About Getting to Les Arcs
If you're not taking a package holiday, where travel to your resort is already catered for, then you might want to consider how you're going to get to France and Les Arcs.
What are the options to consider if you’re coming to Les Arcs in either winter or summer? Should you fly or self-drive? What about bringing skis or bikes with you? What’s the quickest way to get here? Or the cheapest?
Best way to get here
If you are travelling from outside of France, then flying into Chambery is likely to be the quickest way to get to Les Arcs. Les Arcs is then a transfer (taxi or minibus) or a bus ride away from the airport, unless you're driving yourself.
Chambery is the closest airport (1h 50 mins) and has a good choice of airlines operating in winter only. The next closest airport at Grenoble is a little further away (2 h 30 mins) and is also only used in winter. If you're looking for summer flights, Lyon or Geneva are your best options as they have flights all year round.
You can also get the fast TGV trains to Paris or Lyon and then onto Landry and Bourg St Maurice or take one of the dedicated 'snow trains' which run throughout the ski season (read more about trains below).
In winter, there are four main airports you could fly into (see below) whilst in summer, flights only operate to Geneva and Lyon.
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Chambery Airport is where most Tour Operators fly into in winter although you can get independent flights here too. Once you’ve arrived, we recommend you take a private transfer to resort as this is easier and faster than taking lots of connections on public transport.
Grenoble airport is also used by a number of winter tour operators and again we'd recommend a private transfer to resort. Lyon Airport is also a viable option, with large flights volumes year round.
Geneva Airport is extremely well connected from most UK and European cities, year round. Flights to Geneva are much more competitively priced because of higher passenger volumes and you can pick up Swiss chocolate and fancy Swiss watches on your way through!
Once you’ve arrived at the airport you’ll need a transfer to Les Arcs, which you can do via private taxi or minibus, hire car, coach, train or public buses. Travel times vary for each airport, as do the respective transfer costs. Read more in our Transfers Guide.
There are an increased number of international flights to the above airports during the winter months, operating from December to March/April. In summer, the same airlines fly out here but your choice of departure and arrival airports is reduced. Use our Flight Finder via the link below to search for the best flights for your trip.
If you’re bringing sports equipment with you, don’t forget to check how much extra the airline might charge you for carriage and give yourself extra time to get this additional equipment checked in. Often the excess baggage areas are separate from the main check in desks, so make sure you get there with plenty of time to potentially do two check-ins. You should be able to find out more information about prices and check in desks either on the airline website, on your tickets or email confirmation.
Transfers to Resort
Once you reach the airport, bus or train station, the most popular option for onward travel to Les Arcs is to take a transfer minibus. Most transfers for Les Arcs are offered on a private basis although shared transfers are also available.
Alternatively you can catch on of the public buses from any of the airports to either Bourg St Maurice or Landry bus stations. Landry has connections to Montchavin & Les Coches whilst Bourg St Maurice has connections to Arcs 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000.
If you're coming by train take the Funicular from Bourg St Maurice up to resort and then catch one of the village shuttle buses (see more on buses below).
Also see: Transfer Options for Les Arcs
Using public transport can help keep the costs down on your trip to Les Arcs, however it can take considerably longer and may involve a few changes along the way.
The closest bus station to Les Arcs is at Bourg St Maurice, the town at the bottom of the mountain to Les Arcs (which is also where you'll arrive if you're coming by train).
Buses from Chambery airport to Bourg St Maurice and Landry operate 4 times per day on Saturdays and once on Sundays during the ski season. It takes around 2 hours 10 minutes to get to Landry and a further 15 minutes to Bourg St Maurice (BSM).
Buses from Lyon airport run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the ski season and take around 3 hours to get here. They operate twice a day on Fridays, 4 times on Saturdays and twice on Sundays.
Buses from Geneva airport operate every day of the week in winter with 6 buses on Saturdays, 4 on Sundays and 3 on all the other days of the week. This route also takes around 3 hours.
Buses from Grenoble operate on 5 times per day on Saturdays and once on Sundays in winter and takes around 3 hours to get to Bourg St Maurice.
