Why is it so difficult to get to ski resorts?

Essential reading for anyone who has ever said “How Long?!!” on a ski trip.

It is 2012 – flights from one European country to another typically take less than 2 hours and can cost as little as £30 (if you do not need to take any change of clothes). For the millions of us that live in cities, we are used to having buses, trams, tubes and taxis to take us anywhere we want to go at any time of day or night.

So why is it that traditionally the most difficult part of any ski trip is getting from the airport to resort? And why does it always take so long?

Well, at FindTransfers.com we think the answer has something to do with mountains.

Normally, every effort is made to build high capacity airports as close as possible to massive tourist destinations. However, when it comes to ski resorts, this is not possible due to the mountainous terrain. There are a few exceptions, such as Sion Airport in Switzerland, Chambéry Airport in France and Innsbruck Airport in Austria, however we have found that these “Mountain” airports are very susceptible to the weather. If there is any fog, low cloud, snow or high winds (which are all fairly common in the mountains during the winter season) then the runways are closed and flights are diverted away, causing havoc for even the most organised independent traveller.

Mountains not only mean that the airports have to be built a bit further away than we would like, but also that getting from the airport to resort is not always straight forward. Switzerland has an excellent public transport system which allows connections from almost any airport to any ski resort. Other countries do not make it so easy. Where there are some trains towards ski resorts, any public transport options often involve a bus – train – walk – bus – walk type of combination, which would be fine if; a) you weren’t on holiday and; b) you didn’t have all your ski clothes and equipment to carry with you.

Journeys by road are by far the most common way of getting to ski resorts, but even this is not as easy as one might think. Speeds are often restricted to keep everyone safe on the winding roads. There is also the chance of heavy snowfalls which make driving conditions hazardous. And if winding roads covered in snow did not sound dangerous enough, they are also full of tourists with little or no experience of driving in those conditions, making everything both slower, and more dangerous, at the same time.

There are a few regular bus services from airports to ski resorts. But please prepare yourself by re-reading the previous paragraph and imagine how much slower this is in a large coach.

These are a few of the reasons why it often takes up to 3 or 4 hours to get from the airport to your ski resort. So what is the best option?

We would highly recommend that you and your group book your own private airport transfer vehicle that is fully equipped for winter conditions, is comfortable, has an experienced driver and is operated by a reputable company. And where can you find a list of these companies all in one place? www.findtransfers.com

If you find that your budget will not stretch to a private transfer, but you would still like a door-to-door airport transfer without having to carry your bags around, then try our shared transfers page. Not only is sharing your journey with others better for the environment and more economical, it also allows you to meet other people. Having a chat will make the journey go quicker and you might meet a new ski buddy.

Obviously, no matter which transfer option you take, you’re still going to spend a night in the local primary school if an avalanche blocks the valley…

Have a good holiday and make the airport transfer an enjoyable part of it!