Car travel’s a eco-friendlier, often cheaper way of getting to your ski resort in Italy. If your group has two or more people happy to take to the wheel, you can share the drive and enjoy a scenic road trip to the mountains.
The Italian resorts can be reached by road through France, and the quickest way to cross the channel to France is via the Euro tunnel from Folkestone. This departs up to four times an hour and takes 35 minutes to reach Calais. You can also opt for ferry travel from Dover, which transports you to Calais in about an hour and a half. This tends to be the cheaper method of channel crossing, and many prefer it as a chance to have a power nap or stretch the legs.
Driving from Calais, our recommended self-drive Italian ski resorts take around 9-12 hours to get to. Most routes follow the A26 past Reims, then go south past Troyes and Dijon or east towards Strasbourg. For Courmayeur and the Aosta resorts, routes lead through the Mont Blanc tunnel. While for the Dolomites, you can drive through Germany or Switzerland into Austria and then cross the border at Brenner.
Approx. toll costs for driving to the Italian Alps from Calais:
60 – 120€ (as of 2021):
Approx. fuel costs for driving to the Italian Alps from Calais:
70 – 110€ (as of 2021):
Italy road rules
Legal driving age: 18
Drive on the right
Seatbelts must be worn
Items required for driving through Italy (as of 2021):
Also needed for driving through France:
Also needed if driving through Switzerland:
Good overnight stops on a drive to the Italian Alps
Paris – France’s iconic capital (and home to Disneyland).
Reims – the Champagne region
Dijon – the capital of historic Burgundy
Strasbourg – medieval Alsatian city (for drives to the Dolomites)
Zurich – the biggest city in Switzerland (for drives to Livigno)
Best Italian Ski Resorts for Self-drive
With distance and approximate non-stop driving time from Calais
565 miles, 8.5 hours
8.5 hours, 588 miles
8 hrs 45 mins, 611 miles
9 hours, 620 miles
9 hours, 627 miles
9 hours, 630 miles
9 hrs 20 mins, 621 miles
9.5 hours, 627 miles
9.5 hours, 635 miles
9.5 hours, 636 miles
11 hours, 643 miles
11 hrs 40 mins, 724 miles
12 hours, 731 miles
12 hours, 738 miles
12 hours, 735 miles
This information on driving in Italy was correct for the 2017/18 winter season. We recommend checking the most recent laws and journey details via sources like RAC and ViaMichelin.