New flight routes to the Alps now make it easier (and cheaper) to take off on a ski weekend this winter, at a moment’s notice. From London it’s easy, all you need to do is pick which Alpine ski resort you want to visit first!
While it’s perfectly reasonable to pack up the car, head through the tunnel and drive to the French Alps for a winter escape, low cost airlines are making it ever cheaper and faster to fly to your favourite slopes. Checking your ski equipment is even a breeze.
Flying with skis
Before going any further, it’s best if we just address the real reason so many are hesitant about booking a family ski holiday by plane. When booking your flights, be vigilant because every airline differs when it comes to also booking additional baggage. There is usually a special category for special sports equipment, in particular skis or snowboards. If you’re scared the airline won’t handle your equipment with care, pack each ski into a PVC tube. Don’t be convinced otherwise, it’s always cheaper to bring your own skis than hiring at the resorts.
From Grenoble you have three of France’s biggest ski regions at your doorstep: Isère, Savoie and Haute-Savoie. From here, you can reach some resorts in as little as half hour with either a rental car upon arrival or a resort shuttle bus. From London, Ryanair takes off from Stansted Airport while Monarch Airlines flies from London Gatwick. EasyJet flies to Grenoble from Liverpool.
Closest resorts: Megeva (30 mins), Les Deux Alpes (1 hour), Brides Les Bains (1 hour), Alpe d’Huez (1 hour), La Toussuire (1.5 hours), Meribel (1.5 hours) and Couchevel.
Chambery is in the heart of France’s skiing area and airport transfers from here are usually very easy. From here you can catch the snow train which stopes at Albertville, Moutiers, Aime le Plagne, Laundry and Boug St Maurice. Buses run up and down the slopes during peak season. British Airways takes off from London City while Flybe flies from London Gatwick and Birmingham. From Manchester, fly with Jet2.com.
Closest resorts: Notre Dame de Bellecombe (1 hour), Valmorel (1 hour), La Toussuire (1 hour), Alpe d’Huez (one hour 30 mins), La Clusaz (1.5 hours), Val Thorens (1.5 hours), Chamonix (1.5 hours), Val d’Isere (2 hours).
Already been skiing in France? Why not try a trip to Italy this winter? Turin is the best airport for reaching the Italian Alps. It was also the host of the 2006 Winter Olympics to amenities are top-notch. Valle di Susa is to the west and the Dolomites are to the northeast. Fly Ryanair from London Stansted or easyJet from Gatwick.
Closest resorts: Sestriere, Bardonecchia and Sauze d’Oulx (1 hour), Courmayeur and Breuil-Cervinia (1.5 hours).
If you have your eyes on a German or Austrian ski resort then you best bet is to book flights to Munich in the heart of Bavaria. Munich is close enough to the slopes that many visitors stay in city hotels and just travel up to the mountains for the day. easyJet has cheap flights to Munich from London and Manchester. Brussels Airlines flies from Birmingham and Monarch Airlines also flies to Manchester.
Closest resorts: Zugspitze, Kitzbuhel (1.5 hours), Soll (1.5 hours), Kirchberg in Tirol (2 hours), St Johan in Tirol (1.5 hours), Saalbach-Hinterglemm (2.5 hours), Westendorf (1.5 hours).