Špindlerův Mlýn, Czechia

Similar to Klínovec / Fichtelberg, but reachable only by car, 4+ hour drive.

Budget
  • Car, gas from 60eur/person
  • Accommodation, from 30eur/night
  • Skipass, 28eur/day
More info

Inexpensive accommodation and food, reasonable skipass rates.

The place offers mostly prepared pistes, but there should be some freeride runs possible after the snow cover is established.

Usual season opening: mid-December.

See also www.skiareal.cz

Braunlage (Harz)

A fairytale destination, but requires some advanced transport planning… or a car.

Budget
  • Train to Bad Harzburg and back: from 50eur
  • Local bus: ?
  • 1-day ski pass: 32eur
More info

Up to 400m altitude difference; opens mid-December, good snow cover probably since late January.

http://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/wurmberg-braunlage/

When there is little snow in the region or in peak times Braunlage may become really crowded, up to the total absence of parking spots. So better come by the opening time.

Munich and beyond

A weekend or longer trip, more expensive but still relatively on budget.

Ski resorts

Lots of them! Just to name a few: Hintertux in Zillertal, Kitzsteinhorn at Zell am See, Söll, Herzogstand, Dammkar, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Budget
  • Train: from 150eur return trip
  • Skipass: from 50eur/day
  • Accommodation: from 60eur
Itineraries by train (to Munich)

A suitable EuroNight (sleeper) train via Hannover leaves at 19:49 and arrives at 7:05.
Return: EuroNight via Mannheim, 20:44 > 06:06.

December: ~150eur return w/o BahnCard, 120eur with BahnCard 25
January: 104eur with BahnCard 25

There’s also an option to save some money by going back on Monday during the day on ICE train.

Itineraries by plane (to Munich)

Now there’s only direct Lufthansa option from ~150eur return flight + 50eur skis (see KIWI).

Itineraries to resorts
  • Mayrhofen: 2.5hr away by train from Munich Hbf, 44eur return.
  • Söll: 1.5hr away by train (from Munich Hbf to Wörgl Hbf), 52eur return.
  • A couple of nice places in Bavaria reached best by car, e.g. Herzogstand, Dammkar.
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen & Zugspitze: ~1.5hr by train from Munich Hbf to Garmisch + ~1hr Zahnradbahn to Zugspitze. There’s also a cheap overnight FlixBus from Berlin to Garmisch.
More info

We have to say Garmisch and Zugspitze are slightly boring and overpriced. If you’re interested in having a beer on the highest point of Germany, go ahead, but otherwise, it makes sense to go there only after a really good snowfall.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Solid option for a 4+ day trip. We tested it in 2017.

Ski resorts

Jasná Nízke Tatry — Chopok: great backcountry potential when the snow conditions are good!

Budget
  • Train, 110eur return trip
  • Skipass, 30eur/day
  • Accommodation, from 30eur/day
Itineraries by train

Inexpensive EuroNight nonstop train 19:01 >> 05:36 and 23:01 >> 09:01 back.
Bratislava to Liptovský Mikuláš train 07:55 >> 12:15 13eur + local bus or taxi; 17:29 >> 21:13 back to Bratislava.

http://www.slovakrail.sk/en.html
http://cp.atlas.sk/vlakbus/spojenie/

Also, an opportunity to go back on Monday during the day through Prague, EC every 2 hours.

Train tickets: Berlin<>Bratislava 78eur + Bratislava<>Mikulas 30eur = 110eur
Skipass: 5 days = 140eur (280eur for 2)
Accommodation: 5 days 2 people = 150-250eur
We stayed at Penzion Ajda (www.ajda.sk or Booking.com link).

More info

If you choose EuroNight train, do pay attention when the conductor explains you safety rules. This is the only train on Earth where someone managed to steal our cash 🙂

In Jasná, if you’re willing to walk along the ridge from Chopok towards Ďumbier peak, you’ll find nice off-piste routes for any level even in spring and meet lots of wildlife, especially Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica.

Some downsides: local transport is underdeveloped. Mikuláš is far from the slopes, 30 minutes in a crowded skibus.

Innsbruck, Austria

A bit more expensive option with shorter travel time.

Ski resorts

Mayrhofen, Stubel/Arlberg

Itineraries by plane

airberlin/NIKI direct from TXL (KIWI) — to be updated due to airberlin’s bankruptcy.

Mayrhofen: 1.5hr drive, 1.5hr by train (http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en), 26eur return trip.

Geneva, Switzerland

Note: avoid the French school holidays period (Feb 06 — Mar 06)!

Ski resorts

Chamonix, Megeve, Nendaz (CH)

Itineraries

Direct flights by easyJet (KIWI).

Chamonix: 80km
http://www.chamonix.net/english/transport/coach
http://www.easybus.com/en/geneva-airport/cheapest-airport-transfers

— check snow report before travel and select the place accordingly?

More info

I always have to google the name of this French non-profit organization with interesting packages, so I’ll write it down here: https://www.ucpa-vacances.com/ski/

Lyon, France

Top slopes all around! Good for a longer getaway.

Ski resorts

Alpe d’Huez
Les 2 Alpes

Itineraries

easyJet direct flight (KIWI)
SXF>LYS morning; FlixBus to Alpe d’Huez or a bus to Grenoble and then Transisere on
LYS>SXF early morning

Milan, Italy

Another great weekend+ option.

Ski resorts

Courmayer

Itineraries

Direct flights by Ryanair (KIWI)
Fri 8:00 PM – 9:45 PM >>
Mon 8:40 AM – 10:25 AM <<
Taking Monday off, riding on Saturday and Sunday, staying 2 nights in Bergamo.

Car rent: 3 days from 60eur.

Courmayeur: 220 km; cheap transfer should be available.

Venice, Italy

Unexpected destination, Venice is cheap to fly to in winter, so it’s a great port of entry on your way to Dolomites or Slovenian ski resorts.

Makes sense in case of Friday+Monday off.

Ski resorts

Val Gardena
Something in Slovenia?

Itinerary

Ryanair from 27 EUR (KIWI)
SXF>TSF morning
TSF>SXF midday

Val Gardena: 300 km (4 hr drive) from Venice.
Car hire: 3 days from 80eur.

Malaga, Spain

A rare combo of sea and snow in one weekend.

Ski resorts

Sierra Nevada: very sunny, best snow presumably in January

Itinerary by plane

easyJet from 100eur (KIWI)
SXF>AGP: Fri evening
AGP>SXF Mon evening

Sierra Nevada: 160km by car.
Car hire: 3 days from 70eur.

Other

To be explored…
  • Sofia, Bulgaria (direct afternoon flight by Ryanair): Bansko (2.5 hours by shuttle, 40eur return)
  • Barcelona, Spain (direct flights)
  • Grenoble, France (no direct flights but this is a great base anyway)
Package holidays

Requires some additional research.