Travel: Prices on a sliding scale: Which ski resorts are most expensive? Chris Gill finds that some of them are pretty steep

In the autumn, I poured scorn on the 'typical prices' published in some of the new ski resort guides which were, to say the least, misleading, and I invited readers to record prices on their early- season skiing trips. Fifty-two readers came up with the goods. My thanks to them for their conscientious efforts; when Where to Ski is published in the autumn, they will each receive a copy.

In terms of resort coverage, our survey is obviously not comprehensive (Kitzbuhel, for instance, is not included), but we have gathered enough data to compile one that is much more reliable than others. And the picture that emerges is clear.

I have calculated a price index for each resort listed. This mainly reflects the costs of eating and drinking in bars and restaurants on the mountain or by the nursery slopes, or in simple places in the village; upmarket village restaurants have not been included.

The benchmark (an index score of 100) is the average French resort. I settled on this mainly because we got many more results from France than from any other country. By coincidence, the resort from which we had most results, Val d'Isere, happens to have a score of precisely 100. But you'll see from the list that there are many cheaper resorts than Val, and a handful that are much more expensive.

I have looked at a wide range of items and worked out their average prices at all French resorts. The index for each is achieved by comparing the prices in that resort with overall French average.

To give you some idea of the level of these benchmark prices, here are a few examples (converted at the rate of 8.6 francs to the pound):

Small coffee, 90p; large coffee, pounds 1.75; hot chocolate, pounds 1.65; wine (glass) pounds 1.40, (25cl carafe) pounds 2.85, (bottle) pounds 7.20; scotch, pounds 3.40; dish of the day, pounds 6.75; steak, pounds 7; burger, pounds 4.60; chips, pounds 2.55; pizza, pounds 3.70; green salad, pounds 2.35; filled bread roll, pounds 2.45.

The price indexes for the different countries and their resorts follow, in ascending order of price. The exchange rates that have been used in each case appear at the end.

French resorts

Chatel 83

Chamonix 84

Valmorel 86

Serre Chevalier 89

Montgenevre 90

Morzine 91

Les Carroz (near Flaine) 92

Risoul/Vars 92 St-Gervais 92

Avoriaz 94

La Clusaz 96

Les Menuires 98

Val d'Isere/Tignes 100

Les Arcs 101

La Rosiere 106

Val Thorens 109

Megeve 118

Meribel 125

Courchevel 142

No huge surprises, except perhaps the degree by which the cost of Courchevel exceeds the others, and the modest cost of Chamonix - but then, it does attract people who are big on skiing rather than spending. Of the mega-resorts, only La Plagne is missing, but it can be safely put in the 100-105 region. It is curious that quiet little La Rosiere, across the valley from Les Arcs, should be in the same league.

Austrian resorts

Leogang 87

Zauchensee 89

Badgastein 92

Zell am See 94

Ischgl 96

Galtur 97

Saalbach 98

Dachstein 100

St Anton 103

Schladming 104

Niederau 105

Obergurgl 110

Obertauern 113

Obergurgl has long been known as relatively expensive, but it is slightly surprising to find it beaten to pole position by Obertauern, which to my knowledge does not have a reputation for high prices, although it does have the merit of being high and snow-sure. Schladming, nearby, comes out surprisingly pricey, too.

Swiss resorts

Verbier 115

Zermatt 122

Saas-Fee 125

Murren 126

Not quite the detailed picture you might have hoped for, but general confirmation that Switzerland is, overall, the most expensive country to ski at the moment. Of all the other resorts surveyed here, only Courchevel pips these prices.

Italian resorts

Macugnaga 54

Courmayeur 56

Bardonecchia 58

Sestriere 65

Sauze d'Oulx 71

Corvara/San Cassiano 76

Cervinia 97

Clear confirmation that Italy is the bargain of the season at current exchange rates - and that Cervinia deserves its reputation as the most expensive mass- market Italian resort.

American resorts

Mammoth 55

Heavenly Valley 86

Vail 109

The US is good value - something that American visitors to Britain can confirm - but the range of prices is striking. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Aspen is no more expensive than Vail, and maybe slightly cheaper.

Exchange values of pounds 1 used: 8.6FFr; 17.5 Austrian schillings; 2.1SwFr; 2,500 lire; 1.45 dollars US.

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
News
Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives his annual televised question-and-answer session
peopleBizarre TV claim
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
life
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

    Sports coaching volunteer jobs

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...

    Turtle Nesting and Coral Reef Conservation in Borneo

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...

    Elephant research project in Namibia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...

    Day In a Page

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit