Wanna go skiing or snowboarding, but no so keen on those long transfers? Yeah, we hear ya. Sometimes sitting in a bus or taxi for 3 hours is just not an option – for example for a long weekend trip, with family or just if you don’t wanna do all that travel.
So, we’ve put together this handy list of European ski resorts with short transfer times.
By short, we mean under 2 hours from a major international airport. Of course, this will all depend on how you transfer. For example, hiring a private transfer will be much quicker than taking public transport.
Got your ski and snowboard gear ready? Alright then, let’s get on them slopes!
At under 2 hours from Geneva by transfer, Morzine is a no-brainer for those looking for a quick ski transfer location. The road is generally pretty fast, and you can in a Morzine ski hotel within 1 hour 40 or less. The Portes de Soleil region is huge and very popular for a reason, so Les Gets and Chatel also counts as being within this region.
Morzine and Portes de Soleil in general are also popular family friendly ski resorts, with their bustling towns and options for non -ski related activities.
We’ve looked at Krvavec a few times on this site, and I did actually visit in person a few years back. Although it’s not the biggest ski resort, it is the closest ski resort to an airport in Europe. Ljubljana airport in Slovenia is visible from the resort and you can actually get from plane to mountain in about half an hour.
However there isn’t much in the way of accommodation in Krvavec itself, so you’ll most likely end up staying in Ljubljana, Kranj or Bled. This isn’t a bad thing though as you can also experience a bit of Slovenia too.
The runs themselves are limited to this one mountain, and the longest run is only 2kms, so not quite on a par with France or Austria. But if you’re looking for a quick fix ski or snowboard session with minimal transfer time, it’s a good option.
Check out my video review of Krvavec on Gone Travelling.
See also Krjanska Gora and Vogel in Slovenia too.
The Tyrol, Austria
From Innsbruck airport, you can head to any number of world class ski resorts in under 2 hours. In fact, some of them are barely an hour away – making the Tyrol an easy choice for high quality ski resorts with short transfer times,
For example, you can be in Mayrhofen in just over an hour by private transfer. There is also a train service all the way up the Zillertal valley, although this takes a little longer. This includes great places like Fugen or Hochzillertal with also offer world class skiing, within 90 minutes after leaving the airport.
From Innsbruck, you can also take a short transfer to St Anton (1hr 20), Kitzbuhel (1hr 20-30ish), Ischgl (1hr 20-30), St Johann (1hr 30) and Obergurgl (1hr 30).
There is also a choice of ski resorts around Innsbruck itself, although these are not as easy to access from the city as the resort towns above. Check out Sunweb or Snowtrex for some good deals in Austria.
La Molina/Masella, Spain
For the Pyrenees most people head to Andorra, but Spain actually has a number of great resorts to choose from. If you’re looking for the best option in Spain, that’s probably gonna be Baqueria Beret. But for a short transfer time, you’ll be better with La Molina and Masella.
These two resorts can be reached in under 2 hours from Barcelona airport, and if you time it right you can have a blast. With the two resorts combined under the name Alpe 2500 (yes, it’s not in the Alps), you get some great terrain with reasonable snow cover.
In all honesty, you’re better off heading to Grandvalira in Andorra for the much better snow coverage. But for a fun ski or snowboarding experience a short drive from an airport (also accessible via train), Masella and La Molina are worth checking out.
Sierra Nevada, Spain
Another Spanish option is Sierra Nevada, a short drive from Grenada in Andalusia. Yup, you can even see the Mediterranean from this fab resort. Being this far south you’d think that the snowfall isn’t always the best. But Sierra Nevada has hosted recent ski world cups and has a reputation as a great ski spot.
And if you’re looking for a ski resort in Europe with a short transfer time, Sierra Nevada fits the bill. Under an hour from Granada, or two hours from Malaga, you can combine a trip to the costas with some piste side action.
There is even a regular ski bus from Granada, so you can ski by day and dine below the Alhambra by night. Hows that for apres?
La Clusaz, France
Another quick transfer from Geneva, La Clusaz is just over an hour with a private transfer. Being so close it can get quite popular, but there is obviously a reason for the popularity.
La Clusaz offers plenty of terrain and a mixture of easy and intermediate slopes, making it perfect for all levels. With much of the resort at high altitude, there is also plenty of opportunity for freeriding and getting into the fresh powder. Some of the terrain is a bit flat, which can be a headache for snowboarders,
There are obviously lots of ski resorts a short hop from Geneva, but this is worth a look if you want to keep the transfer time down with some quality skiing.
Premier ski resort Chamonix is actually around 1hr 30 from Geneva, making it a top quality short transfer ski resort. The further into the valley you go, the better terrain you get, as you get higher altitude. Prices for accommodation also start ti climb, but thats the way it is.
For snowboarders, Chamonix offers some excellent terrain and freeriding. It’s also worth mentioning that apres ski in Cham’ is top quality too.
Sestriere/Via Lattea, Italy
Ah La Dolce Vita! Life is definitely sweet when you go skiing or snowboarding in Italy. And one reason is the short transfer time from Turin. In around 1 hour 30 mins you can be in one of the resorts in the Via Lattea ski region, including popular Sestriere.
The Via Lattea (Milky way) is an expansive but not expensive ski area, with something for everyone. Considering you’re skiing the same Alps as in France and Switzerland, the price is considerably lower.
If you’re looking for an Italian flavour for your European ski trip, look at Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx or any of the Via Lattea resorts on Sunweb.
Ax Les Thermes, France
When you think of skiing or snowboarding in France, you’ll most likely think of the big Alpine resorts. But there are several excellent resorts in the Pyrenees which are under 2 hours from Toulouse airport (and an even shorter hop from the smaller airports at Lourdes and Carcassonne).
Ax-Les-Thermes is one of the biggest of the French Pyrenees, with over 100kms of piste to explore. Although we’ve not been (it is on the list), we’ve heard great things about the quality food and drink, cheaper prices than the Alps and surprisingly great skiing.
And if you’re looking for a European ski resort with a short transfer, and one that is a little bit of a surprise package, check out Ax-Les-Thermes.
Booking ski resort transfers
Even if you’ve found a short transfer ski resort in Europe, you need to get there. The fastest way to get there is with a private hire transfer company. This is usually the most popular option and can be quite affordable if you’re booking as a group.
Check out our recommended ski transfer partner, Sun Transfers, for great deals on private hire transport to ski resorts.