think twice about it, and keep that bottle of water nearby.

7. Indulge in Healthier Food Choices

A healthy dish made with figs, rasperies and other fruits and vegetables.

As you’re going to be burning many calories while skiing, the chances of you needing a power-up meal after you hit the slopes is pretty high. By lunchtime, you’ll feel the need to refuel, and by dinner, you’ll need another recovery meal. Naturally, you’ll feel more apt to carefully choose the food you put in your mouth. You’ll likely reach for more protein and healthy fats.

8. Improves proprioception

A group of people downhill skiing in a mountain.

Do you know what proprioception is? We explain. Proprioception is defined as an individual’s ability to feel several body parts and the efforts that go into moving them. Skiing requires this skill, as you must be highly aware of the slightest movements and positions of your body to have enough balance and coordination. So, if you want to learn how to ski like a pro, proprioception is essential. Also, proprioception weakens with age, so the more you engage in proprioceptive activities, such as skiing, the less it will decrease.

Have you noticed any of these health benefits with yourself while skiing? If you are a beginner, now is the best time to get out on those slopes and reap all of these health benefits. Whether you want to ski by your hometown or take a vacation to one of the many slopes around the world, what do you have to lose by having fun and getting healthy at the same time? 

Plan your best ski #CuddlyStay before is too late with cuddlynest.com

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels.

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Best Dirt-Cheap Balkan Ski Resorts for Family Christmas Holidays You Can Ski below $20 a Day

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Balkan ski resorts In Southern Eastern Europe packs the best value per buck if you ask us. While there are many opportunities for Christmas holidays spent together with family or friends, Balkans can offer you one of the most fun and unforgettable ways on skis. You can choose from resorts totalling in 883 kilometres of slopes, served by 521 ski lifts. That said, skiing opportunities in Southern East Europe Balkan countries are virtually endless.

While skiing is for everyone, skiing in the Alps in France or Switzerland can get expensive. To have more fun while spending less, we suggest skiing in Europe in Slovakian Tatry or go to Balkans instead.
Not only it is much more enjoyable to stay away from tourist-crowded ski destinations; you will also save quite a bit of money by going to the budget Balkan ski resorts. Offering world-class skiing opportunities for just a fraction you would spend in the US, Western Europe or even Scandinavian glaciers, CuddlyNest made a list featuring the best Balkan ski resorts that are also family-friendly.

After all, Christmas is all about being together with your loved ones, isn’t it?

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Vitosha, Sofia – Bulgaria

Budget-friendly Resort for All, € 18

We already wrote about 15 good reasons to visit Balkans this holiday. But here comes another one. Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, hosts one of the least expensive, but well-rated ski resorts in Balkans. With more than 20 km of ski slopes available and 15 lifts in the disposal of skiers, there is plenty of space to practice, learn and simply enjoy skiing for all technique levels.

The winter sports area is situated between 1340 and 2290 m, and while most of the slopes are for those aiming at blue trails (easy level), approximately 30% of ski slopes are for intermediate skiers. If you are sure about your skiing abilities and want to go for extreme adrenaline trails, there is not that much to see in Vitosha. Only 2 km of total ski slope area is surviving advanced skiers.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Sofia, Balkan Ski Resort Prices

As for pricing, you will save quite a bit when skiing in Sofia. Day ticket for adults costs approximately €18 (BGN 35), while youth and children day passes come at approximately €14 and €11, respectively.

Night Skiing in Sofia, Bulgaria

The resort is opened from 9 am to 4 pm, but you can also ski at night. Night skiing is operating from 6.30 pm until 10 pm, daily, so you can enjoy starry sky while going back to top on the escalator chair.

The resort is one of the best established in the whole region. Although there are no recently opened slopes, the very first slope with the 2-person fixed-grip Dragalezvi-Saslona chairlift was opened back in 1956. After that, the resort has undergone 2 large upgrades, with each adding 5 slopes. The current slopes are the result of 1984 upgrade. However, there have not been any Olympic games hosted in Vitosha, so while you get a great value for the buck, do not expect the world-class training slopes, especially if looking for moguls.

