A motorhome winter wonderland

Journalist, John Rawlings and his family ventured out in their motorhome to hit the ski slopes in France.

The list of winter campsites for skiing holidays on the Club’s website inspired us to go on our first skiing holiday with a motorhome, and I’m pleased to report that it was a big success.

In fact, it was also the first skiing holiday for our children (14 and 17), which made it an even more exciting adventure.

Image: Huttopia Camping Paris campsite

We started our trip with a cheeky detour to Paris for the weekend. We stayed at the Camping de Paris on the banks of the Seine and walking distance to buses into the city centre. Then we chose the Huttopia Bourg St Maurice campsite in the Les Arcs resort area in the French Alps for the rest of our stay. For the ultimate in convenience, we booked everything, including ferry crossings, through the Club’s foreign touring service.

Before leaving home, we looked at Google maps to see what the approach to each campsite was like. In particular, we wanted to check what the roads in Bourg St Maurice would be like for a motorhome. Thankfully, as the town is in a valley, the approached looked flat and easy. Even if it had been snowing, I knew that as a popular skiing area, the authorities would always be sure to keep the roads as clear as possible for all the tourists and coaches visiting the resorts.

Image: Huttopia Bourg St Maurice campsite

The Huttopia Bourg St Maurice campsite turned out to be an excellent choice as it was only a 20-30 minute walk into the town or a short ride on the site’s free shuttle bus service. Directly opposite the site is a large supermarket where we stocked up on wine and treats. 

We could buy ski passes at reception, as well as order bread and croissant for each morning, or buy local wine. There was also a large lounge area with table football and a cosy fire. It also has a special heated room for storing skis, boots and clothing overnight so they were warm and dry for the next morning. There was plenty of hot water for a nice shower each evening as well as laundry facilities, if we’d needed them.

You need to book the campsite’s shuttle the day before. It drops you right at the funicular train in the town centre which takes you straight up to the first ski area at 1600m. From there, we used the free ski bus to then go from there to the Les Arcs 2000 ski area as it had a better choice of easier green ski ones for us.

We hired snow chains in the UK to take with us, but didn’t need to use them as it hadn’t snowed there for a few weeks. 

It really is a wonderful experience to be up in the mountains at that time of year, and considering it was half-term, the slopes weren’t unbearably busy. We didn’t even have to queue for too long at the chairlifts.

Les Arcs is one of the largest ski areas in France and there were certainly more than enough choice for us each day. As we got more confident, we progressed from green to blue runs and loved being outside so much each day and being so active. We treated ourselves to hot chocolate at mountain restaurants and enjoyed sitting outside in the sun enjoying the contrast of the clear blue skies against the snow covered mountains. Magical!

Lots of people asked us if we were warm enough in the motorhome. The simple answer was, “yes”, it kept us warm and cosy. We loved having our own space to relax in after an active day on the slopes and most evenings we tucked into lots of French bread, cheese and wine instead of paying to eat out.

With Paris and a skiing holiday in one half term holiday, we felt we’d seen and done a lot in a short time. It turned into another of those holidays that we’ll never be able to forget.


Useful information:

Caravan and Motorhome Club Ski Campsites

Huttopia Bourg St Maurice campsite

Les Arcs  

Bourg Saint Maurice - Les Arcs Tourist Office: +33 (0) 479 07 12 57