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ski holidays

Self Drive Ski and Snowtrains

There are two Ski trains to France
Eurostar ski train runs from 19 December 2011 to 16 April 2012. Travel to the heart of the Alps with stops at Moutiers, Aime La Plagne and Bourg St Maurice. You can also travel to Paris then catch the SNCF overnight couchette (6 person compartments) arriving Saturday morning.

Ski Train Advantages

  • Hassle-free ski train
  • 3 Different travel options
  • 8 days skiing with overnight services
  • Short transfers to resort
  • FREE carriage of skis

CHOICE of 17 ski resorts to chose from in France:

Alpe d'Huez, Brides les Bains,Chamrousse,Courchevel,La Plagne,La Rosiere, La Tania,Les Arcs,Les Deux Alpes,Les Menuires,Meribel,Mottaret, St Martin de Belleville,Tignes,Val d'Isere,Valmorel,Val Thorens

Good news for Northern travellers!

The St Pancras link is now open meaning a simple connection from Euston & King's Cross. Travel time from Leeds to Moutiers now around 9 hours! Plus new Ebbsfleet station near Dartford has masses of parking for London-based travellers.

London - Moutiers ....... 7 hours
Manchester - Bourg-St Maurice............10 hours
Birmingham - La Plagne ................8 hours

OPTION 1 — Direct Eurostar services from London St Pancras to the Alps

A wonderfully relaxed way to travel with short transfers and reduced check-in time. Eurostar give you a choice of either a daytime Saturday service or overnight Friday service arriving Saturday morning.

OPTION 2 — Friday night Paris snow train from London

Take the evening Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris Gard du Nord. Travel from Paris by SNCF overnight couchette (6 person compartments) carriage down to the Alps, arriving Saturday morning.

OPTION 3 — Using Rail Europe scheduled train services

Most Swiss resorts are near a train station including Wengen, Klosters & St Moritz and those around the Eiger & Grindelwald, but can involve a couple of train changes. In Austria, St Anton, Lech and Kitzbühel are all accessible, plus those around Innsbruck.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

French Resorts by Rail

Courchevel (3 Valleys)

Generally considered the most chic and the most expensive resort in France. It also happens to have outstanding skiing. There are four quite separate villages at different altitudes. 1850 is the highest and where it gets its expensive reputation, so if you can’t afford 1850, then 1650, 1550 and 1300 (Le Praz) gives you the same skiing for lower bar prices. Very French.

Getting there: Train to Moutiers. Altibus (£5 return person) or taxi (£25 each way). 35 mins to 1850. Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. (book sleeper Snowtrain or Eurostar overnight seat only). Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6pm. (book Eurostar)

Méribel (3 Valleys)

Meribel is in the middle valley, sandwiched between Courchevel and Val Thorens, hence excellent access to the other resorts. It is split in two between the village (1400) & Mottaret (1800). With a predominance of chalets, it also has plenty of oldworld charm, with few high rise blocks. Popular with the Brits.

Getting there: Train to Moutiers. Altibus (£5 return person) or taxi (£25 each way). 20 mins to Meribel. Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6pm.

Val Thorens (3 Valleys)

The Val Thorens glacier offers the highest skiing in Europe so good snow is the norm. Little bit further from Moutiers as it’s so high. Architecturally a sad sight, but lots to do after a days skiing.

Getting there: Train to Moutiers. Altibus (£5 return person) or taxi (£25 each way). 40 mins to Val Thorens. Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6.30pm.

Les Arcs (Paradiski)

A number of different levels and lower villages accessible like x. Main resort at 1800.

Getting there: Train to Bourg St Maurice . Vernicular (tube train) goes to 1800 (£5 return person) or taxi (£25 each way). 15 mins on vernicular. Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6.30pm.

La Plagne (Paradiski)

A resort on six different levels from 1800 to 2100, plus some lower villages. Main resort at 2000.

Getting there: Train to Aime La Plagne, then Altibus (£5 return person) or taxi (£25 each way). Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6.30pm.

Chamonix (Mont Blanc)

Famous for its challenging skiing (not really a resort for beginners). Very traditional and therefore more picturesque than many of the purpose-built French resorts, but this means it’s a bit spread out. Car-free, but a free bus runs between the various lifts.

Getting there: Train to Chambery then to Chamonix via Annecy & Saint Gervais Les Bains. Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6.30pm.

Megève (Mont Blanc)

Megève vies with Courchevel 1850 for the title of France's smartest resort. Three main ski areas, and welcomes "families and intermediates"; more serious skiers should head to nearby Chamonix. It has Alpine ambience, superlative designer hotels, Michelin-rated restaurants, and sophisticated nightlife. Much loved by Parisians, apparently.

Getting there: Train to Chambery then to Saint Gervais Les Bains via Annecy. Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6.30pm.

Argentière (Mont Blanc)

Beautiful glacial scenery and rugged off-piste beneath the soaring peaks of the Mont Blanc massif. This is the starting point for the famous Vallée Blanche, a 15 mile descent past crevasses & house-sized ice boulders. For serious skiers only.

Getting there: Train to Chambery then to Chamonix via Annecy & Saint Gervais Les Bains. Taxi from Chamonix (£30 each way). Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6.30pm.

Val d'Isère (Espace Killy)

Another chic French resort with excellent skiing for all levels, though it is also known for its excellent off-piste potential. Good snow record gives a long season. Two main areas, but lots of access points so doesn’t appear busy. Links with Tignes. Popular with British.

Getting there: Train to Bourg St Maurice. Taxi (40 minutes / £40 each way) or Altibus (70 minutes / £15 each way). Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6.30pm.

Tignes (Espace Killy)

Good snow record with offer of summer skiing on glacier. Four main areas, all purpose-built so not a lot of Alpine charm. Links with Val d’Isere. Popular with the French.

Getting there: Train to Bourg St Maurice. Taxi (40 minutes / £40 each way) or Altibus (70 minutes / £15 each way). Leave St Pancras Friday on 5pm overnight Snowtrain arrive resort 10am. Daytime train leaves Saturday 9am, in resort by 6.30pm.

Switzerland Resorts by Rail

Very traditional resorts and hence lots of atmosphere.

Davos

Another claim for the oldest skiing resort. Plenty of skiing, shopping and tradition for all standards. Split into two, one part has better access to slopes, one to the shops. Popular with the wealthy and heads of state (World Economic Forum). Linked to Klosters.

Getting there: Train to Zurich via Paris (30 min Metro to Gard Lyon), then via Landquart to Davos (2.5 hours). Leave St Pancras on daytime train Saturday 7am, in Zurich by 5pm and resort by 8pm.

Klosters

The smaller sister resort to Davos, it retains more of the alpine village feel and still cites farming as one of its main sources of income. Some tough runs mixed with some easy ones. Resort has two main areas, with Klosters Platz the main one round the train station. Popular with heirs to the throne.

Getting there: Train to Zurich via Paris (30 min Metro to Gard Lyon), then via Landquart to Klosters (2 hours). Leave St Pancras on daytime train Saturday 7am, in Zurich by 5pm and resort by 8pm.

Wengen

Car-free resort hosts the famous Downhill Only Club, one of the earliest British skiing clubs and the Lauberhorn mens downhill course. Good for beginners (except children) and challenging off-piste, but intermediates might struggle. Extremely picturesque with the Eiger as a backdrop. Popular with old-school British. Linked with Grindlewald.

Getting there: Train to Interlaken via Zurich and Paris (30 min Metro to Gard Lyon), then via Lauterbrunnen to Wengen (45 mins from Interlaken). Leave St Pancras on daytime train Saturday 7am, in Zurich by 5pm and resort by 9pm.

Zermatt

Historic climbing town with lashings of Alpine charm and good restaurants. Recently benefited from investment in the lifts and offers skiing for all levels. popular with a celebs. Links with Cervinia in Italy.

Getting there: Train to Bern via Paris (30 min Metro to Gard Lyon), then a new link via Visp (90 minutes from Visp on scenic train). Leave St Pancras on daytime train Saturday 8am, in Bern by 6.30pm and resort by 8.30pm.

St Moritz

Home of British Alpine skiing and the Cresta run, it’s long on tradition for the rich and well connected. Lots of winter activities as well as skiing. Split into two (one lakeside, one mountain side). Popular with the wealthy.

Getting there: Train to Zurich via Paris (30 min Metro to Gard Lyon), then via Chur to St Moritz (3.5 hours / 4 hours on scenic train). Leave St Pancras on daytime train Saturday 7am, in Zurich by 5pm and resort by 9pm.

Austria Resorts by Rail

Austria tends to have more picturesque resorts as they aren't generally purpose-built like France.

St Anton

One of Europe’s great ski resorts due to its challenging slopes and vibrant nightlife. Not a resort for beginners. Two sides of the valley are ski able, with Rendl the easier. Linked with Lech. Popular with party goers.

Getting there: Train to St Anton (am Arlberg) via Munich and Paris (10 min walk to Gard l’Est). Overnight option: leave St Pancras Friday 5.30pm, leaves Paris 11pm and arrives Munich 9am Saturday 7am. Two hours via train to St Anton, so in resort by 12am. Daytime option:

Zell am See

Very pretty, traditional lake-side resort that has both summer and winter skiing on Austria’s highest mountain. Mainly intermediate level. Lively après ski means it’s popular with young Germans.

Getting there: Overnight: Train to Zell am Zee via Brussels. Overnight option: leave St Pancras Friday 5.30pm, the Bergland Express leaves Brussels 11pm and arrives Zell am Zee 11.30 Saturday. Daytime option: via Munich or Saltzberg.

