Lonely Planet Writer

Time to get planning - book a train from London straight to the French Alps for this winter

If summer holidays at the beach just leave you cold, then it’s time to start planning for this winter’s ski vacation. Travellers in London can get started on their plans, as tickets for the Eurostar ski train have gone on sale.

The winter view on the montains and ski lift station in French Alps near Chamonix Mont-Blanc.
The winter view on the montains and ski lift station in French Alps near Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Image by ©Victorpalych/Shutterstock

The ski train, which takes travellers from St Pancras International in London or Ashford International in Kent straight to the French Alps, saves travellers the hassle – and extra fees – of getting their ski gear onto a plane. The trains will run from 22 December 2017 to 7 April 2018 and tickets went on sale today (19 July). The trains, which hit speeds of 186mph, link travellers with ski resorts like Courchevel, La Plagne, Tignes, Meribel and Les Arcs, which are all a bus ride from the train station.

Frozen scene near a ski resort in the french alps just above Briancon in France, with blue sky before sunset in the golden hour over the mountain with fresh snow.
Frozen scene near a ski resort in the french alps just above Briancon in France. Image by ©egyjanek/Shutterstock

To help give skiers the most time on the hills, there are night trains that mean you can sleep the whole way there. There’s also a generous luggage allowance, which means you can get your skis or snowboard on the train, and two suitcases, at no extra cost. The prices start at £149 return, while for £229 return guests can get a more spacious coach.

Les Vieilles Luges occupies a 250-year-old farm chalet high on the slopes above the village of Les Houches, near Chamonix.
Les Vieilles Luges occupies a 250-year-old farm chalet high on the slopes above the village of Les Houches, near Chamonix. Image by ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

While it may still seem early to dream of a ski vacation, the French Alps are a summer destination to many, particular those who love to take part in activities like climbing, mountain biking and rafting.