Is there anything more beautiful than a snow laden ski town deep in the mountains? Yes, one without cars.

Pack your après boots and leave the rental car at home, the sweetest pedestrian only ski villages in the European alps are filled with cobbled streets, snow laden thatched roofs and rocking ski terrain.

Try these four on for size.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Photo credit: Shutterstock/AnSharp

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

Encouraged to make your way around by foot, Zermatt also offers e-taxi, cable car, e-bus or even a horse-drawn carriage (just like a fairytale) as alternative ways to get around. Home to 360km of piste skiing across three ski areas, there’s plenty of riding fun to be had when you find yourself at this 1608m altitude village.

Oberlech, Austria

Oberlech. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Completely car-free in winter, Oberlech makes use of underground service tunnels to transport goods around the village.  Known for luxe top-end restaurants and hotels, the boujie village sits at an altitude of 1750m and is home to 305km of ski runs. For those wanting to rub shoulders with the elite, Oberlech is one of the more popular ski destinations for Royal visitors. 

Les Arcs, France

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

Arc 1950 is part of the mammoth Paradiski in France offering 435km of piste skiing.. The ski-in-ski-out village is dotted with human-powered travellers making their way about town with all vehicles parked underground upon arrival.

At 1950m above sea level, you’re guaranteed snow cover almost year round making it a highly desirable ski destination. Arc 1950 is also home to the famous Vanoise Express Cable Car. Stretching 1800m across a valley, you can take the dizzyingly high double-decker link from Les Arcs to La Plagne to further explore the Paradiski resort.

Courmayeur, Italy

Photo credit: Shutterstock/AJBorges

Rub shoulders with the rich and stylish in Cormayeur’s pedestrian only kilometre long Via Roma, where skiers and snowboarders come to part with their Euro for the world’s swankiest farshun labels and sip on après tinctures with the well-heeled of Milan.

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

This article was originally published in our FREE 70 page e-mag.
15 reasons Switzerland should be your next ski destination