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Trains in Avoriaz

Discover & book Avoriaz train services

Updated

Relaxing on a train with friends or family, scenery gliding by as your ski resort gets ever closer is a great way to travel – a way to make the journey feel like it’s part of the holiday. There’s more legroom than flying or driving and you can get up and walk down to the café bar. As well as buying a meal and drinks there, you can also bring your own food and drink on board so, if you get a table seat, you can create your own picnic. You can chat with friends, play games, read, watch films, work, snooze – the train journey is time to do stuff you enjoy on your way to Avoriaz.

To be honest, Avoriaz isn't the easiest ski resort to travel to by train. However, where there's a will, there's a way! This complete guide has all the information you need to decide whether you should come to Avoriaz by train, including a walkthrough with all the steps you need to take to hit the slopes full steam ahead.

Nearest train station to Avoriaz

There is no train station in Avoriaz but this doesn't mean that you can't travel to the Portes du Soleil by train, you'll just have to take a bus, a taxi or a transfer for the last part of your journey.

What's the closest train station to Avoriaz?
There are two train stations near Avoriaz: Cluses (42km) and Thonon-les-Bains (45km). High-speed TGV trains from Paris stop here. It takes around an hour to reach both of them. Read the section on 'Getting from the train station to Avoriaz' for information on how to get from the train station to the ski area. Some airport transfers may also be able to pick you up in Cluses as it's on the route from Geneva airport – we recommend you ask them directly.

The town of Cluses is located in the Arve Valley, just off the A40 motorway that links Geneva and the Portes du Soleil. Cluses train station is around 42km from the centre of Avoriaz. Thonon-les-Bains, on the other hand, is a spa town on the shores of Lake Leman, part of Greater Geneva. The Thonon-les-Bains train station is just over 45km from the heart of Avoriaz.

Trains to and from Paris stop in Cluses and Thonon-les-Bains, as well as to and from the main towns in the region, including Annecy, Annemasse and Bellegarde.

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Journey time to Avoriaz by train

Coming to Avoriaz by train isn't as speedy as flying here, in fact, it can take twice as much time. However, train travel is more sustainable and environmentally-friendly – studies have shown that carbon footprint can be reduced by as much as 90% when travelling by train as compared to flying. Coming by train also has its charms. As well as more legroom, on a train you can enjoy the everchanging scenery – from urban London to the French countryside and the majestic Alps, it never gets boring.

How long does it take to get to Avoriaz by train?
It depends on where you're travelling from. The London to Avoriaz train travel time is around 10 to 12 hours while the Paris to Avoriaz train travel time is about 7 hours, taking into account connections and transfers.

Train prices to Avoriaz

Train ticket prices depend on multiple factors: the time of year (peak weeks like Christmas, New Year, February half-term and Easter can be considerably more expensive), your age (there are discounts for children), the size of your group, your destination and even how far in advance you've booked.

Our top tip is that you try and book as early as possible. Eurostar ski train tickets usually go out for sale in mid-July and that's when they're at their cheapest. TGV train tickets from Paris to other French cities are normally available to buy 120 to 90 days before your travel time and, again, the earlier you book the lower the price will be.

How much does it cost to travel to Avoriaz by train?
Once more, it depends. On average, one-way standard prices for the full trip between London and Avoriaz by train range between around €140 and 250. If it's Paris you're travelling from, then one-way standard prices for the full trip range between around €70 and €110.

A few accommodation providers and transfer companies offer special discounts for those coming to Avoriaz by train, so it's worth asking when booking!

Travelling by train in France

SNCF (Societé Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français) is France's national railway company, owned by the French state, operating throughout continental France and Monaco. There are over 32,000 kilometres of railway laid all across the country, a good chunk of them sustaining high-speed services, the world-renowned TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) which reaches average speeds of around 320km/h. Trains connect cities and towns all around France and even cross the border into Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. Many routes will begin in Paris, stopping at convenient stations throughout the country before arriving near Avoriaz.

How do you get from Paris to Avoriaz by train?
There are very few trains running between Paris and Cluses or Thonon-les-Bains. This direct line operates only during the high season (usually from December to mid-April and in July and August) and mostly on weekends, with a couple of direct trains running on Saturdays.

If the direct train times don't suit you, you'll need to take two different trains, connecting in Bellegarde. Hop on a TGV train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Bellegarde. These run a few times per day, taking between 2 hours 40 minutes and 3 hours to reach their destination. From Bellegarde, change to a TER train which will take you to Cluses in around 1 hour 40 minutes, or to Thonon-les-Bains in around 1 hour 20 minutes. Regular public buses run from the train stations in Thonon-les-Bains and Cluses to Avoriaz (see 'Getting from the train station to Avoriaz').

London to Avoriaz by train

There are no direct Eurostar ski trains from London to Avoriaz. This means that, in order to get from the UK capital to Cluses or Thonon-les-Bains train stations, you'll need to take a minimum of two trains plus a local Paris metro, commuter train or taxi.

How do you get from London to Avoriaz by train? – A step by step guide
There's more than one way to get from London to Avoriaz by train depending on the time of year, your dates and the available train connections.

The quickest route: From London to Avoriaz via Paris
Taking at least 10 hours, the fastest route to get to Avoriaz from London by train is via Paris.

  1. Hop on a Eurostar train from London St Pancras or Ashford (Kent) to Paris Gare du Nord. This journey takes around 2 hours and 15-30 minutes.
  2. You'll need to change train stations in Paris, from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon. There are several ways to do it and you should allow at least one hour for this connection:
    • Book a taxi. It takes between 20 and 50 minutes, depending on traffic, and costs around €20.
    • Get on Line D of the RER (‘Réseau Express Régional’) suburban commuter trains towards Melun/Malesherbes. It takes under 10 minutes and single tickets cost around €2.
    • Hop on Metro Line 4 towards Montrouge and change in Chatelet to Metro Line 14 towards Olympiades. It takes 15 minutes and single tickets cost around €2.
  3. Hop on a high-speed TGV train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Thonon-les-Bains or Cluses. Direct trains from Paris run only a few times per week during the high season (generally December to mid-April and July and August), mostly on weekends. The journey time is around 4 hours and 40 minutes.
  4. Regular public buses run from the train stations in Thonon-les-Bains and Cluses to Avoriaz (see 'Getting from the train station to Avoriaz' below).

No direct train from Paris to Cluses or Thonon: From London to Avoriaz via Bellegarde
Managing to get a direct train from Paris to Cluses or Thonon-les-Bains isn't easy as they're very few and far between. When this happens, you have two options to get to Morzine once you're in Paris: via Bellegarde or via Geneva.

Bellegarde-sur-Valserine is a town near Geneva that serves as a gateway to the Alps. The total travel time from London to Avoriaz via Bellegarde is around 12 hours.

  1. From Paris Gare de Lyon, hop on a TGV train to Bellegarde. These run a few times per day, taking between 2 hours 40 minutes and 3 hours to reach their destination.
  2. From Bellegarde, change to a TER regional train which will take you to Cluses in around 1 hour 40 minutes, or to Thonon-les-Bains in around 1 hour 20 minutes.
  3. Regular public buses run from the train stations in Thonon-les-Bains and Cluses to Avoriaz (see 'Getting from the train station to Avoriaz' below).

A different approach: From London to Avoriaz via Geneva
Geneva is another great choice when direct trains from Paris to Thonon or Cluses aren't an option. Travel time, in this case, starts at around 10 hours.

  1. Take a TGV train to Geneva from Paris Gare de Lyon. The journey takes around 3 hours 15 minutes.
  2. From Geneva, book an airport transfer to Avoriaz. Some companies may pick you up at the train station, otherwise, there are local trains from Geneva train station to the airport (7 minutes), from where all transfers leave.

Summer only: From London to Avoriaz via Lyon
In the summer, from June to September, Eurostar runs direct trains from London Saint Pancras to Lyon via Lille. This trip involves two train connections and the total journey time starts at around 10 hours.

