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Self-drive ski holidays in France
Travel to France by ferry and some of the best self drive skiing in the world. Enjoy the freedom of taking unlimited baggage and up to 9 people per car via .
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Why pay for your skis?
Book tickets to Grenoble and take Monarch Flights to this undiscovered destination from Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Birmingham and London Gatwick. There are plenty of cheap flights available to help you get the most out of any holiday to Grenoble, whatever season you travel in.
Experience complete comfort on SWISS flights to Geneva and enjoy the added bonus of taking your skis at no extra cost.
Pick up and ski this winter
Forget about queuing for a bus at the airport, low cost car hire - with a ski rack if necessary, will get you to where you want to go with a minimum of fuss. Click below to take advantage of special offers.
Holiday allowance is a scarce commodity. If you have only 2, 3 or 4 days free for a short ski break, you are going to want to make sure you make the most of it. Get it right, and you will be able to ski all day every day of your trip, and leave feeling like you had a full week. Get it wrong and you will waste two days travelling, and another half day sorting out ski hire, lift passes and transfers, leaving you with hardly enough slope time to make it worth it! So it’s well worth getting the planning right.
Here are our top 5 tips to make sure your short ski break doesn’t just leave you on the valley floor.
1. Choose ski resorts near an airport
You don’t want to spend all your time on the bus to and from the airport. Carefully choosing ski resorts within an hour or so of the airport makes such a huge difference to your trip, and makes it all the easier to get your timings right (see point 2). See our guide to the best ski resorts near Geneva.
2. Get your timings right
Military efficiency goes a long way on a short ski break. No point landing at 1 or 2 pm - that’s a day wasted you could be skiing. We find that finishing work and flying that evening so you are ready to go first thing in the morning works really well. Similarly on the return, if you get a late flight (say 8pm European time), you can ski all day and still be back home by 10pm UK time! Make sure you have pre-booked your transfers too, and that they can pick you up as soon as you arrive at the airport and drop you off no earlier than is necessary.
3. Ideally get everything included, at least organise it all before you get there
On that note about timing, keep an eye on things like organising lift passes and ski hire – you really don’t have time to be queuing to get your skis fitted, then queuing to get a lift pass before you get out skiing on the first morning. A good ski weekend or short break operator will have it all pre-booked and waiting for you at the chalet when you arrive. Either that or you can stay somewhere that can fit your skis at any time of day or night.
4. Choose ski resorts that are easy to get around
Some ski resorts are really spread out into a number of different sections, which means that no matter where your accommodation is based, you will probably end up spending quite a lot of mornings and evenings trying to get to and from the slopes. Chamonix for example - it ticks lots of boxes (near the airport, lots of skiing, great atmosphere) but you will have a lot of driving or sitting in traffic to do each evening. For a ski weekend, you may find some of the smaller, less well known resorts are perfect – you don’t need such a huge volume of runs after all.
5. Go in January and March
January and March are, quite simply, the ideal times for a short ski break. Why? Well, flights are cheaper than February for one, and the slopes are so much quieter if you can avoid the school holiday periods. That, of course, goes for the airports, roads and restaurants too! The snow is generally excellent in both January and March as well.
Feature ©Ski Weekender
Ski Weekender are the ski weekend and short breaks specialists operating in ski resorts near Geneva – La Clusaz, Grand Bornand and Samoëns (for the Grand Massif including Flaine). Funnily enough, they make sure all the boxes in this article are ticked!
Tel: 0845 557 5983 (UK)
Swift transfers from Geneva make La Clusaz one of the most popular family resorts in the northern Alps. Despite a relatively modest altitude, snowfalls tend to be reliable enough to ensure a long season.
A combination of relaxed family skiing and solid value have made it deservedly popular with day visitors from nearby Geneva, while quick flight transfers and easy road access ensure its popularity with UK skiers. Stay in the higher village of Le Chinaillon for near doorstep skiing.
MountainPassions profiles Samoëns in the French Alps - an authentic mountain village linked to the Grand Massif ski domain. Visit our resort review page too.
Highest of the villages in the Grand Massif, Les Carroz retains many traditional Alpine chalets at its heart and still has an authentic mountain atmosphere. Les Carroz and neighbouring Morillon provide safe intermediate territory, and mile-hungry skiers or those seeking steeper terrain can cruise over to Flaine.
Les Gets has a reassuringly established feel to it and offers a refreshingly traditional alternative to high-altitude purpose-built resorts. Les Gets’ own pistes are spread across both sides of the village's valley location, but with access to 650 km of slopes, spread across 12 villages in France and Switzerland, the vast Portes du Soleil area offers near-limitless skiing.