From Valmorel to Kühtai, here is a selection of five ski resorts that are an hour or less away by car from the airport.
Picture this. The family wakes up, excited to fly to their ski home, be it in France or Austria. You get on your flight. And after you’ve touched down, you’ve got to drive hours and hours to get to your ski property. Enthusiasm wanes. Snacks are in short supply. And the playlist for the car ride is on its third go. If you’ve got young kids, the dreaded “are we nearly there yet?” makes the journey all the more gruelling.
If you’re the type of person that is impatient to pop on their skis and hit the slopes, then here are five ski resorts that are within an hour’s drive of an international airport.
Plus, if you are planning to rent out your ski property to holidaymakers, being able to advertise it as not far from the airport is going to be a big plus. Parents want to minimise the words “are we nearly there yet?” as much as possible. And no one wants to waste valuable skiing time in a car.
1. Valmorel, France
Nearest airport: Chambéry, one hour’s drive.
Valmorel is part of the Le Grand Domaine ski area, which also includes Saint-François-Longchamp, Doucy and Celliers. Totalling 165km of slopes. The terrain varies between gentle slopes that are well-suited to beginners and taller summits. Plus, there is 50km of marked and maintained paths to explore the area on foot. In July, Valmorel experiences up to eight hours of sunshine a day, perfect for enjoying its meadows and forests. Hiking, mountain-biking and saying “hello” to the donkeys are all popular activities.
As well as being an easy drive to the airport, there are alternate routes to get to Chambéry airport from Valmorel. You could get a twenty-minute taxi ride to Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bai then proceed on to Chambéry-Challes-les-Eaux, with a journey time of an hour and thirty-five minutes. You could also take the bus, which will come in at a little under two hours.
Chambéry is an essential airport for getting to many beloved French ski resorts, including Chamonix (1 hour 33 minute drive) and Courchevel (1 hour 40 minute drive).
2. Kühtai, Austria
Nearest airport: Innsbruck, 30-minute drive.
Austria’s highest ski resort is positioned over 2,000 metres above sea level. It is surrounded by 25 mountains over 2,000m and 20 mountains over 3,000. The snow quality is super cold, dry and deep. As a consequence of their high altitude, the slopes sometimes stay open into May. In summer, experience the lush green of the meadows and the perfect blue of the sky. There’s plenty of hiking, climbing and mountain-biking to do.
3. Sierra Nevada, Spain
Nearest airport: Granada, 50-minute drive.
Located in Andalucía in southern Spain, Sierra Nevada is a great place to search for a home with dual season appeal. It is Spain’s most snow-sure resort with the highest concentration of peaks. It has over 120 pistes totalling 106km, suited to a vast range of abilities. While the ski season lasts from December to April, the ski lifts are open in the summer too, so you can take in the spectacular views.
The Sierra Nevada protects the beaches that make up the Costa Tropical, with its picturesque beaches that are far less crowded than the Costa del Sol. There is even the chance to ski in the morning, swim in the afternoon. Plus, the city of Granada, home to the famous fortress Alhambra, is just short of a forty-minute drive away. So, if not everyone in the family wants to ski, there is plenty else to get up to.
4. La Clusaz, France
Nearest airport: Geneva, 50-minute drive.
La Clusaz is a small but incredibly scenic village straddling five mountains. The domain peaks at 2600m altitude and offers a great elevation difference with more than 1500m of descent. Since the 1980s, La Clusaz has cultivated a reputation for being a paradise for freestyle and freeriding skiing.
For days when you want a break from skiing, head to the Aqua Park, an outdoor pool where you can really appreciate the unparalleled mountain views. You might also enjoy a visit to Golf des Cofins, at the foot of the Aravis chain.
5. Canyons Village, United States
Nearest airport: Salt Lake City Airport, 35-minute drive.
The Canyons Village is part of one of three alpine ski resorts located in Park City, Utah. Covering 4,000 acres, the terrain is varied for beginners through to advanced. Canyons Village embraces its role as the welcoming point for those looking to enjoy Park City, with a host of hotels, shops, rentals, live music, and farm-to-table dining. Plus, Park City has a biodiesel, eco-friendly public transport system to help you get around the area. It is even home to the Orange Bubble Express, the country’s first bubbled and heated chairlift.
Year-round, Park City is full of activities: zipline, mini golf, and even a mountain coaster, where you can travel through the mountains on an open-air roller coaster.