© Chris Barbalis
How to Get to Avoriaz
Discover the top ways to get to Avoriaz
It's really easy to get to Avoriaz because it's located just 95km from Geneva International airport. But flying isn't your only option, you can always drive and there are trains and coaches that come here too.
Whilst there's more than one route option to consider, there's no ignoring the environmental cost of a ski holiday. The means by which you travel to your holiday contributes around 50-70% of its carbon footprint, and with global warming and melting glaciers making the headlines daily, when figuring out what's 'best' for you, you may wish to also consider what's best for the environment.
Let us help you figure it out with our complete guide for getting to Avoriaz.
Plane: Flying to the Alps generates nearly seven times as much carbon than travelling by train
Train: France's electrified rail network has one of the world's lowest carbon footprints
Driving: Travelling by car with four to five people can make a significant difference in CO2 output in comparison to flying
Easiest way 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?
Whilst there's no denying the convenience of flying, we would encourage you to at least consider the alternatives. We're not going to give you just one route to Avoriaz, and below you'll find what we think are the main pros and cons:
|How to get to Avoriaz|
|Flight & Transfer||Fastest||Environmental cost|
|Coach / Bus||Price||Time consuming
Less comfort (if overnight)
Flying and Airport transfer
The fastest way to get to Avoriaz is to fly to Geneva and then get an airport transfer.
Fast – You can't beat flying for pure speed. Geneva airport 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 1h45.
Carbon footprint – To be honest, we should all feel bad about flying these days. There are numerous ways to off-set your carbon, and increasingly transfer companies are putting on larger vehicles and hybrid/electric transfer vehicles are becoming a common sight on Alpine roads.
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.
Eco-friendly – Carbon footprint can be reduced by as much as 90% when travelling by train.
Comfortable – Trains have generous legroom, allowing you to relax and enjoy the ever-changing scenery, and even take a stroll along the aisles or visit the onboard café.
Speed – Takes longer than flying, especially if you can't get a direct train from Paris to Cluses/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.
The extensive network of European motorways makes it easy to come to Avoriaz by car.
Convenience – No luggage restrictions, you can bring what you want from home, ideal when self-catering.
Parking – As a completely car free resort there is no parking in the town itself, there are four carparks located just outside the resort which will charge you to park there. These car parks are very busy during peak weeks and it can be difficult to find a space.
Time-consuming – It can take quite a long time to reach the Alps and depending on where you're coming from you may wish to split your journey into more than one day.
Pollution – As an area that suffers from high levels of air pollution, you should consider the impact of your car's emissions on the environment,
Challenging conditions – Your vehicle will need to be equipped to drive on snow and/or in inclement weather. From 1st November until 31st March, it is mandatory to have snow chains in the boot of your car or winter tyres fitted.
Coach / Long-distance bus
Probably the least popular option, it is possible to get to [resort] on a coach or long-distance bus.
Price – Usually the cheapest alternative.
Environment – Coaches are more environmentally friendly than flying, releasing seven times less CO2 per person.
Sociable – Buses can be quite sociable, so you may make new friends before you set foot on the slopes.
Less comfortable – Buses aren't the most comfortable places to sleep, so you'll likely be quite tired when you reach the pistes.
Time-consuming – Depending on which city you are travelling from, it can take up to 20 hours to reach Avoriaz.
Flying to Avoriaz
Flying is undoubtedly the more convenient way to travel to Avoriaz – it’s faster, easier and sometimes cheaper than other means of transport. However, there's no denying the environmental cost is huge.
Which airports are near 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 capital cities from across the world. Flight times to Geneva airport from most cities in Europe are under two hours, with London just 1h40 away and Paris even closer at 1h10. Bear in mind that some flight options will only be available during the high season with frequency increasing during the peak holiday periods.
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|
Getting from the airport to Avoriaz
There are several ways to make the trip from Geneva airport to resort, 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 1h45 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.
Getting to Avoriaz by train
Travelling to Avoriaz by train isn't necessarily the easiest or fastest option, but it is proven to be considerably more eco-friendly than flying. Whilst your train journey will inevitably include changing trains, it will allow you to carry more luggage without additional charges, avoids long waiting times in airports, and certainly for a trip from London to Avoriaz it doesn't take much longer when you take into account transfer times.
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 a day, 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 to France from Folkestone to Calais by Eurotunnel in 35 minutes, or take a Channel ferry 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 1h20 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 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.
Getting to Avoriaz by coach
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:
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.
On Eurostar trains 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 on French trains, either in special luggage carriages or in passenger carriages when stored in a bike-specific carrying case, although fees may apply so check before you book.
Transfer 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.