Campsites for a ski trip in a campervan
Alpine campsites for a ski trip in a campervan – The perfect way to indulge in Ski season!
It’s that time of year. The snow is falling and the mountain slopes of Summer meadows are now neatly manicured. Those exhilarating Ski runs of Green, Blue, Red and Black are ready. Ouch…not that I’ve ever been brave or skilled enough to try some of those!
We’ve ventured off to the Ski slopes of the Alps in our campervan and motorhome many times since 2005. Although, there are some brilliant Aires to use, many located at the base of Ski runs, we’ve always decided to stay on a Ski campsite or Caravaneige as they’re known in France. So, here’s our pick of our favourite campsites for a ski trip in a Campervan.
Why do We Chose Campsites Instead of Aires?
- Simply because it’s easier on a campsite in extreme freezing conditions.
- We’re also happy to stay in the same place for a couple of weeks. Preferring the ease of campsite facilities in Winter is a real attraction.
- When stopping either end of Ski season, for example early December or late March temperatures may be milder, especially during the day, so we may use Aires more.
- Staying on a campsite for the duration also means not having to move the motorhome in possibly harsh conditions.
- We found one resort and campsite that we just loved more than any other. For us, it’s just bliss returning to the same beautiful snowy place.
Campsites for a Ski Trip in a Motorhome
Here’s our choice of ski campsites where we’ve either stayed or visited in our campervan:
1. Le Grand Bornand, Haute Savoie, French Alps
Le Grand Bornand is an absolutely beautiful Alpine resort, surrounded by traditional wooden chalets adding to the character of the town.
A selection of Artisan shops and restaurants along with stunning scenery and a brilliant ski scene add to the appeal. To top it off, there’s sophistication at every corner! Don’t expect concrete apartment blocks here!
It’s no surprise that it just happens to be our favourite ski resort in the Alps.
Camping L’Escale, Le Grand Bornand
This campsite is perfect – we just love it here. It’s absolutely everything a motorhomer needs as you don’t have to move the campervan at all. That’s because it’s just a 300m walk to the town centre and there’s a ski bus right from the site entrance. So, within just a few minutes you can reach the chair lifts and be on those slopes.
The site itself has all the facilities you’d expect, such as a charming restaurant, heated shower blocks, a heated washing up room and essential heated ski boot and drying room.
There’s also an indoor swimming pool which is really useful after a day on the slopes. Best of all is the position of the site itself – surrounded by the mountains.
Last but not least – it get’s the sun during the day, which is so important to help keep the motorhome warm.
Camping Le Clos du Pin, Le Grand Bornand
In our opinion, this isn’t as perfectly positioned as Camping L’Escale. However, it is a good alternative, being located just outside the town and only 500m to the chair lifts.
It doesn’t get as much sun here but it is more low key in facilities. So this may suit those wanting a more simple alternative, which is why it makes our list for best campsites for a ski trip in a campervan.
2. Samoens – Haute Savoie, French Alps
Samoens is linked with 5 other resorts of The Grand Massif, including Flaine and Morillon. So the ski slopes around Samoens will certainly keep you entertained!
It’s a pretty and traditional town, but larger than some resorts without being spoiled. The campsite is located on the edge of the town about 700m away. The one downside is the fairly long walk to the shops from the site, especially when there’s snow on the ground. For some reason it seems to take forever!
However, the good thing here is that the chair lifts are within walking distance of the site, so you don’t have to wait for a ski bus.
Once on the mountain, you’re in the heart of the most fabulous ski runs, so you can certainly be out all day. Just make sure you make the last lift back from you’re ski run. You don’t want to be almost left behind like we were one day!!
Camping Le Giffre, Samoens –
This is a good site and it’s on the level with some sunny pitches, but make sure you ask for one! There’s also some nice walks and a small lake adjacent. The facilities are good, with a boot room and heated shower blocks but no swimming pool.
3. Chatel – Portes Du Soleil, French Alps
This ski area is huge. Chatel is linked to the resorts of Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets and 5 others in France along with a further 4 in Switzerland.
Chatel itself is a small town, with a traditional feel. Although in our opinion, it doesn’t have the unique charm of some of the other small resorts.
The campsite is located just on the edge of town with an uphill walk to the centre. This can leave you hot and bothered after a day on the slopes!
The campsite is excellent, having modern toilet blocks and an indoor swimming pool, this is a bit of a trek down steps from some pitches though. A big bonus is that the site does get some sun, so there’s extra heat to keep the van warm – ask for a sunny pitch.
Most of the pitches are good, but we were located alongside a hedge, or rather parallel to it which had no space on that one side. This made it feel a bit cramped.
The big downside here is the 1.5km walk uphill to the town centre. We found this to be a bit of a nuisance, especially when you just want to pop to the shop for something.
There’s a ski bus which stops outside and a chair lift in the town. If you take the bus a little further out, there’s separate lift giving access to a greater selection of ski runs.
Overall this wasn’t our favourite choice of campsites for a ski trip in a campervan, but it is an excellent site.
4. La Clusaz, Haute Savoie, French Alps
La Clusaz is a larger town, surrounded by the mountains and a bus ride away from Le Grand Bornand. It’s one of 4 other linked resorts of the Massif des Aravis.
