NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this website.
I understand
More Info

In a hurry to reach the slopes? The last thing you want is a long transfer, then. We've teamed up with Inghams to bring you some great European resorts that don't take an age to get to.

Photo: iStock_TPopova

Sponsored content

Whether you start by piling aboard a tour operator's coach, grabbing a private transfer taxi or peering at the held up signs at the airport for your minibus firm, no-one enjoys an expensive, draining transfer ride between the airport and your resort – especially if you’re on a short break ski trip.

And if you’re travelling with tired children, you can double the irritation factor!

We're not saying these are all the closest ski resorts with the shortest transfer times, but they all hit the right balance of accessibility and all-round appeal and include some of the Alps' most famous resorts. So, here, with the input of our friends at Inghams, is our guide to 13 of the best ski resorts that won’t test your patience on the winding mountain roads.

The best short transfer ski resorts near airports


Photo: iStock_Kisa Markiza


Nearest airport: Salzburg

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins

With 270 kilometres of pistes, plus access to another 77km in the recently-linked Zell am See, the Ski Circus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn is one of the largest ski areas in Austria. Beginners, families and experts can use 140 km blue, 112 km red and 18 km of black slopes. With 70 cableways and lifts, numerous snow parks, a world-class freeride area and top-notch toboggan trails, this is one of the most diverse and best ski areas in the Alps, and is better than a big top for families. More than half its pistes are blue runs – perfect for skiing kids, mini-racers and small carvers! 

The attractive villages of Saalbach and Hinterglemm are situated in the Glemm Valley and are 4km apart. Saalbach is the larger resort of the two with a charming centre with bakeries, cafes and several options for lively après ski. Fieberbrunn is an atmospheric Tirolean village in the Pillersee Valley with a popular terrain-park for boarders.

Zell am Zee is one of the prettiest ski resorts, with a stunning lakeside setting. The 138km Zell am See-Kaprun ski area is most famously known for the Schmittenhöhe mountain in Zell am See and the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier at nearby Kaprun which are conveniently linked by a free ski bus.

For more info and to book your trip, go to

Photo: Jonathan Bean_unsplash

St. Anton am Arlberg

Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins

St. Anton in the Arlberg region of Austria is one of the world's most famous and historic ski resorts, renowned for its lively après ski scene and superb terrain, it offers some of the most challenging intermediate and advanced ski slopes in the Alps, with stunning views to boot.

The long, exhilarating descents from the Valluga, scenic valley runs and world-class off-piste attract advanced skiers, and while much of the terrain is indeed challenging, there is still plenty for less-confident skiers to enjoy, especially with the other Arlberg lift pass resorts of Lech, Zürs, Stuben and St Christoph now lift-linked via the new Flexenbahn link.

The attractive pedestrianised village centre gives easy access to the main lifts and St Anton’s infamous après-ski starts on the slopes at bars such as the ‘Mooserwirt’ and the ‘Krazy Kanguruh’, and continues into the small hours down in the village.

It's worth noting that you can cut your transfer time down to a mere 10-15mins if you travel to St Anton by rail with an Inghams ski rail package - leaving St Pancras at 8am and arriving at St Anton station at 9pm. The rail journey is most definitely part of the holiday!

For more info and to book your trip, go to:

Photo: iStock_frahaus


Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 1hr

Based around a large yet attractive traditional village in Austria's largest ski area, the 535km Zillertal, Mayrhofen is one of the Austrian mountain heavyweights, and is a longstanding favourite with Brits, who enjoy its great blend of authentic Austrian ambiance, good skiing, and very lively nightlife.

Be sure to explore the Hintertux glacier for great powder skiing and sweeping views. You’re above the clouds here meaning you’ll avoid any of the poor weather further down the mountain. thrill seekers will also want to try Austria’s steepest run – the Hara Kiri. If completed you’ll win an ‘I survived Hara Kiri’ t-shirt. It's not all challenging runs, though - there is plenty for beginners too – with learning areas, quality teaching and many blue runs.

If you’re a freestyler you won’t want to miss a chance to hit one of Europe’s largest snow parks – Penken. You’ll find it on the sunny side of the Hornberg mountain – split into six separate areas, it even has its own chairlift.

The après-ski is one of Mayrhofen's big plusses, and the resort is also home to the legendary Snowbombing festival.

For more info and to book your trip, go to:

Photo: iStock_TPopova


Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins

At a height of 1,927m, Obergurgl guarantees spectacular scenery. And If you’re looking for high-altitude skiing on guaranteed snow, with queue-free modern lifts and immaculate grooming then this is the resort for you. Throw in the buzzy apres-ski, and you've got a winning destination.

Obergurgl's own two-sector ski area is actually quite small, but combined with its similarly compact neighbour Hochgurgl, you get a lot of combined mileage of pisted slopes, and the off-piste is exceptional: dominated by narrow gullies and steep slopes in the area close to the summits, making this area especially suitable for experienced freeriders. Powder novices will, however, find wide open, large-scale powder slopes for their first turns in deep snow at the medium altitudes.

