Hitting the slopes without breaking the bank can be a challenge – not least as the main Alpine resorts are located in some of the most expensive countries in Europe. However, eastern Europe has a few intriguing ski destinations, including Bulgaria’s Bansko on the Pirin mountain range.
The country’s main ski resort, with good beginner and intermediate runs, is reached via a scenic – but very slow – narrow-gauge railway. The town itself has considerable charm beyond the tourist development, with numerous traditional old pubs hidden down its cobbled alleyways.
Where to stay
Best for guest house experience: Zigen House
Best for great location: Kap House Hotel
Daily budget: Basic €25, occasional treat €40
Drink: Beer (0.5l) €1
Food: Shopska salad €3
Hostel/budget hotel: €10/€20
Travel: Train: Sofia–Plovdiv €4; bus: €7
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