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Our guide to a self-drive ski holiday

image Monday, 06, July, 2020

We love the convenience of a self-drive ski holiday here at Ski Collection and it has never been easier or more comfortable to drive to ski resorts from the UK! In our guide below, we include some of our top advice for a successful driving holiday to France with the benefits of a Eurotunnel FlexiPlus crossing...

Let this quick video from Eurotunnel get you up to speed about how the check-in process works:


The advantage of taking the car is that you can take as much or as little time as you need to get to your destination, and with a return Eurotunnel FlexiPlus crossing you can travel whenever you like! 

Our free FlexiPlus upgrade* for the Eurotunnel gives you a range of benefits including;

  • Priority check-in and your own designated priority boarding lane
  • Being put on the next available crossing when you arrive at the terminal
  • Access to the FlexiPlus lounge, which offers a great range of complimentary drinks (hot and cold) and snacks!
  • Flexible return travel so you don't have to plan to return at a specific date or time!

We also love the fact that driving down means you have the flexibility of using the car whenever you need to whilst in the resort! Meaning that you can pop down the valley to the bigger supermarkets (which are also better value) to stock up, or even visit other resorts in the area!

Eurotunnel le shuttle FlexiPlus ski holiday

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Drive to ski resorts from UK with Eurotunnel

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Driving to your chosen ski resort from the UK is very convenient. Our ski holidays always include a return Eurotunnel crossing, with a free FlexiPlus upgrade on most dates (supplements on peak weeks in the season such as February half term and Easter). The FlexiPlus tickets offer you the convenience of priority check-in and priority boarding on the next available crossing - meaning you can turn up to the terminal knowing you won't have to wait long! One of the main benefits of taking the Eurotunnel le shuttle is that you can take as much as you need; from some of our team's experiences, you can pack a lot more than if you were to fly. This can easily include your ski equipment, sledges, some home comforts, and favourite toys for little ones!

TOP TIP: We'd also recommend packing your slow cooker if you have one. This way you can ski all-day, knowing that you have a delicious hot dinner awaiting you in your apartment!

You can also take advantage of picking up some snacks or even stocking up on your favourite French foods in the supermarkets along the way. This works out a lot cheaper than shopping in the smaller markets in the resort and there's a lot more variety too!

Driving to the Alps instead of flying, means you can travel 'door-to-door' whilst limiting your contact with others if you wish too. There's no long wait times, or boarding lounges, and no transfers. You can travel from your home, direct to your ski accommodation, all without the need to leave your vehicle!

FIND OUT MORE: Travelling after 1/1/21? See what additional documents you'll need to drive in France.

Driving to the Alps with Eurotunnel le shuttle

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Family ski holiday drive to the Alps

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Scenic route

By taking the car you can drive to the Alps however you like. You can take the most direct route using the convenient toll system on the motorways, or you can opt for the scenic route and making stops in other towns and villages on the way to break up the journey.

TOP TIP: Make sure you plan for the weather conditions during the drive through the Alps, and pack either some snow-chains or snow-socks. You can read the guide of how to use snow-chains via the blog post on our sister site, Peak Retreats.

You could even extend your winter break by adding one or two nights either side of your winter holiday in the French Alps and stay in en-route hotels, such as in Reims and Troyes. The Novotel in Reims is around 2.5 hours from Calais, so it's an ideal stop for those who have already driven a bit of a distance in the UK to get to the Eurotunnel terminal. The Golden Tulip hotel in Troyes is also a good option as this hotel is a bit closer to the Alps for those who prefer to have less of a drive the next day.

What about the dog?

No one wants to leave a member of the family behind when going away, so the fact that lots of the accommodation we offer (see our ski holidays with dogs page) accept pets makes it so much easier to include everyone in a holiday in the French mountains!

Take the opportunity to explore the French Alps with your four-legged friend and travel by Eurotunnel this winter. You can add on a pet supplement for your Eurotunnel journey (applicable to dogs, cats and ferrets);

  • travel between 06:30-23:30 to use this service
  • your dog can remain in the car with you during the crossing 
  • there's a dedicated exercise area at the terminal
  • registered guide/assistance dogs travel for free

The inside track

Here's what some of our team have to say about travelling via Eurotunnel le shuttle FlexiPlus, including some top advice to make the most of the benefits of driving to the Alps!

Family ski holiday Eurotunnel

Navigation apps

Alison and her family loved the facilities at the FlexiPlus lounge, stocking up on snacks and drinks before the journey in France.

Alison also suggests using a navigation app to help with the drive: "Using the interactive navigation app, Waze, meant that we were diverted around any small hold-ups. The journey was smooth all the way."

Read more about her journey to La Rosiere in her blog post.

Pre-paid tolls

Pre-paid tolls

Chris drove to Flaine with an overnight stop in Reims and loves the Eurotunnel FlexiPlus option as it's completely hassle-free.

Chris recommends sorting your payments for the tolls in advance: "If you're driving, get a Liber-t tag before you go - it's an automatic toll payer. You order online and only pay in the months you use it. I've had mine for over 10 years!"

Read Chris's full review of his ski holiday in Flaine.

Family winter holiday in Alps with Eurotunnel

Supermarket stock-ups

Claire and her family drove to Les 2 Alps and said that it was a great way to get the kids excited for the holiday as they drove through the mountains!

She also has a few money-saving tips. Such as stocking up on petrol in the villages away from the main roads and avoiding the expensive food from the service stations - you can pack a picnic or grab a doggy bag from the FlexiPlus lounge.

Read more about her self-drive holiday to Les 2 Alpes in her blog review.

Shortest drive resorts

Looking to get to the Alps as quickly as possible by car? Choose one of these resorts with some of the shortest drives from Calais.

Alpe d'Huez drive to ski resort

Ski the Sarenne

Alpe d'Huez - 9 hours drive from Calais (580 miles). 

Found in the Isère region of the Alps. The friendly resort of Alpe d'Huez has access to 250km of piste in the Grand Domaine ski area, including the famous Sarenne piste. 

We'd recommend staying at the Cristal de l'Alpe luxury apartments.

Drive to Chamonix from UK

Step into the void...

Chamonix - 8 hours drive from Calais (557 miles).

The well known resort of Chamonix is an idyllic destination for those wanting more than just a ski break, with plenty to do and see including the 'Step into the Void' at the Aiguille du Midi (pictured).

We'd recommend staying at our Premium rated apartments at the Cristal de Jade. 

Flaine ski resort drive to Alps

Enjoy the Grand Massif

Flaine - 8 hours 50 drive from Calais (550 miles).

Located in the large Grand Massif ski region of the Alps, Flaine offers some great skiing for all abilities and ages. See Al Ferguson's recent review from his family trip.

We'd recommend staying at the Director's Choice residence Le Centaure.


Ready to book your self-drive ski holiday to France? You can chat online or call us on 023 9289 0960 to speak to our expert and award-winning team, who will help you decide where to go and plan your perfect winter break! If you already know what you want to do this ski season, then you can submit a quote request or book online. You can also stay in the loop by signing up to our newsletter or following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to get all the latest ski news and the best deals!

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