Travelling to Alpine ski resorts now hell for expat motorists

Published:  7 Jan at 6 PM
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Expat ski fanatics who chose their locations with travelling to the slopes in mind are having problems actually getting to their favourite resorts.

From Chamonix through Gstaad, St Moritz and Klosters to Les Trois Vallee skiers arrive to take full advantage of the perfect pistes, ski-in, ski-out chalets, buzzing nightlife and après-ski parties. Those living in major European cities such as Zurich, Munich and even Milan have few problems with getting there, but expats whose home towns are father afield are getting trapped by horrendously long delays due to excess traffic and unpredictable weather.

Expatriates attempting to reach the Alpine resorts from Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and parts of France and Germany are now spending longer in traffic jams than on the slopes. Heavy Alpine snowfalls have created perfect skiing weather, but getting to and from the resorts is now a nightmare for many. It’s not a new situation, but it’s getting worse, according to those who’ve recently been stuck for endless hours in freezing temperatures.

The answer for expats to whom winter isn’t winter without a skiing trip is to forgo the famous luxury resorts and head to smaller, less crowded ski areas closer to home or easily accessible by air. The ambience may be modest and you’ll not find Formula One drivers or movie stars on the slopes, but there’s far less stress and skiing costs far less money. Expats in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin and Luxembourg City as well as in Bonn and Dusseldorf are well set up for travel to the German resorts outside the Alps and the ski slopes in the Black Forest are long, high and challenging.

Set along the French/Spanish border, the Pyrenees are easy to get to and are cheaper than the famed Alpine resorts, with tiny Andorra boasting two major snow ski areas. For trail-breaking new destinations with developed resorts and reliable snow, heading to Bulgaria or the border between Slovakia and Poland is an idea, with both regions easily reached by low-cost flights.
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