Alpine campsites in a campervan, the perfect way to indulge in Ski seasonvanlife4x4
It’s that time of year, the snow is falling, the mountain slopes of Summer meadows are now neatly manicured, exhilarating Ski runs of Green, Blue, Red and Black, (ouch…not that I’ve ever been brave or skilled enough to try that colour!).
We’ve ventured off to the Ski slopes of the Alps, in our campervan many times over the past 13 years. Although there are some brilliant Aires to stop at, many located at the base of Ski runs, we’ve always chosen to stay on a campsite.
Why We Chose Campsites over Aires:
Campsites For Ski Season
Here’s our choice of sites where we’ve either stayed or visited:
Le Grand Bornand – Haute Savoie, French Alps https://en.legrandbornand.com/
An absolutely beautiful Alpine resort, very traditional and full of charm, with wooden chalets adding to the character of the town. Artisan shops and restaurants, stunning scenery and a brilliant ski scene, it’s oozing sophistication at every corner! No concrete apartment blocks here! 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 ideal as you don’t have to move the campervan, everything you need is on the doorstep! It’s just a 300m walk to the town centre, there’s a ski bus from the site entrance, just a few minutes ride on the bus and you reach the chair lifts. The site has all the facilities you need, from a charming traditional restaurant, heated shower blocks (a little dated but hey ho!), heated washing up room, heated ski boot and drying room, an indoor pool and it’s in a really lovely position surrounded by the mountains. A real bonus, is that it does get the sun at times during the day, perfect for warming the van up! The main advantage though, is the convenience, you can pop into town as often as needed, it’s beautiful, the skiing is fab and it’s not overrun with tour operators, so it’s much more low key with a local feel.
Camping Le Clos du Pin, Le Grand Bornand – Not quite so perfectly positioned as Camping L’Escale, but a good alternative. It’s located just out of town and 500m to the chair lifts. Not quite so sunny and more low key in facilities but would suit for a more simple alternative. http://www.le-clos-du-pin.com/
Samoens – Haute Savoie, French Alps – https://winter.samoens.com/
Linked with 5 other resorts of The Grand Massif, including Flaine and Morillon, the ski slopes around Samoens will certainly keep you entertained! It’s pretty, traditional but larger than some resorts without being spoilt. The campsite is located on the edge of the town, 700m away, which is one downside as it does seem like a long walk to the shops if you’re going a couple of times a day! The chair lifts are just up the road though, which means, you can walk rather than wait for a bus. You’re then in the heart of the most fabulous ski runs, 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 – a good site, on the level and with some sunny pitches, make sure you ask for one though! There’s some nice walks too and a small lake adjacent. Facilities are good, with a boot room and heated shower blocks but no pool. http://www.camping-samoens.com/en/index.aspx
Chatel – Portes Du Soleil, French Alps, https://en.chatel.com/
This ski area is huge, linked to Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets and 5 others in France and 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, but it’s an uphill walk, which can leave you hot and bothered after a day on the slopes!
Camping L’Oustalet , Chatel. The campsite is excellent, with modern toilet blocks, indoor pool (it’s a bit of a trek down steps from some pitches though) and sunshine to keep the van warm. The pitches are good, but we were located alongside a hedge, or rather parrallel to a hedge, with no space on that one side. The big downside here is that it’s 1.5km walk uphill to the town centre, which is a nuisance we found, especially when you just want to pop in for something. The ski bus stops outside, there’s a chair lift in the town and a separate one further out giving access to a greater selection of runs. https://en.oustalet.com/the-campsite.html
La Clusaz, Haute Savoie, French Alps, https://en.laclusaz.com/
La Clusaz is a larger town surrounded by the mountains and a bus ride away from Le Grand Bornand, one of the 4 other linked resorts of the Massif des Aravis. The town itself is busier and has a mix of buildings, so not all quaint charm, but still a good resort without being too lively.
