Cheapest way to do an alps trip?

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  • Cheapest way to do an alps trip?
  • Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    We do it on a budget most years. Cheapest way is to get a few mates together, drive down and book a ski chalet direct with the owner. We’ve had travel and accommodation under £200 each when the numbers are right. Driving also allows you take plenty of spares and your bikes get there in one piece.

    The real budget way is to sleep in a van in the car park. Plenty of people do this for a whole season but chalets work out cheap enough that we haven’t tried this yet.

    Start saving your Tesco club-card points for cheap ferry and tunnel tickets.

    superfli
    Member

    Diesel car with 4 people in.
    Bikes either inside (if van) or on backrack – roof mounted is v.bad for fuel economy I have found.
    Tunnel is much more flexible + quicker, but about £40 more return (I wuold go tunnel for sure).
    Northern Alps (PdS) a lot cheaper on tolls as you turn off below Dijon.
    Swiss road tax (Vignette) can be sold on after if not stuck to windscreen (cant get it off without damage).
    Camping is cheapest, but if you were to stay in a chalet/apartment, its not a lot more for a hell of a lot more comfort and security. Our chalet this year was £90 each or so for the week.
    You can keep yourself occupied without a guide for 1 week if the trail area is big enough. We did run out of stuff to do in Chatel last trip so got a guide on last day (logic say 1st day would be best so you can reuse trails, but you dont do that). Could have driven/ridden to another place close by though. Lots of resorts around Borg St Maurice (les arcs, tignes etc) so can move around in car.

    lucien
    Member

    Car (diesel)
    Drive, avoiding motorways in France, possible go through Luxembourg as motorway is free
    Bikes inside or on top depending on how many going
    Camp and self cater or wild camp and use local swimming pools (often included in lift pass)
    Taked packed lunches
    1/2 day lift passes in some resorts work out much cheaper than full day, and lifts close later, so with a bit of planning and focus you can ride for 5 hours a day for half the cost
    .
    Reckon you could save loads

    atlaz
    Member

    possible go through Luxembourg as motorway is free

    Fuel is cheap too. You’ll need to tack on 2-3 hours down to the alps if you avoid all the toll roads though.

    russianbob
    Member

    I quite fancy having a crack at the Alps next summer, make use of some chair lifts, enjoy the scenary, ride down some hills etc…

    Has anyone got any tips for the least expensive way to do this? Train/car/plane? camp/chalet/hotel? Location etc etc.

    Merci

    Premier Icon johnhe
    Subscriber

    Superfli, the Swiss vignette must be stuck onto the window or id have thought you will almost certainly get a fine if you’re caught.

    superfli
    Member

    Not stuck on our windscreen. No fines

    wysiwyg
    Member

    Wild camp in the Morzine Carrefour car park – buy as used season pass and sell it on with a small loss – a month just cost me 40 euros..

    atlaz
    Member

    Superfli, the Swiss vignette must be stuck onto the window or id have thought you will almost certainly get a fine if you’re caught.

    Not stuck on our windscreen. No fines

    At the border by Basel they filter people by lane. Not suck on window, you go to the other lane to buy one or stick the one you have on the window. Other border crossings don’t give a shit so as long as you don’t get stopped you’re fine.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    You’re lucky if you’ve not got a fine. I wouldn’t brag about it.
    Forget the Swiss fines, but Austrian is something like 100-200 plus the price of the sticker (but since it was only the price of 1.5x French beers it’s not worth the risk)

    Don’t need to go thru Switzerland anyway for PdS or similar popular Alps (especially for those on a budget).

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    Go to Snowdonia/Highlands on a sunny day :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon annebr
    Subscriber

    Or just don’t use Swiss Motorways. The Vignette only applies for driving on the motorway.

    russianbob
    Member

    Thanks chaps.

    ianv
    Member

    Wild camp in the Morzine Carrefour car park – buy as used season pass and sell it on with a small loss – a month just cost me 40 euros..

    You can do something similar for Deux alpes, camp by the river going towards Venosc or one or two other spots. Buy a season pass and sell it on.

    Andorra is also a good venue, wild camping on the vallnord station car park, do the season ticket thing. Also beer is super cheap (and fags) .

    zerocool
    Member

    Book your tunnel tickets using Tesco clubcard points when a 241 or 341 deal comes up. It makes them so cheap (even compared to ferry) and the Tunnel is so much less faff than the ferry

    dantsw13
    Member

    Eurotunnel is £49 each way for a car. Tignes lift pass is free.

    andrewh
    Member

    I did a three week trip to Italy and France last year.
    Went over on the ferry, three bikes in the car (2 XC bikes for a 24hr race on the Italian Riviera and a big bike for another race in the Alps) Slept in the vehicle, easy enough to park up anywhere, no hassle from anyone. Laundrettes can be a bit tricky to find so handwashed clothes a few times but no other problems.
    .
    Total cost of everything, ferry ticket, lots of petrol (at 25mpg) three weeks food and drink (mostly supermarkets, cooking on a gas stove, but some posher meals, brought lots of cheese back too) tolls, everything, was under £500
    By comparison a single week on IOM was about £400, mainly because the ferry was £300 wereas it was £60 to Calais and back.

    nick1962
    Member

    Cycle and wildcamp surely?
    🙂

    ianv
    Member

    Tigne lift pass is free.

    You can sleep in the upper aire de camping car for 7 euro a night, or turn up after 6.30 (after the police have been round looking for money) and stay for free. You could also probably wild camp up the side valley from Val d’isere (where the dirt jumps are)

    Tigne/Val d’isere is a decent place for a cheap alps trip.

    thegman67
    Member

    I organised at trip this year for six of us. Flights(bike bag and one suitcase),accom in Morzine,transfers,lift pass for five days £380

    harry too
    Member

    in the PDS have they done the “happy pass” or whatever it was called over the last couple of years…?

    from memory it was one euro / day for all facilities, for the other half and children, was a bloody bargain….

    nutsnvolks
    Member

    When I was in morzine last year they had the 1€ a day lift pass but it is only for pedestrians, I.e.no bikes!

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    Diesel is much cheaper in France. Petrol however is not.

    Group drive is the most flexible option as you can take what you want without weight restrictions, and works out cheap if there’s enough of you.

    If you’re taking your own bikes, take spares, lots of spares! Alpine bike shops aren’t cheap and they may not have what you need anyway.

    Another cost consideration is the amount of servicing that will be needed on your bike post trip. Especially if it rains out there. Be careful with any provided bike washes too, they may be high pressure. Either of those can have you servicing bearings all over the place (and in my case, forks needed doing as well).

    However… it’s well worth it.

    Passportes du Soleil is a good event to get an introduction to the area, lifts open to bikes and then you could spend a week playing in the bike parks.

    p.s. if you do drive the toll roads in France, get yourself a tag for the tolls so you can just drive through and avoid the hassle of cash/cards. There’s a link to it on the Eurotunnel web site, I forget the name of it.

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