Geneva airport is the main gateway to much of the Alps, including the Northern French Alps and much of the Southern and Western Swiss Alps. As such its one of the main places to find ski resort transfers, with many services on offer here.
While many of them offer a very similar service, you might also, on occasion, want to weigh up other options to get to your chosen ski resort. So, we’re going to dig into the options for getting an airport shuttle from Geneva to the Alps. And we’ll also find out whether it’s worth picking up public transport or evening hiring a car.
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Which ski resorts are close to Geneva?
Some of the world’s best ski resorts are within a 2 hour transfer from Geneva Airport. This makes it one of the main entry points for ski holidays during the winter season, with a big percentage of the passenger traffic decked out in ski jackets and wooly jumpers.
The ski resorts which are closest to Geneva by road or public transport include:
- La Clusaz (approx 68 Km, about 1 hour 15 minutes)
- Grand Bornand (approx 68 Km, about 1 hour 10 minutes)
- Morzine (approx 75 Km, about 1 hour 30 minutes)
- Flaine (approx 84 Km, about 1 hour 30 minutes)
- Les Gets (approx 79 Km, about 1 hour 20 minutes)
- Chamonix (approx 82 Km, about 1 hour 15 minutes)
- Megeve (approx 88 Km, about 1 hour 15 minutes)
- Avoriaz (approx 90 Km, about 1 hour 40 minutes)
- St Gervais (approx 87 Km, about 1 hour 20 minutes)
- Samoens (approx 85 Km, about 1 hour 25 minutes)
- Les Contamines (approx 95 Km, about 1 hour 25 minutes)
- Le Grand Massif (approx 81 Km, about 1 hour 10 minutes)
- Praz de Lys (approx 79 Km, about 1 hour 20 minutes)
- Combloux (approx 87 Km, about 1 hour 20 minutes)
- La Chapelle D’Abondance (approx 96 Km, about 1 hour 45 minutes)
- Champery – Portes du Soleil (approx 130 Km, about 1 hour 50 minutes)
- Les Diablerets (approx 120 Km, about 1 hour 45 minutes)
- Leysin (approx 125 Km, about 1 hour 50 minutes)
- Villars-sur-Ollon (approx 125 Km, about 1 hour 45 minutes)
- Verbier (approx 163 Km, about 2 hours)
- Torgon (approx 130 Km, about 1 hour 45 minutes)
- La Tzoumaz (approx 167 Km, about 2 hours)
This is not a definitive list, and the transfer time can vary depending on many factors such as weather or traffic conditions. However, chances are that if you’re heading to these ski resorts across France and Switzerland, you’ll find yourself looking for an airport transfer from Geneva.
Other ski resorts that are further, but still can be reached from Geneva airport include:
- Les 3 Vallees (Meribel, Val Thorens and Courcheval, all approx 3 hrs 30)
- Espace Killy (Val d’Isere and Tignes – 3 hours 30)
- Les Deux Alpes and Alpe d’Huez – approx 3 hours
These resorts are not readily served by some of the big ski transfer companies from GVA, but you can still find transfer options.
So, how can you find the best Geneva ski transfer options?
The fastest and easiest way to transfer to your chosen ski resort from Geneva will be with a private transfer. This is usually a private driver with either a minibus or sometimes a car.
While this is also the more expensive airport transfer option, it can be cost effective if you split it between a big group of you.
As an example, a private transfer from Geneva to Chamonix will cost around £320* return during peak times (weekends), for one or two people. Thats £160 per person.
However the same trip shared between up to eight people will cost £480. This works out at £60 per person return, which is not too bad.
So obviously a private transfer works better for bigger groups. However, for families, the private transfer can be the best hassle free option to whisk you directly from Geneva Airport to your ski resort.
*Obviously prices will vary depending on who you get your quote from.
I got this quote by running a search on GetTransfer. I actually found that GetTransfer offer pretty much the lowest list price, but they also price match, so if you do find a cheaper transfer then let them know within 24 hours and they’ll match it.
