Meribel is in the Tarentaise region of the French Alps very near to the Italian border. Nearby French towns include Moutiers (30 minutes), Albertville (45 minutes), and Bourg St Maurice (40 minutes). Access has improved significantly in recent years with dual carriageway motorway all the way from Calais to Albertville.
Be warned that in peak times the roads past Albertville can become busy – it turns in to a bottle neck with visitors to the surrounding ski resorts. Meribel is a 30-minute drive up a mountain road from Moutiers. The road is well cleared and maintained although you would be advised to carry a pair of snowchains if driving yourself.
Meribel is easily accessible thanks to an increase in routes from a number of airlines. You can now be in resort less than 90 minutes of landing at Chambery. Geneva is 130km from Meribel and has the most transport links. The next biggest airport is Lyon St Exupery which has public buses to the ski stations. If you use a bus transfer, try to book your tickets well in advance – the buses can get very busy. Major airlines include Easyjet, British Airways, FlyBe among others.
- Chambery to Meribel 101km, transfer time around 1.25hrs
- Geneva to Meribel 130km, transfer time around 2hrs
- Lyon to Meribel 178km, transfer time around 2hrs
Unfortunately there are only a couple of trains a week – normally Fridays and Saturdays. Eurostar runs a direct train from London that stops in Moutiers for Meribel. If you can handle the overnight train then you can be in resort by 7am on Saturday morning, leaving at 10pm the following Saturday – giving you eight days on the slopes. The Snowtrain, run by Rail Europe, means a change in Paris but you can party all night in their legendary ‘disco carriage’! Once you arrive in Moutiers it is a short 30-minute taxi ride to Meribel, you can expect to pay €60 each way for the taxi.
Driving to Meribel
Having a car in resort gives a lot of flexibility to visit other resorts. But parking in resort costs approx €70 for seven days. Driving to Meribel will take you about 12 hours from Calais. The motorways are the quickest route but will cost €50-60 in toll charges each way. If you are driving down on a Saturday, beware that the road after Albertville becomes a bottleneck for all traffic heading to the ski resorts in this part of the Alps.
Getting around resort
The resort is extremely well served by the local Ski Bus with several routes running from Mottaret to the centre, up to the Rond Point and Altiport, to Meribel Village and Les Allues. Use of the bus is encouraged as parking can be tricky especially in the centre. The bus is free for all to use – you don’t need a lift pass and it runs from 7am until the last bus from Meribel Centre to Les Allues at 12.25am.