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Skiing Babin Do – Bjelašnica – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Want to ski on Olympic Games slopes? The winter Bjelašnica Olympic Mountain Ski Centre facilities are located on the eastern slope of Bjelašnica. Close to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is plenty to do both in winter and summertime. While it is one of the most marvellous places to go for a hike in summer (or winter, if you are into ski shoeing), do not get carried away with hiking trails.

Olympic Ski Resort in Balkans

Indeed, Bjelašnica is one of the top ski resorts, having more than 12.5 of slopes available. Good for both skiing and snowboarding, the resort lies around 27 km away from the capital city of Bosnia, making it an attractive destination for those who want to spend some time in the city where the World War I started. The capital boasts beautiful architecture, and affordable restaurant scene – you may want to check it now and book Sarajevo hotel in advance.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Balkan Skiing Red Trails

Contrasting with other Balkan ski resorts, there is more to do for intermediates than those who are beginners. Located between elevations 1,270 and 2,067m over the sea level, skiing near the capital is also one of the most affordable, considered great Bjelašnica summit slopes. With day pass costing adults €18 (BGN 35), and €13 (BGN 25) for children, you can enjoy the slopes where the Winter Olympics of 1984 were hosted. It is an experience of a lifetime to ski the same slope where Bill Johnson (US) won the alpine skiing downhill, and twins Phil and Steve Mahre (US) slalom.

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Stara Planina – Babin Zub for Beginners – Serbia

Located in Southern and Eastern Serbia, Stara Planina offers one of the least costly options for beginners. The perks of choosing Stara Planina as your Balkan winter ski destination also include the fresh countryside air. The slopes practically end at the village Jabučko Ravnište, and you can go straight to your home after a long day on skis.

Serbia Ski Resorts

As for the offering, the Babin Zub is perfect for those families looking for a place to practice skiing safely. Out of 13 km of the resort’s slopes, more than half is for those trying to learn. When surpassed the blue slope skill level, you can either go for red or black slopes, both of which are equally abundant, compromising 3 km each.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Stara Planina Ticket Prices

Day tickets for adults and children are a little bit more expensive but considering 5 lifts for just 13 km of ski slopes, you can be sure you will not freeze at the line waiting to go to the top. Gondolas will take you to the top, and you can be sure the chairlifts are up to the latest standards, being constructed just back in 2006. Daily ticket for adults costs €19 (RSD 2250) and €15 (RSD 1760) for children.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Sljeme (Medvednica) – Zagreb – Croatia

While Croatia beaches and historical sites are appealing to those families seeking sun and summer in the midst of winter, there is a lot to do in Croatia for those willing to take up skiing, too.

Best Croatia Small-Scale Ski Resort

Sljeme ski resort near Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is small enough to feel cosy and always be sure about where your family members are. One of the best ski resorts for those with young children, Sljeme ski area is totalling in 4 km. Mostly serving those who go after blue and red tracks, the ski area is equipped with a 3-person chairlift to bring you 1030 m high into the mountainous area, and 2 J-bar lifts to bring you to the top of the slope again.

Croatia Ski Resort Near Zagreb

The day ticket is one of the least expensive, costing €13 (HRK 100) for adults and €7 (HRK 50) for children. Operating from 9 am to 4 pm, Medvednica is a good option for those looking for a wintertime activity close to Zagreb, Croatia. After visiting Zagreb SPAs, you can relax in tranquillity on skis!

Have you skied in Balkans? Let us know and share this with your Facebook friends, Instagram fellows and Pinterest audience!

Hacks & Tips 4 MINS READ

Embrace the Ski Season With These Tips Plus New, Exciting Inventory

Embrace the Ski Season With These Tips Plus New, Exciting Inventory

Hacks & Tips 4 MINS READ

Are you taking advantage of this snowy season? CuddlyNest has exciting, new inventory of places to ski. Here are some tips to take with you next time you embrace the slopes.