Run a search on our nifty widget below…
Hiring a car can be a nice and convenient option to get to your ski resort from Geneva Airport. However, there are a couple of things to bear in mind.
Firstly, the autoroutes will have tolls, so you’ll not just pay fuel but anything up to €50 each way in tolls.
Secondly, icy conditions in some ski resorts can be challenging for some drivers. Make sure you have snowchains or snow tyres on when you get your hire car.
Thirdly, if you don’t have a credit card (like me) then you might get refused your hire car (as happened to me at GVA). Make sure you have a valid credit card to get a hire car from the Swiss side of Geneva Airport. They also don’t accept pre-pay card such as Monzo, N26, Revolut etc. So be aware of this.
Fourth, if you pick up your hire car from the French side of Geneva Airport (which is cheaper than the Swiss side) you may find that you’ll need to pay for the road tax on re-entry to Geneva. Make sure to avoid driving into Switzerland from the French side to avoid this charge.
OK, with all that out of the way, car hire is actually a good option, especially for families.
Checking on RentalCars.com, a 7 day car hire from Geneva Airport comes up at around £360 for a fairly standard family sized car (VW Golf or Nissan Quashqai). This is obviously cheaper than a private transfer, but remember to factor in fuel and tolls – which could easily be an extra €100 or more.
But, again, this can be a great option if you’re travelling with family or a group of friends.
Check prices on the Rental Cars widget below.
From Geneva Airport, you can transfer by by both bus and train services. Both of these are pretty easy to find from right in front of the Geneva Airport arrivals, and signage is pretty good.
Train from Geneva Airport
Geneva Airport is well connected to the rest of Switzerland by a very efficient train network. So, if you’re heading to Verbier or Zermatt, you might find it more efficient and cheaper to simply take the train.
The train actually starts just outside the airport (5 minute walk from the arrivals hall) and you could be on your way in minutes by picking up tickets from the machines in the terminal or at the ticket office.
Obviously the benefit of public transport is that it’s cheaper than most of the other options on this list. However it is usually much slower and of course you’re at the mercy of the schedule, which might not be a problem. Swiss and French trains tend to be pretty efficient and comfortable, and the view on these journeys is great so you can enjoy watching the world whizz past.
Ski resorts accessible via train from Geneva airport include:
- Les Diablarets
Most of these require a change, so check journey options before you book.
Coach and bus
Several bus companies operate out of Geneva Airport, transferring customers to some of the most popular ski resorts. These include Avoriaz and Morzine, Verbier, Zermatt, Megeve and La Plagne.
Some of the buses are cheap local services, others are ski transfer companies. You can usually tell by the price.
But if you’re looking for pretty much the cheapest way to get to the most popular ski resorts around Geneva, this is probably it.
Check bus prices on BusBud who aggregate bus services and offer the best prices.
Transfer Included in your Ski Holiday?
Before booking your Geneva Airport transfer service, double check with your ski holiday package provider if there is the option to add a transfer package. Many ski package providers do include transfers, for example SkiWorld. And others also give you the option to add a transfer for a relatively small additional cost, often shared transfers with other arrivals.
If you’re looking for ski holidays with flights and transfers included, we do recommend SkiWorld.
When to book your ski transfer from Geneva Airport?
For the best prices and availability, make sure to book your Geneva Airport transfer in advance. While you can book a private transfer or find a bus or train on the day in the arrivals area, you’ll get the best prices by booking online and having your ticket to hand. This also means you’ll avoid the stress of missing out on full transfer buses or other headaches.
Geneva Airport gets incredibly busy, especially in the peak ski seasons around Christmas/New Year and the February school holidays.
When booking your return transfer, allow for congestion at the security and check in areas of Geneva Airport. Basically, give yourself at least an extra hour or two to get through what can be a bit of a scrum. Especially if you have kids or you need to check equipment into the hold.
What is the best way to transfer from Geneva Airport?
The best option depends on your needs, your schedule and your budget. While a private transfer is often the most convenient and stress free way, you might want to save money with a public transport transfer.