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 around 1 hour 40 mins from Geneva Airport with a private transfer, Morzine is a no-brainer for those looking for a one of the top ski resorts with short transfer times. The road is generally pretty fast, and you can be in a Morzine ski hotel within 1 hour 40 ish, traffic and weather depending.
The Portes de Soleil region is huge and very popular for a reason, so Les Gets, Avoriaz and Chatel (in Switzerland) 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.
As a bonus, Avoriaz, which is on top of the mountain here, is only an extra 20 minutes up the mountain.
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 the plane to mountain in about half an hour (if you take a taxi or hire a car).
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, with around 30 kms of pistes. The longest run is about 2 kms, but has some good terrain for intermediate skiers as well as beginners. 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.
While we’re talking about Slovenia, make sure to also check out Krjanska Gora and Vogel.
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 airport, you can also take a short transfer to of the best ski resorts in Europe, including:
- Seefeld (30 mins)
- St Anton (1hr 20)
- Solden (1 hour 10)
- Kitzbuhel (1hr 20-30-ish)
- Ischgl (1hr 20-30)
- St Johann (1hr 30)
- Obergurgl (1hr 30)
Many of these ski resorts with short transfer times also boast fantastic apres ski, great snow conditions and most of them also have a huge ski area, or at least access to expansive ski areas.
Basically, Austria and specifically Innsbruck offer access to some of the best ski resorts with short transfer times in Europe, possibly the world.
As a rule, your Innsbruck transfer time will be around 1 hour 30 pretty much wherever you go. There are also some ski runs just outside Innsbruck itself, but we recommend head to one of these epic ski resort gems with short transfer times.
We love SkiWorld for their great packages with everything included. That includes flights, transfers, some of the best accommodation in resort and, of course, lift passes. Check out ski deals in Austria with SkiWorld.
The other Alpine city in Austria, Salzberg, also offers access to world class ski resorts, many of them with short transfers too. In fact, like Innsbruck, you’ll be able to be unpacking your snow boots just over an hour after stepping off the plane.
Saalbach-Hinterglem is probably the best known of the many excellent ski resorts in this end of the Austrian Alps. Your Salzburg transfer time will be around 1 hour 30 with a private transfer.
This huge ski area offers some of the best terrain for both beginners and advanced skiers, and stunning views too (obviously).
Other options with a short Salzburg transfer time include:
- Seefeld (under one hour)
- Zell am See (1 hour 30)
- Kaprun (1 hour 30)
- Flachau (1 hour)
- Kitzbuhel (1 hour 30)
- Soll/Ellmau (1 hour 30)
As well as short transfers, you’ll also find fantastic skiing, near guaranteed snow and stacks of Alpine charm in all of these.
Austria is home to many of the best ski resorts in the world, with top notch apres ski pretty much as standard. Find great ski package deal with our partners Snowtrex and SkiWorld.
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.
While heading to Grandvalira in Andorra you would find much better snow coverage. But for a fun ski or snowboarding experience a short drive from Barcelona airport (also accessible via train), Masella and La Molina are well 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.
And, with the high altitude, La Clusaz is also a good early season ski resort in the Alps.
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 Airport, 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 to 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 Snowtrex.
Experience the thrill of Swiss quality skiing at Italian prices! That’s the joy of heading to Breuil-Cervinia. This great ski resort sits just across the border from the more famous Zermatt, with the Matterhorn dominating the skyline – but you’ll pay much less for digs than on the Swiss side.
And, as a double bonus, you’ll also be able to get here in under two hours with a private transfer from Turin Airport.
While it isn’t the largest ski area in the Alps, it links to Zermatt and Valtournenche ski areas giving you access to 350 kms of pistes. And the higher slopes also mean great snow coverage too. Add in fantastic food, decent apres ski, as well as plenty to do off the mountain too – and you might have a winner here.
Monte Rosa, Italy
Sticking with the Aosta Valley here in Italy, you also have the little known Monte Rosa ski resorts of Champoluc and Gressoney La Trinitè (French names, Italian towns).
What you get in Monte Rosa is ski resorts above 3000 metres – meaning snow sure, with short transfers under 2 hours. All this plus barely anyone knows about it, so if you’re hunting for powder days, this might be your new secret ski haunt.
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.
How to book the best priced ski transfers
Even if you’ve found a short transfer ski resort in Europe, you need to get there. There are different ways to get to your ski resort, with options for cheap ski transfers and faster ski transfers.
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.