It's important for tourists to know how to get around the Chamonix Ski Resort as this world-class resort in the South Eastern part of France, is massive with 5 extensive groomed ski regions, none of which are interconnected. Read up on how to get to each of the Regions by free public transport.
See the map of the commune of villages and hamlets? It's well spread out and you will have to learn how to use the public transport system to get around.
If you're researching on the web, take care...the local bus company only services the resort and there are another 2 services for regional and out-of-town lines. So be sure you have the right bus line.
For skiers, bus and train transport along the valley between the villages of Vallorcine and Servoz and St Gervais, is excellent and runs frequently. Transport in the resort is free for skiers with a valid pass.
Our preference is for the bus system as it's frequent, efficient and drops skiers directly at the lift terminals.
The transport company does a terrific job moving people efficiently as it requires some effort with commuting to the ski regions.
Click on this link to view the routes. This shows the bus routes from Le Tour to Servoz.
This link will take you to the fares and schedules.
There's a whole page of information on the Chamonix Ski Bus - it's too much information to be managed in just a paragraph!
To find out which bus to catch for the different Ski Regions, just click on the link.
There's also the free local little eco-bus, called the "mulet". It's named after the mules that used to transport tourists through the mountains before the 20th century. The "le mulet" circulates only around town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc; it wends its way through the back streets of town and is a terrific way to see the town, warts and all.
Mostly, though, it is ideal for getting to the main shopping area at the Town Centre or to the ice rink on the outer reaches of town (it's close to the public swimming pool), for Ice Hockey Games.
All these buses are efficient and at peak times, you'll wait only a few minutes.
The local train that services the Chamonix Ski Resort, only runs along the valley between Vallorcine, at the Swiss border to St Gervais at the Geneva end of the valley. This train is free for skiers on a valid ski pass and is well patronized for those whose accommodation is located close to the train station.
For example, at Vallorcine, on the France side of the border, you'll find lots of skiers getting on the train here, and getting off at Argentiere, to access the most excellent skiing at Les Grands Montets. Vallorcine, being at the most northern reaches of the Valley will have accommodation that is relatively less expensive.
Despite being on the outer reaches of the ski resort, you are still able to commute to the 5 other ski regions.
Their cost, though is time. By road, it takes about 45 minutes from Le Tour on the northern end for skiing at the Domaine le Balme to get to ski Les Houches at the southern end.
Even if you're in a self-serviced apartment, you're entitled to the Carte d'hote. If you ask the agent, they'll arrange this for you.
As you've read on the other pages, whilst the resort, makes for a memorable and wonderful winter vacation, the main disadvantage is the amount of commuting necessary to get to any of the 5 main ski regions.
Nonetheless, the Chamonix Ski Resort is undisputedly one of the top resorts in France.
Resort management must be congratulated for managing this major inconvenience so very well, as getting around while on your Winter Vacation really is easy and efficient.
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