It’s fair to say that some of you who love to ski would like an alternative to flying to your ski resort. Obviously, it depends on which resort you choose, however, if you are looking at the French Alps for your holiday then you are in luck, have you considered going by train? If not take a look at what the Euro Star ski train offers.
The ski train service is from December to April with exact dates given when the tickets go on sale. At the moment there are two regular services each week presently operating Friday, Saturday or Sunday, taking skiers from London St Pancras and Ashford International direct to Moutiers, Aime La Plagne or Bourg-St-Maurice in the French Alps (although the return service doesn’t stop at Aime La Plagne).
You do not need to change trains in Paris or Lille, and once you have reached the French Alps a whole host of resorts are within easy reach: Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, St. Martin de Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens, Valmorel, La Plagne, Les Arcs, La Rosiere, St. Foy, Tignes and Val d’Isère. From here most tourists have already arranged to be picked up by shuttle bus, minibus, coach, private hire car or taxi to take them to their destination. However, it is worth noting that a funicular railway is available connection Bourg-St-Maurice with Les Arcs.
The daytime train is most favoured and takes around eight hours from London to the ski resorts of the Tarentaise Valley. It is more costly than the overnight train which does not have sleeper cabins, most people prefer to travel by day. However what you need to consider is the overnight service is not only cheaper, it allows you two extra days on the glorious slopes as you arrive early on Saturday morning and then depart late on a Saturday night. Due to there being no sleeper cabins available on the night train it’s not advisable to travel at this time with young children, families with young children are best advised to travel on the day train.
If you are considering travelling to your ski resort via the Euro Star its advisable to book early especially for the Christmas and New Year periods and other school holiday terms. They sell very quickly as it is a more affordable way to travel especially to the French Alps. School holidays in February half term also sell quickly so book in advance if at all possible. Easter holidays are also busy as its generally the last chance to ski before the season comes to an end. Euro Star is not the only ski train available; you can also take a look at the SNCF train service to the Alps. This service runs from Paris, Lille and Lyon to the Alps which connect to the Euro star services. The least busy service is the Lyon route which is worth considering.
By taking the train you can take more baggage and ski equipment possibly even your bikes as there is no weight restrictions or limits enabling you to take what you want. Sometimes these costs when you fly can add up and be very expensive. Take into consideration the length of time you will spend at the airports and weigh up your options if you are a family this way could be more economical for you in every aspect.
Before you embark on your ski holiday this year, don’t forget to take out insurance for every member of the family. Holiday insurance is always important but more so when taking part in skiing, snowboarding and other activities.