2021 Advice and tips
This winter, more than any other, people are thinking about how we can change our habits to help the planet. What if we started by changing how we travel to our ski holiday? Forget the plane, why not go skiing by train? Let’s look at the many great reasons for letting the train take the strain.
Cut your carbon footprint
Did you know that 57% of greenhouse gas emissions from ski holidays come from travel to resort? That’s a huge proportion. By travelling by train, you are taking the first and biggest step to more responsible holidays and to a new green approach to travel.
It’s a relaxing way to start your holiday, with no rushing from check in to security to gate…and much more environmentally friendly.
Ski Resorts accessible by train
The starting point from the UK will always be the Eurostar terminal in St Pancras station, London. On arrival in Paris, there is a large range of ski resorts accessible via the excellent French TGV rail network.
Just settle into your seat and watch the countryside pass by as you head to some of the most evocative names the mountains can offer: Grenoble, St Gervais, Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Clermont Ferrand and Tarbes.
The gateway towns
Let’s look at some examples of the great French ski resorts you can reach via train:
Savoie: You can access the huge Les 3 Vallées ski area resorts (Courchevel, Méribel, Les Menuires, Val Thorens) from Moutiers; Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d'Isère and La Rosière from Bourg Saint Maurice; and La Norma from Modane
Haute-Savoie: Head to Cluses for Flaine, Morzine and Les Gets; Sallanches for Megeve; and Annecy for La Clusaz and Grand Bornand
Pyrénées: Travel to Font Romeu via the station located just 3km from the centre of the resort or access to the Grand Tourmalet by bus from Tarbes (1 hour 25 minutes)
Southern Alps: Serre Chevalier and Risoul can be reached in a short transfer from Briançon
Isère: Travel to the resorts of Les 7 Laux or Chamrousse from Grenoble
Jura: Take the train to Bellegarde-en-Valserine station, then a shuttle to the resort of Monts Jura (40 minutes)
Massif Central: You can access the slopes direct from the station in Lioran resort. Look out for special 50% off ‘Illico Evenements’ offer
Travel Direct with Travelski Express
This winter you can also travel from London St Pancras direct to the Tarentaise.
The Travelski Express service will use Eurostar trains to travel out on Friday evening from London, delivering you to Moutiers, Aime and Bourg St Maurice on Saturday morning, in time to hit the slopes that very day. With the return journey coming back on the following Saturday, that gives you 7 full days of skiing. Travelski offers accommodation in six resorts in the Tarentaise, with packages including transfers and lift passes from £585.
Shuttles to resort
A key question that needs to be answered: once you arrive at your gateway station, how do you get to resort? Don’t worry, shuttles have been set up to link with train arrivals to take you to your destination.
Altibus offers shuttles to connect to the resorts of the Alps and the Pyrenees. It’s easy to reach Peyragudes, Val d'Isère, Saint François Longchamp, La Clusaz and more than 80 other resorts all linked by this company.
Transaltitude shuttles, in the Isère department, will take you directly to 14 stations from Grenoble station. In the Southern Alps, the Zou lines who’ll be taking you to your favourite resorts.
On the Tic Tac Trip website, you can book your train journey and your shuttle to resort in one go. [Please note, this search will only work if SNCF sales are already open for the relevant period.]
A more serene journey
In addition to doing the right thing for the planet and the mountains we love so much, travelling by train will save you so much hassle…and get your holiday off to a great start.
Take a think about everything you avoid when traveling by train:
- No traffic jams to deal with
- No long hours of driving
- Enjoy reading, watching a film or simply finding out about your destination while you travel
- No worrying about snow chains or winter weather tyres
- No stress about finding a parking place
- Special deals on lift passes when you travel by train e.g. Le Lioran (see above) or La Rosière (15% lift pass discount)