Getting to Chamonix Mont Blanc to ski France, Italy and Switzerland was not simple and efficient but definitely worth the effort. Selecting this resort was a no-brainer as this resort gave us the best opportunity of skiing in France as well as Verbier, Switzerland and Courmayeur, Italy all excellent top notch resorts on the one pass, besides being located in one of the most beautiful regions of France.
We’ve done this trip to Chamonix Mont Blanc from both entry points via Geneva and Montreux/Martigny and by car, train and shuttle bus, through both France and Switzerland as well as from Italy via the Mont Blanc tunnel, so we know this journey can be charmingly difficult.
If you can't bear wasting time, the only way to go is with a pre-arranged efficient shuttle service via the Motorway, the Autoroute Blanche.
Fastest Way from Geneva
Read more about this route and the fastest way to travel from Geneva.
By Train from Geneva
If you have to travel by train, you'll need this information. There are several changes required and it's not exactly the quickest way to travel... and the train from Geneva Airport does NOT go to Chamonix! Read more on Getting from Geneva To Chamonix By Train.
This is the link to Swiss Rail, with the times for trains between Geneva and Cham.
By Car From Geneva
You're right to conclude travel by car is most efficient but Car Rental offices in Cham are not well represented. Here's what you need to know: Chamonix Car Rental.
The easiest and quickest way to get yourself on the slopes to ski France for your ski holiday is without doubt – by shuttle or your own car.
Plan ahead if you are taking a car, as parking space is limited and depends entirely on availability. Weekends are a nightmare with the ski crowd from Geneva, merely an hour's commute away.
You get to see Europe at its best starting from Montreux, Switzerland, the Riviera of Switzerland heading up the Alps on the special narrow gauge rail through spectacular mountains to the very elegant Chamonix, the ski resort for beautiful people.Here's how to get from Montreux to Chamonix:
Take the Public Elevator to Montreux Train Station, which is at the mid
level of Montreux. You'll find the elevator at the lake level in the
center of town close to the post office.
• You'll need to change at Martigny onto the small gauge rail
• And then get on the local French TER Mont Blanc Express at Vallorcine
• Decide ahead which of the stations you'll need to exit in the valley. The service goes all the way to St Germain les Bains and through the little charming hamlets and villages in this truly beautiful part of the Alps in France.
Getting the train from Montreux Switzerland to Chamonix Mont Blanc is straightforward but not exactly easy as it requires two changes of trains. You need to be prepared for this as changing train platforms lugging around your bags and ski gear can be a challenge.
This link takes you to the rail times on the Swiss Train System from Montreux to Martigny.
The journey takes from 2 hours and can be up to 4.5 hours depending on connection times.
Worth the effort? Oh YES! One of the terrific things about this exceptional winter resort is you get the whole ski France, travel and ski Europe experience as it is located so close to historical and scenic areas of France, Switzerland an Italy.
Montreux is one of these lovely towns close to the French Alps and we’d recommend a visit to this Riviera of Switzerland.
The station is located not at the lake side but one level above. There’s an elevator on the street at lake level that goes up to the street directly opposite the station. Congratulations to Montreux’s Town Planning for these little details of convenience.
The ticket vending machine doesn’t allow for the purchase a ticket for the entire journey to Chamonix. The vending machine only accommodates rail journeys within the Swiss Rail System.
That being the case, purchase a ticket but only to Martigny.
At Martigny, buy another ticket to your destination. I found I had to go into the ticket office to do this, given the restrictions of the automated ticket vending machine.
Be sure not to waste time as the times of the connections are fairly close and you’ll have to change platforms as well.
The scenery on the train journey west into the Alps is breathtaking. I marveled at the engineering of this narrow gauge train as it hugged the side of the mountain going up into the mountains.
Here's the link to the train times between Martigny and Cham at peak times.
You're now in France. The Swiss train terminates and passengers hop onto the local Regional Rail, TER which operates entirely in France. You’ll find lots of skiers commuting on the Mont Blanc Express which plys the Chamonix valley in France between Vallorcine and St Gervais at the other end.
The Main Town
The Mont Blanc Express takes you directly to the Le Gare, the main station in the valley, then onto the hamlets towards St Germain/La Fayet. There are two stops in the main town center – "Chamonix Mont Blanc” and the one closest to the main street in town - “Chamonix Sud”. This stop is located at the corner of Ave d'Aiguille du Midi and Rue du Docteur Paccard. This is the stop closest to the paved pedestrian only area right in the centre of town.
Check out the gallery of photos - this resort has captured the essence of the elegant style tourists expect to experience in France. It is no wonder vacationers keep returning year after year.
Read more on Getting To Cham, France: