Access to Chamonix
Chamonix By Air/Par Avion:
- Geneva Airport/Aeroport de Genève – 80km. 1 hr via van transfer service or SAT Bus, 2.5hrs by train.
- Lyon Airport Saint Expury /Aeroport St Expury – 190km 2.5 hrs via transfer service or Bus. Unless you are saving over €200 on a plane ticket, it is not worth flying to Lyon over Geneva.
- Milan Malpensa Airport Two and a half hours by car, complex access by public transit – return to airport on time for flights is difficult (normally you have to leave a day ahead and sleep in Milan). Add in the cost of going through the Tunnel du Mont Blanc (it’s not cheap – see link for tolls !)
Chamonix By Train/Par Train:
Through Switzerland/Suisse via Martigny. At the border town of Châtelard change to the Mont-Blanc Express SNCF TER train to Chamonix. http://www.sbb.ch
Through France the TGV to Bellegarde, regional TER lines via St.Gervais/La Fayet and the Mont-Blanc Express to Chamonix. http://www.sncf.fr (Note their site is very very difficult to use – it is easy to purchase your ticket at the station).
Finding Train Schedules
For some reason, the German train site is simply the best search site for finding routes for any Western European train travel, especially if you are searching with a start outside of France.
Chamonix By Car/Par Voiture:
- From Italy/Italie we are close to the Mt Blanc Tunnel (near Aosta, Milano, Turino).
- From Switzerland/Suisse via Martigny and the Col de Forclaz via Vallorcine and Argentière.
- From Switzerland via Geneva / Genève use the A40 Autoroute Blanche to Chamonix.
- From Annecy via A41 to A40 Autoroute Blanche.
- From Lyon via A42 and A40 to Chamonix.
Other Collective Transport to Chamonix
- Mountain Ride Share – especially good for transfers between ski resorts
- Blabla Car – French-born ride sharing website
Airport Transfer Services
The services listed below have been used by our clients with satisfaction.
- Chamonix Valley Transfers (CVT)
- Mountain Drop Offs
- Geneva-Airport-Transfers (GAT)
There is one service we do not recommend for airport transfers. And that one is called “Easy Bus”. They have been known to cancel buses without warning on guests and they actually have no customer service number to call. People have been left in the lurch by them on multiple occasions. We suggest you read current reviews of this service on a site such as Trip Advisor before deciding to book with them.
Scheduled Bus Services to Chamonix
- SAT – Genève – Chamonix
- SAVDA – Courmayeur – Chamonix Aosta – Chamonix
Chamonix Valley – Local Public Transit
Chamonix has a bus service that runs year-round from approximately 7.00h – 19.50h daily every 30 minutes. Additional express buses to ski areas operate in winter season, and a night bus service (until around 23.00h) is run regularly in “high” season (ski season and July/August) and the night bus is available on request in low season.
The Chamonix Mont Blanc bus website lists the regular lines and the seasonal lines, the hours of service and has maps of the network.
The local TER SNCF Train is called the Mont Blanc Express and can be used for transport in between the station of St Gervais Le Fayet and Vallorcine (near the Swiss border) by using your Carte d’Hôte “guest card”. It is a great way to get between towns in the Chamonix valley and serves Servoz, Les Houches, Les Praz, Les Tines, Argentiere and Vallorcine. The train continues on into Switzerland all the way to Martigny.
To take the train outside of the Chamonix Valley, be sure to buy a ticket at the SNCF train station in Chamonix.
Chamonix Touristic Lifts and Trains
The majority of these installations are all managed by the Compagnie du Mont Blanc unless otherwise noted.
See their site for up to date piste maps, summer and winter pricing, hours of operation, online purchase of ski passes and summer passes, Aiguille du Midi and Grands Montets top station reservations on line.
Tramway du Mont Blanc (TMB) – A cogwheel train departing from Le Fayet (below Chamonix) to the Col de Voza in the Les Houches ski area and on to the Nid d’Aigle high point.
Montenvers – to the Mer de Glace glacier from Chamonix town centre
Aiguille du Midi – highest lift in Europe at 3810m. Climbers, skiers and sight-seers. Access in Chamonix centre.
Les Grandes Montets – ski area in winter, open for a short time in summer for mountaineering and sight seeing. Access in Argentiere.
Brèvent – Flégère – the only two ski areas that are connected (in winter only). In summer these are two separate lifts and access many hiking trails and the Aiguilles Rouges with a great deal of rock climbing and alpine routes. The Brèvent is accessed from Chamonix centre (in winter this is the preferred lift for speed) and the Flégère is in Chamonix Les Praz (this lift is a very slow cable car, not recommended in winter due to queues, fine in summer).
Domaine du Balme (Le Tour and Vallorcine) – ski area in winter and hiking in summer – part of the Tour du Mont Blanc walking tour.
Les Houches Prarion – a bubble lift to the Les Houches ski area, access to hiking in summer and part of the Tour du Mont Blanc.
- Les Houches Bellevue – a cable car to the Les Houches ski area, access to hiking in summer and part of the Tour du Mont Blanc.
- Glacier des Bossons – a small chair lift that runs in summer season only to bring you up to the little restaurant at the side of the Les Bossons Glacier, and has the most downhill of all glaciers in Europe, coming down all the way from the top of Mont Blanc for a total of 3630m of descent.
- La Vormaine – a beginner ski area run in winter only. This has cheaper lift tickets than the other high mountain lifts, and is found at the bottom of the depart for the Domaine de Balme ski area in Le Tour.
- Le Savoy – a beginner ski area in winter only. Cheaper than the high mountain lifts, this site is found at the bottom of the Brèvent ski lift station, to the right. Easiest access is in town behind and to the right of the Club Med complex. In the summer this site is used as a landing field for the para gliders flying from the Brèvent .
- Les Planards – a beginner to intermediate ski area in winter (green and blue runs), and also run in spring, summer and autumn season as an adventure park with a downhill luge on a rail, and various other rides and game activities. There is also a restaurant on site. Follow the link to see all the details about this fun family site !