Once in BSM you can pick up connections from here across town to the Funicular which takes you up into Arc 1600 and from there you can get another shuttle bus to the other villages of 1800, 1950 and 2000. Find the timetables and how to book via the link below.
Also see: Bus Services in Les Arcs
The nearest train station for Les Arcs is at Bourg St Maurice and it takes around 35 minutes by road to get to the highest part of resort in Arc 2000. There is also a station at Landry, on the way to Bourg St Maurice, which services Peisey, Vallanry, Montchavin and Nancroix.
If you’re travelling from the UK, the Eurostar leaves from London or Kent and takes you into Paris, where you can pick up a connecting TGV train to Bourg St Maurice. These trains only operate in winter (from December to April) on Saturday during the day and overnight on Fridays (without sleeping compartments).
International trains connect Bourg St Maurice to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport or from Paris-Gare-de-Lyon on the TGV service, which takes around 5-6 hours. If you're coming from Lyon Part Dieu you can reach BSM on the regional trains which takes around 3.5 hours.
Once you've arrived in Bourg St Maurice you can pick up a shuttle bus to the Funicular and then another shuttle bus up into resort or a take a transfer minibus directly from BSM.
Also see: National Trains to Les Arcs
There are a couple of International coach companies that get you to Lyon, Chambery, Grenoble or to Bourg St Maurice or better still directly up into the resort villages.
International coaches are usually more comfortable than your average coach and many travel through the night, allowing you to spend more time on your actual holiday. Although the journey time is obviously longer (London to Les Arcs takes around 18.5 hours), you don't have the usual airport hassle of checking in luggage and hanging around in the departures lounge waiting for your flight to board. It is also more eco-friendly and often a bit kinder on the pocket.
If you’re travelling from the UK, or perhaps from other European destinations to France by car, one of only a few options is to take the cross-channel ferry; another is the Eurotunnel train. You should book ferry tickets well in advance, especially if you’re thinking about travelling during peak holiday season.
Bringing your own vehicle with you to Les Arcs is a good idea if you want to have a little more flexibility getting around once you’re here. Being able to drive yourself around the area is far more comfortable and convenient, allowing you to take day trips or visit other nearby resorts such as La Plagne, Tignes, Val d'Isere, Meribel, Courchevel or Val Thorens.
Bear in mind that in winter the road on the way up to Les Arcs from Bourg St Maurice is quite winding in places and although snow clearers operate every day in winter, conditions can be hard to drive in. Read our Driving to Les Arcs Guide and find more information on Parking in Les Arcs once you’ve arrived.
You could also consider hiring a car from the airport or train/bus station.
Also see: Driving to Les Arcs
Travelling with equipment
Airlines, trains and transfer companies are all well-versed in catering for customers who travel with their own sports equipment (eg skis/snowboards or bikes/golf clubs in the summer), but it’s well worth checking the details in advance. Each company will have their own individual policy terms and conditions depending on the type of sporting equipment you are transporting. Here's a snapshot of the different transport options and a guide to their restrictions:
By Plane: Some airlines charge for taking skis/snowboards, and some don’t, and this can also apply to bikes, golf clubs, parachutes, mountaineering equipment - so check before you book. Make sure you pack your gear well, as it’s not unusual for there to be a few bumps and bruises along the way, if you don’t! The same applies for your bike, whether that be a mountain bike, road bike or touring bike...pack it well and ensure it falls within the packaging guidelines specified by the carrier. For more information see our Cycling & Mountain Biking Guides.
Airport Transfer companies - again, these guys know that you’re going skiing, so they are able to cater for skis and snowboards coming too. However, it’s always important to let them know exactly what you’re bringing, so that they can ensure having sufficient capacity for skis/snowboards/bikes/clubs etc. An 8-seater minibus is much more cramped if all 8 of you turn up with skis without having forewarned the driver!
By Train - depending on where you start from, remember that train travel might include a couple of changes and almost certainly lugging your gear up and down a few sets of stairs or escalators. Eurostar allows skis/snowboards as 1 of your 2 permitted pieces of larger luggage, however golf clubs, bikes and other sporting equipment incur an additional charge of around £30 for their registered luggage service.