From Geneva Airport there are several ways to get to Chamonix and other ski resorts.
Your choice depends on your budget, the comfort and level of service you’re looking for. With journey times from Geneva Airport to Chamonix varying according to the mode of transport you use, we advise you to look carefully into all the options.
Here’s our guide to the best ways to get to the most popular ski resorts (Chamonix in particular) from Geneva Airport.
How do minibus transfers work?
Shuttle bus services from Geneva Airport offer the most appropriate way of getting to Chamonix and other ski areas in terms of time and efficiency. The journey between Geneva Airport and Chamonix in nine or 13-seater minibuses takes around 75 minutes.
The way it works is a bit like a shared taxi. You book online or by telephone for your single or return transfer from GVA and you travel in one of our minibuses to your chosen destination. Bookings are grouped together to be as cost-effective and time-efficient as possible for you.
When you’re at the airport, how do shared transfers work?
Shared airport transfers are really easy. When you arrive in Geneva at the airport, we’ll be waiting for you at our desk in the arrivals hall, just 30 metres after you come out of the baggage hall on the main Swiss-side of Geneva Airport.
Your driver will take you to your minibus that will be taking you to your destination, dropping you off directly at the door of the address you provided us with on booking (the exceptions being car-free resorts like Zermatt and Avoriaz).
How does the return transfer leg to the airport work?
The night before your return transfer back to the airport, we’ll get it touch to let you know the name and contact details of your driver and your pick up time from the address/location you gave us. Once at Geneva Airport, the minibus will drop you off outside Departures.
How do private transfers from Geneva Airport work?
As well being able to reserve your transfer by individual seat travelling with others, you can also reserve a private transfer with just you and your group onboard.
(Our top tip: if there are at least four of you, a private minibus booking can work out cheaper than four individual seats on a shared transfer!)
Can I travel alone on a private transfer?
Yes, as a fully-licenced operator, Mountain Drop-offs has the authorisation to take single clients on transfer journeys to and from Geneva Airport.
Is there a timetable for Geneva shuttle bus services?
Some transfer companies do operate to a set timetable, whilst others, like Mountain Drop-offs, organise pick up and drop offs according to flight departure and arrivals times at GVA. Each transfer is organised in relation to client needs. You give us your flight times, your in-resort destination and address and we do the rest.
Where will my transfer drop me off then?
Some transfer companies will only drop you off a predefined stops. With Mountain Drop-offs the shuttle bus service drops you off at your door. That’s to say, the address you gave us when making your booking, be it a hotel, an apartment, a public building, camp site, private chalet etc. All that means you won’t be dragging your bags through resort!
Do the minibuses serve the whole of the Chamonix Valley?
Several transfer companies drop passengers off at the main Chamonix bus station, which is in Chamonix Sud. Mountain Drop-offs services from Geneva Airport cover the whole Chamonix valley, including Servoz, Les Houches, Chamonix, Argentiere, Le Tour and Vallorcine.
Going in a minibus to Chamonix – is it for me?
A fleet of modern, well-maintained vehicles guarantees a comfortable transfer journey in complete safety, ensuring you arrive on time. The drive from Geneva Airport to Chamonix takes between and hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. The journey is direct from the airport and the whole of the Chamonix valley is covered.
You’re dropped off at your door and your bags (including skis and bikes when booked in advance) travel with you for free. You can also reserve baby/child booster seats. We think our shared and private transfers suit everyone!
Other ways of getting from the airport at Geneva to Chamonix
The train journey from Geneva Airport to Chamonix can take between three and four hours, depending on which route you take (that’s to say via Annemasse in France, or via Martigny in Switzerland and then Vallorcine). There will be several changes and connections involved, including some bus transfers too. Tickets are more expensive when travelling on the Swiss rail network if you haven’t got a railcard (such as the half-price card, the network card, a day pass etc).
The Leman Express (CEVA) project will link Geneva’s main Cornavin train station to Annemasse via Eaux-Vives from the end of 2019 (operational date to be confirmed), with connecting trains from Annemasse to Saint Gervais-les-Bains Le Fayet. From Le Fayet, you have one last connection onto the Mont Blanc Express. This is the train that runs along the Chamonix valley with hourly departures until around 20:00 according to the season. The journey from Le Fayet to Chamonix is around an hour and it takes about an hour and a half to go all the way to Vallorcine.
