Slovakia is the only new country in British ski brochures this winter, with Inghams adding the country just East of Austria to its brochure as a new high value destination.  

Over the past few years, EC funds have been ploughed in to the best areas to add high speed lifts, snow making and quality hotels and restaurants.

Slovakia has skiing in the High Tatra mountains, with resorts only 15 minutes from Poprad-Tatry Airport, accessed from the UK by direct flights with Sky Europe from Luton. The area is also 90 minutes from Slovakia's second city, Kosice, giving a second route in, from Manchester (as well as Luton also).

This winter the Luton - Poprad flight operates on both a Tuesday and a Saturday making Slovakia, where everything from a mountain restaurant lunch to a lift ticket costs between 25 and 50-percent less than the equivalent at a top resort in the Alps. The two-hour flight followed by the short transfer means you can be on the slopes the same day.

The main ski area here is Tatranska Lomnica, which has seen 33 million euros of investment in recent years. It shares an area pass with nearby Stary Smokovec and Strbske Pleso, where a new 5-star Kempinski Hotel opened earlier this year.

All have fairly limited skiing, but the option to ski each one on the same lift pass, without being stung when it comes to stopping for some chips and a beer, or needing a mortgage for a lift pass, is attractive.

A second destination region in the country is the Low Tatras, Nizke Tatry, which despite the name actually has bigger ski areas and a slightly better snow record than the High Tatras. It is about 45 minues from Poprad Airport or from Kosice.  It is made up of two unlinked ski areas, Jasna, Slovakia's biggest ski area, and Chopok, the other side of the same mountain.

If you're taking non-skiers along, the Tatry Mountains have three aqua parks, with geothermal pools and spas, 2.6 kilometres of night sledging and two large shopping areas, in Poprad and Liptovský Mikulás, and horse-riding, sledging and skating.

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