About Getting to Avoriaz
If you're not taking a package holiday, where travel to your resort is already catered for, then you might want to consider how you're going to get to France and Avoriaz.
What are the options to consider if you’re coming to Avoriaz in either winter or summer? Should you fly or self-drive? How do I get from the airport to resort? What about bringing skis or bikes with you? What’s the quickest way to get here? Or the cheapest?
At a glance, these are the main travel hubs for Avoriaz, Geneva being the best option by far:
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Best way to get here
If you are travelling from outside of France, then flying into Geneva is likely to be the quickest way to get to Avoriaz. Avoriaz is then a transfer (taxi or minibus) or a bus ride away from the airport, unless you're driving yourself.
Geneva is the closest airport (1h 45 mins) and has a great choice of airlines offering good value on flights year round. The next closest airport at Chambery is a little further away (2 hours) but has more limited flight options as it's only used in winter.
You can also get the fast TGV trains to Paris or Lyon and then onto Cluses or Thonon or take one of the dedicated 'snow trains' which run throughout the ski season (read more about trains below).
In winter, there are four main airports you could fly into (see below) whilst in summer, flights only operate to Geneva and Lyon.
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Geneva Airport is extremely well connected from most UK and European cities, year round and as the closest airport to Avoriaz is the obvious choice. Flights to Geneva are much more competitively priced because of higher passenger volumes and you can pick up Swiss chocolate and fancy Swiss watches on your way through!
Chambery Airport is where most Tour Operators fly into in winter although you can get independent flights here too. Once you’ve arrived, we recommend you take a private transfer to resort as this is easier and faster than taking lots of connections on public transport.
Lyon Airport is also a viable option, sitting somewhere between Grenoble and Geneva in all respects - geographically, for passenger and flights volumes, flight pricing, although transfer times are a little longer and therefore slightly more expensive.
Grenoble airport is also used by a number of winter tour operators and again we'd recommend a private transfer to resort.
Once you’ve arrived at the airport you’ll need a transfer to Avoriaz, which you can do via private taxi or minibus, hire car, coach, train or public buses. Travel times vary for each airport, as do the respective transfer costs. Read more in our Transfers Guide.
There are an increased number of international flights to the above airports during the winter months, operating from December to March/April. In summer, the same airlines fly out here but your choice of departure and arrival airports is reduced. Use our Flight Finder via the link below to search for the best flights for your trip.
If you’re bringing sports equipment with you, don’t forget to check how much extra the airline might charge you for carriage and give yourself extra time to get this additional equipment checked in. Often the excess baggage areas are separate from the main check in desks, so make sure you get there with plenty of time to potentially do two check-ins. You should be able to find out more information about prices and check in desks either on the airline website, on your tickets or email confirmation.
Transfers to Resort
Once you reach the airport, bus or train station, the most popular option for onward travel to Avoriaz is to take a transfer. Most transfers for Avoriaz are offered on a private basis although shared transfers are also available, either of which can drop you at the entrance to resort, or at the bottom of the Prodains Cable Car, which is more likely. You can buy tickets for the cable car on site and it's open later on weekends to allow people to connect to resort.
Alternatively you can catch on of the public buses from Geneva Airport to resort, or if you're coming by train take the bus from either Cluses or Thonon (see more on buses below).
Also see: Transfer Options for Avoriaz
The closest hub bus station is in the centre of Geneva (Gare Routiere) and there are regular public buses that run from here to Avoriaz via Cluses or Thonon, or you can pick up similar connections from Geneva Airport. Using public buses can help keep the costs down on your trip to Avoriaz, however it can take considerably longer and may involve a few changes along the way.
It takes around 1 hour from Geneva Gare Routiere to Thonon-les-Bains (line T71) and then a further hour or so from Thonon to Avoriaz resort (line 91). Or alternatively it takes 1 hour 20 minutes from Geneva Airport to Cluses (Line T74) and then a further 50 minutes into Morzine centre. From here you can catch the local bus line A round to the Prodains Cable Car and up into Avoriaz.
Ideally you want to catch a bus that takes you to 'Avoriaz Station' at the entrance of the resort, or the alternative is to get off at the Prodains Cable Car which then takes you up into resort without having to drive up the hill. Taking the cable car is a popular choice and you can buy tickets at the lift pass office at the bottom once you arrive.
Avoriaz is pedestrianised, so once you're in resort you can pick up one of the luggage sledges or one of the famous horse & carts to take you to your accommodation.
Also see: Bus Services in Avoriaz
The nearest train stations for Avoriaz are Cluses and Thonon-les-bains which are both around 1 hour away by road.
