Parts & Accessories

A February Half-Term Winter Wonderland

23rd February 2024 | John Rawlings
The warm sun and blue skies over the white cliffs of Dover as we waited for our ferry to France tried to fool us into thinking we were off on a summer holiday. Definitely not! This was February, and we had our first skiing holiday in a motorhome ahead of us. To be honest, we weren’t sure what the experience of a winter trip to the Alps in a motorhome would be like.

It was also going to be the first time skiing for my teenagers, but as they’re both confident on a surfboard (read about our surfing motorhome holiday in France). We hoped they’d be just as good on snow.

The motorhome gave us the freedom to create our own itinerary, so instead of heading straight to the Alps, we took a detour to Paris for the weekend.

The traffic in Paris is notorious, but we stayed calm and got to the site without too much stress. We stayed at the Camping De Paris on the banks of the Seine. It proved an excellent base for seeing Paris as it is within walking distance of a bus stop to take you straight to the city centre.

At Dover waiting for the ferry

After a fun weekend of sightseeing in Paris, we made an early start on Monday so we could get to our next campsite in the mountains in good time. We wanted to get our rental skis fitted before the shop shut so we could hit the slopes first thing on the Tuesday morning.

We found a list of campsites in ski resorts on the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s website and chose the Huttopia site in Les Arcs Bourg St Maurice as it seemed to be one of the nearest and easiest to get to from the UK. For convenience, we booked it, plus the campsite in Paris and our ferry crossings, through the Club’s foreign touring department.

Our pitch at Huttopia Bourg St Maurice

The campsite definitely proved to be a good choice. Being in the valley meant it was easy to drive to, and once there, we could easily walk into the town. It had a big, cosy lounge area with an open fire and tables, with local produce (wine and bread) and ski passes available from reception. There’s also a free tourist bus, which stops outside the site to take you into town or to other resorts in the valley.

Les Arcs is a great ski resort with plenty of ski runs for beginners and more challenging ones. We laughed a lot as we watched each other get used to being on skis. While my son (14) proved to be a natural on skis, my daughter (17) was far less confident. Maybe she would have found snowboarding more like surfing on snow.

Skiing on the piste

There wasn’t much snow left at the campsite, so the contrast between that and the winter wonderland the funicular train from the town took us up to was amazing.

The campsite has its own shuttle bus to save you from walking into the town with all your ski gear. It also has a heated room where you can leave skis, boots and clothing to dry overnight – although the Adamo’s large garage could easily have accommodated all this gear, if necessary.

The funicular train from Bourg St Maurice to the Les Arcs skiing resort

Using the Adamo 69-4 as a four-berth worked well. We were surprised at how spacious it felt with four of us living in it as the lounge is a generous size, and the spacious washroom gave us plenty of room for changing. At night, we lowered the drop-down bed about halfway and let the children sleep ‘upstairs’ while my wife and I converted the lounge into a double bed underneath it.

Using the Adamo 69-4 as a four-berth worked well

Best of all, the motorhome kept us warm and cosy. The Truma combi blown air heating was excellent. We even had to turn it down sometimes.

We liked having the motorhome to come back to after an energetic day on the slopes. Being able to cook an evening meal or have a platter of cheese and wine saved paying the premium prices you expect at restaurants in ski resorts. Some days, we also took our sandwiches with us for lunch. There’s a big supermarket just opposite the campsite, so it was easy to buy some nice food (and treats) for the week.

We loved our skiing experience and being so active each day. Being up in the mountains in winter is magical, and using a motorhome for a skiing holiday proved a great success.

One final tip: everyone seems to head home from the ski resorts on Saturday morning, so the roads get busy. Leaving early didn’t help as everyone else was doing the same. Another time, we’d either leave on a Friday night and drive for a couple of hours or so or leave later after the morning rush. We’ve now proved that a motorhome is a perfect base for skiing and surfing holidays.

Having lunch with my daughter - and a magnificent view

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