Getting to the French Alps

There’s a wide variety of options for travelling to the French Alps from the UK or Ireland. Whatever the time of year, the majority of Alpine resorts are very accessible from motorways, airports and train stations.

By air

Numerous low-cost airlines offer affordable flights from major and regional UK airports to the international gateway airports for the French Alps. Chambery, Geneva (Switzerland), Grenoble and Lyon airports all offer excellent access. Onward transfers to the resorts vary between 1-4 hours depending on where you are staying.

  • Fly to Chambery for resorts in the 3 Valleys (1h45), Paradiski (2h20), Espace Killy (2h30) and Maurienne Valley (2-3h).

  • Fly to Geneva for resorts in the Aravis (1h), Grand Massif (1h), Portes du Soleil (1h) and Mont Blanc/Chamonix Valley (1h30).

  • Fly to Grenoble for resorts in Vaujany/Alpe d’Huez (1h30), Les Deux Alpes (1h50), Serre Chevalier (2h) and Montgenèvre (2h30).

  • Lyon is situated slightly further west, but remains an option for all resorts if you don’t mind a longer transfer.

Please note that flights do not usually run on Christmas Day.

CHAMBERY

British Airways: London City, Manchester, London Stansted
Flybe: Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Manchester, Southampton
TUI: Dublin

GENEVA (Switzerland)

British Airways: London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow
easyJet: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Southend, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle, Southampton
Flybe: Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Isle of Man, Jersey, Southampton
Jet2: Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, London Stansted, Manchester
Norwegian Airlines: London Gatwick
Swiss: London City, London Heathrow
Aer Lingus: Dublin

GRENOBLE

British Airways: London Gatwick, London Heathrow
easyJet: Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted
Jet2: Birmingham, East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle
Norwegian Airlines: London Gatwick
Ryanair: Bristol, Dublin, London Stansted
Wizz Air: London Luton
Aurigny: Guernsey

LYON

British Airways: London Gatwick, London Heathrow
easyJet: Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester
Flybe: Birmingham, London Southend, Manchester
Jet2: London Stansted, Manchester
Aer Lingus: Dublin

By car

If you’d prefer to drive to the French Alps, there are ferry ports offering crossings to France from Portsmouth, Newhaven, Southampton, Poole, Plymouth and Dover. Dover has the shortest crossing time, taking just 90 minutes to Calais, but other routes offer overnight crossings which are ideal for families. An alternative route sails from Hull into Zeebrugge (Belgium). Another way to take your car is via the Eurotunnel from Folkestone, taking just 35 minutes and connecting directly with the motorways to the mountains.

By train

You can even travel to the French Alps without leaving the ground or getting behind the wheel. One of the benefits of trains over flights is that there’s no luggage limitation.
From 20th December 2019 until 4th April 2020, you can hop on the Eurostar ski train at London St-Pancras International or Ashford International and be whisked straight to the French Alps at 186mph, arriving at Moûtiers, Aime-la-Plagne or Bourg-St-Maurice. From these stations, it’s just a short coach ride to the resorts of Val Thorens, Val d'Isère, Courchevel, Tignes, Méribel and Les Menuires.
Another option is to travel by Eurostar to Paris, and then change onto a local TGV or SNCF train to Lyon, Chamonix, Annecy, Chambery or Briançon.