It's really easy to get to Avoriaz from all around the world and that's because the ski area is located just 95km from Geneva International airport, the second-largest airport in Switzerland (about one hour and 30 minutes on a good day). Flying isn't your only option, you can drive and there are also trains and coaches available.
Feeling spoiled for choice? That's because you are. However, this also means that there's more than one option to consider when deciding how to come here, and that's what we're here for. We've written the complete guide of the best options to travel to Avoriaz. Let us help you figure out what's the perfect choice for you!
Best ways to get to Avoriaz
Avoriaz is located in southeast France, in the department of Haute-Savoie, part of the Rhône-Alpes region. The town sits at the heart of the Portes du Soleil, one of the largest mountain resorts in the world with 650km of runs across 12 villages and two different countries.
What’s the best way to get to Avoriaz?
We're not just going to give you one route to Avoriaz, and below you'll find what we think are their main pros and cons:
- Pros: Fast – you just can't beat flying for pure speed. Geneva airport also offers the greatest selection of airlines, most frequent flight times and lowest prices, while airport transfers are the fastest way to reach the ski area – you’ll be at your accommodation’s doorstep in one hour and 45 minutes.
- Cons: Carbon footprint – to be honest, we feel a bit bad about flying these days. You can make up for some of this by not hiring a car and opting for an airport transfer instead. More and more transfer companies are trying to offset their emissions and electric transfer vehicles are becoming a common sight on Alpine roads.
The extensive network of European motorways makes it easy to come to Avoriaz by car.
- Pros: Convenience – you'll have a car to move around resort and even visit neighbouring ski areas.
- Cons: Time-consuming and air pollution – it can take quite a long time to reach the Alps and you may have to split your journey into more than one day. You'll also need to consider the impact of your car's emissions on the valley's environment, as this area suffers from high levels of air pollution. Plus, you'll have to be ready and equipped to drive on the snow or in inclement weather conditions while parking in resort or at the foot of the slopes may be difficult during peak seasons. For the winter season, from 1st November until 31st March, it is mandatory to have snow chains in the boot of your car or winter tyres fitted.
Train to Cluses or Thonon-les-Bains
High-speed TGV trains from Paris stop at Cluses and Thonon-les-Bains, around one hour from Avoriaz.
- Pros: Eco-friendly and comfortable – carbon footprint can be reduced by as much as 90% when travelling by train. Trains also have more legroom, so you'll be able to relax while you enjoy the everchanging scenery and even take a stroll along the aisles or visit the onboard café.
- Cons: Speed – travelling by train takes longer than flying for more or less the same amount of money, especially if you can't get a direct train from Paris to Cluses or Thonon-les-Bains. However, transfers from the train stations are much shorter so you'll catch up time, plus you won't have to wait at the airport.
Coach or long-distance bus
It's possible to get to Avoriaz on a coach or long-distance bus, although it's probably our least favourite option.
- Pros: Price – coming to Avoriaz by coach is usually the cheapest alternative (although this isn't always the case). Plus, coaches are more environmentally friendly than flying, releasing seven times less CO2 per person. Buses are also quite sociable so you may get the chance to make new friends before you set foot on the slopes.
- Cons: Less comfortable and more time-consuming – it can take up to 20 hours to reach Avoriaz and buses aren't the most comfortable places to sleep on, you'll be quite exhausted when you reach the pistes!
Flying to Avoriaz
Our experience has taught us that flying is the most convenient way to travel to Avoriaz – it’s faster, easier and sometimes cheaper than any other means of transport.
Which airports are near Avoriaz?
At a glance, these are the main travel hubs for Avoriaz. Times and distances are approximate and can be affected by snow, bad weather or peak holiday times:
|Nearest Airports to Avoriaz | Times & Distances|
Where do you fly to for Avoriaz?
Geneva is the nearest airport to Avoriaz. It offers frequent flights to and from many European destinations, including cities all around the UK, as well as capitals in America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Flight times to Geneva airport from most cities in Europe are under two hours, with London just one hour and 40 minutes away and Paris even closer, at one hour and 10 minutes.
Below is a list of European flight destinations to and from Geneva airport. Bear in mind that some international flights may only be available during the high season, while their frequency may increase during the winter months, from December to March-April.
|Geneva Airport | Direct Flight Destinations & Airlines|
|UK and Ireland||Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham & Southampton||Aer Lingus, British Airways, Easyjet, Flybe, Jet2.com, Swiss|
|Northern and Central Europe||Austria (Vienna), Belgium (Brussels), Denmark (Copenhagen), Finland (Helsinki), France (Ajaccio, Bastia, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Calvi, Figari, La Rochelle, Lille, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Rennes & Toulouse), Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg & Munich), Latvia (Riga), Luxembourg, Netherlands (Amsterdam), Norway (Oslo), Sweden (Stockholm & Goteborg), Switzerland (Zurich)||AirBaltic, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Easyjet, Eurowings, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, Luxair, Norwegian, SAS, Swiss, Transavia|
|Southern Europe||Greece (Athens, Heraklion & Kalamata), Italy (Brindisi, Cagliari, Catania, Milan, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Rome & Venice), Portugal (Faro, Lisbon & Porto), Spain (Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela, Tenerife & Valencia)||Aegean, Alitalia, Easyjet, Iberia, Swiss, TAP, Vueling|
|Eastern Europe||Albania (Tirana), Belarus (Minsk), Bulgaria (Sofia), Czech Republic (Prague), Hungary (Budapest), Poland (Krakow & Warsaw), Romania (Bucharest), Russia (Moscow & St Petersburg), Serbia (Belgrade & Pristina), Ukraine (Kyiv)||Aeroflot, Belavia, Easyjet, LOT, Swiss, UIA, WizzAir|
Geneva airport also offers direct flights to and from America (US and Canada), Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco and Tunisia), Asia (China) and the Middle East (Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar and UAE).