(Our top tip: if coming from Paris, there are TGVs that go direct to Geneva Cornavin station. Five trains an hour take just six minutes to get travel from Geneva city centre to Geneva Contain Airport, from where you can hop aboard your Mountain Drop-offs shuttle bus straight to Chamonix, avoiding any more changes)
France’s national coach service companies operate out of Geneva Airport. They offer timetabled coach services to and from the airport. During busy periods, ski and hold baggage carriage is not guaranteed.
The journey, which takes between one hour and 35 minutes to one hour and 50 minutes can be longer due to frequent border controls and intermediate stops along the motorway before the coach heads up to the Chamonix valley. The terminus is the bus station in Chamonix Sud. From there, you’re left to find your own way to your accommodation, usually on foot, or by local bus.
(Our tip tip: you’ll need to calculate your hours yourself for these coach journeys, so when booking your departure time, make sure you allow enough time to check-in, go through security and so on)
You can book hire cars on both the French and main Swiss side of Geneva Airport. Please note that if you hire a car from the French side during the winter period, they are not obliged to come equipped with winter tyres and may not have the ‘vignette’ (sticker) that allows you to drive on the Swiss motorways, which you’ll need if you take the usual route via the Bardonnex border to get into France.
If you hire on the Swiss side of the airport, you will have to take a minibus from the main hire car desk area to P51 parking, where the hire cars are located. This process can take between 30 and 60-minutes during busy periods. Having got your car and if you know the route, you’re looking at around an hour and 15 minutes’ drive to Chamonix via the ‘White Motorway’. Don’t forget, there are two tolls on the motorway between Geneva and Chamonix.
When hiring a car from Switzerland, make sure you let the hire company know you are planning to go to France to avoid any problems in relation to the EU regulations concerning EU citizens hiring Swiss-registered cars and taking them across borders into other countries (which is what happens when you drive from the airport at Geneva to Chamonix).
Once in Chamonix, if there’s no parking where you’re staying, it’s best to head to a paid car park (there are deals for reserving for a week’s stay) as it is almost impossible to park for free any longer than one hour in Chamonix. Expect car parks at the bottom of each main ski area to be very busy during the main school holidays – they are often full before midday.
It’s also worth noting that when there’s heavy snow, the police often set up checkpoints, stopping each car to verify that you have snow tyres and/or chains. And don’t forget a shovel if you park outside – you might need to dig your way out!
(Our top tip: be careful on your return to Geneva Airport. If you hired the car from France and drop it back to the Swiss side (or vice versa) you will be landed with a hefty surcharge. And please note, it’s not easy to find the French side coming back!)
The rules and regulations concerning taxis in Switzerland are very strict. Only licenced taxis registered in Switzerland can collect clients from the airport without a reservation. If you hail a taxi directly from the taxi rank outside arrivals to go to Chamonix it will be expensive.
You pay per person picked up, a contribution to tax and the fare is counted by kilometre. You need to allow between 250 and 300chf according to when you travel for a taxi ride from Geneva Airport to Chamonix. Even if you book a taxi in advance, it will usually cost between 200 and 300chf. And don’t forget, the price is in Swiss Francs.
(Our top tip: be careful if you pay the taxi driver in Euros as the exchange rate won’t be very favourable, usually 1€=1CHF)
For more info on all the ways of getting from Geneva Airport to Chamonix:
If you have any questions on how best to get to Chamonix from the airport at Geneva, don’t hesitate to contact the Chamonix tourist office. If you need any more information on the journey and the shuttle bus services that operated direct from Geneva Airport to Chamonix and other ski resorts across the Alps, have a read of our FAQs or contact the Mountain Drop-offs office in Chamonix on +44 (0)207 0434 874 or +33 (0)4 50 47 17 73 or email us.
Our secure, easy to use website is open 24/7 for online transfers bookings between Geneva Airport and Chamonix as well as many other popular ski resorts.