France might hog the spotlight for easy self-drive, but Swiss ski resorts can be just as quick to reach. Besides being eco-friendly, driving to resort gives you a lot more flexibility than other modes of transport: you’re able to set off when you like, take as many breaks as you fancy and pack the car with as much Swiss chocolate and cheese as possible on the way home - without worrying about weight limits.
The routes to the Swiss resorts take you through France. For access over the channel from England, the Euro Tunnel shuttle departs from Folkestone four times an hour in peak periods, and the journey to Calais only takes 35 minutes.
Another way to reach France is the Dover-Calais ferry, which is usually cheaper than the shuttle. The crossing tends to take about an hour and a half, which some drivers prefer as an opportunity to have a change of scene or nap after driving to the coast.
From Calais, getting to Switzerland’s top self-drive ski resorts takes around 8-10 hours (without stopping). Most routes take you along the A26 through Reims, then east past Mets and south past Strasbourg towards Basel, or south past Troyes and Dijon then over the border towards Lausanne.
Approx. toll costs for driving to the Swiss Alps from Calais:
30 – 60€ (as of 2020)
Approx. fuel costs for driving to the Swiss Alps from Calais:
60 – 80€ (as of 2020)
Switzerland road rules
Legal driving age: 18
Drive on the right
Headlights on at all times
Seatbelts fastened at all times
Items required for driving in Switzerland (as of 2020):
Also needed for driving through France:
Good overnight stops on a drive to the Swiss Alps
Reims – the Champagne region in France
Dijon – one of France’s great historic cities
Paris – for Disneyland or the romantic capital (don’t forget the Crit'Air vignette if driving through Paris)
Best Swiss Ski Resorts for Self-drive
With distance and approximate non-stop driving time from Calais
503 miles, 8 hours
509 miles, 8 hours
532 miles, 8 hrs 20 mins
539 miles, 8 hrs 20 mins
528 miles, 8.5 hours
545 miles, 8.5 hours
550 miles, 8 hrs 40 mins
550 miles, 8 hrs 50 mins
570 miles, 9 hours
550 miles, 9 hours
579 miles, 9 hours
608 miles, 9.5 hours
The information given on this page was correct at the start of the 2017/18 ski season but before you depart, we suggest checking the most up to date laws and journey details through somewhere like the RAC and ViaMichelin.