With a community of 400 locals working in the traditional pubs, parasol covered bars and rustic mountain huts – expect lederhosens, large beer steins and service with a smile. The slopeside Nederhutte is a must for apres and is pretty much your typical Austrian experience.

For more info and to book your trip, go to

Photo: iStock


Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 30 minutes

Seefeld is small by Alpine ski standards, with just 37km of runs, but big on charm. A chocolate box pretty, year-round holiday resort, in traditional Tirolean style, set on a wide plateau, its mostly-blue slopes are best-suited to beginners and intermediates. Renowned for having one of the best ski schools in Austria, it's a fantastic place to learn to ski, or simply perfect your technique, and with the wealth of blue runs across the ski area, this really is an excellent destination for beginners.

The town will delight non-skiers too. Families and non-skiers will enjoy Seefeld's leisurely pace - and for such a small town, there is a lot to see and do away from the slopes. There are more than 50 restaurants, ranging from local Tirolean specialities to international cuisine. The town also has many lively bars and clubs.

Also, the cross-country skiing in Seefeld is possibly the best in Austria - the Seefeld plateau has 279km of trails for cross-country enthusiasts that fan out to the other villages in the region.

For more info and to book your trip, go to:


Photo: iStock_Fabrice Peresse


Nearest airport: Turin

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins

Over the Italian/French border from the Milky Way resorts of Italy, Montgenevre boasts French charm with an Italian flair. Often boasting the best snow conditions in the Milky Way and usually open a week or two earlier, and remaining open a week or two longer, than most of its Italian neighbours, Montgenevre is therefore a fairly sound choice for early and late-season ski trips.

With wide and uncrowded pistes, this area is an excellent choice for beginners and advanced skiers alike, plus the new Durancia spa, Monty Express toboggan and great value mountain restaurant Les Terrasses all add to why we feel Montgenèvre has a broad appeal. The local Monts de la Lune lift pass includes 4 free hours so you can start skiing from 1pm on your arrival afternoon

Off-slope activities include include an exciting 1.4km monorail toboggan ride that starts at the top of the Chalvet gondola on Montgenevre's northern slopes; and a tree-top adventure trail in the woods at the lower western end of the resort.

For more info and to book your trip, go to:

Photo: OT Serre Chevalier Vallée – Briançon

Serre Chevalier

Nearest airport: Turin

Transfer time: 1hr 35mins (to Briançon)

The Serre Chevalier ski area extends west from Briançon and stretches across six peaks to Monêtier-les-Bains. The middle twin villages of Chantemerle and Villeneuve are the principal resort bases and share the bulk of the core ski area. The whole domain has a great range of pistes for all abilities, with many tree-sheltered slopes, and the linear layout invites touring from one end to the other, giving a satisfying feeling of big-mileage travel.

An ideal resort for intermediate skiers and boarders, then, with easy to cruise red runs and tree-lined skiing typify the ski area. One of the most exciting red runs is the Cucumelle, accessible from the top of the Vallons chair in Fréjus. This beautiful open piste is perfect for skiers who enjoy a long run you can sink your teeth into. Serre Chevalier works well for all abilities - the backcountry riding here is often excellent - as well as non-skiers too.

Away from the slopes, the historic and atmospheric citadel of Briançon is well worth a visit to view the impressive ramparts and the warren of quaint cobbled streets within, filled with lots of little shops, café-bars, and restaurants.

For more info and to book your trip, go to

Photo: Unsplash_Voctoire Joncheray

La Clusaz

Nearest airport: Geneva

Transfer time: 1hr 30minutes

La Clusaz is a picturesque, pretty Haute-Savoyard village with bags of charm located in the heart of the wonderfully scenic Massif des Aravis, just 30km from the beautiful lakeside town of Annecy and about 90 minutes transfer from Geneva. This charming community has managed to retain much of its traditional character and ambiance, whilst it has quietly developed into one of the most popular local ski resorts in this wealthy region of the Northern French Alps.

The ski slopes sweep down to the edge of the village, where the base terminals for the twin gondolas that provide the key uplift into the ski area sit side by side, just a short stroll from the village square, which is surrounded by a compact core of shopping streets, filled with a nice mix of boutiques, sports shops, patisseries, local produce shops, restaurants and laid-back café-bars.

The ski domain is made up of five interlinked mountains, providing access to the expansive Massif des Aravis Ski Area. With 210 kilometres of downhill skiing, beginners and intermediates can enjoy the green and blue runs, while experts can ski the abundant off-piste terrain.

The full Aravis area lift pass also covers the ski area at the nearby resort of Le Grand Bornand, linked by free ski bus service.

For more info and to book your trip, go to:

Photo: iStock_samards


Nearest airport: Geneva

Transfer time: 1hr 45mins

Morzine, in the Northern French Alps is probably the principal resort in the vast 650km Portes du Soleil ski area that straddles the Franco-Swiss border. It offers plenty of off-slope amenities - in summer and winter - lively nightlife, and extensive ski terrain. It's an excellent resort choice for keen intermediates, mixed-ability groups and families.

