Archive for June, 2023

Top Alpine Ski Resorts Within Easy Access of Geneva Airport

June 24th, 2023

Cheap flights and packages mean that skiing near Geneva is one of the most popular options for UK winter sports people. Here are some accessible options.

For anyone keen to escape on a ski break, it’s hard to go past the range and accessibility of the Alps, which span a host of fantastic resorts in France and Switzerland. With ski companies offering great catered or self-catering holiday packages and an excellent choice of budget flights from the UK, it’s never been easier to slip away to enjoy some quality time on some of the best pistes in Europe.

Getting to the Alps

While there are other smaller airports that service the Alps’ ski resorts, the most popular for UK travellers to fly into is Geneva Airport. Located on the French-Swiss border, it is the hub for ski resorts in both countries (although all international passengers must pass through Swiss customs).

The airport’s appeal for skiers lies in its location within such easy distance of many resorts, ensuring that precious ski time is not wasted on travelling. From the airport, specialised ski transfer services will get you the final leg of your journey to any number of resorts where you can go skiing near Geneva – many of which can be reached within an hour by road. Depending on your airport of origin in the UK, this means you could feasibly be on the slopes of the Alps within just a few hours of leaving home!

Here are some convenient Alps’ resorts in three different areas to consider if you’re looking to go skiing near Geneva.

Chamonix (Mont Blanc)

At an altitude of 1000-3300m, Chamonix is a firm favourite with intermediate and expert skiers and encompasses a huge number of slopes. With a backdrop of the dramatic and imposing Mont Blanc, and with resorts taking in France, Switzerland and across to Italy, Chamonix is staggering in its scope and diversity.

Getting there: You can get to Chamonix from Geneva by rail if you wish, although it is a rather convoluted journey as there is no direct route, and it can take up to three and a half hours. There is a regular bus service that runs between Geneva Airport and Chamonix, which takes around two hours, and you can also hire a car and drive yourself – although, unless your accommodation includes garaging facilities, you may find parking problems. The easiest way to get to Chamonix is on one of the excellent ski transfer shuttles from Geneva Airport, which will have you at your resort in just over an hour.

Avoriaz (Portes de Soleil)

Part of the giant Portes de Soleil ski region, Avoriaz, its highest point, is a ‘snow sure’ resort that’s a superb choice for skiers who like to mix things up a bit in terms of terrain. With high altitude pistes, cross country trails and plenty of tree-lined runs to suit all ages and skill levels, Avoriaz is also an excellent family resort.

Getting there: Getting to Avoriaz from Geneva Airport takes around 90 minutes by road. As the resort is traffic free, if you choose to hire a car you’ll have to leave it in the car park outside. You can take a scheduled public coach from the airport, but with a number of stops and fully-laden with passengers, it can take up to a couple of hours to get there.
Pre-booked private or shared ski transfers are your best bet; the driver will drop you at the Avoriaz cable car, which takes you to the lower end of the resort, or at the Welcome Centre, from where you can get a free shuttle to your accommodation.

Samoëns (Grand Massif)

A tiny jewel in the Grand Massif crown, Samoëns is one of the most traditional French resorts in the Alps. If you like cosy accommodation, an authentic French local population, mouth-watering local Savoyard cuisine and the feeling that you might just have ‘gotten away from it all’, Samoëns is an excellent choice. There’s no shortage of pistes (265km in fact) for skiers of all abilities, and Samoëns is linked to other Grand Massif resorts Flaine, Morillon, Sixt and Les Carroz.

Getting there: If you hire a car at Geneva Airport and drive yourself, it’s recommended that you get your rental from the Swiss side, as this provides the easiest access out of the airport and on to the A40 in the direction of Chamonix. There is a public bus service that runs from the airport to Chamonix, and then you’ll need to get on a local bus for the 20-minute ride to Samoëns.

The easiest way to get to Samoëns is by the pre-booked ski transfer services that run from the airport direct to the resort. If you choose a private service you’ll be the only passenger, but there are also cheaper shared services that are just as convenient.

Don’t waste valuable time travelling to and from your holiday. The above is just a sample of the excellent resorts where you can go skiing near Geneva within ninety minutes of the airport – there are plenty more to choose from!