Should you fly to Chambéry or Geneva on a ski trip?

The short answer is: Geneva.

The long answer is: You should almost always fly to Geneva.

The main problem with flying to Chambéry is that the runway runs North to South in a very deep valley and is at the end of a lake (the lac du bourget). As you may know, valleys can “trap” cloud. If you have ever skied on a nice sunny day and taken a look down at the “sea of clouds” in the valley below you will know what I mean. As you may also know, areas around lakes can get misty, the so called “smoke on the water” effect. So if you combine the steep mountains, low cloud and mist, you will understand why the runway is often shut at Chambéry airport in the winter (the real reason will need to be explained by a pilot as it has something to do with a visual approach and lack of equipment at Chambéry).

The second biggest problem with Chambéry is that it is tiny. There are 2 luggage carousels and what often seems like only 2 people to put luggage on them. Therefore, if 2 aircraft arrive within a short space of time then you could end up waiting an age for your luggage (this happens all day on Saturdays).

Another issue is that if you are heading towards the majority of big ski resorts from Chambéry (Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy…) then the road from Chambéry to Albertville can be a nightmare on Saturdays, with huge delays caused by traffic jams.

It is not all bad. If you fly to Chambéry on any other day than a Saturday and the weather is fine and your flight is on time, then you will be on the slopes in record time. However, if you are planning to fly on a Saturday, or you play by the law of averages, then you are best off flying to Geneva as the often advertised 45 minute reduction in journey time is unlikely to happen.

You can compare prices for transfers from Geneva airport and prices for transfers from Chambéry airport to the alps by asking for quotes from local companies on FindTransfers.com

Let us know if you have had any good or bad experiences flying in to Chambéry and heading to the slopes!

 

Driving from Geneva Airport to the Three Valleys, Espace Killy and Paradiski

What is the best way of driving from Geneva Airport to the big resorts of the Tarentaise Valley? The resorts we are talking about here are Méribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Val Thorens, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Tignes, Val d’Isere and all of the smaller villages in between.

There are two main options when driving from Geneva airport to the 3 Valleys, Paradiski or Espace Killy, with some sub-options.

Option 1: Motorway via Chambéry

If you type Geneva airport to any of the above resorts in to a mapping application, the first choice is often to take the long way round, and travel via Chambéry. Whilst on a good day this could take a few minutes less than option 2, the route via Chambéry is almost 50 km further (approx 35 miles). On top of this, it takes you much, much further on France’s expensive motorways so not only will you spend loads more on fuel, but you will also spend more money on tolls.

The upside with option 1 is that there is slightly less chance of getting lost. You follow signs out of Geneva airport for France, then Annecy, then Chambéry then Albertville. When you are on the dual carriageway at Albertville this is where you meet up with the route of option 2.

Option 2: Via Lake Annecy

If you are quite confident driving in a foreign country, and you have a bit of a sense of direction, then take this option.

After taking the new motorway from Geneva to Annecy, leave the motorway at Annecy-Sud (Annecy South) and follow the green signs for Albertville. This will take you through Annecy and then along the shores of Lake Annecy, which is lovely.

If you have a sat nav or a map, then try to go on the other side of the Lake, via Talloires. Not only is the traffic quieter on this side but the views are even better.

Option 3: Transfers from Geneva to 3 Valleys, Paradiski and Espace Killy

You might not have been expecting a third option, but it is by far the best. Use the FindTransfers website to find the best price on transfers from Geneva Airport.

With option 3, you do not have the stress of driving, the expense of parking an empty car and you get to see the amazing views.

Good luck and have a great time!