What can beat the exhilarating freedom of the slopes, the first sip of a cold beer at 3000m and a fondue with friends at the end of a muscle-aching day? Yet the purpose-built resorts, chair-lifts, piste-bashers, snow cannons and high-altitude infrastructure necessary to service downhill skiing hardly do the mountain ecosystem a favour.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the snow that minimize your environmental impact. One of the most effective choices you can take to really make a difference is to take the train to the slopes instead of flying. Many of the ski resorts in France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy are easily accessible by train.
Cost-wise there’s little difference to flying (once you’ve factored in transfers to and from airports) and travelling by train has many advantages: the check-in times are far shorter, there’s free baggage allowance for your gear and the journey has a much smaller carbon footprint.
In addition, the overnight service that leaves Paris on Friday evening and arrives early Saturday morning (returning the following Saturday evening) enables you to fit in two extra days’ skiing on the relatively quieter Saturday changeover days – without having to pay for extra nights’ accommodation.
See our Guide to the Ski Train.
Plan your journey to ski resorts by train
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