More and more ski resorts have decided to offer their visitors the complete mountain experience: the chance to explore the ski resort and hear nothing but the whooshing of skis, birds chirping and the simple pleasure of a horse-drawn carriage sliding through the snow. You can get around without polluting the environment and enjoy the quiet and peaceful surroundings with zero exhaust emissions.
Here is a list of resorts in Switzerland, Austria and France where you can go skiing without a car in sight.
Zermatt has been traffic-free since 1961 and is located at the foot of the Matterhorn. You can behold this pyramid-shaped peak while wandering through the blissfully car-free streets.
Saas-Fee, also known as the ‘Pearl of the Alps’- a reason why this ski resort should be preserved, has been pedestrianised since 1951. If you want to enjoy the 100 kms of ski runs at Saas-Fees, you will be welcomed with the other skiers in a car park below the village. From there, electric taxis take you to the ski resort.
You cannot reach Wengen by car; all vehicles must be parked in the Lauterbrunnen car park. From there, the Wengernalpbahn Railway, the longest cog railway in Switzerland, takes you to Wengen. The railway also connects Wengen with Kleine Scheidegg and Grindelwald.
Mürren and Grimmelwald
These two villages sit at the foot of the Schilthorn mountain and cannot be accessed by car. They are situated one on top of the other. Mürren is at the highest altitude and is part of the Bernese Oberland ski area which offers 53 km of runs. There are two ways to get there: take the mountain railway from Lauterbrunnen or the Schilthornbahn cable car from Stechelberg. If you take the cable car you can also stop at Grimmelwald, another quaint traffic-free mountain village.
Bettmeralp, Rieseralp and Fiescheralp
These three villages are part of the same ski area and offer 104 km of runs. They are completely car-free. The only vehicles you will encounter are motorised sledges and snowcats, both of which you can use. You can take the mountain trains to get to these ski resorts. In addition, from Betten you can access Bettmeralp, from Morel you can access Riederalp and from Fiesch you can access Fiescheralp. The ski area is known for being particularly beautiful.
You can stay on the high plateau above Linthal, leaving your daily routines and cars like the other holiday-makers. The ski resort is accessible from Linthal via the Braunwald cable car, which takes seven minutes. There is a car park at the valley train station. The family ski area of Glarnerland is fairly small but very pleasant and has access to 32 km of runs.
Oberlech is only accessible via the Lech mountain railway line. The Oberlech village hotel is situated on the sunny terrace of Arlberg, in the heart of the Lech Zürs ski area, with 190 km of runs. The mountain train runs from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. in the morning, meaning you don’t have to worry about how you will get back to your accommodation, there is plenty of time to even dine in a nice restaurant.
In France, Valmorel is also known as “the Belle”. It is a charming village, dotted with wooden and stone chalets. The ski resort is car-free and holiday-makers can access the Grande Domaine ski area (153km of ski runs) directly from most of the lodgings. The picturesque-painted houses, the winding alleyways and arcades add layers of warmth and intimacy to this ski resort.
This atypical and unique resort is located in the Haute-Savoie region in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area. What gives Alvoriaz its charm is the fact that it is an entirely pedestrianised ski resort “100% ski in ski out”. You will never have to drive your car because the streets have been made into ski runs. You will only cross paths with pedestrians, skiers and horse-drawn sleighs.
La Belle Plagne
La Belle Plagne has everything to please. It is a pedestrianised ski resort comprised of traditional chalets providing breathtaking views of the vast Paradiski ski area. You start the day with your skis on. Two underground car parks have been modified with two independent entries allowing you independent access directly from your chalet.
This resort is located between Geneva and Chamonix. The centre is a pedestrian-only zone and it is made up of three levels: “Flaine-Forêt” (1,700 m), “Flaine-Forum” (1,600 m) and “Flaine-Front de Neige” (1,500 m). All are connected by two external lifts and two pedestrian pathways. In order to facilitate getting around on foot, everything has been designed so that you are close to the shops and ski lifts.
This is a charming little ski resort surrounded by a pine forest. Its centre is a pedestrian-only zone. The forest, the wooden chalets and stunning rock formations make this ski resort a natural haven. Despite the fact it is only at 1,350m altitude, it offers many beautiful ski runs.
This is an approachable ski resort located at 1,400m altitude between Courchevel and Méribel. Its centre is completely pedestrianised with a majority of ski-in ski-out lodgings. The magic of this resort encircled by pine trees has been preserved through the construction of wooden lodgings, keeping in harmony with the natural environment.
This ski resort is located at 1,550 m altitude in Savoie and has been labelled ‘Famille plus’, guaranteeing you an ideal family holiday. It has access to 310 km of runs in the heart of the Sybelles ski area.
This resort is made up of four pedestrianised villages each of which offers unique advantages: ARC 2000, ARC 1950, ARC 1800 and ARC 1600. The altitude of the ski area guarantees that there will be snow. You can even get to the Arc 1600 village directly from the train station via cable car. If going by car, you can park next to the station.
This resort is also known for being family friendly. It is located at 1,600 m altitude in Savoie and is traffic-free like the others. In addition, the resort makes an effort to cut the distance between the ski lifts and the shops and lodgings.
Oz en Oisans:
This ski resort is located at 1,350 m altitude in the heart of the large ski area at l’Alpe d’Huez. It is only 45 minutes from Grenoble. The chalets and residences, built in wood and stone, give this resort an authentic feel. It is entirely car-free and is located at the foot of the slopes.
We hope you enjoy your holiday with complete peace of mind!