This Val Thorens by car page has information about driving to Val Thorens. It covers Channel crossings, with links to the ferry companies and Eurotunnel. There's a suggested route for driving to Val Thorens, including directions, timings, and costs. The 'legal requirements' section has advice on insurance, essential documents and items to carry, and speed limits in France. Finally, there's information about tour operators who offer self-drive packages.
Book in advance for a more competitive price. The ferry companies offer the lowest price if you commit to a particular time of crossing; you pay a bit more for a 'flexi' crossing, where you choose the time you want to travel, but you can take an earlier or later boat at no extra cost, provided there's space. It can be worth going for the flexi option if you're travelling a long way to the ferry port, making it harder to estimate your exact arrival time.
The crossing takes about 1h30. There's usually a coffee bar, and at least one restaurant on board. Big-screen TVs show BBC World. It's a good opportunity to rest and re-fuel (food for the body, not petrol for the car) on a long journey. There's wifi on board, which may be included or extra depending on the ticket you've bought. Or you could go out on deck and enjoy the view and the breeze.
The alternative to a Dover-Calais ferry is the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais, which takes 35 minutes.
If you're travelling from Scotland or northern England, the Hull-Zeebrugge ferry can be a good option. It leaves around 6.30pm, and arrives at Zeebrugge at 8.45am. There's plenty of evening entertainment on board if you want it, and you can get a good night's sleep in your cabin, to arrive fresh and rested on the continent.
Viamichelin is a useful site for route, distance, and journey time.
A good route is:
Viamichelin suggests a distance of 976km from Calais to Val Thorens; journey time 9h21; and cost of €83 tolls + €78 petrol (April 2017).
It is compulsory to have at least 3rd party insurance that's valid in France.
You must have with you your driving licence, registration document (V5), and insurance papers.
You must carry the following items:
These vary according to whether the weather is fine, or wet. The limits are as follows (fine/wet):
You can book a self-drive holiday through a tour operator (an accommodation plus Channel crossing package). Erna Low specialises in these. Most of the other tour operators sell self-drive ski holidays to Val Thorens too, including Inghams.
Have a good journey to Val Thorens by car!
The Val Thorens resort section has details of resort facilities including the tourist office, post office, banks, medical centre, church, parking, radio station, and the cinema. There's also a Val Thorens history section, a Val Thorens resort maps page, and information about the sports centre, market, and resort shuttle bus.