Europe’s finest pedestrian-only ski resorts, no cars allowed

Oberlech. Photo provided: Lech Zurs Tourism

Is there anything more beautiful than a snowy ski resort deep in the mountains? Yes, one without cars.

Pack your after-boots and leave the rental car at home, the most beautiful pedestrian-only ski villages in the European Alps are full of cobbled streets, snow-capped thatched roofs and rocking ski slopes.

Try these four on for size.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Photo credit: Shutterstock/AnSharp

You will find Zermatt nestled at the foot of Switzerland’s most iconic mountain – the Matterhorn. A champion of sustainability, you can breathe the clean air of this traffic-free village powered by hydro and solar.

Encouraged to move on foot, Zermatt also offers the electric taxi, the cable car, the electric bus or even the horse-drawn carriage (as in a fairy tale) as alternative means of getting around. Home to 360km of ski runs across three ski areas, there’s plenty of riding fun when you find yourself in this village at 1608m altitude.

Oberlech, Austria

Oberlech. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Entirely car-free in winter, Oberlech uses underground service tunnels to transport goods into the village. Known for its upscale restaurants and luxury hotels, the village of Boujie sits at an altitude of 1750m and is home to 305km of ski slopes. For those who want to rub shoulders with the elite, Oberlech is one of the most popular ski destinations for royal visitors.

Les Arcs, France

Les Arcs 1950, photo provided: Andy Parant for Les Arcs tourism

Arc 1950 is part of the mammoth Paradiski in France offering 435 km of ski slopes.

At 1950m above sea level, you are guaranteed snow cover almost all year round, making it a very popular ski destination. Arc 1950 is also home to the famous Vanoise Express cable car. Stretching 1800m through a valley, you can take the vertiginous double-decker link from Les Arcs to La Plagne to explore more of the Paradiski resort.

Courmayeur, Italy

Photo credit: Shutterstock/AJBorges

Rub shoulders with the rich and stylish on the mile-long pedestrianized Via Roma street in Cormayeur, where skiers and snowboarders come to part with their euro for the world’s classiest farshun labels and sip apres- dyes with the haves of Milan.

This old-world village at the foot of Mont Blanc is an Instagrammer’s dream, all cobbled lanes and heritage alpine architecture. You’ll find the resort in Valle d’Aosta in the most breathtaking peaks of the European Alps serving up big mountain terrain to burn your thighs with over 1500 meters of vertical drop.

This article originally appeared in our FREE 70-page e-mag.

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