Getting to the Alps: Everything You Need to Know

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 snow mountains airplane wing

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 snowy trees

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 snow

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.

Top 5 Tips for Family Ski Holidays in France

When you’re going on a family ski holiday, you want to make the most of your time together. There can be a lot to think about, and a lot of different people in the group to please. However, France is a great option for a family ski trip. There are ski resorts in France that offer great value for money, whilst giving you access to some of the most stunning mountains in the world. Here are our top five tips for making the most of family ski holidays in France.

1. Choose a ski resort with a variety of pistes

It’s likely that you’ll have different levels of skiers in your family. Check out the piste map of your resort before you go and see what types of runs are in resort. Ideally, you want to have a good mixture of all levels. This gives little kids and beginners an opportunity to start on appropriately challenging terrain and gives the more advanced skiers adventure so that they aren’t bored.

And even if everyone is a beginner, you’ll want to be able to progress onto more challenging slopes as the week goes on.

family ski holiday kid child sledge sledging

2. Partake in some non-skiing activities

Another great way to make sure everyone in the family has fun, is to mix up the activities. Grab a bum board and go sledging around the village after a day on the slopes, or check out some of the larger sledge runs for bigger kids. Go see some live music and have a bit of an après session. Take a day or afternoon off skiing to go swimming at Aquamotion. Or treat yourself to a massage!

There are plenty of activities in Courchevel to keep everyone occupied.

3. Organise things in advance

There is something to be said for the over-organiser when it comes to family ski holidays. We’re big fans of booking as much as you can in advance so that you can start relaxing as soon as you get to resort. Things to book in advance:

  • Childcare – If you have a small child who won’t be skiing, book them into the local creche or secure a nanny to come to your chalet.
  • Ski Hire – Usually you can get great deals on ski hire when you book in advance, then all you have to do is pick it up once you arrive.
  • Ski Passes – Again, you can often get discounts when booking through your accommodation provider, and they can have it waiting in your chalet for you upon arrival. One less thing you need to organise yourself.
  • Ski School – For your children who are skiing, it’s highly recommended to book them into lessons beforehand, especially during school holidays. Groups book up early, and it’s a great chance for them to ski with other children and gives you some time on the slopes without them.
  • Restaurants – If you’re going for a catered ski chalet, book your chalet hosts’ night off dinner well in advance. Restaurants fill up quickly, especially in La Tania!

fondue france

4. Indulge in the local fayre

When in France, right? Because you are going to a country with some of the best food in the world, take the chance to indulge. The French Alps is well-known for gooey, cheesy deliciousness. It’s a great opportunity to share different food and culture with your children as well. Three cheese dishes we highly recommend:

  • Tartiflette – A baked dish made up of potato, onion, lardon, and the star of the dishL: Reblochon cheese
  • Raclette – Originally this was a way for famers to use up cheese that was starting to go hard, however now it’s a favourite in the Alps. A Huge chunk of raclette cheese is put under a heat lamp on the table & as it melts you scrape it off onto your plate of potatoes, salad & meats.
  • Fondue – You likely have heard of fondue – a melted pot of cheesy goodness that you dip pieces of bread into. There are a variety of different types of fondue you can order. We’ve found some with morel mushrooms in them before. Yum!

5. Stay somewhere lovely

Choose a great accommodation so that everyone can relax – yourself included – in a lovely environment. We have three beautiful chalets in La Tania, France which are all perfect for a family ski holiday. Check out Chalet Juliette, Chalet Dahu or Jamais Bleu. All are perfect for relaxing family ski holidays in France, partially due to the hot tubs you can dip in after a day’s skiing (amongst many other amenities).

Child Friendly Ski Holidays