Travel: Enjoy the slopes of Italy by road

Flying over the Alps will no doubt provide spectacular views of this world renowned mountain range, but I prefer to do things a little differently. And, I’ll be the first to admit, there’s a little bit of Daisy Duke in me.

Besides, driving in Europe can be a lot more convenient than flying.

I felt quite at home behind the wheel of the latest Ford Ranger Double Cab Wildtrak truck for the 12-hour journey from the south-east of England, through France to the Italian mountain town of Courmayeur.

Almost as majestic as the mountain itself, the 7.2-mile-long tunnel connects Chamonix with the chic Italian ski resort of Courmayeur and our charming, chalet-style hotel, Auberge de La Maison in Entreves.

Needless to say, I started out on the baby slope with Italian tots who were born with ski boots strapped to their ankles. Desperately trying to stay balanced, I kept my eyes on the horizon as advised by Antonio, my saintly ski instructor.

Managing not to take a tumble, I carefully made my way down the slope in snowplough formation, perhaps not the most elegant of techniques but it kept me upright.

On day two, spurred on by Antonio calling out to me, “You’re a natural!” I’d managed to negotiate the chairlift to the Stadio Slalom at 2,000m and, under his watchful eye, snowploughed and skied my way down the slope to Chiecco’s mountain restaurant for a well-deserved lunch.

Getting there

The Eurotunnel fare from Folkestone to Calais costs £146 return for a car. Half board for a week at L’Auberge de la Maison costs 280 Euros per night (1,960 Euros for the week). Visit www.aubergemaison.it A seven-day ski pass for Courmayeur costs 249 Euros. For more information on Ford’s Ranger Wildtrak, visit www.ford.co.uk/ Commercialvehicles/Ranger

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