The local, friendly skiing terrain is perfect for beginners and intermediates with the Pleney pistes overlooking the town and the 49 lifts linked with Les Gets on the local lift pass. The other side of the valley will take you to the higher altitude skiing and boarding mecca of Avoriaz with plenty of blues for stylish cruising and four snow parks and the snow cross course. 

More of a small town than a village, Morzine is a lively resort with plenty of restaurants and après spots throughout the resort. You can find a number of restaurants serving up delicious Savoyard dishes, excellent pizzas and restaurants known for their vegetarian and vegan options. Lively après spots are not hard to come by, with a choice of bars with live music, resident DJs or speciality beers throughout the resort.

For more info and to book your trip, go to:


Photo: iStock_Fani Kurti

Aosta Valley

Nearest airport: Turin

Transfer time: 1hr 45mins

The smallest region of Italy the Aosta Valley, located in the Northwest of the country, boasts spectacular scenery, world-class skiing and snowboarding, food of the highest quality and a history stretching back to Roman times. Bordered by France and Switzerland, the Aosta Valley is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Europe: the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc. In the shadow of these iconic mountains are 20 neighbouring resorts, more than 800 kilometres of slopes, and 10 snow parks.

Experts or beginners, there are resorts for everyone, here, including big names such as Cervinia, to the challenging resorts of Champoluc and Gressoney. Cervinia is brilliant for exploring cross-border to Zermatt, while Champoluc and Gressoney are ideal for those wanting to get off the beaten track, with Champoluc probably the most popular resort in the Monterosa ski area. There’s a good range of shops, bars and patisseries to enjoy as well as the Monterosa spa located at the top end of town next to the woodland park, perfect if you need a day’s rest and fancy a bit of pampering.

Yes, we know, the Aosta Valley resorts are at the upper end of what counts as a 'short transfer' all averaging around 1hr 45mins, but it's an area well worth the little bit extra...

For more info and to book your trip, go to:

Photo: iStock

Milky Way

Nearest airport: Turin

Transfer time: 1hr to 1hr 30mins

Sharing honours in this huge ski area of some 400km of pistes are a couple of Italian classics - Sauze d'Oulx and Sestriere

Just one hour from Turin, surrounded by forests, and overlooking the Susa Valley in Piedmont, Sauze d'Oulx offers some of the most attractive and enjoyable snowsports terrain in the Alps, with big-mileage cruising for adventurous intermediates who can make the most of the vast cross-border Milky Way domain - when snow conditions allow. 

Sauze’s lively nightlife is its other big attraction for many younger visitors, though it has grown up a lot since the hedonistic 80s and 90s. Nevertheless, this bustling resort is home to a great variety of pubs, bars, and restaurants all of which contribute to the lively, welcoming atmosphere.

Sestriere, another 30 minutes on, and sitting at the heart of the Milky Way, is a purpose built resort with a modern and trendy feel to it, and a friendly après ski crowd that congregates in the popular bars and pubs around the town when the lifts close.

Sestriere is also home to the Tabata night club, which claims to be one of the biggest and the best in the Alps!

For more info and to book your trip, go to:


Photo: iStock_ Sara Winter


Nearest airport: Kittilä

Transfer time: 20 mins

Transfers don't get much shorter than this. Situated 170km north of the Arctic Circle, Levi’s 

ski area is the best and most extensive in Finland and offers snow-sure, uncrowded skiing in an area of exceptional natural beauty. In midwinter the sun does not rise for two months and there is a period of ‘kaamos’ or polar night. Skiing amidst the silence of the fells in a mystical blue twilight is an unforgettable experience. 

Popular with families looking for an all-round winter holiday, and with beginners looking for a stress-free introduction to the ski slopes, this pristine landscape of snow-sculpted forests and glistening frozen lakes offers an extensive choice of other activities including exhilarating husky, reindeer and snowmobile safaris. And, of course, there's a great chance to see the beautiful Northern Lights.

Nearby Kittilä is a traditional Lapp village which has managed to combine modern with historic. It’s worth visiting the museums here to learn more about the indigenous Sami culture.

For more info and to book your trip, go to:

Photo: iStock_VV-pics


Nearest airport: Kittilä

Transfer time: 35 minutes

Ylläs combines all the ingredients needed for a perfect Lapland experience. Pronounced 'U-las', this is the largest downhill and cross-country ski centre in Finland with the greatest uplift per hour. The resort also boasts the country's greatest vertical, most runs and longest run (3km). as well as an excellent network of cross-country trails and superb choice of accommodation. It offers a wide choice of activities and safaris, including exhilarating reindeer, husky and snowmobile safaris.

The skies here are especially clear, ideal for witnessing the magical Northern Lights, and during the daytime you have an ethereal blue light to enjoy. Ylläs consists of seven fells and two original Sámi villages: Äkäslompolo village located on the northern side of the Ylläs fell and Ylläsjärvi village 15 minutes away on the southern side. Beginners are especially well catered for with ideal terrain, good teachers and reasonable prices. Intermediate skiers have the whole fell to themselves, while for experts the terrain is more limited but the decent off piste can be good, especially as the temperature tends to remain at a constant below zero for longer.

For more info and to book your trip, go to:


Share on