Let’s Hit the Slopes! Ski Destinations You Can Drive to from the UK

With holidays now firmly back on the agenda, it’s time to look ahead to the winter ski season. Most European resorts tend to open at the end of November until mid to late April so now is the perfect time to get planning your trip. Whilst we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, you might be hesitant to head to an airport and jump on a plane so we’ve put together this guide to outline which ski destinations you can reach by car from the UK.

The European ski season is easily accessible from the UK and some destinations can even be reached by car within a day or less. The best thing about driving to your destination is that you’ll have more control over your travel plans. Of course, travelling during the current climate comes with many risks, one of these being new quarantine rules coming into place when you arrive back in the UK. If you’ve travelled to your destination by car, you have the freedom to leave earlier than planned, alleviating the stress and worry that comes with rebooking new flights at short notice.

If you’re desperate to hit the slopes this year but are nervous about flying during the pandemic, we’ve identified the top skiing destinations to visit by car. France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy all boast amazing skiing, breathtaking views and perfect weather conditions. And most importantly, they can all be reached by car and a short ferry ride.

CountryTravel time Mileage Fuel costTop ski destinations
France9 hours570 miles£95Chamonix, Les Arcs, Meribel
Switzerland10 hours600 miles£100Verbier, St Moriz, Saas Fee
Austria10 hours680 miles£120Innsbruck, Saalbach, Obergurgl
Italy12 hours700 miles£130Passo Tonale, Corvora, Cervinia
The above costs are based on travelling from Calais France, driving a Volvo XC 90 2.0 Diesel. The costs are fuel costs only-be aware some routes will include toll charges. All figures are approximate.

During these times it’s important to be aware of local and country-specific restrictions. Even though you’re holidaying in one destination it’s key to remember you will have to travel through at least one other country to reach your resort. It’s important to check COVID related restrictions before you travel as these may delay and extend your trip.

Road safety and car preparation are paramount before you set off on a long trip especially if you’re driving in hazardous terrains such as snow and ice. You should also familiarise yourself with road laws and regulations before you leave and make sure you have the relevant paperwork and required equipment in your car. For example, if you’re travelling to France, you should be aware that speed camera detectors are illegal and could land you a €1,500 fine, so if your sat nav comes with this feature you need to ensure it’s turned off when you reach France.

Car insurance is a legal requirement for all vehicles. Before leaving make sure that your policy covers your trip and that you have a sufficient breakdown service if you run into mechanical trouble. Once you’ve decided on your destination, you need to book your ski travel insurance. Your policy should not only cover medical costs, lost or stolen luggage and cancellation costs, but it should also cover specific issues that can surround winter sports such as loss of ski pass, mountain rescue and personal liability insurance in case you injure someone else. If you’re into more extreme sports, make sure your insurance covers the activities you’re undertaking such as glacier climbing, heli-skiing, competitive skiing and snowboarding.

Compare travel insurance

We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place when you go abroad, especially if you’re going on a skiing holiday where the risks of injury are higher. Unlike traditional comparison sites that point you towards the cheapest travel insurance policies on the market, we’ve ranked insurers based on product quality and customer service to ensure that you’re purchasing a high-quality policy from a provider that will be there for you when you need them most. If the worst were to happen, you wouldn’t want to be left in the hands of an insurer that will try and avoid paying out for your claim. We encourage you to read as many travel insurance reviews as possible before making a choice so that you can get an idea of how different insurers handle claims.