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Posted on Monday 17th November 2014 | Lesley Thomas

Travelling to your property in the Alps

If you are looking into buying a property in the Alps, a key consideration is how you will get there. This may have a big influence on your choice of location. Think about how you will want to use your property, how many times you will expect to visit each year and how long you will want to stay for.For example, if you plan to take trips for long weekends, it’s particularly important that you choose a resort with a suitable travel route that will get you from home to your alpine property in as little time as possible. However, if you intend to visit your chalet or apartment in the Alps just two or three times a year but for longer holidays, you may feel you can afford to make a more leisurely journey, perhaps stopping overnight en route. 


Travelling by car to the Alps is most straightforward for those living in the South of England, who have easy access to ports with ferry crossings to France, or the Eurotunnel. Once you’re in France, the driving time, not allowing for stops, will be around 8-10 hours, depending on the resort you are travelling to. For example, the estimated time from Calais to Courchevel is 8½ hours. If time is of the essence for you, consider ordering a French motorway toll tag in advance (www.saneftolling.co.uk). Travelling by car means that your luggage restriction is only limited by the capacity of your car, and it gives you the freedom to stop when it suits you.


Travelling by train is ideal for those who prefer to travel overnight. It means you can leave the UK one evening, wake up close to your resort early the next day, and be on the slopes by mid-morning. The best options for travelling by rail are taking the Eurostar to Paris and then catching a sleeper service onwards to the Alps, or catching the Eurostar direct ski train from London St Pancras that takes you straight to the Alps region, stopping at stations such as Aime, Bourg St Maurice and Moutiers. If you prefer to sleep in a couchette you need to take the sleeper train from Paris, as Eurostar’s direct ski train has reclining seats only, not berths. One of the advantages of travelling by the Eurostar direct ski service for your holidays is the generous luggage allowance. In addition to the standard Eurostar baggage allowance of two suitcases and one piece of hand luggage, you may also bring an extra item of luggage, so you can transport a snowboard or a pair of skis at no extra cost.


All of the UK’s major airports and many regional airports have flights to cities close to the Alps, but when you looking at property for sale in the Alps, it is worth checking which French or Swiss airports are served by your nearest UK airport. Bear in mind that the nearest airport to a ski resort may not always be in the same country, for example the closest international airport to the French resorts of Megeve and Chamonix is Geneva. Consider whether you prefer direct flights only, as some of the budget airlines may require you to connect to a second flight to reach your destination airport.

Taking time to consider your preferred way of travelling to the Alps will mean that, when you come to look at property for sale in France or Switzerland, you can narrow down your search areas to those with the most suitable travel options for you.

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