My brother & friends on a ski holiday by train

In the Alps... Easy to reach without flying!

If you fancy a skiing holiday without the plane, no problem.  It's easy to reach French ski resorts such as Les Arcs, Courchevel, Méribel or Val d'Isère with the direct Eurostar ski train which runs from London St Pancras station every Saturday during the ski season.  The direct train journey is so much less hassle and so much more fun than 7 hours of check-ins, airports, flights & the 3-hour nightmare bus transfer from the airport.  The train journey becomes part of your holiday, with a great atmosphere on board.  This page explains how to plan and book a ski holiday by train not plane, either independently or as a package with ski holiday companies who offer travel by train.

Choose your ski holiday destination...

small bullet point  French Alps   

The easiest option, with direct Eurostar ski trains & package ski holidays with train travel.

small bullet point  Swiss Alps

The Swiss ski resorts can be reached from the UK using scheduled trains.

small bullet point  Austrian Tyrol  

Travel to Austrian ski resorts on scheduled trains or the Treski ski train.

small bullet point  Andorra

Travel to Andorra's ski resorts by scheduled trains + bus.

Skiing in the French Alps by train


French Alps ski train connections...

Map of bus transfers to ski resorts from train stations served by Eurostar ski train

Dark blue line = route served by Eurostar Ski Train

Light blue lines = bus or taxi transfers from rail stations.

   Beginner's ski slope at Les Arcs 1800 in the French Alps.  Easy to reach on Rail Europe's Snow Train or the Eurostar Ski Train

A beginner's ski slope, the Chantel at Arc 1800 (Les Arcs), with white snow under blue skies.  No flights required...


Start here...

Here is a step-by-step guide to skiing by train in the French Alps, either independently or with a package ski holiday that includes train travel:

Step 1: Choose your ski resort

Step 2: Choose how to get there

  Eurostar Ski Train information from £149 return

  Scheduled daily trains

Step 3:  Book your travel & accommodation

Step 4:  Arrange transfers from station to resort

Step 5: Arrange boot, ski or snowboard hire & lift pass

Step 6: Don't forget  winter sports travel insurance

Step 1:  Choose your ski resort...

If you want the simplest way to ski by train from the UK, start with any ski resort in the French Alps shown on the map opposite, including Les Arcs, La Plagne, Val d'Isère, Méribel, Courchevel & Les Menuires (Trois Vallées).  These French ski resorts are the easiest to reach from the UK by train as the special Eurostar Ski Train runs from London to this area every week in the skiing season and many ski holiday packages incorporate train travel rather than flights to these resorts.

Les Arcs is the easiest to reach of all, as it's linked by a 10-minute funicular (mountain railway) ride up the mountain from Bourg St Maurice railway station at the foot of the mountain.  It's a modern resort, good for beginners, and billed as 'home of the snowboard'.  Courchevel is the traditional haunt of the Parisian jet set, up-market but not for those on a tight budget!  Val d'Isère is a well-known resort higher up the valley, better for intermediate and advanced skiers than beginners.  Méribel is a big ski city with many British visitors.  La Plagne is a series of picturesque villages and tree-lined pistes.  There's a helpful summary of the pros & cons of each French ski resort on the Eurostar website.

The ever-popular Chamonix can also be reached by train, indeed it has its own station on a scenic narrow-gauge line between St Gervais & Martigny, but it's not served by the Eurostar Ski Train so you'll either need to use scheduled trains or the new Eurostar & Lyria Ski Train from London to Switzerland every winter Saturday which has a connection at Martigny for Chamonix-Mont Blanc.

Official resort websites & piste maps...

Chamonix   Les Arcs   Val Thorens
Courchevel   Les Menuires   Val d'Isère
La Plagne   Méribel      
La Tania   Tignes      

Step 2:  Choose how to get there...

There are several ways to reach the French Alps by train:

Step 3:  Book your train travel & accommodation.

Either (a)  Go independently, buying train tickets & accommodation separately...

...or (b)  Book a ski holiday package including the Eurostar Ski Train...

This can be a cheaper option.  Most 7-day or 14-day holidays start on a Saturday, leaving on a Saturday one or two weeks later.  To avoid wasting valuable time with supposedly 'expert' ski holiday companies who don't offer sensible train travel to the French Alps, just flights, flights & more flights, here are the main holiday operators who do offer travel by Eurostar Ski Train as part of their ski holiday packages:

...Jump to step 4, arranging transfers

Eurostar ski trains to the French Alps from £149 return

COVID-19 update:  The Eurostar direct ski trains will not be running in winter 2020/21.  This is now confirmed.

 London ► French Alps  Eurostar ski train


 French Alps ► London  Eurostar ski train  

 Day train:  Runs every Saturday late December to early April.

 Night train:  Runs every Friday late December to early April.

 No service in winter 2020/21 due to COVID-19

 Day train: Runs every Saturday late December to early April.

 Night train: Runs every Saturday late December early April.

 No service in winter 2020/21 due to COVID-19


Day train

Night train


Day train

Night train

 London St Pancras depart



 Bourg St Maurice depart



 Ashford depart



 Aime la Plagne depart



 Moutiers arrive



 Moutiers depart



 Aime la Plagne arrive



 Ashford arrive



 Bourg St Maurice arrive



 London St Pancras arrive



Both 'day' and 'night' trains are normal Eurostar trains, with seats and bar car but no sleeping berths.  London to Bourg St Maurice is 1130 km (702 miles).

e300 power car   1st class seats

Eurostar is easily the best way to the French Alps...


