My brother has a Ford Transit which is spacious and comfortable. Our plan is to drive from London to an as yet undetermined ski resort in the French Alps. We plan to pay for parking in one of the resorts (around 15 euros per day) and sleep in the van for two - three nights.

My question is - what is the best French alps resort for our purpose? The car park needs to be near the slopes, obviously, or there should be a free shuttle bus to take us from the car park to the slopes. Also, a drive not exceeding 12 hours would be great. Do we need to book the car park in advance?

Any suggestions, and does anyone see any flaw in our plan?

EDIT: Does anyone have any suggestions for places to take a shower either for free or cheaply? Perhaps the camp sites will accept a little bargaining and let us take a shower for a euro or two each?:-)

  • 3
    mmh... it's gonna be cold. I suppose you want to ski/snowboard, and in the night you are tired so the sleeping matters. Sleeping in the cold (or rather cold) might not be the best. Otherwise, this sounds totally feasible, usually most parkings have a shuttle service to the slopes or are within walking distance. You can even find a cheap campground in the valley and drive up every morning. There is no 'best' though, it just depends on the range of drive.
    – Vince
    Nov 29, 2013 at 23:07
  • +1 to @Vince comment, I would be concerned about the temperature, too. But then again some people even camp in the wild in the winter. Since your vehicle isn't going to provide you with a lot of protection, I guess you need to make sure you have camping gear (sleeping bags, etc.) that's appropriate for low temperatures.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 29, 2013 at 23:27
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    Hi guys, we have slept in -5 before no problem. Inflatable mattress + duvet + sleeping bags - if anything we were too hot!
    – Gaz
    Nov 29, 2013 at 23:36
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    I am sure it's doable but do keep in mind that temperatures can be lower in mountains, -10 and below is a real possibility.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 29, 2013 at 23:49
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    @Flo I don't think it would be easy to find such accommodation in French ski resorts, certainly not in the bigger ones. Going to Austria looks like a good idea to save money but it's quite a bit further, coming from England by road.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 30, 2013 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


If you are prepared to pay €15/day, you might just as well stay at a proper campsite (with toilets, water, etc.) I don't think booking car parks in advance is generally possible (never noticed it in the resorts I went to but I usually stay away from the biggest, most popular resorts) but it might be a good idea for campsites.

Some potentially useful websites:

I have never done it myself but judging by these websites, it seems there are many options. I don't think the distance from London is going to help you choose either, most ski resorts in the Northern part of the French Alps should be reachable in 12 hours, the difference between the furthest and the nearest is probably not more than 1 or 2 hours.

Note that in France, municipalities can forbid camping or staying overnight on car parks if they see fit and I don't think than sleeping in a van instead of a RV makes a lot of difference.

  • Agreed, it seems they are all fairly close together.
    – Gaz
    Nov 29, 2013 at 23:38
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    also I think that beyond being forbidden, camping in parkings is sometimes prevented by low entry gates.
    – Vince
    Nov 30, 2013 at 9:25
  • @Vince Very often, yes. Height between 1.9 and 2.1m I guess (I'm 1.9m tall so I'd have notBOOMiced 1.8m ones ^^). Even if a Ford Transit is lower than that, there'll be problems with Gendarmerie Nationale or town police (not a real police but they'll call the real one). 2 people at night on a parking is suspicious (and they don't bring as much money as other tourists: not OK with them). Engine on for hours for heating the vehicle will be heard from a distance at night.
    – FelipeAls
    Dec 8, 2013 at 8:16

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