Are you looking for the best ski resorts to drive to? Heading to the Alps via car is a practical and budget-friendly solution that many skiers opt for each season. Gone are the days of weighing your luggage at the airport and hoping that your ski boots don’t push the scales over the dreaded 20kg. When driving, you can pack your car as full as you like and then set off with ease. Read on for our top pick of the best self drive ski resorts.
Peace of mind can also be enjoyed in the satisfaction of reducing your carbon footprint. If your car is full of passengers, then your carbon emissions will be reduced by up to 67% in comparison to flying – and even less if your car is electric. What’s more, you can travel in the comfort of your own space, spared from crowded airports. Your journey will start with a Eurotunnel or Ferry to Calais. We have approximated the distances and time frames expected for the onward trip including those ski resorts closest to Calais.
Comprised of 11 villages, a ski holiday in La Plagne can offer something for everyone. Families will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in Montchavin or Les Coches, whilst Plagne-Centre and Belle Plagne offer a livelier scene that is perfect for groups. The whole connected area has towering mountains to the east, south and west; creating a wonderfully preserved bubble of brilliant snow and glorious sunshine.
Skiers can choose to opt for a full Paradiski lift pass, which gives access to one of the world’s largest ski areas. Home to some 425km of terrain stretching up to a peak altitude of 3,250m there’s plenty of skiing for everyone. The huge glacier at Bellecôte serves up epic, snow-sure descents that can be enjoyed by adventurous skiers even late into the season. If it is your first time driving to the Alps then La Plagne is a brilliant option, as you will be greeted with plenty of variety across all 11 of the villages. The beauty is with a car, you can enjoy the freedom of being able to drive between them as you please.
Stay at: Front de Neige Apartments for well-equipped self-catered apartments with ski-in ski-out access to the slopes.
Les Deux Alpes is a bustling village with access to the second largest glacier in France that enables snow-sure skiing almost all year round. The drive from Calais is straightforward. An easy motorway route all the way to Grenoble, before switching to a 65km road that connects to the resort. When you arrive you will find a vast 229km of pistes, with the option to ski over into connecting areas such as La Grave, where you will find some of the best lift-accessed off-piste ski terrain in the world.
Les Deux Alpes is home to a great choice of traditional French restaurants that serve up hearty Savoyard cuisine and classic local dishes such as tartiflette and cheese fondue. The resort is very accessible, with excellent public transport links to the lifts, restaurants and bars so it’s unlikely you will need to use your car.
Stay at: Residence Goleon Val Ecrins for spacious apartments situated at the entrance to the resort.
Méribel is one of the best ski resorts to drive to, with an easy motorway route available from Calais to Moûtiers, followed by a short 25km hill up into the town. The resort itself is world-renowned for its magical forest setting, après bars and bi-weekly street market. Have your fill in the epic winter playground of the Three Valleys ski area with 600km of terrain. It’s one of the largest ski areas in the world comprised of Val Thorens, Courchevel and Méribel. Down in the town you will find four fantastic villages. They range from the quieter, traditional atmosphere of Les Allues to the bustling Mottaret village.
Stay at: Premium Residence L’Hevana for five-star self-catered apartments in the center of resort.
One of the best self drive ski resorts, Alpe d’Huez offers self-drivers the same easy route from Calais to Grenoble, followed by a scenic climb up to resort via a route that has been made famous by the Tour de France in the summer months. The resort has been purpose-built to offer snow-sure conditions combined with wonderful sunshine. Nicknamed ‘island in the sun’, Alpe d’Huez’s prime position offers skiers an average of 300 sunny days per year. There’s access to the high-altitude Pic Blanc glacier guaranteeing snowy slopes even in the later, sunniest months of the season. With 250km of slopes spread out across its ski area, there’s plenty of skiing for everyone.
Stay at: Residence L’Ours Blanc, offering a choice of apartments for groups of various sizes.
As one of the most famous ski resorts in the world, Val d’Isère is a great ski holiday choice. The drive may take a little longer. However, you will be rewarded by dramatic scenery as you climb the valley from Bourg St Maurice. Brimming with rustic chalets, luxurious hotels, bustling après bars and gourmet eateries; Val d’Isère has earned its place on the map as a must-visit destination. Up on the mountain, the Espace Killy ski area is hard to contend with. The ski area offers 300km of pistes that connect with the neighbouring Tignes ski resort. Try the infamous ‘La Face’ black run – an epic cliff face that was originally built for the winter Olympics.
Stay at: Les Hauts du Rogoney for a self-catered apartment occupying an exclusive ski-in ski-out location to the Solaise lifts.
To find out more about the best ski resorts to drive to please view our self drive ski holidays here. Alternatively, call our ski experts on 0207 471 7700 to discuss the best self drive ski resorts.
*Approximate distances and expected times without stops included.