As the snowsports question manufacture shakes disconnected its Covid chains, obstruction routes to the mountains are having a astonishment renaissance, with much than 60 resorts successful France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy present easy accessible from London. And carving up to 90% disconnected a journey’s c footprint.
But contempt snowsport fans’ enthusiasm for flight-free question to skis resorts (and the other slope time that tin beryllium shoehorned into a vacation compared with a modular seven-day package), the scope of obstruction routes available, particularly connected sleeper services, has been disappointing. So it’s cheering that, arsenic the skis manufacture gears up for its archetypal “proper” play successful 2 years, much trains than ever earlier are moving to much than 60 European resorts. Bookings opened this week.
Much fanfare accompanied the quality successful September that Eurostar’s overnight Snow Train to the French Alps is back – benignant of. Rebranded the Travelski Express, the work leaving London St Pancras connected Friday evenings and returning during the time connected the pursuing Saturday is successful information a concern with circuit relation Travelski, and exclusively for those connected its travel/accommodation/ski walk packages, which commencement astatine astir £450. This play it serves six resorts, including Val d’Isère, Les Arcs and Les Menuires, with its archetypal departure connected Boxing Day.
There are besides options for those booking independently oregon done specialists specified arsenic Ffestiniog Travel, Trainseurope and Rail Travel. Nightjet is the sanction of a growing planetary web of sleeper routes led by Austria’s nationalist carrier, ÖBB, that tin beryllium accessed via Eurostar. Travelling done Amsterdam oregon Brussels, positive a slick German InterCity Express (ICE) to Cologne, they present skiers to Salzburg, Zurich and Innsbruck for casual onward hops to galore resorts. Train question from London to Wörgl, a abbreviated taxi thrust from respective bully resorts successful Austria’s Tyrol, for example, takes astir 18 hours, including a nighttime successful 1 of respective classes of couchette.
While France’s rail-to-Alps crown slipped with the slashing of sleeper routes successful 2016, the businesslike SNCF work to Briançon (for Serre Chevalier and Montgenèvre) remains. And 10 December volition spot the relaunch aft 3 years of an overnight way from Paris to Lourdes for the Pyrenees, whose resorts, though little and smaller than their Alpine counterparts, are well-loved by galore UK downhillers for their authenticity, affordability and uncrowded slopes. The work takes astir 10 hours, with couchette berths from €29 and first-class backstage compartments available.
The prime of TGV routes from Paris and Lille makes casual enactment of daytime journeys to the Alps. Paris to Chamonix, for example, tin beryllium done successful 5 hours, with a scenic alteration successful Saint-Gervais-les-Bains; Morzine is simply a specified 2½ hours from the French superior (the travel via Eurostar requires a alteration of presumption successful Paris).
And Belgium’s nippy, well-priced Thalys Snow trains runs each Saturday from Christmas Day to 16 April from Brussels to French Alps hubs, including Albertville, Moûtiers, Aime-La-Plagne and Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
Six suggested routes
(Best prices astatine clip of work and astir convenient routes from London St Pancras – Eurostar’s Kent stations volition not reopen until aft the skis season. Prices alteration according to day and availability).
Les Gets, France
Station to slopes from 9 hours, from £179 return
Enjoy the Portes du Soleil’s 600km of pistes via the astir genteel of its 12 resorts, with entree to quieter slopes connected section highest Mont Chéry. The 09.31 Eurostar reaches Paris Gare du Nord astatine 12.47, leaving plentifulness of clip to transportation to Gare de Lyon for the 14.18 TGV to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, arriving 17.00. The adjacent work to Cluses departs 17.15 and arrives 18.52, leaving you a 25-minute cab oregon autobus thrust from your destination.
Station to slopes from 9 hours, from £161.93 return
Two caller lifts connecting Val Thorens with the outlying Orelle country are this season’s large communicative successful the 3 Vallées, and Méribel puts guests astatine the bosom of 600km of divers terrain. Take the 07.52 Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, arriving 11.17. Transfer by taxi to Gare de Lyon for the 13.29 TGV to Moûtiers-Salins, arriving astatine 17.51 (runs from 1 January). Road transfers to Méribel instrumentality astir 30 minutes. A six-night travel/accommodation/ski walk bundle from Travelski costs from £544pp, travelling astatine 19.45 nonstop to Moûtiers connected the Travelski Express, arriving 05.32.
Station to slopes from 15 hours 31 minutes, from £109.62 return
The accepted Pyrenean colony of Barèges and lift-linked neighbour La Mongie signifier Le Grand Tourmalet, the Pyrenees largest skis area, with much than 100km of pistes. Take the 16.22 Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, arriving 19.47. Transfer to Paris Austerlitz for the 21.14 Intercités de Nuit sleeper bid to Lourdes, arriving 07.43. From determination a shuttle autobus to the edifice takes 70 minutes.
Station to slopes from 9 hours 37 minutes, from £195.96 return
This astute edifice precocious supra the Rhone vale has panoramic views, pretty, wooded pistes, fantabulous nursery slopes and immoderate good upland restaurants. Take the 09.31 Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, arriving 12.47. Transfer to Paris Gare de Lyon for the 14.18 TGV to Genève Cornavin, arriving 17.29. Transfer to the 18.11 to Sierre, arriving 20.07. From determination it’s a 15-minute funicular railway thrust to the resort.
St Anton, Austria
Station to slopes from 10 hours 9 minutes, from £160 return
Fittingly, this Tyrolean resort’s emergence from farming colony to world-class skis municipality presumption began with a caller obstruction transportation successful 1884. Today, the state-of-the-art assistance strategy that serves Ski Arlberg area’s 305km of slopes is simply a abbreviated locomotion from the station. Take the 07.55 Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, arriving 11.17. Transfer to Gare de Lyon and instrumentality the 12.22 TGV to Zurich HB. The Railjet Xpress from Zurich to St Anton americium Arlberg departs astatine 16.40, arriving astatine 19.01.
Station to slopes from 18 hours, from £244 return
Part of the 280km SkiWelt area, and a abbreviated autobus thrust from ritzy Kitzbühel, Westendorf is simply a tranquil, accepted colony with large beginner slopes and nighttime skiing. Take the 15.04 Eurostar to Brussels-Midi, arriving 18.05, past the 18.25 ICE to Cologne, arriving 20.15. The Nightjet sleeper bid to Wörgl leaves astatine 22.16, arriving astatine 08.37. Bus oregon taxi transfers to Westendorf instrumentality astir 20 minutes.