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Geneva to Tignes, the autoroute

Geneva to Tignes

Published: 09/10/2017 11:18

Geneva to Tignes is one of Whiterides' most popular airport transfers with multiple Tignes transfer buses driving to a from the resort on a daily basis throughout the winter.

This post informs you about Geneva airport, the drive from Geneva to Tignes and gives tells you what to look out for on route.

Flying to Geneva for skiing in Tignes resort

Once you have made the decision to ski (or mountain bike) in Tignes, Geneva airport is a good airport choice. There are regular daily flights to and from the UK. At 3 hours the Geneva to Tignes run is one of the longer transfers, but well worth it when you arrive in this spectacular resort.

Where possible consider booking early morning or evening flights into Geneva so Whiterides can transport your group in the quieter periods. Travel on a week day is much quieter than weekends. That way we can make your journey as short as possible.

When you arrive at Geneva our Whiterides chauffeur will meet you at Arrivals and take you to the Whiterides' minibus. Your luggage and equipment will be carefully loaded, then you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

Our drivers will take you on a picturesque journey along the winding roads from Geneva to Tignes, through cities, towns and villages whatever the weather. Here's what to expect.

Ski trip to Tignes? Where to fly: Airport transfers to Tignes

The flight to Geneva

Geneva, or Cointrin Airport, is in close range of the very beautiful Lake Geneva which flows back into the Rhone river.

Located in Switzerland near the French border, Geneva city is the second largest in Switzerland after Zurich. It is surrounded by rolling hills and mountains of both the Jura and Alps ranges. Mont Blanc only 1 hour drive.

The city is French speaking but most inhabitants have an excellent grasp of English.

The old city is a maze of cobbled streets and squares with restaurants, cafes and historical buildings to see and visit. Geneva is also a hub of arts and culture with the Palexpo Exhibition and Congress Centre, plus Geneva Arena which is situated right next to the airport.

Geneva is a very beautiful city and well worth a visit before or after your skiing trip in Tignes. You'll find plenty of hotels very close to the airport.

And if you can't visit Geneva? You will get a great view from the plane.

Don't forget to look out for the Jet d'eau fountain at the start of the lake as you fly in and out!

The drive: Geneva to Tignes

Due to its location to the French border Geneva Airport welcomes a vast array of tourists who are visiting France, particularly in the winter season, for skiing and snowboarding holidays.

Geneva airport is where a major source of our airport transfers begin driving through the Tarentaise region dropping off at an array of world-renown ski resorts including The 3 Valleys (Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens), the Paradiski (Aime, Bourg-Saint Maurice, Les Arcs and La Plagne), Sainte Foy and the Espace Killy (Tignes and Val d'Isere).

Once you have been picked up by your Whiteride's driver you will be taken the quickest route to Tignes, which takes in 2 different countries, the beautiful city of Annecy, the Tarentaise countryside and the towns Albertville, Moutiers and Bourg-Saint-Maurice where you will then begin the 30 minute climb up to Tignes.

However we drive your trip to Tignes will take approximately 3 hours. It is a long trip but with guaranteed snow at the end that extra half hour really feels like nothing.

As drives go it's not bad either and doesn't feel that long as you go through old towns, small villages, flat countryside and stunning valleys. You might want to sleep for a bit but it's well worth a look out of the window, and leave your iPad in your bag - you won't need it.

After leaving the airport you will join the A1 to the Swiss/ French boarder. Have your passport handy just in case, but its unlikely you will be asked to show it.

When you enter France you will continue for 25 minutes on the A41 to the lovely city of Annecy.

Lake Annecy

At this point you will leave the motorway and be driven through Annecy town centre, often wondering if the road can get any smaller. You then pop out with a glorious view of Lake Annecy and drive along its 14km length.

Titled 'the cleanest lake in Europe' Lake Annecy was formed thousands of years ago from glacial melt and is now fed by many small mountain rivers.

Whiteride's can drive you either way round, depending on the traffic. You could request the more scenic route and your driver may oblige depending on traffic, weather and the next job they have.

West around Annecy Lake

Our standard route is to drive through the town of Annecy on the D1508, turning right at the lake and heading along the west side to Sevrier (with a possible Mc Donalds stop depending on time) and on to Saint Jorioz, both below the Semnoz mountain.

Next you will come to Duingt where the Grand Lac meets the Petit Lac and you will drive past the beautiful privately owned Ruphy or Chateauvieux Chateau sitting on the west shore, 12 KM from Annecy.

Duingt is a small Savoyard village that still has some of the old 17th and 18th century stone houses and a pretty walk along the water. After a few more kilometers you will reach the end of the lake.

East around Lake Annecy

Your driver may choose to take you on the more picturesque route to miss some traffic, and this really shows off the beauty of Annecy and its surrounding villages. Here you will pass many of the larger, grand houses perched on this sunny side of the lake.

Veyrier-du-lac is a stunning little village that you will drive right through just after leaving Annecy. Sitting right on the lake there are a collection of art galleries, small private hotels, restaurants and tea room to visit.

After leaving Veyrier-du-lac you will continue on to Menthon-Saint-Bernard a quaint little village with its own beach, and small port with fishing and sailing boats moored up.

There is always a wealth of sporting activities on, around and above Lake Annecy. With landing spots on both sides ofthe lake you will definitely see some paraponts especially on beautiful, crisp winter days.

During the day the lake is a stunning sight of turquoise crystal clear blue water and with many different beaches and coves it's well worth a stop for a quick photo.

Continuing along the D909A you will reach Talloires the little medieval town with an all year round vibrant tourism industry. A settlement from the neolithic times Talloires is a favourite for artists and and sports enthusiasts alike.

This is the last little town at the end of the lake before rejoining the main road driving through Doussard and Faverges on to Ugine.

Albertville, Moutiers and Bourg-Saint-Maurice

After leaving Annecy lake you will drive through Doussard, past Faverges and Ugine, and on to Albertville, where the 1992 winter Olympics were held.

At this point it's time to hit the main N90 road through the Savoie valley, where sleeping is allowed.

This is the key route into all the Savoie Ski resorts and can sometimes be a little busy so be prepared for a possible delay especially around holiday times.

If you have had to come via the motorway this is also where you join the last part of the journey to Tignes.

The next town we reach at approximately 2 hours into your journey is Moutiers, which is the door to the 3 Valleys resorts.

Your driver will then continue on towards Bourg -Saint-Maurice, the last large town in the Tarentaise Valley at approximately 800m elevation.

Just before reaching Bourg access to La Plagne and the smaller resorts of Les Coches, Monchavin and Peisey-Vallandry is possible along the route, allowing you to base yourself in the heart of the Paradiski area.

At Bourg-Saint-Maurice this is your last chance to access larger supermarkets such as Super U, Intermarche and Lidl compared to the smaller ones Carrefore Express, Casino and Sherpa in resort.

This is also where you will find access to Les Arcs via the Funicular train or a 20 minute drive up to the Les Arcs resorts of 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000.

This is the end of the road as such and where you begin your drive up from Geneva to Tignes, past the smaller resort of Sainte Foy and next to Val d'Isere which makes up the ski area of the Espace Killy.

This will take 45 minutes and you will drive through some of the most spectacular scenery of the drive so far.

With one road in and out it's likely everyone going up will be on route to ski and you will definitely see some of the more eye watering driving from the locals.

Don't despair all of our drivers will transfer you in a more relaxed manor. The snow isn't going to disappear!

Tignes villages

On your drive up the mountain range you will initially come to the small old village of Tignes-les-Brevieres, based below the spectacular Tignes dam, used as an extra source of power for Tignes if it's required.

A short drive from the main road Whiterides will take you to Tignes-les-Brevieres which is still a traditional style Savoyard village with restaurants and a small collection of shops. A chairlift links the village to the the main Tignes resort.

Tignes-les-Brevieres is a lovely picturesque place to stay and considerably cheaper than the larger Tignes Resorts.

As you approach the Tignes Dam you can see a large picture of Hercules looking down through the valley.

When the Dam was built in 1952 the original village of Tignes was flooded, creating Le Lac Chevril, a spectacular lake at the base of the new Tignes Resort. Every 10 years this is drained and if you are lucky enough to be visiting at this point you can still see and walk around remains of the old village.

Once you drive over the Dam you will reach the small modern village of Tignes Les Boisses (Tignes 1800) which has access to Tignes-Les-Brevieres as well as the main resort of Tignes, via its own chair lift.

With only a 5 minute drive up from here you will come to the end of your journey arriving in the main resort of Tignes.

Here you can stay in Le Lavachet, Tignes Le Lac and Val Claret all offering great access to the pistes around Tignes.

If you are arriving at night the mountain is lit up, and looks stunning.

Why use Whiterides for a Geneva to Tignes transfer?

All our drivers have experience of driving in winter conditions as well as extra training under the watchful eye of the Whiterides' founder Daniel Barnett.

All our vans are maintained to a high and safe standard for driving in winter conditions. With snow tyres as standard and chains in each mini bus.

Hopefully our post has given you some insight into the airport transfer to from Geneva to Tignes and some pointers to look out for 'en route'. Enjoy the ride!

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