Grand Massif / Travel Tips

How to Get to Samoëns from the UK: Everything You Need to Know

Heading to Samoëns for your next ski holiday but not sure of the best way to get there? You’ve come to the right place! With many people opting for alternative forms of travel other than by plane, it can be overwhelming to know which transport to take, what route to choose and how to start organising travel plans.

Luckily, we’ve put together this guide on how to get to Samoëns by plane, train, and car, so you can decide what option is best for you before packing your bags for the slopes...

Where is Samoëns?

Samoëns is situated in the Grand Massif ski area, within the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France.

By plane

Geneva airport to Samoëns

How far is Samoëns to Geneva airport?

Geneva airport is just over one hour’s drive from Samoëns, so it’s an ideal arrival airport for your trip.

To get from Geneva airport to Samoëns, you will need to cross the Swiss border into France. Usually, this can be done without making stops, however, we’d advise having your documentation and passport on you ready, just in case they’re required at the border.

Chambery airport to Samoëns

Chambery airport is another option for your holiday in Samoëns. It takes around one and a half hours to get a transfer from Chambery airport to Samoëns ski resort.

Lyon airport to Samoëns

If you’re unable to fly to Geneva or Chambery, Lyon airport could be a third option. However, with a journey time of a little over two hours, it could be a good idea to look at earlier flights if they’re available.

Grenoble airport to Samoëns

Similarly, Grenoble airport to Samoëns will take over two hours. It’s not the ideal choice if you’re flying, but if you do end up flying into Grenoble, again, it’s worth booking an earlier flight.


If you’re travelling with younger children, then taking a private transfer from the airport to Samoëns may be easier for you.

The vehicle will be exclusively yours, so it means you don’t have to wait at the airport for as long and you won’t have to make numerous stops along the way for other passengers.

If you’re a group of friends or travelling alone, then a shared transfer may be a better option. Shared transfers are more cost-effective, but you may be limited to more restrictive timings and longer waits, as well as having to make more stops on the way.

Here are some transfer companies who can get you to Samoëns:

Pros of getting to Samoëns from the UK by plane:

  • it’s faster than driving
  • there are a number of direct flights to fairly closeby airports

Cons of getting to Samoëns from the UK by plane:

  • it’s more expensive, especially if you’re taking skis and snowboards, or you’re a family with young kids
  • you won’t have your own car in resort

Car hire

Hiring a car is another option if you’d like the option to drive around resort.

If you’re arriving at Geneva Airport, make sure to ask your car hire provider if there are different requirements or pick up points for your vehicle because you’re travelling on to France.

However, if you’re visiting in winter and are not confident driving in snow and using snow chains, we wouldn’t recommend hiring a vehicle. 

Read on to find out more about driving in the French Alps…

By car

Sometimes it’s easier and more cost-effective for families to travel to their ski resort of choice by car.

Those with their own ski equipment might prefer driving because they don’t have to worry about extra luggage costs.

Also, many of us are now travelling with our pets, so driving is the easiest way to be able to bring them with you.

Although driving can be cheaper than flying in some cases, remember that French tolls can add up quickly. We’d recommend budgeting just under 200€ for the tolls for your round trip, plus fuel money.

What will you need?

Over the years, there have been some changes in requirements for UK vehicles in France. You will need headlight converters, as well as other documentation for the journey. Take a look at the advice on this website to find out what you’ll need to have ready for the journey.

Please note that the old-style GB stickers are no longer permitted for use outside of the UKThis article by the BBC will explain what you need to do before setting off.

As previously mentioned, driving conditions can be challenging in the mountains. When you’re in the French Alps, you legally have to carry snow chains in your vehicle and know how to use them safely. Check out this article to learn more about using snow chains on your vehicle.

Pros of driving from the UK to Samoëns:

  • families can keep costs down as there’s less luggage restrictions
  • you can be more flexible with timings
  • you’ll get to drive your own car in resort which is convenient

Cons of driving from the UK to Samoëns:

  • it’s a much longer trip compared with flying
  • the driving conditions can be challenging at times
  • at peak times, the traffic is heavy
  • for UK residents, there are extra checks to be made to your vehicle as mentioned above
  • toll costs need to be sconsidered

By train

Eco-conscious travellers may want to opt for the train, however, you need to be a fairly confident traveller and ensure you know where your stops are before heading off. The route is outlined below:

  1. London St. Pancras > Paris Gare du Nord Station (Eurostar)
  2. Paris Gare du Nord Station > Paris Gare de Lyon Station (Metro)
  3. Paris Gare de Lyon Station > Bellegarde-sur-Valserine (train)
  4. Bellegarde-sur-Valserine > Annemasse (train)
  5. Annemasse > Cluses (train)
  6. Cluses > Samoëns (transfer)

In some cases, the journey from Bellegarde-sur-Valserine to Cluses may be direct. The trip will take you approximately ten hours, not including waits in between the legs of the journey.

Pros of getting to Samoëns from the UK by train:

  • it can be cheaper than flying in some cases
  • there’s the opportunity to easily have a stop over in Paris
  • it’s more eco-friendly
  • it’s a scenic route

Cons of getting to Samoëns from the UK by train:

  • it takes much longer than flying
  • you have to make a lot of changes, including the Metro, which can be difficult to navigate with ski equipment

So there’s an overview of how to get to Samoëns from the UK, but if you’re in need of accommodation, be sure to check out the properties we work with in the area…

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