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November 18, 2008
With holidays one of the first things to be affected in these credit-crunching times, many will assume that the annual ski break may have to be foregone. However, Hostelworld beg to differ and have therefore developed a list of eight destinations that offer budget accommodation coupled with fantastic skiing potential, relaxing stays and a wide range of winter activities.
High Tatras, Slovakia
High Tatras in Slovakia is one of Europe's undiscovered ski destinations where budget skiers can revel in some of the best skiing conditions complete with the cheapest beer! While the High Tatras mountains are one of the smallest mountain ranges in the world, they do not lack the excitement and exhilaration that bigger ski resorts bring. The best known slopes are around Strbske Pleso and Tatranska Lomnika. The former offers some of the best cross-country skiing in the world as well as night skiing, whereas the latter remains more low-key but offers some of the more difficult runs in the region. While there, a cable car ride up to the summit of Lomnicky Stit is not to be missed with views of a spectacular glacial lake and a dramatic view of all the Tatras.
Hostelworld recommends - The Ginger Monkey Hostel
The Ginger Monkey Hostel is a brand new hostel recently opened in the beautiful village of Zdiar in the High Tatras Mountains. Set up by two backpackers, the Hostel is cosy, friendly and feels like a home away from home. With jaw dropping mountain views from every window, this hostel accommodates all backpacker needs with various dorms and private rooms, a large shared kitchen and lounge.
Rates from €13.89 per night
Not many people would think of the UK as a ski destination but Carrbridge in Scotland is just that. When the snow is good in Scotland, Scottish skiing is right up there with some of the best in Europe. Cairngorm and Aviemore offers skiers and boarders some of the best and most challenging runs in Scotland and there is also plenty of off-piste skiing which is popular with snow boarders. The tops of the mountains are relatively flat so if cross-country is your choice there are plenty of routes for you to follow. If you need a break from the slopes, the Cairngorm Sleddog Adventure centre offers you the chance to experience a few adrenaline filled hours of handling a team of dedicated sled dogs.
Hostelworld recommends Slochd Mhor Lodge
The perfect base for a ski holiday in the Highlands, Slochd Mhor Lodge is located within easy reach of the Cairngorms and ski centres. With its holiday cottage, group accommodation and above all superb location, the Slochd offers a fully equipped kitchen, spacious dining area as well as ski hire, lessons and a drying room.
Rates from €19.77 per night
Host to the 1994 winter Olympics and just two hours from Oslo's airport, Lillehammer offers ski lovers a wide range of unique opportunities including off-piste skiing and hundreds of miles of Olympic cross country trails through forested or mountain terrain. For the less extreme skier, there are numerous less advanced runs to suit every level of ability. The bustling town of Lillehammer also offers an abundance of alternatives for those not wishing to take to the slopes including adrenaline filled bob sledding and bob rafting. Four-man bob sledding is the ultimate experience - riding on a genuine Olympic style bob sled that reaches speeds of 120km/hr.
Hostelworld recommends Lillehammer Hostel
Centrally located and recently renovated, the Lillehammer Hostel is linked with regular buses to nearby ski areas of Hafjell and Nordseter. All rooms are equipped with shower, wc, free wireless internet and TV. Guests are given a free breakfast buffet each day and offered free parking. If you need a break from the slopes, the hostel is located within close proximity to several cafes, restaurants and shops.
Rates from €29.82 per night
Bad Gastein, Austria
Bad Gastein is one of Austria's skiing gems. With 200 kilometres of slopes and optimum ski conditions, this is a resort that deserves to be visited! Winter sports enthusiasts, families with children, casual winter hikers and athletic ice climbers can all find their slice of paradise here. The 17 hot springs that feed the spas of Gastein offer the perfect place to relax after a days skiing. These therapeutic waters can enhance your health, fitness and general well-being!
Hostelworld recommends Euro Youth Hotel and Krone
Alongside the five comfortable dorms, this hostel, located just a 100 metres from the main train station, has 59 private rooms ranging from singles to five beds, all of which have en-suite bathrooms, TV's, free WiFi and balcony. Having returned from the slopes, guests can also enjoy the games room with pool table and foosball or have a meal in the bar / restaurant. With a free breakfast, this hostel really does offer everything a guest could need!
