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Alpe d’Huez, France

From London to the slopes in: 8 hours, 20 minutes

There’s almost always bright sunshine over the 250km ofterrain at Alpe D’Huez, where four distinct skiing sectors are linked by lift. First-timers will find the decent network of beginner slopes great to practice on, while everyone else can swish speedily down the long reds at Signal l’Homme.

Apres Ski: There are plenty of bars to while away the evenings in, along with live music venues and late-nightclubs. Try the friendly O’Bar (Chalet La Clé, Route d’Huez) for a well-earned tipple or two after a day on the slopes. Chalet du Lac Besson is by the frozen lake above across-country track. It can only be reached on skis or by snowmobile; well worth a visit for grills over an open fire.

Recommended Route: Depart St Pancras on the 7.31amEurostar, change in Paris and take the 12.41pm TGV, arrivingGrenoble at 3.37pm; then a 75-minute transfer.

Montgenèvre, France

From London to the slopes in: 9 hours, 15 minutes

Pretty, unpretentious and good value, Montegenèvre is highly recommended for first-time skiers because of the bright and sunny nursery slopes that lie right by the village. There’s plenty of off-piste action when it snows in the Gondrans bowl, Rocher de l’Aigle and off the Col de l’Alpet – take a guide to show you the best routes. Montegenèvre has a solid boarding scene, too.

Apres Ski: It’s all about old world charm rather than hardcore partying here, so spend your evenings making the most of the local restaurants. Try Le Capitaine’s (La Praya) wood-fired pizzas, or if you’ve cash to splash, gourmet grubat La Table Blanche.

Recommended Route: Depart St Pancras around 9.30am onthe Eurostar, change in Paris and take the TGV, arriving Oulxat around 7.30pm; then a 25-minute taxi ride. Book rail travel with Rail Europe.


Short Break: Hit the Slopes
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