ickets are now on sale for indirect winter rail journeys to the Alps – so skiers can book journeys up until 10th March 2019. In early December (the date is not yet confirmed) it will then be possible to book indirect journeys from 11th March onwards.
Indirect journeys provide an alternative to the popular direct Eurostar Ski Train, which went on sale in July, because skiers and snowboarders can access resorts that are not on the ski-train route, such as Alpe d’Huez, Avoriaz, Les Gets, Morzine and Montgenevre in France, Sauze d’Oulx in Italy, and the Swiss resorts of Saas Fee and Zermatt – by using a combination of Eurostar to Paris and TGV from Paris to the Alps. Travellers can also travel from Paris by sleeper train to resorts such as Serre Chevalier in France and Claviere in Italy.
1. Avoriaz, France
Hub of the vast 650km Portes du Soleil, Avoriaz is a great base for exploring the ski area’s intermediate-friendly terrain. The purpose-built has a relatively charming traffic-free village and this season opens a new Folie Douce après-ski bar.
Depart London St Pancras on the 07:52 Eurostar to Paris-Nord. Change to Paris-Lyon and take the 12:11 TGV, changing at Bellegarde to arrive Cluses at 16:36; from there it’s 50 minutes by bus or taxi.
Rail journey time: 7 hours, 44 minutes.
2. Les Arcs, France
Les Arcs’ four villages are part of the Paradiski, a huge 425km ski area that caters for all abilities. The villages, 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000, offer convenient, often ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes – and this year Arc 2000 has introduced snowmobiling for children.
Depart London St Pancras on the 09:45 Eurostar Direct Ski Train to Bourg St Maurice, arriving at 19:03. From there it’s a seven-minute funicular ride to Arc 1600, with free shuttle bus to the other villages.
Rail journey time: 8 hours, 13 minutes.
Les Arcs is part of the Paradiski area CREDIT: ©ANDYPARANT.COM/ANDY PARANT