Getting here

Les Contamines-Montjoie is one of the closest resorts to Geneva (by car: less than an hour) and one of only a few ski resorts in the Alps to be within 20 minutes of a TGV station. From Calais, it’s a 580-mile drive; allow 10 hours if you don’t plan to tempt ‘les flics’ to catch you speeding. From the centre of Paris (1st arr.), it’s 612 km, so about 6 hours’ drive. This includes plenty of time for petrol/coffee/meal stops.

By plane:

We don’t need to tell you how to fly to the Alps from where you live, but it’s worth noting that Geneva airport (GVA) is by far the closest. At 80km or 60 mins. from our chalet, it’s difficult to beat. There’s also a very effective car hire set-up at GVA (opt for Swiss side if you can, as our directions are from the Swiss side, not the French side).

 

If you book a rental car, be aware that hiring from the Swiss side (closer and more expensive) means you get snow tyres (as they’re obligatory in Switzerland in winter). If you book a car from the French side (you need to be direction-sensitive for this cheaper option, as it involves driving round to the back of Cointrin airport, under the runway etc), you will not get winter tyres (they call them ‘mud & snow’ tyres but they’ll slide on snow) so you will need to rent chains (what a bind putting them on) in winter.

How to find flights? Try Kayak or SkyScanner. We normally find flights that way. Alternatively, try Swiss if you’re flying from LHR or LCY. Birmingham (BHX) flights with easyJet are good but they only operate from December to April. They clearly know it’s more fun to drive if you’re headed out there in the summer.

And if you’ve booked your flights, try Rhino Car Hire. They offer a pretty slick service, whether you’re looking to rent a car from the French side (can be cheaper, but a more involved process in terms of getting back to drop the car back) or the Swiss side.

Failing that, if you want to be driven to/from the resort, we recommend Cham-Van or Ski-lifts or Geneva Airport Transfers if you don’t mind being driven in a van, with other people, unless you pay to go ‘private’. It’s a cheap-and-cheerful way to travel, if you share with others, or a very pleasant experience going ‘private’. You can get instant quotes on-line and book on-line, so it couldn’t be easier.

By train:

All you need to know can be found on Seat 61, the best site to start from if you’re planning any European train travel.

You can get to within 20 minutes of Chalet Kiana by train and no ordinary train at that: you can take the TGV all the way! But you can only book up to 4 months in advance.

It might also be useful to know which train station you should be aiming for: St. Gervais les Bains (Le Fayet)

By automobile:

If you’re driving from:

  • Calais – 892 km (€73 tolls) along the E17 (A26/A4/A26/A31)

  • Brussels – 857 km (€41 tolls) I guess along the A4/E25/A31/A39/A40

  • Paris – 612 km (€47 tolls) along the A6/E15 Autoroute du Soleil

  • Geneva Airport – 94 km (€5.40 tolls) along the A40 (Autoroute du Mt. Blanc)

…or anywhere else in Continental Europe, you can drive to Chalet Kiana knowing there’s plenty of space to park your car(s) at the chalet!

The great thing about getting to Les Contamines by car is that most of your journey will be by motorway, with only the last 20 km being on winding mountain roads. For those last few minutes of your journey, here are our directions to the chalet (click to download): Directions to CK from GVA

If you’re not coming to Chalet Kiana from GVA, then you will just pick up the directions once you get on to the Autoroute du Mt. Blanc (A40): a rather more picturesque A40 than our one in England.

As you will have noticed, these directions were prepared in Nov-08, since when the ‘new’ roundabout is no longer new, and the tape on the ‘new’ sign has gone.

Bonne route!

PS. If renting a car from Geneva Airport we recommend that you use the service on the Swiss side and not the French side. Whilst prices are often a little cheaper if collected from the French side, winter tyres nor Vignette (Swiss motorway tax disc) are included as standard.  Directions from the Swiss side are also much clearer as you leave the airport straight onto the motorway network whereas the French side will take you via smaller roads and unless you are familiar with the area, this can be confusing.  We have used Rhinocarhire from both sides of the Airport and found the Swiss side easier.

By bus:

Using public transport generally means using SAT buses or Ouibus from GVA to Saint Gervais Le Fayet (Gare SNCF) – about 75 mins. from Geneva airport. The SAT Bus/Ouibus (formally 'Starshipper') will take you all the way to Les Contamines (Chef Lieu – aka the Tourist Office/main square), with a change of bus at Saint Gervais. Times this winter, from GVA, are approximately (i.e. please click on the links yourself to check the ‘horaires’):

  • 08.00   (Mon, Fri, Sat, Sun)….arr St. G at 09.15….Les Contamines at 09.40

  • 11.00    (Mon-Sun)….arr St. G. 12.15….Les Contamines at 12.40

  • 13.00    (Mon-Sun)….and so on.

  • 16.00    (Mon-Sun)

  • 18.00    (Mon-Sun)

  • 21.00    (Mon-Sun)

  • 23.00    (Fri, Sat, Sun)

In fact, if you visit Ouibus’ website (from the UK), you will be automatically directed to their English language site and can book your journey from GVA to Les Contamines for €25 each way.

Alternatively, if you prefer something smaller (a private driver or a shared minibus rather than a coach), then you can contact one of the many independent operators such as:

  1. Cham-van

  2. Mountain Dropoffs

  3. Ski-Lifts

  4. Peak Transfer

  5. Saint Gervais First

  6. Resort Rides

  7. Sun Transfers (book your own private taxi for EUR 450!)

  8. Alp Line

  9. Cham Express

  10. Alpybus

You get the picture? There are loads of them and you need to make sure they take you all the way to Les Contamines or, if someone in your party is prepared to drive ½ an hour back down the valley to collect you (and save you a chunk of money), then just make sure they take you to Saint Gervais/Le Fayet (Gare SNCF).

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1073 route de la Frasse

74170 Les Contamines-Montjoie, France

Tel: +447968123470

Email: chaletkiana@mac.com

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