You can read our updated list of the best resorts to travel to by train here.
Situated close to the Italian border, Montgenèvre is part of the 400km Milky Way ski area, which you can also access from the resorts of Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere and Claviere. This is an incredibly convenient place to learn, because the wide, gentle beginner slopes pour back onto the village centre, so nervous novices can easily congratulate themselves with a hot chocolate – or something stronger – as soon as the day’s lessons are over. Intermediates are amply catered for here too, and experts will enjoy the abundant off-piste. The resort also has plenty of non-ski activities, with outdoor ice-skating, sleigh rides and an ice-climbing wall. In the evenings you can also travel on a skidoo rides to local Italian mountain restaurants or take a guided snowshoe walk under the stars.
Example journey: Depart London St Pancras on the 09:17 Eurostar to Paris-Nord. Change station to Paris-Lyon and take the 14:41 TGV to Oulx, arriving at 19:23. From there it is a 25-minute taxi or bus ride.
Total train journey time: 9 hours, 06 minutes.
St Anton, Austria
St Anton is something of a Mecca for adventurous skiers, who return time and time again to explore its seemingly limitless terrain and incredible off piste. The snow record here is excellent, and the runs from Galzig have some excellent blues and reds, while the often-overlooked Rendl area is a good place to discover slopes that remain quite all day. From around 3pm, après ski bars such as the legendary Moosewirt, come alive. Back in the characterful village, the wonderful History Museum will give you an insight into the origins and development of sking, and the Arlberg Well spa complex will sooth you and pep you up, ready for the next day’s skiing.
Example journey: Depart London St Pancras on the 18:01 Eurostar to Paris-Nord, arriving at 21:17, then stop over in Paris and take the 07:23 TGV from Paris-Lyon, changing in Zurich to the 12:40 RailJet to arrive at 15:03 in St Anton.
Total train journey time: 20 hours, 02 minutes (including stopover).
Alpe d’Huez, France
Alpe d’Huez’ 250km ski domain is a place where you can ski all week feel you’ve hardly scratched the surface of what there is to ski here. The terrain in the central Alpe d’Huez area has plenty for beginners to build their confidence on, and the outlying sectors of Auris en Oisans, Oz and Vaujany have supremely quiet, treelined slopes. There’s an excellent choice of cosy mountain eateries - none more than La Bergerie, tucked away near the base of the Villard red run – with its steaming stews, steaks and cheese. And the Folie Douce keeps the après ski lively on the slopes from about 2pm every afternoon.
Also, check out the Grotte de Glace, above the DMC cable car at 2,700 metres, where you can explore some skilfully crafted ice sculptures before emerging back onto the slopes – perhaps to try the Sarenne, at 13km the longest black run in the Alps.
Example journey: depart London St Pancras on the 11:01 Eurostar to Paris-Nord, change station and take the 15:37 TGV to Annecy, arriving 18:42. From there it is a 55-minute bus or taxi ride.
Total train journey time: 6 hours, 41 minutes.
Located right in the heart of the 650km Portes du Soleil ski area, Avoriaz makes a great launching pad for exploring the slopes, with a multitude of options in every direction. The ski-in-ski-out convenience of the car-free village makes it a particularly suitable base for families, with plenty of self-catering accommodation. This year the Hotel des Dromonts, the first building constructed in the resort, has been completely renovated, while The Stash – the innovative snowpark constructed solely of natural materials, has been increased in size and now boasts 80 features made of wood and snow. There’s also a vast tropical swim and spa complex, the Aquariaz, with water rides, pools and saunas.
Example journey: Depart London St Pancras on the 17:31 Eurostar to Paris-Nord. Change station to Paris-Austerlitz and take the 22:56 sleeper train to Cluses, arriving at 08:22. From there it is a 25-minute taxi or bus ride.
Total journey time: 19 hours, 16 minutes.
Le Grand Bornand, France
You may not have heard of Le Grand Bornand, but if you are a family this is a discovery worth knowing about. The cute, friendly village has beautiful, traditional Savoyard architecture and is also the origin of Reblochon cheese.
The slopes, shared with neighbouring La Clusaz, total 222km and the views over the Aravis mountain range are some of the most picturesque in the Alps. For beginners, the Joyere and Rosay areas are ideal for beginners, with plenty of blues and reds for intermediates to enjoy, along with accessible off piste. In the village there is ice-skating, sleigh rides and even hot air ballooning to keep young minds entertained – and in awe.
