Airport Transfers & Travel
Perhaps the easiest and most efficient way to get from the airport is a private or shared minibus transfer. We have chosen to work with Haute Transfer. They use Renault Trafic, VW Caravelle 4x4 and Mercedes Viano minibuses which take up to 7 people and they can drop you to the door of your accommodation (unlike some of the other, cheaper transfer companies who drop you only in Chamonix Sud). Transfers from other airports are possible, in any case use the quick quote box on this page to find out prices and make a booking. All transfers are transferable/refundable should your travel plans change.
As well as offering transfers from the airport to Chamonix, they also offer an in-resort taxi service and transfers to other towns and resorts within a few hours of Chamonix such as Courmayeur, Verbier, Megeve, Aosta and Annecy. Use the quick quote panel on this page to get your quote.
All of the main car rental companies operate out of Geneva airport. Geneva airport has 2 different sectors – the French side and the Swiss side. Although your final destination is France, it is easier to hire your car from the Swiss side but check before doing so whether you will be affected by the laws regarding crossing the border in Swiss registered vehicles. By exiting the airport from the French side you will have to navigate Geneva city centre, whereas if you exit the airport from the Swiss side you can easily hop straight onto the motorway to Chamonix. Geneva Airport Car Hire.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING CAR HIRE & EU CITIZENS
Please note that a law has come into effect preventing EU citizens from driving Swiss registered vehicles across the border into France. This may cause issues for people hiring cars from the Swiss side of Geneva airport. The airport has both a French and a Swiss sector, both with car rental desks, so please double-check before booking your hire car. You can find more details in this article from the Guardian.
There is a 40 Swiss Franc toll for using the Swiss auto-route; if you hire your car from the Swiss side this is already paid and there will be a sticker, or “vignette”, in the corner of the windscreen. However, if you hire your car on the French side you will have to pay this toll yourself at the border.
Handy hints from Mountain Base
Don't forget to print your directions, the route from the airport to Chamonix is pretty straightforward but once you're in resort not all of the roads show up on GPS or sat nav systems.
In Winter make sure that your hire car comes with snow tyres, essential in winter resorts! There should also be a set of snow chains in the boot, look on Youtube for videos that show you how to use them – worth knowing in case you find yourself stuck in snow.
If you are thinking of adding a roof box for transporting skis and snowboards or luggage, check with us first in case your accommodation comes with underground parking – the extra height may not fit through the entrance.
1. Which is the nearest airport to Chamonix?
Geneva is the nearest airport to Chamonix, a little under 100 km (60 miles) by road and an easy drive. Many international airlines fly to Geneva,and there are several other airports that are a little further away, including Turin in Italy (106 miles), Chambery (90 miles) and Lyon (140 miles).
2. How do I get from the airport to Chamonix?
Perhaps the easiest and most efficient way to get from the airport is a private or shared minibus transfer. We have chosen to work with Haute Transfer as our preferred transfer partners. They use VW minibuses which take up to 8 people and they can drop you to the door of your accommodation (unlike some of the other, cheaper transfer companies who drop you only in Chamonix Sud). Transfers from other airports are possible, in any case use the quick quote box on this page to find out prices and make a booking.
Car Hire is also a good option if you're coming to Chamonix (see above for more info). There are many car rental companies operating from Geneva airport, and you can book in advance online with most of them. We recommend hiring from the Swiss side of the airport, as it is a long walk to the French hire cars and you are forced to drive through the centre of Geneva, rather than take the motorways all the way to Chamonix.
Coaches to Chamonix are run by SAT Bus who operate a regular bus service from the airport, which runs 6 times a day between 8am and 8pm, roughly every 2 hours. The journey takes over 2 hours compared to approximately 1 hour 15 mins in a minibus.
Trains do run to Chamonix, but it involves at least 2 changes and takes a lot longer than the more popular options. The nearest French station is St Gervais/Le Fayet, from where you need to catch the local train to Chamonix itself, or from the Swiss side pick up the Mont Blanc Express train in Martigny. Read more about local transport.
3. Should I hire a car from the French side of the airport?
We recommend to guests to hire from the Swiss side of the airport. Although the French side can be cheaper, there's a long walk to get the car at the airport and you cannot use the Swiss motorways without paying for a "vignette" (~€40). This means you have to drive right through the centre of Geneva rather than an easy motorway all the way to Chamonix.
4. Will I need snow chains?
Although it is rare that you actually need to use chains, they should be carried in the vehicle during the winter months. Sometimes the police will close a road to all vehicles without chains or winter tyres, but more importantly, it is easy to get stuck in fresh snow or risk an accident. Although the majority of our properties are central Chamonix, some are further from the centre and up mountain roads.
5. Is it easy to park in Chamonix?
There are around 3800 parking spaces in and around Chamonix, but the ease of parking varies considerably from low to high season. The free car parks are on the outskirts of town and 3 main pay parking areas in the centre, all of which are free for the first 30 to 60 minutes. The car parks are Place du Mont Blanc (east of centre, 240 places), Parking St Michel (north of centre, 330 places) and Parking Entreves (west of centre, 150 places). For south of the centre and for the Aiguille du Midi, there is the Grepon car park (700 spaces). Much of the street parking is free, except for the town centre itself.
6. Do I need to pay for parking at the different ski areas?
All the lift stations have free parking areas, except Brevent which costs 1€ per hour.