International trains connect to Cluses from Paris either by Eurostar & TGV or by Eurostar & an overnight service from Paris taking around 4.5 hours. You can also take an international train to Lyon Part-dieu and then on to Cluses on a regional train which takes around 3 hours.
If you’re travelling from the UK, the Eurostar leaves from London or Kent and takes you into Paris, where you pick up connecting TGV train via Bellegarde (in Switzerland) and onto Cluses via a regional express train. The night train also connects with the Eurostar in Paris, operating every night during the ski season and takes you to Cluses in around 7.5 hours - the same length of time as the daytime service.
If you'd prefer to head to Thonon-les-bains station instead, you can catch the Paris to Bellegarde train and then change for Thonon when you reach Bellegarde. This journey can take anything from 8-9 hours upwards from the UK depending on the number of changes on route.
Regular buses from Cluses and Thonon then bring you up to Avoriaz, or you can book a shared or private transfer.
Travelling by train can take longer than flying from certain places but is more eco-friendly and you can carry more luggage like skis and bike bags, without incurring additional charges.
Also see: National Trains to Avoriaz
There are a number of International coach companies that get you to Geneva, Annecy and Cluses. From here take one of the local buses (see above) up to resort.
International coaches are usually more comfortable than your average coach and many travel through the night, allowing you to spend more time on your actual holiday. Although the journey time is obviously longer, you don't have the usual airport hassle of checking in luggage and hanging around in the departures lounge waiting for your flight to board. It is also more eco-friendly and often a bit kinder on the pocket.
If you’re travelling from the UK, or perhaps from other European destinations to France by car, one of only a few options is to take the cross-channel ferry; another is the Eurotunnel train. You should book ferry tickets well in advance, especially if you’re thinking about travelling during peak holiday season.
Bringing your own vehicle with you to Avoriaz is a good idea if you want to have a little more flexibility getting around once you’re here. Being able to drive yourself around the area is far more comfortable and convenient, allowing you to take day trips or visit other nearby resorts such as Morzine or Chamonix.
Bear in mind that in winter the road on the way up to Avoriaz from Morzine is quite winding in places and although snow clearers operate every day in winter, conditions can be hard to drive in. Read our Driving to Avoriaz Guide and find more information on Parking in Avoriaz once you’ve arrived.
Avoriaz is a pedestrianised resort, so the closest you'll get to your accommodation is the car park at the entrance of the resort, or lower down at the bottom of the Prodains Cable Car. If you've driven up to the top car park and arrive on a Saturday, you will need to deposit your luggage with the car park reception agents. Tell them which accommodation you're staying in and unload your luggage. After parking your car they will arrange a horse drawn sleigh to take you on to your accommodation. If you arrive on a weekday you need to head to the red check in desk and unload your luggage here. You may find horse drawn sleigh already parked there, in which case you should ask the driver for a lift, otherwise you'll find an agent in the reception area who can call you a sleigh by radio.
You could also consider hiring a car from the airport or train/bus station.
Also see: Driving to Avoriaz
Travelling with equipment
Airlines, trains and transfer companies are all well-versed in catering for customers who travel with their own sports equipment (eg skis/snowboards or bikes/golf clubs in the summer), but it’s well worth checking the details in advance. Each company will have their own individual policy terms and conditions depending on the type of sporting equipment you are transporting. Here's a snapshot of the different transport options and a guide to their restrictions:
By Plane: Some airlines charge for taking skis/snowboards, and some don’t, and this can also apply to bikes, golf clubs, parachutes, mountaineering equipment - so check before you book. Make sure you pack your gear well, as it’s not unusual for there to be a few bumps and bruises along the way, if you don’t! The same applies for your bike, whether that be a mountain bike, road bike or touring bike...pack it well and ensure it falls within the packaging guidelines specified by the carrier. For more information see our Cycling & Mountain Biking Guides.
Airport Transfer companies - again, these guys know that you’re going skiing, so they are able to cater for skis and snowboards coming too. However, it’s always important to let them know exactly what you’re bringing, so that they can ensure having sufficient capacity for skis/snowboards/bikes/clubs etc. An 8-seater minibus is much more cramped if all 8 of you turn up with skis without having forewarned the driver!
By Train - depending on where you start from, remember that train travel might include a couple of changes and almost certainly lugging your gear up and down a few sets of stairs or escalators. Eurostar allows skis/snowboards as 1 of your 2 permitted pieces of larger luggage, however golf clubs, bikes and other sporting equipment incur an additional charge of around £30 for their registered luggage service.