Example journey: depart London St Pancras on the 07:55 Eurostar, change in Paris and take the 12:45 TGV train to Annecy, arriving at 16:29. From there it is a 35-minute taxi or bus ride.
Total train journey time: 7 hours, 34 minutes
Les Arcs, France
Les Arcs shares Paradiski’s 425km of slopes with La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry, and the moment you hit the slopes here it becomes obvious why this destination has so many fans. The ski area, served by a network of fast chairlifts and bubbles, offers pistes that suits all levels, with high-altitude, easy blue runs accessible to beginners.
The views from the Aiguille Rouge glacier, and the twisting red-run descent that follows, are both magnificent, and the Vanoise Express crossing to La Plagne is an experience in itself. From this year, the newly constructed Mille8 area, above Arcs 1800, has an experiential toboggan run and a 3800 m2 swimming and spa complex.
Example journey: depart London St Pancras on the 09:39 Eurostar Ski Train to Bourg St Maurice, arriving 18:51. From there it 7-minute funicular ride to Arc 1600, from where there are free shuttle buses (10-20 minutes ride) to the other villages.
Total train journey time: 7 hours, 41 minutes
Verbier’s buzzing, cosmopolitan village attract skiers from many countries, wowed by its reputation for plentiful off-piste and scenic slopes. The ski area linked as part of the 4 Vallees ski domaine, totals an impressive 410km of terrain.
The off-piste here is indeed some of the best in the world, especially that off Mont Fort. Meanwhile piste-cruisers will enjoy the underused runs at Savoyeres. There are some good mountain restaurants, such as Cabane Mont-Fort, which does a great goulash, or Le Dahu, whose chilli-cheese fondue is perfect fuel for a carve down the red runs that lead from La Chaux down to Medran, 730 vertical metres below.
Example journey: depart London St Pancras on the 17:31 Eurostar to Paris-Nord, stop over at a hotel by Gare de Lyon and next morning take the 08:02 TGV to Martigny, changing to a regional train, arriving at Le Chable at 13:47. From there it is a 20-minute bus or taxi ride.
Total train journey time: 19 hours, 16 minutes (including stopover)
Centrally placed within France’s huge Trois Vallées 600km ski area, Meribel is an attractive resort British skiers, with a number of villages to base yourself in, such as Les Allues, with Savoyard traditional architecture, or Meribel Village, with its chalets so close to the slopes.
The local area alone accounts for 150km of piste, and the modern lift system can whisk you off towards neighbouring resorts that include Courchevel and La Tania. There is a choice of villages to stay in, with chalet accommodation in abundance. On slope, the recently opened Folie Douce provides just some of the prolific après ski, while after dark Meribel Centre is one of the liveliest resorts in the Alps.
Example journey: Depart London St Pancras on the 09:39 Eurostar Ski Train to Moutiers, arriving at 18:13. From there it is a 20-minute taxi or bus ride.
Total train journey time: 7 hours, 34 minutes.
Sainte Foy, France
Little Sainte Foy is one of those resorts you may not have heard of, because for years it has sat in the shadow of its more famous neighbours Tignes and Val d’Isere, located just up the road. However, although the 41km ski area might not sound like a lot, for families the fact that the slopes are nice and quiet - and lift queues non-existent - makes this a wonderful setting. And for the more adventurous, the resort has abundant, accessible off-piste – which make the resort a delight for powder-snow fans. The friendly, compact village has a great choice of chalets and authentic Savoyard restaurants, and a relaxed, friendly, vibe.
Example journey: depart London St Pancras on the 09:39 Eurostar Ski Train to Bourg St Maurice, arriving 18:52. From there it 20-minute bus or taxi ride.
Total train journey time: 8 hours, 13 minutes.
Val Cenis Vanoise, France
The piste map makes it pretty clear why French families love the ski area of Val Cenis Vanoise: an impressive network of green, blue and red runs criss-crosses the terrain. The villages of Lanselvillard, Lanslebourg and Termignon are small, cute and friendly, with well-located beginner slopes, making it easy for families to meet up after ski lessons.
Many of the intermediate and advanced slopes are north facing, keeping their snow conditions well. The epic 900m toboggan run underneath the gondola at Le Haut is bundles of fun, and in Lanslevillard there’s a pool and spa complex. The resort has plenty of high-quality self-catering residences at attractive rates, too.
Example journey: depart London St Pancras on the 09:17 Eurostar to Paris-Nord, change station and take the 14:41 TGV to Modane, arriving 18:47. From there it is a 30-minute bus or taxi ride to the villages.
Total train journey time: 7 hours, 30 minutes.