Specialist ski transfer company Ski-Lifts started with just one minibus 15 years ago and now offers transfers to over 200 resorts in 14 countries across Europe, Canada and the US. From luxury private transfers to cost-effective shared options, it provides a multitude of ways to get up the mountain. We asked the company to pick its top 10 ski resorts with short transfer times, so your ski-mad clients won’t waste any time reaching the slopes, especially if they’re on a long weekend ski break. Here’s what they said…
1. Morzine, France
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Geneva Airport to Morzine (75 minutes, 76km).
Morzine ticks all the boxes, combining a genuine mountain village vibe with a fantastic choice of activities for skiers and non-skiers alike. Located in the Portes du Soleil ski area in France, which stretches up the France-Switzerland border, it has over 50 hotels to choose from and more than 40 bars and restaurants. When it comes to the slopes, Morzine is a perfect resort for beginners and intermediate skiers, with plenty of gentle pistes. When you’re not skiing, try ice-diving in a lake, nature discovery tours, snowmobiling, tobogganing, snowshoeing and there’s also scope for a bit of retail therapy.
2. Chamonix, France
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Geneva Airport to Chamonix (65 minutes, 99km).
The backdrop of the Mont Blanc massif makes for a stunning setting for this popular ski resort. Whilst beginners and intermediate skiers are well catered for, Chamonix is particularly popular for its more challenging skiiing, with fantastic off-piste opportunities. Chamonix town – with its authentic feel – is bustling with life thanks to the 9,000 permanent residents and plenty of tourists. With a traffic-free centre, it offers pleasant walkways, with cafes looking over the river Arve’s torrent and no shortage of quirky shops, including galleries, bookshops and speciality food outlets, along with classic souvenirs and the latest ski and snowboarding gadgets.
3. Verbier, Switzerland
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Geneva Airport to Verbier (120 minutes, 160km).
With its sunny, scenic location, brilliant terrain and lively bar scene, Verbier is the main resort in the 4 Valleys, and is an established favourite for UK skiers. The fact that Verbier is so accessible from Geneva Airport has also helped with its popularity. Its altitude makes it a safe snow bet for early or late season. The resort itself is at 1,500m, however, heights of more than 2,700m can be reached by a couple of gondola rides in under 12 minutes.
4. Courmayeur, Italy
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Turin Airport to Courmayeur (90 minutes, 150km).
With an upmarket reputation, Courmayeur is one of the great ski and climbing towns of the Alps. Located on the Italian side of Mont Blanc in Chamonix Valley, it has a totally different weather pattern to that of the French side, with more winter sunshine than its shadier French neighbour. The main ski area is reached by cable car from the centre of the village, with the top lift reaching a maximum height of 2,755m. After a day on the slopes, peruse high-end boutiques, antique and homeware shops in the village centre, or enjoy its lively bars and great range of quality restaurants.
5. St Anton, Austria
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Innsbruck Airport to St Anton (60 minutes, 100km).
Located in the western part of the Austrian Tyrol region, St Anton is renowned for its natural beauty, reliable snowfall and the excellent condition of the slopes. The large networked lift system means you can access the neighbouring resorts of St Christoph and Stuben and a St Anton ski pass also covers the resorts of Lech and Zurs. Although the town lays low, there’s a good range of skiing from 1200m to almost 3000m. Early in the season, lower resorts are likely to have more runs open.
6. Mayrhofen, Austria
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Innsbruck Airport to Mayrhofen (60 minutes, 70km).
A 60-minute transfer will bring you to the heart of this vibrant ski resort, famous for being one of Austria’s most musical valleys and music can be heard across the slopes. Skiers and snowboarders have been hitting the slopes by Mayrhofen for more than a century and with 136km of runs and 57 lifts, a reputation for consistent snowfall throughout the season and runs which sit between 1,650m and 2,500m, it’s easy to see why. Mayrhofen is packed full of red runs, making it ideal for intermediates, and, for more experienced skiers, it is also home to Austria’s steepest slope, the Harakiri.
7. La Clusaz, France
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Geneva Airport to La Clusaz (90 minutes, 70km).
La Clusaz is an authentic mountain village that boasts a rustic and Gallic charm and is a popular weekend retreat. Snow conditions can be a little unpredictable, however there is a lot of snowmaking to make up for that. There are steep black runs and bumps, as well as decent off-piste when conditions allow. There are also challenging but wide blues and gentle nursery slopes up to the mountain. La Clusaz is home to rustic huts throughout and some lively bars for apres-ski.
8. Solden, Austria
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Innsbruck Airport to Solden (70 minutes, 83km).
For anyone looking for a lovely bar scene Solden is the perfect choice. Ski-wise there is a good choice and it’s home to some challenging red pistes and exceptionally long top-to-bottom runs. Snowmaking spans across 67% of the area, including all slopes on Giggijoch, so even in a generally poor season, you can usually count on coverage, even down to resort level.
9. Kitzbuhel, Austria
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Innsbruck Airport to Kitzbuhel (80 minutes, 83km).
This medieval silver-mining centre deserves its reputation as one of the most picturesque ski towns in the Alps. The old coaching inns in the streets have all been transformed into four- and five-star hotels, and sit alongside chic fashion boutiques and fancy cafes. For guaranteed snow, head to Kitzbuhel between the end of January and the majority of February. Although Kitzbuhel may look like one of the most expensive resorts in Europe, surprisingly prices fail to reach anywhere near the heights of Courchevel or Zermatt.
10. Innsbruck, Austria
Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Innsbruck Airport to Innsbruck (15 minutes, 6km).
Whilst Innsbruck is more a city than a ski resort, it is surrounded by mountains, with nine ski areas surrounding the city, all covered by the same lift pass, offering a brilliant variety of terrain. To the north lies the Nordkette, south-east of Innsbruck city centre is the Patscherkofl, while to the south you will find the east-west ridge of the Alps and the slopes of the Stubai Glacier.