The town itself is busier and has a mix of buildings which aren’t all full of quaint charm. However, this is still a really good resort without being too lively.
This campsite is some distance from the centre of La Clusaz, at about 1 mile away. It’s in a nice location though, surrounded by mountains with the bonus of a ski bus stop outside. It’s fairly sunny too and has an indoor pool to relax, in after hitting those slopes.
5. Les Saisies, French Alps – Campsites for a ski trip in a Campervan
Les Saisies is a fab resort, located in the Beaufortain Massif and Aravis mountain ranges.
It’s position at 1600M brings brilliant ski runs and fabulous views of Mont Blanc. It’s a low key kind of place and fairly traditional with sunny, open spaces and just a really good feel about it.
The campsite Le Grand Tetras has now closed, however in its place is an Aire. It’s a shame to lose the campsite, but it’s still a great location for an Aire and the campervan community.
The downside is that it’s about a 15 minute walk to town – uphill too! So be prepared for exercise. Luckily, you can book the Aire online, so here’s the link!
6. Les Deux Alpes, French Alps
This famed, purpose built rather big name ski resort of Les Deux Alpes is what you’d expect it to be.
It has an excellent ski area – it’s huge and has a lively vibe with plenty to keep you entertained. If you want a bit more action both on and off the slopes, this place will give you bucket loads of choice!
The campsite, Le Champ Du Moulin is located at the old village of Venosc, below Les Deux Alpes.
There’s a cable car located 400m from the campsite which connects you to the resort of Les Deux Alpes itself. It’s a low-key site in a pretty location but with few amenities in Venosc itself.
7. St.Anton, Tyrol, Austria
There’s a real taste of luxury about campsites in Austria and St.Anton has a prime example. Austrian campsites are much more refined than their French equivalent and offer a more upmarket feel – in our opinion of course!
Camping Arlberg in Pettneu is no exception. It’s located on the outskirts of some of the worlds most renowned, high class ski resorts. Think Lech, St.Cristoph and of course, St.Anton.
The facilities here are just superb. Some pitches even have their own private bathroom and boot storage, so you can open your motorhome door straight into an en-suite!
There’s also a ski bus from the site which takes you to the chair lifts at St.Anton – being a 7 minute ride away. It is a little bit out on a limb though, but the added bonus of an adjacent wellness centre and pool are a good incentive. Just imagine relaxing those aching joints in the luxury spa complex after a day on the slopes!
8. Zell am See – Kaprun, Austria
Zell am See is a beautiful lakeside resort, surrounded by mountains. There’s a selection of 3 mountain ranges for skiing, with some great runs, enabling you to ski high above the lake. There’s also a good town centre but it is more of a working town than pure tourist town.
So, it’s not necessarily all cute wooden chalet territory, but it is nice all the same.
Seecamp Zell am See is a well equipped campsite located on the lakeside. The ski bus stops at the campsite to take you to the chair lifts. Facilities are excellent with a boot room, ski room, drying room, excellent shower blocks and a feeling of space about the whole place.
It’s also possible to walk to the town centre along the lake but it is about a 40 minute walk. This is a lovely location though and is surrounded by the mountains, another bonus is that it’s flat too!
Panorama Camp, Zell am See is located at the lower end of the lake, on the opposite side to the main town centre.
It’s a small, low-key campsite but it does have good facilities and flat pitches, which is always useful in Winter. Set amongst beautiful surroundings and just 500m to the lake, it’s definitely worth a stay!
In addition, there’s cross country ski routes from outside the site and a ski bus to take you to the chair lifts. There’s also ice skating on the lake when it freezes in Winter – what more could you ask for?!
The downside here is that it is far from the town on foot.
9. Zell am Ziller, Austria
This is a small, unspoilt town, it’s actually more of a village and is located in the Zillertal Valley.
The location, surrounded by mountains, is idyllic. So, you can ski over a selection of 4 mountain ranges in beautiful scenery, which they boast to be very quiet – no queuing or so they insist!
There’s also a 7km natural Taboggan run which is open until 1am! Who can’t resist giving that a go?
Campingdorf Hofer campsite is on the level. It’s a small site and quite tight for access in places, especially if you have a larger motorhome. The site is surrounded by the open fields in the valley and mountains above.
As you’d expect here, the facilities are great and another bonus is that you can walk into the town centre in no time at all!
There’s also a ski bus that stops at the site, taking you to the chair lifts in 5 minutes – perfect!
10. Mayrhofen, Austria – Campsites for a ski trip in a Motorhome
Mayrhofen has one of the largest ski areas in Austria and is located a bit further along the valley from Zell am Ziller.
The town itself is a good size with a vibrant, energetic feel yet without being too noisy.
For those real adventure seekers, you’ll be pleased to learn that the ski area here boasts “The Harakiri Piste” – the steepest slope in Austria!
Then if that’s not enough there’s even a Ski Movie Run…so all a little bit different for those that want a change or a challenge!
Camping Mayrhofen is a pleasant site on the edge of town within walking distance to the centre and is in a Sunny spot too.
The level pitches offer an open feel and are surrounded by the stunning mountain scenery. The site has excellent facilities and a heated pool which is open in Winter to relax in after a day on the slopes.