Getting from the airport to Avoriaz
Geneva is only 95km away from the centre of Avoriaz. There are several ways to make the trip, including airport transfers, regular buses and even trains.
How do you get to Avoriaz from Geneva airport?
The easiest and fastest way to get to Avoriaz is to book an airport transfer. The Geneva to Avoriaz transfer time is around one hour 45 minutes but will be longer on snowy days and in peak weeks, such as Christmas, New Year, school holidays and Easter. Learn more on our Transfers Guide page and book your transfer on our Airport Transfers page.
Trains to Avoriaz
Travelling to Avoriaz by train isn't necessarily the easiest or fastest option as you will have to change trains a few times along the way. However, it's a great option when considering the impact of your journey on the environment, as it's been proved to be more eco-friendly than flying. Trains also allow you to carry more luggage without additional charges.
How do you get to Avoriaz by train?
Cluses (42km) and Thonon-les-Bains (45km) are the two train stations closest to Avoriaz, around a one hour drive from the centre of resort. Trains to and from Paris stop here. It's also possible to travel from London to Avoriaz by train – the train travel time is around 10-12 hours. We've compiled a very comprehensive guide with all you need to know to get to Avoriaz by train.
Driving to Avoriaz
Bringing your own vehicle with you to Avoriaz is a good choice if you want to have more flexibility once you’re here. However, bear in mind that Avoriaz is a car-free resort so you'll have to leave your vehicle at one of the available paying car parks at the Prodains cable car or the entrance of resort – find more information on our Parking in Avoriaz page.
How do you get from the UK to Avoriaz by car?
It's not a short trip from the UK to Avoriaz but it can be done in one or two days, depending on where you leave from. Most people driving from Britain to France will need to cross the English Channel from Dover to Calais, the nearest French town. The Calais to Avoriaz driving time is around nine hours for a distance of just under 830km. The most direct route is via the French motorways A26, A5, A31, A39 and A40.
You can cross the Channel by the Eurotunnel or a cross-Channel ferry which takes cars from Dover to Calais in around 90 minutes. We recommend you book your tickets in advance. There are also ferries from Portsmouth and Poole to Caen, Cherbourg and St. Malo, in the north of France while, from Hull near Leeds, you can travel by ferry to Zeebrugge in Belgium and then make your way down to Avoriaz.
Another thing to take into consideration when bringing your car to Avoriaz is that the road on the way up to resort from Contamine-sur-Arve, where you’ll leave the motorway, is around 60km long (a 1hr20 drive more or less) and quite winding in places. Even though snow clearers operate every day in winter, driving conditions can be challenging. For the winter season (from 1st November until 31st March), it is now mandatory to have snow chains in the boot of your car or winter tyres fitted, and local police carry out regular spot checks. To learn more, read our Driving to Avoriaz Guide.
Coaches & long-distance buses to Avoriaz
Getting to Avoriaz by coach takes considerably longer than flying. However, it’s also usually cheaper, making it a good option when travelling on a low budget. There are a number of international coach companies that travel between the largest cities in Europe and Lyon, Grenoble and Geneva, from where a bus or transfer will take you to Avoriaz. These include FlixBus, Eurolines, BlaBlaBus and RegioJet.
Are there any regular coach services from the UK to Avoriaz?
Yes! There are regular coach services from London Victoria Coach Station to Cluses in the winter, stopping at Folkestone and operated by Snow Express. The London Victoria to Cluses coach travel time is around 18 hours. These coaches run every week, leaving on Friday evening and returning on Saturday evening, travelling through the night to allow you to spend more time on the slopes. From Cluses, you’ll have to take a bus to Avoriaz. Find the current bus timetables on our Bus Services page.
Bringing your skis, snowboard or bike to Avoriaz
Airlines, trains and transfer companies are well versed in catering for customers who travel with their own sports equipment. Each company will have its own individual policy terms and conditions depending on the type of gear you are transporting so it’s well worth checking the details in advance. Here's a snapshot of the different transport options and a guide to their restrictions:
How to bring your sports gear to Avoriaz by plane
Most airlines charge a fee for taking skis, snowboards, bikes, golf clubs, parachutes and mountaineering equipment on board, so check before you book. However, a few airlines, such as Swiss, will fly the first set of skis or snowboard for free. Also, make sure you pack your gear well and ensure it falls within the packaging guidelines specified by the carrier.
How to bring your sports equipment to Avoriaz by train
On Eurostar trains from Paris, you can take one pair of skis or one snowboard onboard for free with you as part of your standard two-bag luggage allowance. Skis are also allowed for free in TGV trains. Bikes can be transported in special luggage carriages or on board when disassembled and stored in a carrying case in French trains, although fees may apply so check before you book.
Can you bring skis, snowboards or bikes with you in airport transfers?
Shuttle buses are usually well equipped to transport sports equipment but it’s always important to let them know exactly what you’re bringing so that they can ensure they have sufficient capacity. Sports equipment may be subject to a surcharge, please ask when booking.