Standard Premier (1st) class seats are arranged 2+1 across the car width, with some solo seats, some tables for 4 & tables for 2 like this.

Standard class seats   e300 cafe-bar car

Standard (2nd) class seats are arranged 2+2 across the car width.  Most are unidirectional but there are some tables for 4 like this.


Cafe-bar.  There are two bars on each train in cars 6 & 13, selling tea, coffee, wine, beer, snacks & hot dishes such as chicken tikka massala. Pounds, euros & cards accepted.

Scebery seen from the Eurostar Ski Train   Bourg St Maurice station sign   The funicular up to Les arcs from Bourg St Maurice

Scenery...  The Eurostar passes lovely snowy scenery in the French Alps as it approaches Bourg St Maurice.  This is Landry.


Transfer to Les Arcs:  There is a funicular (mountain railway) from Bourg St Maurice up to Les Arcs, a 10 minute ride up the mountain.  The funicular station is right next to the mainline rail station at Bourg St Maurice.  Fare around €6.  There's a ski pass bureau & cash point at the funicular station.

Watch the video:  Eurostar Ski Train to the Alps...

Step 4:  Transfers from station to resort...

If you book a package ski holiday this will probably include transfers from rail station to ski resort.  But if you're travelling independently, tickets for the Eurostar Ski Train don't include transfers.  For most resorts you can either take a bus (cheapest) or book a taxi (quicker, but expensive unless there's a group of you to share the cost). 

Resort: Station: Transfer options:



Buses link Moutiers with Courchevel (45 minutes, €10.60) every hour or two,

Taxis are quicker, and cost around €60-€72 for 1-4 persons, reserve at or

La Plagne


Buses run by link Aime with La Plagne, 30-45 minutes, €10.10.

For transfer by taxi, around €40, contact

La Tania


Buses run by link Moutiers with La Tania, 40 minutes, €10.60.

Taxis are quicker, costing around €50, reserve through or

Les Menuires


Buses run by link Moutiers with Les Menuires in 45-50 minutes, fare €12.50.

Taxis are quicker, costing around €68-€75, reserve through or

Les Arcs

Bourg St Maurice

Alight at Bourg St Maurice and walk back towards the rear of the train and over the footbridge to the funicular (mountain railway) station which is right next to the mainline station platforms.  Bourg St Maurice is at the bottom of the mountain on which Les Arcs ski resorts sit, and the funicular links Bourg St Maurice station with Arc 1600 every 20 minutes or so,  journey time about 10 minutes, fare around €6 one way or €11.50 return (but no need to pay if you have pre-purchased a Les Arcs ski pass as this covers the funicular).  Free shuttle buses ("navettes gratuites" in French) link the funicular station at Arc 1600 with Arc 1800 & Arc 2000.  If you're skiing at Les Arcs, 10 minutes up the hill by funicular from the railway station is so much easier than a cramped 4 hours transfer by bus from the airport!  There's an ATM if you need euros and a ski pass bureau at the funicular station.



Buses link Moutiers with Méribel (40 minutes, €12.50) every hour or two,

Taxis are quicker, costing around 48-52 euro, reserve through, or


Bourg St Maurice

Walk towards the front of the train through the station building to the forecourt for bus or taxi transfers. run to Tignes in around 60-70 minutes, fare €13.10.

Val d'Isère

Bourg St Maurice

Walk towards the front of the train through the station building to the forecourt for bus or taxi transfers. run to Val d'Isère every hour or two, 1 hour journey time, €13.10.

A taxi takes 45 minutes and costs around €75-€80, try, or

Val Thorens


Buses run by link Moutiers with Val Thorens, 60-75 mins, €16.

Taxis are quicker, costing around €99, reserve through or

Resorts linked to Albertville:


Buses run by link the station with surrounding resorts.

Resorts linked to Chambéry:


Buses run by link Chambéry with surrounding resorts.

Step 5:  Skis, poles, ski boot hire, lift passes...

Step 6:  Winter sports travel insurance...

Skiing in Switzerland by train...

There are many beautiful ski resorts in Switzerland, including favourites Gstaad, Zermatt, Grindelwald, St Moritz, Davos.  All of these have rail stations at the resort.  Package operators generally don't offer skiing holidays to Switzerland with train travel, only flights, but it's easy to buy train tickets and arrange accommodation separately.

Swiss ski resorts & how to get there by train...

Accommodation & ski hire...

Watch the video...

Skiing in Austria by train...

There are many popular ski resorts in the Austrian Tyrol.  Package operators generally don't offer skiing holidays to Austria with train travel, only with flights, but it's easy to buy train tickets and arrange accommodation separately.

UK to Austria by daily scheduled trains..

As well as booking your trains...

Skiing in Andorra by train...

Andorra has plenty of good ski resorts, and it's easy to get to by Eurostar to Paris, overnight couchette train from Paris to l'Hospitalet près l'Andorre then a scenic bus ride over the mountains.  No package operators offer skiing holidays to Andorra with train travel, so you'll need to go independently, booking train tickets and ski resort accommodation separately.

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