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How to best connect to Chamonix?

According to Rick's France book, rail connection from Geneva takes 3.5-5 hours. Connection from Paris takes 5.5-7 hours. Has anyone connected from Geneva? How about Zurich if my connections won't allow me to fly to Geneva? Would you recommend flying into Paris or Zurich if Geneva won't work? Thanks

Posted by
4666 posts

Rail travel from Geneva to Chamonix is extremely circuitous. There is a limited scheduled bus service (3 to 5 buses per day) from Geneva airport to Chamonix with details at http://sat-montblanc.com/lignes-regulieres/ligne-internationale-geneve-chamonix-contamines.aspx. But if you search online you will see several companies offering airport transfer services which in this case, unfortunately, may be the best option. I don't have any personal experience of which one is best - my only trip to Chamonix was a package tour.

Posted by
3091 posts

Kevin , If you can fly into Geneva , the rail connection is not terrible ; From Cornavin station ( one stop from the airport ) ,ride bus #61 ( about 35 minutes ) to Gare Annemasse , just over the line into France . From there the easiest connection is by TER train to Le Fayet - St. Gervais and then change just across the platform to the Mont Blanc Express ( TER ) to Chamonix ( 40 minutes ) Go to SNCF - voyages for the rail scedules between Annemasse and Chamonix and tpg.ch ( Geneva public transport ) for bus schedules . You will find it easy to coordinate the timing . The train ride is beautiful and relaxing ! As far as Zurich or Paris ,it's pretty much a wash time wise ,but via Zurich you can go (if you like ) by rail to Martigny ( via Brig or Visp ) and from Martigny on the Mont Blanc Express to Chamonix through the stunning Trient Valley . This route is some really great eye candy !! On arrival in Chamonix there are two stops , Chamonix Gare , and Chamonix Aiguille du Midi . The location of your hotel will inform which station to disembark from the train .

Posted by
3318 posts

By road it isn't nearly as difficult as it is by train...the massive mountains between Geneva and Chamonix are the problem with the train but they are also what make it so great!

I would recommend the bus...much faster and, I would imagine, cheaper as well. If you can rent a car, even better. Drive around the north of the lake through the beautiful vineyards, continuing to Martigny. From there it is very easy to follow the signs over the mountains to Chamonix. The whole driving time will be about 2 1/2 hours from Geneva by car. I'm sure the bus would not be much different unless they make a lot of stops along the way. Haven't tried the train but it will get you there!

Posted by
8700 posts

The Chamexpress shuttle bus service operates every 30 minutes (or less) between the Geneva airport and Chamonix.