One of the biggest hassles about any ski holiday in the Alps is how to get there in the first place! Complicated transfers with long wait times are not the best way to start your ski holiday, so next time you book, why not choose one of these easy-to-reach resorts? We've avoided resorts that require costly private shuttles or car hire. All of the ski resorts on this list can be easily accessed from the UK using a combination of plane or train plus an easy shuttle bus or cable car. Remember to pre-book your shuttle during peak season dates so you don't get left at the station!
One of Innsbruck's closest ski resorts is Axamer Lizum, former host resort to the Winter Olympics. Axamer Lizum is a small but friendly ski resort with three Olympic downhill runs to challenge yourself on. And it couldn't be easier to get to: a free ski bus takes you from Innsbruck to the slopes in less than an hour. This makes it feasible to stay in Innsbruck, spend the day in the ski area and come back in the evening to enjoy the nightlife in the city.
Located in the beautiful Parc Régional des Vercors, Lans en Vercors is primarily known for its excellent network of cross-country skiing trails. The linked ski area, including the ski resorts of Autrans and Villard de Lans, has 160km of slopes for downhill skiing and snowboarding. Transaltitude runs a very reasonably priced shuttle bus in the winter from Grenoble and the journey takes just 45 minutes.
Take the Eurostar ski train to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, jump onto the funicular and ten minutes later you'll yourself at Les Arcs. Together, Les Arcs and La Plagne form the Paradiski linked ski area with 425km of slopes and three glaciers. This is a mecca for intermediate skiers and mixed-ability groups, and has recently taken to proclaiming itself the "home of the snowboard".Relaxing at an outdoor terrace in the Paradiski linked ski area (Photo: © Miranda Muller)
Transaltitude also runs a shuttle service from Grenoble Airport to Chamrousse, host resort of the 1968 Winter Olympics. A small ski area with pretty tree-lined slopes and an abundance of choice for every ability level, Chamrousse is an excellent choice for family ski holidays or ski holidays in a group of friends. Chamrousse is also a relatively short drive from Geneva and is popular with British skiers.
Also known as Valmorel La Belle, Valmorel is a pretty ski resort with traditional chalet-style architecture and a pedestrianised main street. Valmorel grants access to Le Grand Domaine ski area, with around 150km of slopes. While Le Grand Domaine is primarily known for being a good ski resort for families, with its calm atmosphere and picturesque tree-lined slopes, there is also some challenging off-piste terrain for expert skiers. The Belle Savoie Express runs a line from Moûtiers to Valmorel which takes just 45 minutes and runs throughout ski season.
The Eurostar ski train stops at Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains, granting relatively easy access to the ski resorts of Les Trois Vallées. Les Menuires is among the easiest, with regular shuttle buses operated by the Belle Savoie Express and Altibus. The journey to Les Menuires takes about 45 minutes, after which the Belle Savoie Express continues on to Val Thorens, just above Les Menuires.Les Trois Vallées offers original funslopes to help the kids learn to ski! (Photo: © Nikki Casleton)
Also on the Belle Savoie Express is a route from Moûtiers to Courchevel. This legendary French ski resort is a long-time favourite with British skiers, and with five different villages to choose from, Courchevel is sure to offer fantastic skiing holidays for any type of skier. From here you'll have access to over 600km of slopes in Les Trois Vallées. The journey from Moûtiers takes just over an hour and runs from December to April.
Quiet La Rosière is located in the Espace San Bernardo, on the border between France and Italy. It has yet to be discovered by the masses, and offers a relaxing destination for a family ski holiday or a romantic getaway. Get off at the Bourg Saint-Maurice train station and you can be in La Rosière 50 minutes later with the Belle Savoie Express.
Also within easy reach of Bourg Saint-Maurice are Val d'Isère and Tignes, about an hour away on the Belle Savoie Express. Home to the legendary Folie Douce, Tignes - Val d'Isère is one of France's premier ski areas, with around 300km of slopes between the two resorts. This is a popular destination with advanced and expert skiers, who come for the steep black runs and challenging off-piste. Snow cover is assured here thanks to the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes.Tignes - Val d'Isère offers endless skiing in its linked ski area (Photo: © Miranda Muller)
Last but not least, the Almenwelt Lofer offers the possibility to combine a ski + bus pass for just 45 euros. While the ski area is a little on the smaller side, the Almenwelt Lofer is a great choice for family ski holidays, with dedicated lifts and facilities for children as well as a brand-new magic carpet so they can learn to ski in total comfort. Combined passes can be purchased right on the bus at the main station in Salzburg.
Ready to plan your ski holidays? Check out gateway airports to the Alps:
Ski resorts easily accessible from Grenoble Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Chambéry Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Lyon Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Innsbruck Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Salzburg Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Geneva Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Turin Airport >
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
|18 Jan||Finally: Snow has returned to the Alps!|
|18 Jan||How to pick hire skis|
|16 Jan||The best pistes at the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn|