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By train to ski resorts in France

Ski Resorts in France by train

How to travel flight-free to twenty popular ski resorts in France, which can be easily accessed by train

| Last Updated: about 2 months ago

More than 100 French ski resorts have flight free access, though virtually all of the journeys to them involve a straightforward combination of train + bus.
Some resorts have onward access by bus, from stations in larger towns which have daily direct trains from Paris - and also have daily connections with express trains to and from other cities.

Though there are two key railways serving strings of small towns and villages which provide the majority of the ski resort access.
And at weekends during the winter sports season. both routes become destinations of trains which use the high speed lines south of Paris to access them.

The railways into the French Alps

Two railway routes head eastwards from Lyon / Aix-les-Bains / Chambery into the French Alps:
1: The route which terminates at St Gervais, where a connection is available on to the narrow gauge St-Gervais - Vallorcine railway to /from the Swiss border - this line from Switzerland is the route of the 'Mont Blanc Express'.

There are also some direct trains between Paris and St Gervais during the winter sports season.

2: The route which terminates at Bourg St Maurice.

A large swathe of the most popular French ski resorts which can be most easily accessed by train, have onward connections from the stations along this latter route.

On Fridays to Sundays in the winter sports season there are high speed TGV trains from and to Paris - plus Eurostar Thalys trains from and to Amsterdam, Bruxelles and Lille - which travel along the route which leads to and from Bourg St Maurice.
A collection of these trains is pictured at the top of the page in an image downloaded from Wikicommons and taken by Florian Pépellin.

On the railway to Bourg St Maurice

During the winter sports season from Friday December 15th, express trains race down the high speed line and then travel to and from Bourg St Maurice, and they all also call at Albertville and Moûtiers - Salins - Brides-Les-Bains and Aime-la-Plagne and Landry.

From the Gare De Lyon in Paris to Bourg St Maurice there are three TGV InOui services on Fridays, six on Saturdays and four on Sundays.
On Friday and Saturdays there is also one Ouigo service per day from Gare De Lyon.

All of these trains from and to Paris typically have a journey time to and from Bourg St Maurice of around 4hr 30mins.
Tickets are already on sale on SNCF Connect.

Eurostar connections

The TGV InOui service which typically departs from Paris at 11:32 on Saturday mornings has a connection available with the Eurostar that usually leaves London St Pancras International at 06:31.

On Fridays and Saturdays the Eurostar which departs London at 10:24 has a connection into the 14:48 departure on from Paris, which is due into Bourg St Maurice by 20:00.

Though what is new for 2023 / 2024 and hopefully beyond, is that the cross Paris connection can now be avoided when heading to the snow on Saturdays from December 16th!
Because the 09:01 Eurostar from London to Lille has an easily timed 1hr 26min connection in Lille Europe station into a train on towards Bourg St Maurice.

Tickets are already on sale on the Eurostar website.

For the return to London, connections are available via Paris when departing Bourg St Maurice at 09:12 and 09:47 on both Saturday and Sunday - and also at 13:24 on Saturday.
The connection in Lille is possible when departing at 08:11 on a Sunday.

Eurostar Snow

Those connections to and from in London in Lille are possible as the Eurostar Snow service which connects Amsterdam and Bruxelles directly with Bourg St Maurice will now also call in Lille Europe.

Tickets and the train details are now are now available.

The local/regional TER services

There are TER trains along the line between Chambery and Bourg St Maurice which typically depart daily at least every other hour - on Monday to Saturday there is usually an hourly service from Chambery between 16:00 and 21:00.
Chambéry-Challes-les-Eaux station has TGV and Frecce trains to and Lyon, Paris and Milan, plus TER trains to and from Geneve, Lyon and Valence.
So on Mondays to Thursdays making connections there is the easiest option, when travelling to and from the resorts that can accessed along the line to Bourg St Maurice.

On Saturdays and Sundays during the winter sports seasons there are also direct TER trans between Lyon-Part Dieu and Bourg St Maurice.

Onward connections by bus

In Aime-la-Plagne and Bourg St Maurice and Moutiers the bus stations / Gare routieres are all directly attached to the rail stations.
Therefore you don't have to step outside when making the transfers to and from the buses.

Though it's a very good idea (and can be essential) to book your bus tickets in advance.
So when the bookings become available on the bus links included in this guide, verify whether the bus transfer is still available before you book the train tickets.
If they are go ahead and book the rail ticket and then immediately book the bus transfer.

to Courchevel

Courchevel is comparatively close to Moûtiers - Salins - Brides-Les-Bains station, so it is easily accessible by train.

Bus route / line S65 goes from Moutiers to multiple stops in Courchevel in a journey time of around an hour.

to La Plagne

La Plagne is relatively close to Aime-la-Plagne rail station, so it's also a resort with comparativelyeasy access by train.
Bus line / route S71 connects the station to multiple stops in the resort in a journey time of around 1hr 40mins.
When looking up the bus times and booking bus tickets, use a stating point of Aime Gare or Aime Gare routiere - don't look for buses from or to Aime-la-Plagne

to La Rosiere

La Rosiere is under a 50 minute bus ride from Bourg St Maurice station on route/line S80.
On Winter weekdays (Mon to Sat), tickets must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.

La Rosiere also offers discounts on lift passes for those who arrive by train

to Les Arcs

The bridge at top left in the image connects the trains to the funicular The bridge at top left in the image connects the trains to the funicular

As stated at the top of the page, the most common public transport option for accessing a French ski resort, is to take a bus on from a rail station, but Les Arcs is an exception.

Because at the opposite end of Bourg St Maurice to its exit/entrance hall is a footbridge which leads to the base station of The Arc en Ciel funicular.
So you can find this footbridge by the rear of the train as they arrive in Bourg St Maurice , though the access involves negotiating two flights of stairs

The funicular goes to Arc 1600 direct and shuttle buses meet the funicular for the journey on to Arcs 1800, 1950 and 2000.

to Les Menuires

Les Menuires is located along the road which links Moûtiers to Val Thorens, so the journey time on bus route / line S63 is only 45 minutes.

to Meribel

to Meribel by bus and train to Meribel by bus and train

Meribel is linked to Moûtiers - Salins - Brides-Les-Bains rail station by bus route / line S64 in a journey time of around 40 mins - note that the final destination of the bus will be in Mottaret.

Bus tickets can be booked in advance.

A network of local buses links Meribel to multiple other resorts.

to Tignes

Tignes is connected to Bourg St Maurice by bus route/line S83
Though the bus route is unusual, because it calls in Les Brévières, by the base station of the STGM cable car route to Tignes, around 40 minutes after departing Bourg St Maurice.
However, the bus then takes a looping route to Val d’Isere (see below) before going on to the centre of Tignes, so the bus journey time to 'Tignes 1800' is 1hr 10mins.

to Val d’Isere

to Val DIsere by train and bus to Val DIsere by train and bus

Val d’Isere is connected to Bourg St Maurice by bus route/line S83 in a journey time of an hour.
Though 15 mins before they arrive in the centre of the village they also call at at La Daille, for the base station of the newly updated cable car

Free shuttle buses are also available in the village.

to Valmorel

Valmorel is linked to Moûtiers - Salins - Brides-Les-Bains rail station by bus route / line S62 in a journey time of around 45 mins.

Bus tickets can be booked in advance.

Shuttle buses are also available in the village.

to Val Thorens

Val Thorens is linked to Moûtiers - Salins - Brides-Les-Bains rail station by route / line S63 in a journey time of 1hr 5mins.

On the railway to St Gervais

There are TGV trains from Paris Gare De Lyon to St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet station from Dec 15th to March 24th at:

  • 17:04 on Fridays; the connecting Eurostar to Paris departs from London at 12:31
  • 06:56 and 10:46 on Saturdays and Sundays - on Saturdays there is typically a Eurostar which departs London at 06:31 and is scheduled to arrive in Paris at 09:48.
    The journey time from Paris to St Gervais is around 5hr 5mins - and the trains also call at Cluses (Haute-Savoie) and the station named Sallanches-Combloux-Megève.
    Most of these trains heading to St Gervais will be joined to other trains which will be going to Evian-les-Bains.

There are also additional trains to St Gervais at the height of the season:

  • on certain Saturdays in February there is a TGV from the Paris Gare De Lyon which departs at 08:26.
  • on Feb 24th, March 2nd and March 9th a direct TGV to St Gervais is due to depart from Lille Europe at 07:05 and from the station at Paris Aeroport CDG at 08:33.

The local trains

In most hours daily there are TER trains between Annemasse and St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet which call at Cluses and Sallanches-Combloux-Megève.
Annemasse is a junction station and it has trains from:

  • Annecy - there is now typically only one train on Monday to Friday which is direct from Annecy to St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet
  • Bellegarde, which is served by TGV Lyria trains on the Paris Gare De Lyon ↔ Geneve route - and there are up to three direct trains per day from Bellegarde to St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet, which typically have 15 min connections with the trains from Paris.
  • Lausanne and Geneve - from midday onwards most of the trains continue on from Annemasse to St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet.

Note that since the opening of the route between Geneve and Annemasse a few years ago, which in effect plugged Annemasse into the local train network of Geneve, what had been a long-established pattern of TER trains taking an Annecy ↔ St Gervais route, with connections in Annecy from Lyon, has in effect been abandoned.
A Lyon ↔ St Gervais rail journey now typically requires, what can be awkwardly timed connections in both Annecy and Annemasse.
So when the direct trains from Paris are unavailable or inconvenient, the best option for a Paris ↔ St Gervais journey is to connect in Bellegarde or Geneve.
Though on most Saturdays a direct TER train to St Gervais departs Lyon-Part-Dieu station for St Gervais at around 08:45.

Trains from Switzerland

St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet station station is shared by mainline trains and the narrow gauge St Gervais - Vallorcine line which forms the western end of the 'Mont Blanc Express' route.
There are hourly trains between St Gervais and Vallorcine, which all have guaranteed connections at Vallorcine, with trains to and from Martigny.
Martigny is located on the Geneve / Montreux / Lausanne ↔ Sion / Visp / Brig route on which trains typically operate twice per hour in in both directions
Most of these trains are also direct to/from Geneva airport but the Geneve Aeroport ↔ St Gervais journey is now typically around two hours faster when taking the Geneve - Annemasse - St Gervais route.

to Avoriaz

As can be seen there are no roads in Avioraz As can be seen there are no roads in Avioraz

Avoriaz is a car-free resort, which is enabled by its main access being provided by the Prodains Express cable car.
Though flight-free access to the resort is a tad compromised by the connection between taking a train and access to the base station of the cable car.
There is a weight of information on the Avoriaz website on the weekend arrangements for arriving and departing from the resort, which is primarily focused on accessing car parks.

Bus line / route 92 links Cluses rail station with the base station of the Prodains Express, but most of its departures seemingly terminate at the bus terminal in the centre of Morzines village - which is around a kilometer from the cable car's base station.
Though presumably more buses in the ski resort season, continue to the final stop named 'Morzine, Avoriaz station'.

There are more frequent buses on line line / route 91 which link Thonon-les-Bains to Morzine, but this route doesn't seemingly serve the cable car.

to Chamonix

The Montenvers Railway to Mer De Glace The Montenvers Railway to Mer De Glace

Chamonix has the distinction of being the only popular skiing area in France, at which it's possible to step off a train in the heart of the resort.
Chamonix has four stations and west to east they are:

  1. Les Moussoux - leave the train here if your accommodation is in this part of the town.
  2. Chamonix Aiguille du Midi, which is within a five minute walk of the base station of the of the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi ski slopes.
  3. Chamonix Mont Blanc which is within a five minute walk of the town centre. To the right of the station exit, a footbridge leads to the station of the Chemin_de_fer_du_Montenvers / Montenvers Railway
  4. Les Praz de Chamonix which is within a five minute walk of the base station of the cable car to the pistes up at La Flégère.

These four stations are all on the St Gervais - Vallorcine railway which has hourly trains in each direction.
So connections are available into these trains at St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet station when traveling to Chamomix from other destinations in France, with a typical transfer time of 15 - 20 minutes.
The journey from St Germain to Chamonix Mont Blanc station takes 45 minutes.

to Les Gets

Les Gets is linked to Cluses rail station, by bus line / route 92
The journey time is around 30 minutes and the bus makes multiple stops in the village.
The bus departs from the relatively new bus station / gare routiere in Cluses which is immediately adjacent to the rail station.

Though it's worth planning a journey to Les Gets with care as there is alternative rail + bus access to the resort.
Some of the buses on line / route 91 connect the rail station in Thonon-les-Bains to Les Gets in a journey time of 1hr 10mins.
See the notes for travel to Morzine.

to Les Houches

Les Houches has a railway station on the St Gervais - Vallorcine railway, but it is located up above the village, on the opposite bank of the River Arve.
So the easier public transport access to Les Houches is to travel by the line / route 3 of the Chamomix local bus network, from and to the rail station in Servoz, which is also on the St Gervais - Vallorcine railway.

The buses on line / route 3 stop by the base stations of multiple cable cars which lead up to the pistes above Les Houches.
Other cable cars / ski lifts can be accessed from Col De Voza station, which is located on the railway commonly known as the Mont Blanc Tramway.
It has a station which is steps away from the entrance /exit at St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet station

So travelling to and from the ski areas at Les Houches while staying in St Gervais is easily done, either by taking 'the tram' to Col De Voza, or a combination by bus + train and connecting in Servoz.
If you stay in St Gervais you will also have easy access to Megeve - see below

to Megève

The village of Megève is popular and therefore comparatively expensive, because it is both beautiful and easy to access.

The station named Sallanches-Combloux-Megève lives up to its name as bus route /line the Y83, connects it to the heart of the village in a journey time of only 25 mins.
The bus will have a final destination of La Flumet.

Another bus route /line, the the Y82, which will be heading on to Praz-sur-Alry, links St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet station to the centre of the village in a journey time of around 40 minutes.

Though the pistes of Megève can also be easily accessed from St Gervais
Bus line / route Y84 has a stop named, 'Telegraphique' - which is adjacent to the base station of the St Gervais-Bettex cable car.

to Morzine

Morzine can be accessed by taking Bus line / route 92 from Cluses rail station to the centre of the village, in a journey time of 55 minutes - hence its inclusion on the list of resorts that can be accessed along the railway route to St Gervais.

Though there are more frequent buses on line / route 91 which connect the rail station in Thonon-les-Bains to Morzine in a journey time of 45mins.
So it's definitely worth comparing the travel options through both Cluses and Thonon-les-Bains when heading to Morzine by train + bus.

During the winter sports season Thonon-les-Bains is served by direct TGV trains from the Gare De Lyon in Paris, with a departure on Friday evening, two departures on Saturday morning and one on Sunday morning.
Though there are many more daily options when travelling to Thonon-les-Bains from Paris, by taking trains from and to the capital on the Gare De Lyon to Geneve route - and making connections in Bellegarde.
There are also typically trains every two hours which are direct from Geneve to Thonon-les-Bains, which have a journey time of around 55 mins.

From Annecy, Briançon and Grenoble

Some of the larger towns to the west of the French Alps have easy access by train, plus onward access by bus to relatively adjacent ski resorts - so can be particularly good options for flight-free access to winter sports.


Annecy has 4 to 7 x TGV trains per day from Paris Gare De Lyon, which have a journey time of around 3hr 45mins.
In most hours there are local trains to Annecy from Geneve and in the hours when there are no direct trains, connections are available in Annemasse.
There are also 3 to 5 x TER trains per day to Annecy from Lyon-Part Dieu and 3 x daily trains per day from Valence


The overnight Eurostar trains from London to the French Alps are now a memory, but there is means of sleeping through the night with morning access to the slopes, as there is an Intercités De Nuit train service to Briançon.
It typically departs from nightly from the Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris at 20:51, so has a connection with the Eurostar that usually leaves London St Pancras International daily at 15:31.
It is due to arrive in Briançon before 08:30 the next morning.

Briançon also typically has three TER trains per day from and to Marseille St Charles on a route via Aix-en-Provence; and two trains per day from the station in Valence town centre, which also call at Valence TGV station.
So travelling between both Paris / Lyon and Briançon by day, requires a connection at Valence TGV station.


There are usually up to 8 x TGV trains per day from Paris Gare De Lyon to Grenoble, most of which call in the station at Lyon St Exupery airport.
Grenoble railway station also has exceptionally frequent trains from Lyon-Part Dieu station - generally 2 x per hour on Monday to Friday and hourly at weekends.

to Alpe d’Huez

Alpe d’Huez is a 1hr 30min bus journey from the the bus station / gare routiere in Grenoble.
It is immediately to the left of the main exit from the rail station, on the street named Rue Emile Gueymard.

to La Clusaz and to Le Grand Bonnard

The closest winter sports locations to the resort town of Annecy are the villages of La Clusaz and Le Grand Bonnard.

They can be accessed on bus routes / lines Y62 and Y63, which depart from the bus station / gare routiere in Annecy.
It is immediately adjacent to the railway station in Annecy - it is to the right of the main exit.
The journey time to La Clusaz is an hour and Le Grand Bonnard is 10 minutes further on.
It doesn't matter which route is taken, the Y62 and Y63 take different routes through the town of Thones, some departures on route Y63 don't travel further than Thones.

to Serre Chevalier

The pistes of Serre Chevalier are within 3 kilometers of Briançon.
The base station of the Prorel – Briançon cable car, which provides a route towards the summit of Serre Chevalier, is within a 20 minute walk of Briançon railway station.

Though the village of La Salle-les-Alpes, which is where numerous ski lifts and cable cars up to the slopes are located, is an easy 20 minutes bus ride by route / line 6* from Briançon railway station.
*= It classified as an InterCity bus.

There are also up to three buses per day to La Salle-les-Alpes on the regional bus line / route 55 - it links Briançon railway station to Grenoble railway station, though the journey time from Grenoble is around 2hr 15mins.

Booking tickets and reservations:

Tickets which combine train and bus can typically be booked on SNCF Connect up to 6 months ahead of the travel date.
Though SNCF Connect can offer additional combinations of routes to the optimum / fastest connection which have been included in this guide.
If you can't find the included combination of train and bus on SNCF Connect, check the bus booking links which can be accessed from the bus route / info, which is linked to the guide to accessing each resort.
The bus timetables can be confirmed later than the train tickets are made available.

Many of the bus routes included above can be booked with Altibus, so if need book the train journey on SNCF Connect or Trainline and book the bus separately.
The buses between the rail station and the resorts can sell out completely in advance, so don't assume you will be able to book the bus tickets when you step off the train!


Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.


This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.


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