Driving to the Alps is very easy. There are great motorways in France and although you have to pay tolls, travelling by car takes away the stresses of airport delays and the weight of ski gear. Just follow the signs from Calais to Reims, Troyes, Dijon, Lyon, Chambery, Albertville, Moûtiers. From here take the signs for the Belleville Valley with signs to Les Menuires and Val Thorens. After passing St. Martin de Belleville there will be a sign off to the right for Le Bettaix. If you drive to the Alps it is possible to have a couple of extra days on the hill. You could, if you fancy stay at one of the many hotels overnight just to break up the journey.
To plan your drive to the Alps the following route planners will assist:
You can travel with various operators across the channel Dover to Calais and Dover to Dunkerque and this crossing is approximately 1hr 30 minutes. You join the motorway at the dock in Calais and the resorts are approximately 580 miles drive.
You can use the Eurotunnel shuttle train which crosses the channel from Folkestone to Calais and takes approximately 35 minutes. Eurotunnel operate trains up to 3 per hour at peak times. There are no facilities on board the train but the terminal at each end has shops and restaurants if you want to break your journey before crossing.
When you drive to the Alps you will have to carry snow chains and other safety equipment in your car in the event of bad weather conditions; even if you have a 4×4. This is a legal requirement unless your vehicle is fitted with snowtyres. You will be stopped from travelling on the mountain roads by the Gendarmerie in times of heavy snow if you don’t comply with this legal requirement. You can buy or rent snowchains and other safety equipment from the UK before you start out on your journey. It is also necessary to carry a warning triangle, first aid kit, spare bulb kit, a luminous emergency jacket and you need to change your headlights to drive abroad. Importantly, you need to have a single-use breathalyser kit in your car at all times. These cost approximately £5 and are available at Halfords and ferry and tunnel terminals. You can visit the AA or RAC websites to obtain exact information about driving in France.