Best Drives

Vosges, France: snowsports close to Britain

Why go there?

The Vosges are a way of finding snow without driving all the way to the Alps yet the highest peak, Grand Ballon, is 260ft higher than Britain’s biggest, Ben Nevis. These little-known mountains are a secret snow pleasure zone. Find them in the Alsace region, to the west of Strasbourg. There are 29 small ski resorts and miles of pistes and cross-country ski tracks.

What to do

Locals are proud of the 55-mile-long Route des Cretes or ‘Crest Road’. It’s a chance to drive along ridges up to 4,400ft high. You’ll catch amazing views of pretty villages, castles, lakes and forests. Beware regular road closures between December and March – because of severe snow. All other roads are kept open with snowploughs.

Where to stay and eat

There are amazing mountain views from the balconies of Auberge du Mehrbachel (+33 (0) 3 89 82 60 68), a traditional family-run hotel with a highly-rated traditional restaurant, 2,300ft (701m) up in The Vosges.

How to get there

Cross the channel and choose between French motorways. It’s about seven hours to Grand Ballon via the A26 toll motorway. Note that the safest way to reach Grand Ballon itself by car in winter is from the south via Goldbach.

Images: Getty, Alamy

The route