Camping Plan du Fernuy. 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 the mountains and has a ski bus stop outside, to get you to the slopes. It’s sunny and has an indoor pool to relax in after hitting those slopes. http://www.plandufernuy.com/?lang=EN
Les Saisies, French Alps, https://www.lessaisies.com/
Les Saisies is a fab resort, located in the Beaufortain Massif and Aravis mountain ranges. It’s located at 1600M, with brilliant ski runs and fabulous views of Mont Blanc. It’s low key and traditional, sunny with wide open spaces and just a really good feel about it.
The campsite Le Grand Tetras has now closed but in it’s place is an Aire, it’s a shame to lose the campsite, but great that there still is the location for the campervan community. It’s about a 15 minute walk to town, uphill too, so be prepared but there’s great views. Unusually, you can actually book the Aire online, so here’s the link! http://www.i-park.fr/index3Ipark?terminal=157
Les Deux Alpes, French Alps, http://www.les2alpes.com/en
The famed, purpose built, big name ski resort of Les Deux Alpes, is as you’d expect it to be. It’s an excellent ski area, huge with a lively vibe and 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. The Cable car, located 400m from the campsite connects you to the resort of Les Deux Alpes. It’s a low key site in a pretty location but with few amenities in Venosc itself. https://www.champ-du-moulin.com/en/
St.Anton, Tyrol, Austria, https://www.stantonamarlberg.com/en
There’s a real taste of luxury about campsites in Austria. They are much more refined than their French equivalent and offer a more upmarket feel, in our opinion.
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 have their own private bathroom and boot storage, so you can open your campervan door straight into an en-suite! There’s a ski bus from the site to the chair lifts, St.Anton being a 7 minute ride away. It is a little bit out on a limb, but the added bonus of an adjacent wellness centre and pool are a good incentive and help to relax the aching joints after a day on the slopes! https://www.camping-arlberg.at/en/camping.html
Zell am See – Kaprun, Austria, https://www.zellamsee-kaprun.com/en/activities/winter/skiing
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, skiing high above the lake. There’s a good town centre, it’s more of a working town than pure tourist town and not necessarily, all cute wooden chalet territory, but 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 boot room, ski room, drying room, excellent shower blocks and there’s a feeling of space about the whole site. It’s possible to walk to the town centre along the lake but it is about a 40 minute walk. It’s a lovely location though, surrounded by the mountains, it’s flat too! https://www.seecamp.at/en/camping/seecamp-services/
Panorama Camp, Zell am See is located at the lower end of the lake and on the opposite side to the main town centre. It’s a small, low key campsite with good shower facilities and flat pitches, beautiful surroundings and 500m to the lake. There’s cross country ski routes from just outside the site and a ski bus to take you to the chair lifts. There’s 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. https://www.panoramacamp.at/en
Zell am Ziller, Austria, https://www.zillertalarena.com/en/zell/winter/start_winter.html
This is a small, unspoilt town, more of a village, which is located in the Zillertal Valley. Surrounded by mountains where you can ski over a selection of 4 mountain ranges, within beautiful scenery which they boast to be very quiet, no queuing or so they insist! There’s also a 7km natural Taboggan run, it’s 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 if you have a large van, that is. It’s surrounded by the open fields of the valley and surrounded by mountains. Facilities are great and you can walk into the town centre in no time at all! There’s a ski bus that stops at the site taking you to the chair lifts in 5 minutes. https://www.campingdorf.at/en/
Mayrhofen, Austria, https://www.mayrhofen.at/en/winter-holiday-family/skiing-snowboarding-zillertal/
This has one of the largest ski areas in Austria. it’s located further along the valley to Zell am Ziller and the town itself is a good size, vibrant and energetic without being tacky! The ski area boasts The Harakiri Piste, the steepest slope in Austria, there’s even a Ski Movie Run…so all a little bit different for those that want a change!
Camping Mayrhofen is a pleasant site on the edge of town. It’s within walking distance to the centre and is in a Sunny spot too. It’s level pitches offer an open feel and are surrounded by the stunning mountain scenery. It offers excellent facilities and heated pool, open in Winter to relax after a day on the slopes. https://www.campingplatz-tirol.at/index.php/camping-19.html