Anyone who has visited the French Alps will know that one of the most convenient airports in the area is actually located just across the border in Switzerland. Geneva Airport, or Genève Aéroport as it is officially called, provides a gateway to the Alps for passengers from a variety of European cities as well as certain long-haul routes from North America, China and the Middle East. Once you have arrived in Geneva, especially after a long journey, the sooner you can reach ski resorts like Courchevel, with its limitless ski runs and cosy chalets, the happier you’ll be. We review the best ways to travel between Geneva and Courchevel, including car rentals, private transfers and Geneva to Courchevel helicopter transfers.
The 150-kilometre journey from Geneva to Courchevel takes three hours by car but this could be longer in peak traffic and challenging weather conditions. In winter, an all-wheel drive is a key factor to look for, so ask for a rental with snow chains. A national tax applies to all motor vehicles and trailers up to a total weight of 3.5 tonnes each on Swiss motorways and cars must display a sticker, known as a vignette. Swiss rental cars should come with a vignette but it is advisable to double check. If you don’t see one on the car’s windshield, purchase a sticker for 40 Swiss francs (€37) at a nearby petrol station. The police strictly enforce the vignette policy and those who are found without one are fined 200 Swiss francs (around €170). The vignette is valid for one year and once acquired, you can travel to Switzerland as often as you like without having to buy another one.
Airport transfers from Geneva to Courchevel are available across all comfort levels; from basic to luxurious. Although shared transfers offer a door to door service and leave regularly, these are often the slowest choice because of the number of stops they must make. These transfers are usually minibuses that carry around 10 passengers and cost approximately €60 per person each way. They leave at set times throughout the day depending on the transfer company and take 2.5 hours, but you should allow an additional 45 minutes in your schedule for pick-ups and drop-offs.
A private transfer will be a much quicker and more luxurious alternative to a shared minibus; driving times are similar to a car rental but without the hard work! However, since the vehicles are usually prestigious marques like Mercedes or BMW, it’s a more costly means of getting to Courchevel.
At the ultra-luxurious end of the spectrum, you can hire a car with a chauffeur who will meet you and your party at the airport and then be on call around the clock to escort you around Courchevel for the duration of your stay. A private driver will often be bilingual and have a good local knowledge of the area’s roads and tourist attractions. They aren’t limited to taking you to the airport and ski lifts either; they can drive you to Courchevel’s exclusive spas, take you to the shops or pick you up from an evening of après-ski celebrations.
The cost of private transfers by land can quickly add up and come with no guarantee of a speedy arrival. In fact, the journey can be quite tiring for those who have already had a long day travelling from other parts of the world. A Geneva to Courchevel helicopter transfer is the quickest and most exhilarating way to reach the resort’s immaculate ski slopes. Helicopter transfers leave from Archamps, a strategically placed heliport minutes from Geneva. The journey to Courchevel takes just 30 minutes and the views of the snow-blanketed Alps are spectacular.
Courchevel’s altiport boasts the highest asphalted runaway in Europe at an altitude of 2,010 metres. Peer down at chocolate box chalets and skiers carving lines into fresh powder as the helicopter prepares to land among the soaring peaks of Les Trois Vallées ski region. The journey is so breathtaking and surrounds so luxurious, that you’ll wish you had longer on board. Rather than arrive exhausted after a long car journeys, you’ll touch down refreshed and ski-ready. A helicopter transfer is our transport mode of choice for the journey between Geneva and Courchevel.