Rates from €16.00 per night
Based in the heart of the Alps and with the stunning Mont Blanc for a backdrop, Chamonix is one of the most famous resorts in the world and rightly considered one of the best spots for a skiing holiday. It offers a multitude of fantastic ski runs based in three main areas and three smaller areas, ideal for children and families alike. A number of world class events take place throughout the ski season in Chamonix adding yet another dimension to this exciting resort.
Hostelworld recommends Chalet Les Frenes
Offering a view of Mont Blanc that could rival any in the world, this hostel's stunning location is the perfect base for a ski holiday. The hostel offers guests a choice of good sized private rooms ranging from one to three beds, WiFi and a gorgeous balcony and garden from which to enjoy the views.
Rates from €24.07 per night
One of the most traditional resorts in Europe, Interlaken is situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, between the lakes of Thun and Brienz and at the foot of the famous trio of peaks, the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau. The Junfrau region provides 113 miles of downhill trails served by 45 cable cars and lifts. For the extreme-adventurer there is heli-skiing, heli-boarding, ice hiking and many other adrenaline-pumping activities.
Hostelworld recommends Balmers Herberge
Balmers Herberge is the oldest private hostel in Switzerland with over 60 years experience in providing a home-away from home for guests. Housed in a gorgeous, traditional building but with all the modern amenities that a guest could wish for, the hostel provides a great place to relax after a day on the slopes. The new café / bar offers a great selection of food and has not one but two happy hour's every night!
Rates from €19.83 per night
For those that fancy going that bit further afield…
Vernon is one of Canada's most picturesque ski cities. Brightly coloured store fronts, boarded sidewalks and sparkling night lights provide a unique ambiance. With average daily temperatures of -3C, it is cold enough to keep the snow light and fluffy yet perfect for skiing, riding, cross-country skiing and an assortment of other activities.
Voted 'Ski Resort of the Year', the mountain has three distinct faces, 115 runs, plus more than 100kms of Nordic trails and night skiing. The area is known for its apres-ski, especially in The Club Saloon, with a DJ and live music. The village is located mid-mountain which means that accommodation, bars and shopping are all truly ski-in, ski-out. Vernon is a true ski winter wonderland!
Hostelworld recommends Silver Star Samesun Ski Lodge
Silver Star Mountain Resort is the world's first custom-built ski hostel. This world-class facility is positioned right on the side of a huge four-season mountain with a ski-in/ski-out facility. The 140-bed hostel offers pool tables, internet access, a huge kitchen and dining areas, a comfortable lounge and outdoor hot tub. It even offers a free pancake breakfast!
Rates from €20.10 per night
Another host to the Winter Olympics, Rossland is home to the Red Mountain resort. Made up of two mountains, Red and Granite, this stunning resort offers skiers of all abilities more than 1200 acres of skiable terrain. From gradual slopes on the magic runs to extreme skiing on the north side of Granite Mountain, Red offers something for skiers of all levels
It is not just skiing that makes Rossland one of the hottest ski resorts for 2009. With plenty of shops, restaurants and spas, as well as scenic trips up the mountains, there is no shortage of activities to keep even the most discerning guest entertained.
Hostelworld recommends Mountain Shadow Hostel
Located just a three minute drive from the main lifts of the resort in downtown Rossland, this is a small, cosy hostel with just seven rooms in total - two private and five dorms. Offering 'all the comforts of home' including a fully stocked kitchen, TV room, comfy lounge area and internet access this hostel is a great place to relax after a long day on the slopes!
Rates from €13.51 per night
Hostelworld.com is the leading provider of online reservations to the budget, independent and youth travel market. It offers confirmed online reservations for over 18,000 hostels and budget hotels in 170 countries worldwide. The site also offers budget travellers free podcasts, customised city guides, a travel social network and more. Hostelworld.com is headquartered in Dublin and is fully owned and operated by Web Reservations International Ltd (WRI).
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