A Different Way To Travel to the Alps

When we consider a classic ski holiday package, we think of flights, transfers, accommodation, ski hire, and lift pass. But those first two needn’t be set in stone. There are other options to explore, to be more green, add variety, increase comfort and just avoid the airport queues.

Diane, our Sales and Marketing Director, recently did exactly this. Swapping the plane for the train to see if it really was a more relaxing experience.

Have a read and you may just rethink your next trip to the mountains.

 Alpe D’Huez

Alpe D’Huez

So where did you go skiing this year?

In March I travelled with six others to the catered Chalet Salagou in sunny Alpe D’Huez.

Why did you pick that property and resort?

The chalet itself is in a prime location in resort. Near the slopes, bars and shops. Plus, the Nordic spa on the balcony is a no-brainer.

Alpe D’Huez has an old town, amazing views and the longest black run in Europe. I also wanted to get over to Les Deux Alpes to ski La Grave – possibly the greatest and most scenic off-piste available anywhere. We also wanted to get the helicopter over to Les Deux Alpes and it was a bit of a nostalgic trip as I did my first seasons in Alpe D’Huez and Les Deux Alpes.

 Chalet Salagou

Chalet Salagou

Why did you decide to take the train?

After years of repeating the same plane journeys, we decided to give up duty-free and see if there was another more exciting way of getting to the slopes. I thought the train would be calmer, more relaxing and greener.

How much longer did it take than flying?

I’m not sure it did really take that much longer… It certainly did not feel as if it took longer! There was hardly a queue at check-in, a little longer at security but less than flying I would say.

Once on the train, it was only 2 hours and about 15mins to Paris. Then jumping on the TGV to Grenoble, we were there in about 3 and a half hours. After that, being in the Southern Alps, Alpe D’Huez is only 90 minutes away.

 Alpe D’Huez

Alpe D’Huez

Tell us a bit about the experience

We arrived at the Eurostar terminal in St Pancras in time for a decent breakfast, perfect before stepping onto the train. Arriving at Gare Du Nord takes you right into the centre of Paris and the taxi was there to meet us. It was lovely crossing the city and seeing some of the sights.

We had time at Gare de Lyon to get some delicious baguettes, drinks and patisserie (well, do as the French do) before we boarded the TGV to Grenoble. It reaches speeds of over 300km/h (some in the group were excited about that), seats were comfortable, plenty of leg room and lots of space for bags. The carriage was quiet, we chatted, had our delicious lunch, read and dozed in complete calm!

Grenoble itself is of course a gorgeous, historic city and so well placed for the transfer to Alpe D’Huez. The drive up the 21 iconic hairpin bends only served to remind the cyclists amongst us of the feats achieved by those cyclists doing the Tour de France. And the views are breathtaking.

We felt the same calmness on the return journey – hardly any queues and as the journey was broken up by crossing Paris it did not feel as if it was a long trip at all. It was possibly the most relaxing journey to ski that I have done in years.

Any tips for taking the train to the Alps?

Packaging all the components together is definitely the way to do it. The fact that the taxis and transfers were arranged for us made it super simple. At each destination, the transport was ready and waiting.

If you have the time, there is good reason to stop off and stay a night or two in Paris, as it is a city that never fails to delight.

It’s going to be hard to convince my group to fly again after this!

 Alpe D’Huez

Alpe D’Huez

Hopefully, this has sparked up some curiosity to try out another way to travel to the slopes, changing up the norm and doing your bit for the environment. After all, whoever said the journey can’t be the destination.


Jessica May

Ski Specialist

0208 600 1678

Other articles you may like:

What to Expect from a Ski Holiday to Alpe d’Huez

Self-Drive Ski Holidays: What Are the Benefits?