Shorter transfers from train stations to ski resorts, by bus or taxi, are one of benefits of travelling by train to the Alps.
Local taxi transfers from train stations to ski resorts
Transfers from train stations are much shorter than airport transfers. Journeys in French resorts, for example, typically take between 20 minutes and 50 minutes. Airport transfers take much longer, typically 90 minutes to four hours. I've heard stories of far longer airport transfers, because on popular transfer days the roads from airports to some resorts get clogged up with traffic.
If you would want to go by taxi from the train station to you accommodation, it's cheaper to book with a local taxi company than an airport transfer company. In most cases, airport transfer companies just aren't set up logistically to serve train stations, and so they have to charge more (we'd love to hear of exceptions to this rule, of course).
Local taxi prices will typically vary from €45 - €115 one way per taxi, depending on the destination. Taxis can take up to eight skiers in one go, and can carry skis and snowboard bags, as well as luggage (Some taxis prefer a maximum of seven people if you have skis). It's normally a sliding scale in price depending on how many people you are. For example, if you are only two people, you may pay less than the price for a 4-seater, and if you are five people you won't pay as much as the 8-seater.
How to book
Taxis can be booked in advance by phone, email or online (depending on the company). At popular destinations such as Bourg St Maurice, Moutiers or Grenoble, you can also just turn up and find taxis waiting at the taxi rank of each station - but you would certainly be advised to reserve a taxi in advance. The exception to the reserve-in-advance rule would be if there are just one or two of you, and you wanted to see if you could chip in and share a taxi with other people, thereby reducing the cost (and saving the world some petrol too).
Table of taxi duration and prices
Here is a list of taxi transfer durations and prices for popular French ski resorts, to help you plan your journey.
|Taxi transfers from train stations to French ski resorts|
|Ski resort / village||Train station||Journey time||4-seater taxi||8-seater taxi|
|Alpe d'Huez||Grenoble||75 mins||€130||€165|
|Avoriaz via Prodains||Cluses||45 mins||€60||€100|
|Brides les Bains||Moutiers||10 mins||€30||€45|
|Courchevel||Moutiers||40 - 50 mins||€65 - 85||€100 - 120|
|La Clusaz||Annecy||30 mins||€70||€100|
|La Plagne Centre||Aime la Plagne||25 mins||€60||€80|
|La Plagne Belle Plagne||Aime la Plagne||30 mins||€65||€90|
|La Plagne Bellecote||Aime la Plagne||25 mins||€60||€80|
|La Plagne Village||Aime la Plagne||30 mins||€60||€80|
|La Plagne Soleil||Aime la Plagne||30 mins||€60||€80|
|La Plagne 1800||Aime la Plagne||20 mins||€55||€75|
|La Rosiere||Bourg St Maurice||40 mins||€60||€100|
|La Tania||Moutiers||45 mins||€63||€105|
|Le Grand Bornand||Annecy||30 mins||€70||€100|
|Les Arcs 1600||Bourg St Maurice||25 mins||€50||€75|
|Les Arcs 1800||Bourg St Maurice||30 mins||€60||€80|
|Les Arcs 1950||Bourg St Maurice||30 mins||€75||€110|
|Les Arcs 2000||Bourg St Maurice||40 mins||€75||€110|
|Les Carroz||Cluses||25 mins||€40||€80|
|Les Contamines||St Gervais le Fayet||20 mins||€35||€55|
|Les Gets||Cluses||25 mins||€50||€90|
|Les Menuires||Moutiers||40 mins||€80||€120|
|Meribel Les Allues||Moutiers||20 mins||€53||€78|
|Meribel Centre||Moutiers||25 mins||€58||€88|
|Meribel Altiport||Moutiers||30 mins||€58||€88|
|Meribel Mottaret||Moutiers||30 mins||€68||€98|
|Meribel Village||Moutiers||25 mins||€58||€88|
|Sainte Foy||Bourg St Maurice||20 mins||€50||€70|
|St Gervais||St Gervais le Fayet||7 mins||€18||€25|
|St Martin de Belleville||Moutiers||25 mins||€55||€90|
|Serre Chevalier||Briancon||15 mins||€30||€40|
|Serre Chevalier||Oulx||50 mins||€120||€140|
|Tignes||Bourg St Maurice||50 mins||€80||€120|
|Val Cenis||Modane||30 mins||€45||€65|
|Val d'Isere||Bourg St Maurice||50 mins||€80||€120|
|Val Thorens||Moutiers||55 mins||€90||€140|
Public bus transfers
Taking a local bus from the train station to your resort is a way to reduce transport costs - not to mention traffic and emissions. It takes a little bit longer than a taxi, of course. But once it leaves, there won't be many - if any - stops between the train station and the resort, so it's normally a fairly direct service.
Transfer buses are essentially coaches, and are big, warm and can take skis and snowboard bags as well as other luggage. The buses always depart from right outside the train stations, so you don’t have to walk any distance to the bus stop.
Depending on where your accommodation is in relation to where the bus stops, you will either be moments away from your accommodation or a short walk. Check this with your accommmodation. And if it would be some walk away, ask if they can come and pick you up from the bus stop.
Transferring by bus from station to resort is one of the most cost-effective method travel. Prices to many French resorts are €12 one-way for adults, and €9 one-way for those under 26 (including children and infants).
Most buses can be booked in advance, and althought you can in some cases buy tickets on the bus, or at the station, it makes sense to book tickets in advance. For each resort on Snowcarbon, we have a 'Transfer guide' section that shows you which company to book though.
As a general rule, when arriving in the Alps by train, allow 15 minutes between your train arriving and the bus departing, so that you can comfortably reach the bus in good time. And when departing at the end of the holiday, allow 30 minutes between the time of your bus arriving at the station, and the train departing, in case of any delays on the road.
For French resorts, most bus services are booked though Altibus, a kind of umbrella bus-booking service. You can book buses on the website, www.altibus.com, as well as checking bus timetables. You can email Altibus at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Altibus on +33 4 79 68 32 96
If you are staying in a catered chalet, the chances are they they will offer a pick up service from the local station - either for free or for a very reasonable charge. Whether or not it is free, might depend on the time of your arrival.
Generally chalet's prefer their guests to come by train, because its a more reliable method of transport, a shorter transfer, created less pollution and guests arrive having had a enjoyable journey. So many many chalet's offer free pick ups from the station to encourage and reward this.
Most chalet's will write something on their 'Getting here/Travel' pages about this, but if in any doubt, ask.