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SLOVAKIA

SLOVAKIA is perhaps the most up-and-coming location for European skiing. The past decade has seen considerable investment in the area’s tourism, which means an increasing number of top-quality lifts and facilities, and some plush new hotels. The especially good news is that it’s cheaper than skiing in the Alps – a six day lift pass is around €140 while a beer will only cost you €1 – and even though ski tourism is on the up, the slopes are a lot less crowded too.

The country’s leading resort is Jasna in the Low Tatras. Here you'll find excellent skiing on 34 km of piste across the north and south slopes of the impressive Chopok mountain, with excellent possibilities for all types of skier, including snowboarders and off-piste adventurers.

The village itself is pretty small so apres ski is limited, but the resort is just outside the town of Liptovsky Mikulas, which has plentiful hotels and restaurants. It’s also an area rich with thermal springs, and the local Aqua Park – with 38 degree waters – provides superb relaxation.

Where to stay: the four star Grand Hotel Jasna sits 100m from the cable cars taking you up the mountain, and has excellent spa and sauna facilities in its Wellness Centre. Prices for a week half board, including a six day ski pass, from €459. www.jasna.sk for more information.