Chamonix is actually the colloquial name for Chamonix Mont-Blanc, which is a French commune (parish) in the Haute-Savoie department (county) of the French Alps. The town is very close by skis to the borders of Switzerland and Italy. When planning your Chamonix ski trip there are several options on how to get there.
Flying to Chamonix
Chamonix’s proximity to Geneva is both a strength and weakness. On one hand, the town is perfect for ski weekends and short breaks. Within fifty minutes’ drive from the airport you could be on the slopes for lunchtime after an early morning flight. On the downside, the easy access can mean that in high season and at weekends, the traffic and capacity reaches fever pitch – a lot of people opt for a weekend Chamonix ski trip. Geneva is by far the easiest airport but the next biggest airports are Turin – reached through the Mont Blanc tunnel – or Lyon-St-Exupery.
Airport transfers to Chamonix
For the quickest and most hassle-free way of travelling to Chamonix, take a private transfer from a company such as Cham Express or Mountain drop-offs.
- Geneva to Chamonix 86km, transfer time around 1hr
- Chambery to Chamonix 132km, transfer time around 1hr
- Turin to Chamonix 177km, transfer time around 2hrs
- Lyon St Exupery to Chamonix 220km, transfer time around 2hrs
Taking the train to Chamonix
The main TGV stops for changes to Chamonix are Annecy, Lyon, Bellegarde, Chambéry / Aix Les Bains and Saint Gervais Les Bains / Le Fayet. If you can get a train to Saint Gervais Les Bains / Le Fayet it will save you an extra change as this is where the Mont-Blanc Express departs for the Chamonix Valley – it goes all the way to Vallorcine on the Swiss border. You can download a timetable from the Chamonix tourist office website.
If you arriving in to Geneva by train be sure to allow plenty of time to cross the city as the trains to France leave from the old station at Eau Vive.
Driving to Chamonix
Driving to the resort from the UK will take you about 10 hours from Calais. The motorways are the quickest route but you will have to pay around €50-60 in toll charges each way. The most common journey passes by Calais, Reims, Dijon, Geneva and finally Chamonix. The upside of having a car in Chamonix means you can drive to your ski area of choice instead of taking the often-crowded buses. Make sure you carry snow chains and know how and when to use them – this is a legal requirement in the French Alps. If you want to factor in a stop off then Troyes or Reims are convenient.