Travelling To Meribel
Meribel is easy to reach by plane, train, or car. There are 2 airports that operate in the summer months within two and a half hours’ drive of Meribel. Then there is the Eurostar train that goes from St Pancras to Paris, changing onto the TGV which will then whisk you Alp-ward. Or you can drive, which takes about 8 hours from Calais or Le Havre.
The beauty of travelling in France is that it is so well interconnected. Real thought has been afforded to transport infrastructure here and in so many ways this makes the start to your summer holiday relaxing and straightforward.
If you do choose to travel by rail or by car you will be treated to the delights of the changing French landscape – whether it be the coal mining belt of the north, with its industry-laden landscape or the rolling plains of Champagne. There are sure to be some fingerprints on the windows! For most, part of the excitement (for children at least!) can be the journey and all the little landmarks along the way. We are pretty sure that as long as the weather isn’t a let-down and there aren’t too many tantrums then journeying to Meribel becomes part of the holiday adventure.
There are 2 airports that serve Meribel in the summer. Firstly, Geneva – the new motorway means that you can get to Meribel in around 2 hours. It’s either motorway all the way or the more direct main road alongside beautiful Lake Annecy.
For most guests, Geneva seems to be the airport of choice with all the major carriers flying from either Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted or Luton. We believe Geneva is the airport best suited to cope with flight availabilities and UK geographical requirements.
There is also the option of Lyon Airport, which is situated just over 2 hours away. Lyon is an attractive alternative, especially when trying to keep to a budget, as one can usually find slightly cheaper flights as opposed to the big hub airport prices. Like Geneva, it also benefits from a fantastic motorway connection all the way to the 3 Valleys. In summer, you should breeze through the airport, and onto your onward journey.
Once you’ve booked your flights to the French Alps, we can help you book your airport transport or hire car to get you as quickly as possible to your chalet in Meribel.
If you’re flying, then car hire is often the most cost-effective way of getting from the airport to resort. Moreover, you’ll find a car useful during a summer holiday in Meribel. We can email you directions from the airport to your chalet.
Once in resort, there are various parking options. If you’re staying at Chalet Snowbel or La Petite Silene you can park outside the chalet to unload the car. Once unloaded you can take your car to the open-air free car park, which is a two-minute walk away. If you’d prefer, there’s also an underground car park close by, costing about 80 euros for the week.
If you’re staying at Les Grands Sorbiers, there is a small parking area by the front door to the building. If this is taken, then Route de la Renarde is a quiet road, and there is sometimes parking at the bend by the slopes (4-minute walk), or down in the main car park. Le Marmotton has parking for up to 3 cars next to the chalet, and Chalet Sainte Appolonnie benefits from street parking nearby.
There are various car rental agencies at the airports, and pre-booking can often be cheaper. If you’re flying into Geneva, it’s easier to hire a car from the Swiss side – it comes with the Swiss motorway vignette, and you don’t have the fiddle of finding your way out of the French side of the airport! We recommend Rhino Car Hire who compare prices of the leading and local car hire agencies. Rhino offer our guests discounted car hire rates – please contact us for further details.
The drive from Calais or Le Havre to Meribel is a straightforward one. It’s motorway all the way to Moutiers, and then a 25-minute climb up the hill to Meribel. Total driving time is usually about 8 to 9 hours, plus stops. Tolls cost about 75 euros (one way) and petrol about 100 euros.
When driving in France, it is a legal requirement to carry in the car a safety triangle, a high-visibility vest, and now 2 breathalyser tests (most packs contain 2 tests). You’ll also need to make sure you put on a GB sticker and headlight converters. Plenty of websites sell these items in one pack – for example try Drive France. Many of our guests break the journey along the route, although some do drive right through to Meribel.
There are various car ferry crossings you can take from England to France: PO Ferries, MyFerryLink and DFDS Seaways all go from Dover to Calais, and Brittany Ferries run sailings from Portsmouth to Le Havre and Caen. Then there’s the Eurotunnel from near Folkestone to Calais. The journey time from all these French ports is similar – between 8 and 9 hours. For route planning info have a look at Via Michelin, or we can send you directions by email.
Your journey begins with the Paris-bound Eurostar service from London St Pancras before changing and continuing your onwards travel from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz to Moutiers on the TGV. From Moutiers, it’s a straightforward 25-minute taxi drive up the hill to Meribel.
The train option is becoming ever-more attractive to guests, with journey times almost being comparable to those of flying (when all the pre-check-ins and early airport arrival is added up) and comparable prices also being an ever increasing attraction.
Choosing to travel by train also gives more flexibility to parents who need to keep their children entertained during the journey. With more space to move about and a constant barrage of changing visual stimuli as the TGV whizzes through the French countryside, there should be enough to keep everyone suitably distracted.
Moreover, if you, your family or group wanted to bring bikes, then the French train system is far more accommodating in the carriage of these. This can be extra appealing to road and mountain bike enthusiasts who are coming to Meribel to sample the awesome roads and trails on offer in the area.
Contact Rail Europe on 0844 848 5848 or Eurostar on 03432 186 186 for full details.