Kitzbühel

Arguably the most picturesque Austrian resort, it is also hosts the Hahnenkamm, the most famous downhill course in racing. The skiing is mixed ability, however. The après-ski scene is also lively. Popular with the party set.

Getting there: Overnight: Train to Kitzbühel via Brussels. Overnight option: leave St Pancras Friday 5.30pm, the Bergland Express leaves Brussels 11pm and arrives Zell am Zee 11am Saturday. Daytime option: via Munich or Salzburg.

TRAIN STATION TRANSFERS

France

All France transfers are within 20 - 40 minutes from the train station by taxi (eg Meribel 20 mins, Val Thorens 40 minutes from Moutier). There is usually a local bus which takes a bit longer.

Altibus - cost from mainline stations to resorts is fairly standard at 25 Euros return (£17.50) / children half price.

Taxi - taxis will cost around £40 each way for a standard 30 minute trip for 4 people. For firm price, use the taxi links on your resorts' website (links to resort sites)

Switzerland

Virtually all major resorts have a train station, so transfers not required.

Austria

Like Switzerland, most resorts have a train station in them or close by that has good bus links.

Self Drive Skiing

Drive your car to the slopes - save money and gain extra time skiing

The most accessible and popular destinations for self-drivers are in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and northern Italy. To give you an idea of distances, the French resort of Les Arcs is a drive of 950km from Calais, and Lech in western Austria just over 900km from Amsterdam.

Travelling to France or western Switzerland, you'll probably take the autoroute via Reims, Dijon and Mâcon. At Mâcon you can either cut in to Geneva for Switzerland and northern French resorts, or head to Lyon for the rest of France.

For Italy, it's probably simplest to head to Chamonix and then take the Mont Blanc Tunnel

( Tel 00 33 4 50 55 55 00 Or Web Site; www.tunnelmb.net).

Standard cars are charged €31.90 (£22) one way, €39.70 (£28) return to use the tunnel.

For eastern Swiss resorts, the normal route is via Reims and Metz, while those bound for Austria tend to go through Belgium, then past Cologne and Munich. See www.viamichelin.co.uk or www.mappy.com to plan your route.

Born2ski can arrange your Eurotunnel crossing together with your accommodation. You can take as long as you like to get to and from the resort, all we ask is that you arrive at and leave your accommodation on the specified dates reserved.

We can also arrange short break or longer durations if required.

Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel offers departures up to 3 times per hour 24 hours a day. The Folkestone Terminal has a full range of facilities to pick up anything that you need for your journey. The crossing time from Folkestone to Calais takes just 35 minutes.

There is a ticketless travel system with Eurotunnel. We will send you with your final documentation the 8 digit booking reference number. Please quote this at the automated check-in lanes (by typing in the number) or to the Eurotunnel staff at the manned check-in lanes.

FREE Eurotunnel Flexi-Plus

Included in your Eurotunnel crossing is a FREE flexi-plus upgrade which offers

Flexibilty to take another departure if you happen to arrive early or late at the terminal Priority boarding with exclusive check-in booths Flexi-plus lounge (open 6am-10pm) offering complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and a light meal Dedicated parking spaces at the terminal if you are stopping off Please note that due to height restrictions, vehicles over 1.85 metres in total height cannot use the FlexiPlus lounge, due to safety reasons caused by the location of the high space lanes.

Alternatively you can Cross the channel by FERRY at your chosen time and take your time to drive to the Alps. Stay overnight if you wish in one of our conveniently located hotels. We can also book Sea France DOVER – CALAIS or Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Caen, Cherbourg or St Malo; Poole to Cherbourg and Plymouth to Roscoff, so please call our office if you would like further information on these crossings.

What Other Costs Should I Consider?

Fuel prices on the Continent are generally slightly cheaper than here. But tolls can be significant. Drive on the auto routes between Calais and Les Arcs, for example, and you'll be paying around €80 (£57) each way. In Switzerland and Austria, rather than paying charges at toll booths, you need to purchase a "vignette", effectively a windscreen sticker. Sold in most petrol stations and at border crossings, the Swiss version is valid for a year and costs SFr40 (£17), and the Austrian €7.60 (£5.40) for 10 days.

One important consideration is how close to your accommodation you'll be able to park, and any charges for parking. Similarly, if you will be driving between your accommodation and the ski lifts, you might want to check parking costs at the lifts.

Overnight Hotels en route

To ensure a hassle-free journey to resort, Born2ski can book hotel overnight stops in France. Great Prices from £30 per person per night.

To arrange your catered chalet quote now, please complete the booking enquiry form below or call Mike on 0113 238 5624 (email mike@born2ski.com)

Ski Holiday Enquiry

 
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