Sometimes, a ski holiday means getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern day life, and these traffic-free resorts let you do exactly that
All three of the villages that make up the 102km Aletsch Arena – Bettmeralp, Riederalp and Fiescheralp – are traffic-free and, inexplicably, almost devoid of British visitors. On a sunny plateau at around 1900m, they can only be reached by cable car from the valley. The skiing goes up to nearly 2900m, and Europe’s largest glacier, the 23km-long, 900m deep Aletsch, is just round the back and can be admired from some of the pistes.
Across the valley from Mürren (another car-free resort), this is another village with snowy streets and olde worlde charm. In the middle of the 206km Jungfrau ski region, Wengen’s home slopes, shared with Grindelwald just over the mountain, are the most extensive of the lot. Get to Wengen by mountain railway from Lauterbrunnen.
The traffic-free village of Serfaus, Austria |Andreas Kirschner
Chamois, a village of stone houses and wooden chalets at 1800m in the Aosta valley – not far from Valtournenche – is the only town in Italy not navigable by car, accessed only by cable car. The ski area has just a handful of lifts, but they open up swathes of powder runs. A day pass starts at just €19.
Since 1986 through-traffic has been banned in Serfaus, part of the 214km Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski area in the Austrian Tirol. Guests may arrive by car, but they’re then not allowed to use their vehicle. Instead, an underground railway takes skiers to the lifts.
Part of the colossal Portes du Soleil ski area, Avoriaz has 650km of pistes on its doorstep, but not a car in sight. The purpose-built resort sits at the top of cliffs and the nearest you can park is half a mile away: the final leg of the journey is made by horse-drawn sleigh or a caterpillar bus. The streets double as ski runs, offering true French-style convenience.
Taken from the spring issue of Fall-Line, out now