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Transfers are a necessary evil if you want to reach the slopes, but they don't have to be never-ending ordeals. We've teamed up with Inghams to bring you 10 great European resorts with short transfer times, so that you can hit the snow as soon as possible.  

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No-one really enjoys a long transfer. Whether it’s by coach or mini-bus, the last thing you want when you’ve collected bags and equipment from the airport carousel is a draining transfer between airport and resort – especially if you’re on a short break.

And if you’re travelling with children, you can double or even treble the irritation factor!

So, here, with the input of our friends at Inghams, is our guide to ten of the best ski resorts that won’t test your patience on the autoroute or the winding mountain roads.

 

Levi, Finland

Nearest airport: Kittilä

Transfer time: 20 mins

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, 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. 

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.

 

Avoriaz/Morzine, France

Nearest airport: Geneva

Transfer time: 1hr 45mins (Avoriaz)

1hr 30mins (Morzine)

We’re cheating a bit in lumping these two French superstars together, but that’s because these neighbouring resorts offer contrasting ways to enjoy the same 650km Portes du Soleil ski area. 

Morzine is a picturesque Savoyard town, set in a beautiful valley with traditional chalet-style architecture and all the amenities and vibe of a proper town. The local ski terrain is perfect for beginners and intermediates. Hopwever, if the weather is mild and the snow iffy, you’ll want to be higher, and a bus ride up the hill is the purpose-built skiing and boarding mecca of Avoriaz which, at 1,800m, is a snow-sure way to explore the area. 

Its once-divisive cedarwood-clad buildings have mellowed into the surrounding mountains and these days Avoriaz ticks so many boxes – from ski-in, ski-out, to beginners, intermediates and experts, with the famous Swiss Wall just a couple of chairlifts away. 

 

Samoëns, France 

Nearest airport: Geneva

Transfer time: 1hr 15mins

Nestled at the heart of a great glacial valley, surrounded by seven dramatic peaks, Samoëns retains the friendly charm of an ancient market town, still strongly influenced by its farming and stone-making traditions. 

There’s a generally peaceful, timeless feel to the resort, although the village centre is bustling with everything from boutique bakeries, great-value restaurants and cosy cafés to yoga classes and ice diving. 

The comparatively new modern gondola, the Grand Massif Express carries guests directly from the village up into the heart of the Grand Massif, the fifth largest ski area in France and one of the world’s 30 biggest. Must-do runs here include the wonderful 14km-long, blue Cascades run which descends to the neighbouring resort of Sixt Fer à Cheval. 

 

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La Clusaz, France

Nearest airport: Geneva

Transfer time: 1hr 

We love La Clusaz. This picture-postcard Haut-Savoyard village in the heart of the wonderfully scenic Massif des Aravis has managed to retain much of its traditional character and ambiance - with a nice mix of boutiques, sports shops, patisseries, delis, restaurants and laid-back café-bars - whilst quietly developing into one of the most popular local ski resorts in this part of the northern French Alps. 

As for the skiing itself, there are some steep blacks and bumps, as well as decent off-piste. Intermediates are also well-served with a mix of decent reds and some challenging but wide blues, while beginners will find gentle nursery slopes up the mountain.  

 

Chamonix, France

Nearest airport: Geneva

Transfer time: 1hr 15 mins

Chamonix isn’t your average ski resort. This historic French valley town at the foot of Mont Blanc draws masses of aspiring advanced skiers and boarders, intent on ticking off one of the most hyped high-mountain off-piste routes in the Alps: the Vallée Blanche. 

You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy Chamonix, however, as the choice of skiing is amazing, from cruisy blues and fun reds at Le Brévent, Flégère and Le Tour to more challenging runs at Les Grands Montets, while beginners will adore Les Houches. 

Chamonix village centre is a charmer with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. It may be a mecca for the ‘ski-hard, play-hard’ crowd, but anyone can have a ball here!

 

Seefeld, Austria

Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 20 mins

The almost doorstep transfer makes Seefeld in Austria’s Tyrol an exceptional destination for an all-round winter break. Small in Alpine ski terms, it’s huge on charm: a chocolate-box-pretty, year-round holiday resort in traditional Tirolean style, set on a wide plateau. 

In winter its mostly-blue slopes are best-suited to beginners and intermediates, while the town will delight non-skiers too. It's also well worth noting that this is a superb area for Nordic skiing, and there are 279km of cross-country trails that fan out to the other villages in the region. 

The winter walking is exceptional too, with 142km of cleared hiking trails around Seefeld which take you through idyllic plateaus, tranquil forests and stunning river valleys

 

 

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Obertauern, Austria

Nearest airport: Salzburg

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins

Not only a modest transfer, but once you’re here the ski-in, ski-out nature of the resort takes a lot of the pain out of getting around. And with 100km of slopes between 1,740m and 2,526m, Obertauern has the best guarantee of snow in Salzburgerland and one of the longest seasons in the Alps: winter lasts until early May. With such high-altitude skiing – albeit with comparatively small vertical – and its traditional, jaunty Austrian après-ski, Obertauern is popular with British and German visitors. 

It’s a good choice for beginners as the wonderful wide nursery slope by the village is virtually guaranteed snow through the season. But it’s an even better choice for intermediates with a huge amount of terrain for the mile-hungry skier, including a well-linked circuit almost entirely above the treeline. 

 

Kühtai, Austria 

Nearest airport: Innsbruck

Transfer time: 40 mins

At 2,020m, Kühtai is one of the highest ski resorts in Europe, certainly in Austria where many of the famous resorts are comparatively low-lying. There’s a friendly, relaxed and intimate feeling to the place - it’s also very easy to reach from Innsbruck. 

Kühtai offers breath-taking scenery and the convenience of ski-in, ski-out with hardly any queues, despite its proximity to Innsbruck. With some wonderful runs and incredible off-piste, this underrated resort is a real crowd-pleaser. 

Beginners are also well-served as the nursery slopes right by the village centre are snow-sure and you won’t find yourself fighting for space with more proficient skiers. With the addition of the Hochötz ski area, a further 41km of pistes are available to Kühtai lift pass holders (a free 15-minute ski bus ride away). 

 

Sauze d’Oulx, Italy

Nearest airport: Turin 

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins 

Surrounded by forests, 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 400km 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.

 

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Cervinia, Italy

Nearest airport: Turin

Transfer time: 1hr 30mins

One for lovers of big-mountain scenery! Sitting in the shadow of the properly pointy Matterhorn, Cervinia's lofty location – 2,050m in the village and 3,480m at the top lift – is already enjoying great snow this winter! 

On a bluebird day, Italy’s most snow-sure resort is a joy for beginners and intermediates: its 150km of runs are mostly benign shades of blue and light-red. Experts will enjoy heading up and over the Swiss border to Zermatt, and taking advantage of the high-altitude links to the Swiss icon, as well as to neighbouring Valtournenche. 

Brilliant for skiers on a budget, Cervinia’s après scene is mostly pub-based and all occurs down in the village - happy hours just after the lifts close are fun, animated and a great way to round-off a long day on the slopes.

 

Explore these, and many more resorts at inghams.co.uk

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