  1. Avoid Borrowing

Think twice before borrowing someone’s snowboard or skis. This equipment is usually designed based on someone’s weight and height. To avoid ever needing to borrow, get yourself some equipment that is appropriate for you and your needs. How? Think about where you spend most of your time. What type of terrain do you ski and how often? These are important questions to ask yourself and to discuss with the store clerk when choosing the perfect set of skis for yourself.

  1. Dress Code is Critical

Sure, you know it’s cold – snow equals wintery cold weather, right? But do you know the appropriate dress code besides just ski pants, boots, and a hat? Here are some pointers to remember:

  • Bring goggles for the shade and cloudy weather and sunglasses for sunny weather.
  • Layer up those clothes, in addition to ski pants.
  • In fact, make sure one of those layers is cotton and the layer closest to your skin is thermal.
  • Ensure that all outside layers are waterproof.
  • While some people think multiple socks is best, one pair is actually warmer.
  • Pockets are a bonus so you can take off layers if you get too hot.

Now that the basics are covered, let’s jump into the fun tips.

 

  1. Are you properly turning on your skis?

While turning sends you into the direction you wish to go, you also control your speed with turning. Many new skiers will begin to make turns in either a gliding wedge or snowplow, which works on flat, gentle surfaces. However, to advance for steeper terrain, it’s important to learn the right form of turning – The proper form is more effective, even at speed, than the well-known wedge turn.

The proper way to turn is called a parallel turn – this means the skis are parallel to one another among the end of every turn. This position is ideal for edging, which is known as the basic action of scraping the edge of the skis amongst the snow. What can slow you down is edging. The goal is to get your skis as perpendicular as possible to the slope as it allows them to edge and gives you more control over your speed.

You can get the hang of edging paired with a parallel turn by practicing making “hockey stop moves” and make sharp turns to the left or right, whichever way provides more comfort for you. Start by positioning your skis so they are parallel to one another – They shouldn’t touch and definitely shouldn’t touch while turning – Now, edge them forcefully into the snow until you completely stop moving. This is basically a similar action you will notice at the end of each turn.

  1. How to Get Up in Deep or Soft Snow

While you can learn all the tips in the world to prevent a fall, you should know what to do in case you find yourself laying down in the snow, whether it’s soft or deep. To get up after a fall on the slopes:

  • Sit up sideways across the hill, positioning your skis together.
  • Make sure your pole tips are in the snow, just above your uphill knee.
  • Now, with one hand, grip the other just above the snow.
  • In just one fluid movement, push yourself up with your bottom hand as you push down on the pole grips.

  1. Transfer Weight to One Ski

Intermediate skilled skiers should learn to balance on one ski. To practice, you should transfer your weight from your downhill ski to your uphill ski while traversing. The end result with this is to parallel turn without any stemming. Start a traverse across the slope, with all of your weight carried by the big-toe-edge of your downhill ski. Your weight will then be transferred from your dowhillsi to your uphill ski by flexing your downhill leg, while you’re extending your uphill leg – While doing this, your uphill ski should be tilted onto your big-toe-edge.

During this practice, you may notice slight lifting of the tail of the downhill ski.

  1. Turning Shoulders With Skis

Several intermediate skiers may find that their shoulders follow the position of their hips, only to end each turn facing the same side of the piste. For the correct way, pick up your poles and turn them upside down to form a cross. Now, find a spot towards the bottom of the pitch in which you are skiing – Try to ensure that the crosshairs of your poles stay pointed in the exact same spot as you make careful and low speed turns around the area. If you’re doing this correctly, you will feel your hips working to keep your upper body pointed downhill as your legs go left and right across the snow. Make sure you are still aware of your surroundings while you practice this.

Do you have any other skiing tips to share? We would love to hear them. Stay safe this ski season and don’t forget to check out some our new inventory.