The high-speed winter Eurostar, also known as ‘the snowtrain’, is a really civilised way of travelling from the UK to The Alps for a ski holiday.
The snowtrain to the Tarentaise Valley (namely Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry) runs on both week days and weekends from December through to April.
Journeys can be booked early morning, so you travel through the day time, or can be booked early evening so you that the journey is overnight. Overnight trips can save a lot of time and money if you are happy to sleep on the train.
Usually Eurostar snowtrain tickets go on sale around mid July, for the up and coming season.
The snow train, London stations
London St Pancras
London St Pancras is a station that is accessible from anywhere in the UK, being in the central King’s Cross area of London. It is therefore really well connected by National Rail services, London Underground and many bus services.
The walk from Kings Cross station to St Pancras is about 5 minutes – which can be quite tough rushing along a busy street with small children, carrying ski gear. Adult groups or those renting ski equipment may take this as an option.
There are convenient car parking facilities at St Pancras but you are looking at paying £45 (approximately) per day if you’re coming for 1 week. That could be worth it if you are splitting costs between a group. Make sure you pre-book car parking.
You can find everything you need in regard to eating and drinking at St Pancras station and the wait can be a very enjoyable experience – except at rush hour. Top tip from Whitebeam Chalets – plan your meal times ahead.
Ebbsfleet Internation is only 5 miles from M25 at junction 2. It is 6 miles from the M2 at junction 1.
London & South Eastern Railway services come straight to Ebbsfleet. If you’re not covered by LSER then Ebbsfleet International station is a 10 minute walk from Northfleet domestic station which is serviced by the North Kent Line.
At Ebbsfleet there is loads of car parking, and it is much more affordable than London St Pancras – even the premium parking is more like £10 per day over a week, rather than £50. Do pre-book.
Ebbsfleet is not known for it’s food and drink services, although there is an M&S Food to Go.
Further south-east, Ashford International is the last stop for the Eurostar snowtrain within the UK, making your journey on the train slightly shorter and therefore cheaper.
Ashford International is situated just 1 mile from M20 Junction 9 making it easily accessible by car. It is also accessible via rail and bus services from the surrounding areas.
There is plenty of car parking, which we advise to pre-book during the winter. Parking is approximately £6 per day spread over a week, so at Ashford it is much more affordable.
A coffee shop provides hot and cold drinks and snacks.
Where does the snowtrain stop for Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry?
Actually, the closest Eurostar train station to Peisey-Vallandry is a small station in the village of Landry, between Moûtiers and Bourg St Maurice.
This station has fewer facilities than Bourg, but if you have booked a taxi you should be well on your way to resort before you notice.
If Bourg St Maurice/Landry is not available, guests of Whitebeam Chalets could also choose Moûtiers as the destination station. Do be aware that the transfer to resort is then 40 minutes.
The Eurostar snowtrain services
There are three main Eurostar snowtrain services:
- The Eurostar night train.
The Eurostar night train is great for keen skiers wanting to gain an extra day in the mountains. Travel whilst you sleep, after a glass of wine or two!
- The Eurostar day train.
The day train may be preferable for families. Children can be kept entertained playing games, drawing or reading at train tables. Not to mention watching the ever changing landscape from the window. Take note when the mountains start to come into view! Digital nomads among you can work on the go as the newer Eurostar trains have Wi-Fi.
- The Eurostar Paris stop over.
Perfect for a city break on the way to your ski holiday destination, the Eurostar snowtrain journey can be booked with an overnight stop in Paris. Wonderful if you would like to see the sites before you enter The Alps.
Why choose the Eurostar snowtrain?
As a group of adults, a family or family friends the snowtrain is a very sociable and relaxed experience.
We find that children love to travel by train. They can move around more freely, then when travelling by plane or by car. Games can be played or children can get creative at four person tables!
Food and drink can also be taken on the snowtrain, meaning that you can be well prepared when everyone gets hungry or thirsty.
With the increased ability to work remotely, adults can actually make time up by working on the train. Or sit back and relax.
A single plane trip can seem faster when booking a journey, but when travelling by plane there is an additional check-in time, as well as travel to and from the airport. Often the Eurostar snowtrain actually saves time.
Does Eurostar have Wi-Fi?
According to the Eurostar website newer Eurostar snowtrains will be fitted with Wi-Fi.
It may be worth checking the routes on which Wi-Fi is available if this is very important to you.
There are spots during the journey in which the available Wi-Fi is better than others. This is clearly shown on a map here.
If you are unlucky and travel on a older train with no Wi-Fi, try tethering a phone. Roaming prices across Europe are now much cheaper, if not free.
Eurostar snowtrain to the Alps from SnowCarbon
Read our post: Eurostar Ski Holidays