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How to get to Val d'Isere

Discover the top ways to get to Val d'Isere


With a nearby train station and several airports within 3 to 4 hours, there are plenty of options for getting to Val d'Isere.

Together with Tignes, Val d'Isere makes up one of the largest ski resorts in Europe. It has more than 300km of pistes and some great off-piste.

The easiest way for most international visitors to get here is probably to fly to Geneva.

Val d'Isere is definitely doable by train too. Bourg St Maurice railway station is about an hour away by local bus, which is less time than it takes to get from any of the closest airports.   

If you're driving, it's straightforward as far as Bourg St Maurice. The road gets increasingly twisty after that.

So given the options, what’s the best way to get here? 

Plane over snow-capped mountains

Flying to Val d'Isere

Flying to Geneva is probably the fastest way to get to Val d'Isere for most international visitors.

You'll easily pick up a transfer from Geneva. You can also hire a car and be on your way in no time. Journey time is around three hours.

The only trouble with flying anywhere is the environmental cost. Driving, coming by coach or catching a train are usually better options if you want to reduce CO2 emissions.

Flying to other airports

Lyon or Grenoble are options for Val d'Isere if you can’t get a flight to Geneva. Both are about the same distance away (220km) and transfers take upwards of three hours.

Chambery is actually closer than the three airports already mentioned, but it's a lot smaller and not as many airlines fly there. But if you can get a flight and a transfer, your journey time to the resort should only be two hours or so. 

We wouldn't recommend trying to get to Val d'Isere from Turin or Milan - even if they look close on the map. It usually takes a lot longer to get to the resort, and you'll often have to rely on pricey private transfers.

About Transfers to Val Thorens

Getting from the airport to Val d'Isere

There are several ways to get from the airport to Val d'Isere. If your transfer only takes you as far as Bourg St Maurice, you can catch a local bus to the resort. This should only take an hour. 

Airport transfer options for Val d'Isere
Flying to Best option Journey time
Chambery Private transfers to Val d'Isere
Regular bus services via Bourg St Maurice on weekends during the winter season
Geneva Airport transfer to Val d'Isere 3h
Grenoble Private airport transfers to Val d'Isere 3h45
Lyon Private transfers to Val d'Isere
Regular bus service to Val d'Isere via Bourg St Maurice
About Trains to La Plagne

Train to Val d'Isere

Getting to Val d'Isere by train may involve a few changes, which can be tricky with baggage or kids. But:

  • it's the most environmentally-friendly option
  • you get more leg room than on a plane or in a car
  • you normally won't have to pay extra for luggage
  • journey times can be similar to driving or flying if you're doing a trip like London to Val d'Isere

Which train station is closest to Val d'Isere

Val d'Isere doesn't have its own train station, but Bourg St Maurice SNCF is only 30km away by local bus. That means you can be in resort within an hour, saving several hours over the airport transfer time. 

You can get fast (TGV) trains from Paris and many other cities to Bourg St Maurice. The Eurostar Snow train also stops here. 

If you're coming to Val d'Isere from the UK

London to Val d'Isere by train takes 10 to 12 hours.

About Transfers to Val Thorens

Driving to Val d'Isere

Being a good three to four hours from the nearest airport, Val d'Isere is one resort where driving perhaps makes more sense. That said, you won't need your car once you're in resort.

Read more about parking in Val d'Isère

If you're using the French autoroute, the journey as far as Bourg St Maurice (the nearest town to Val d'Isere) is straightforward. The final 45 minutes is a little more arduous as you wind your way up the 32km stretch into Val d'Isere.

This road is cleared every day during winter, but it's not a trip for nervous drivers - especially in bad weather. 

Remember too that if you're coming here for a ski holiday, you'll need to fit winter tyres or keep snow chains in the boot of your car.   

Driving to Val d'Isere from the UK

It takes about 10h30 to drive from Calais to Val d'Isere - a distance of around 1,000km.

Unless you're driving an electric car to the Alps however, driving isn't very environmentally friendly.

About Transfers to Val Thorens

Coach to Val d'Isere

Getting to Val d'Isere by coach takes longer than flying. It's usually cheaper though, which makes it a good option if you're on a budget.

It's also a relatively environmentally-friendly way to travel.

International coach companies like FlixBus, Eurolines, BlaBlaBus and RegioJet run services to Lyon, Grenoble and Geneva. From there, you can pick up a bus transfer to Val d'Isere.

Coaches from London to Val d'Isere

There's a direct overnight coach from London to Val d'Isere that runs once a week during the winter. The coach stops in Bourg St Maurice - the closest town to Val d'Isere. From there you can hop on to a local bus for the last 32km.

Total journey time is about 20 hours.

About Getting to Val Thorens

Reduce your environmental impact

We know flying is often the most convenient way to get to Val d'Isere, but we'd encourage you to look at alternatives.

A good option is to take the train as far as Bourg St Maurice do the last leg by bus. This allows you to minimise your carbon footprint while still getting to the resort in good time.

Carbon footprint | Comparing ways to get to Val d'Isere
Mode of transport CO2 per km per person
Train 6 grams
Electric car with 4 passengers 13 grams
Coach 28 grams
Diesel car with 4 passengers 43 grams
Petrol car with 4 passengers 48 grams
Flying 156 grams

Source: Carbon footprint of travel per kilometre (