So you’ve decided that you’re coming to the Alps this winter. Amazing. Now, how to get there?
Many people opt to fly into the Alps, however both driving and taking the train are two other options. Here are all the pros and cons, and what to take into consideration before you decide how you’re getting to the Alps this winter.
Things to consider:
- How many people there are in your party?
- How far your resort is – both from the UK and from the nearest French/Swiss airports?
- How much time do you have?
Getting to the Alps by Plane
Flying can be a cost-efficient and quick way to get to the Alps. This of course depends on where you live (distance to airport with frequent number of flights), and how close your ski resort is to the airport.
In general, most people fly into Geneva Airport. It offers a large number of EasyJet and British Airways flights in and out daily, and provides easy access to most resorts in the French Alps. However other airports to look into are Lyon, Grenoble and Chambery. Although they might have fewer flights, they can get you closer to your resort. For example La Tania is only 1hr15min drive from Chambery versus the 2hrs15 mins from Geneva.
You need to take into consideration the flight cost (plus baggage, which will be extra if you’re bringing your skis with you) as well as the cost getting to resort – via a transfer, renting a car or train.
From the airport
Transfers are simple and definitely take away any hassle. Someone is there waiting to take you to the transfer bus and drive you straight to your accommodation whilst you sit back and relax. Typically, a one way private transfer from Geneva to La Tania for four people costs approx 300 Euros. If you go for a shared option, the price is between 50 and 65 Euros per person. However, you might have to wait around in the airport for others or have a longer trip to resort because of other drop offs along the way.
You can rent a car at the airport, which usually works out cheaper than transfers if you have 4+ people. You also have the flexibility to leave and return when you’d like. And you can get around in resort if needed – which can be a huge perk. Make sure any car you rent has snow tyres on it!
There is also the option to take the train from the airport. However these are usually pretty inefficient (loads of stops) and still won’t get you directly into resort – unless of course you’re going to Chamonix!
You’re looking at roughly 7hrs travel time from arrival at the airport in the UK, plus any travel time to the airport. So this is definitely the quickest way to get to the Alps.
Getting to the Alps by Car
Driving can be a cost efficient way when you have lots of people and loads of luggage. Ski equipment for each person on a flight quickly ads up. You can also bring out food with you (which is definitely cheaper in the UK than France) if you’re staying self-catered, or you just want some goodies from home.
Once you’re in France it’s approximately 10hrs to Courchevel. Do keep in mind there are a number of tolls in France that you’ll have to factor into the budget.
Road trips can be super fun. And again, this gives you a car to use in resort which allows you to get around to places that the local buses might not be able to.
Getting to the Alps by Train
Although it’s becoming less and less popular, there is a snow train that runs every weekend from London St Pancreas direct to Moutiers and Bourg St Maurice. There is one that leaves on Saturday morning and arrives in the evening. Or there is a night train that leaves Friday night and arrives Saturday morning. The overnight train gives you a full 2 extra days on the slopes, however they do not offer beds, so you are “sleeping” in a seat the whole night. You then just need to arrange a transfer from the train station, which won’t be too expensive.
The train is ideal if you live near to London or Ebbsfleet, and is the most relaxing of all the journeys, plus you get more time on the slopes if you opt for the Friday night departure.
Travelling to La Tania this winter? Here are all the details on distances from airports, cost of tolls, and more.