  1. Hop on a direct train from London St Pancras to Lyon Part-Dieu. These trains operate on Friday and Saturday morning, returning from Lyon on Friday, Saturday and Monday evening. The journey time is around 6 hours and one-way fares start at £50.
  2. In Lyon, change to a regional TER train headed for Bellegarde (around 1hr30)
  3. From Bellegarde, another regional TER train will take you to Cluses (around 1hr35) or Thonon (around 1hr15).
  4. Regular public buses run from the train stations in Thonon-les-Bains and Cluses to Avoriaz (see 'Getting from the train station to Avoriaz').

Getting from the train station to Avoriaz

Avoriaz is around one hour by taxi from Cluses and Thonon-les-Bains train stations, and the journey starts at around €90. Some airport transfers may also be able to pick you up in Cluses as it's on the route from Geneva airport – we recommend you ask them directly. 

There are also regular public bus services running from Cluses and Thonon-les-Bains to Avoriaz every day throughout the year, with increased frequencies during the high seasons. One-way tickets start at €8.

How do you get from Cluses or Thonon-les-Bains train station to Avoriaz?
The bus station in Cluses, known as the 'gare routière', is located right beside the train station. SAT bus number 91 will drop you off in Avoriaz in around 1 hour and 30 minutes via Morzine and Les Gets. This bus only stops in Avoriaz once per day on Saturdays in the winter. For any other times and dates, you can be dropped off at the departure of the Prodains lift, which will whizz you up to Avoriaz in under 5 minutes.

In Thonon-les-Bains, the 'gare routière' is also near the train station, about a 2-minute walk. Again, SAT bus 91 (same number but different bus line) will take around 45 minutes (33km) to reach the bus station in Morzine. From Morzine, you'll need to get a free shuttle bus (Line A) to the Prodains cable car (around 10 minutes) and then the lift up to Avoriaz.

Find the current bus timetables on our Bus Services page.

Bus Services in Avoriaz

Booking train tickets to Avoriaz

For more information and timetables or to purchase train tickets online, visit the Eurostar website to buy your trip from London to Paris and the SNCF (National French Railway Services) website for your train travel within France. If you have questions, you can also book by phone but bear in mind that there's usually a booking fee that you need to pay.

Luggage & sports equipment on trains to Avoriaz

Being able to carry more luggage with you is one of the main bonuses of travelling to Morzine by train when you compare it with flying, especially if you want to bring your fat powder skis, heavy split board or your bulky downhill mountain bike.

How much luggage can you carry on Eurostar trains?
Eurostar's standard luggage allowance includes two large bags (85cm max) and one small piece of hand luggage. On Eurostar trains to Lyon you can carry one pair of skis or one snowboard with you in addition to your two bags. However, on trains to Paris, skis and snowboards are included as one of your two large pieces of luggage. They must be kept in a protective case that covers them.

Bikes can only be taken on Eurostar trains between London, Paris and Brussels. All non-folding bikes or those over 85cm long need to travel with EuroDespatch, Eurostar's luggage service. Boxed bicycles will be transported for a fee of £30-£40 and fully assembled bikes for £35-£55. Limited spaces available. If you're travelling with any dangerous sports equipment such as mountaineering gear like ice axes or crampons, you'll need to contact EuroDespatch in advance.

How much luggage can you carry on French trains?
French TGV and TER trains let you bring luggage and bikes (boxed or in a bag measuring max. 120 x 90cm) with you. There is no maximum number of pieces or weight limit but you must be able to carry all your luggage by yourself. Skis are also allowed on TGV trains (max. 2m).

Snowcarbon Journey Planner to Avoriaz

Snowcarbon was launched in 2009 as the one-stop source for train travel to the Alps after its founder, Daniel, realised how hard it was to figure out which ski resorts could be reached by train and how. They offer a very helpful tool, the Snowcarbon Journey Planner which you can use to design your train trip, from viewing the recommended journey times for any date during the season to journey and transfer information to and from the train station.

More inspiration...

In our experience, the most convenient way to get to Avoriaz is to fly to Geneva and then and then get an airport transfer. Learn all about the best ways to get here on our Getting Here Guide.

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How to Get to Avoriaz