Getting to Val Thorens
Despite Val Thorens being so high, it is relatively easy to get to with a choice of airports within three hours drive, and an international train station at Moutiers less than an hour away. Completing the journey by airport transfer services is preferable to driving yourself as you can not use your car inside the resort and will have to pay for parking. There is also a little know “back door” way into the resort via Orelle which can be useful if you are coming from Italy, including Turin Airport.
Nearest Airports to Val Thorens
The nearest airports to Val Thorens are:
- Chambéry Airport (78 miles/122km, 1 hour 45 mins drive)
- Geneva Airport (129 miles/202km, 2 hours 40 mins drive)
- Lyon-St Exupery (125 miles/199km, 2 hours, 35min drive).
- Grenoble-Isere (122 miles / 195km, 2 hours 35mins)
- Turin Airport/Aeroporto di Torino-Caselle (80 miles/125km, 1 hour 45 mins drive to Orelle plus 1 hour in ski-lifts)
Chambery and Grenoble are the closest but have the least choice of flights. Geneva is the main gateway, although Lyons is very slightly closer.
Getting from the Airport to Val Thorens
Val Thorens is almost car-free (you’re allowed to unload when you get there, but then have to park the car in one of the official car parks on the edge of the village and return by shuttle bus). Therefore getting to the resort from Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble, Chambery or Turin airport by a specialist transfer service tends to be more convenient than hiring a car, and it also saves you the worry and hassle of driving in wintry conditions on mountain roads in a strange car (putting on snowchains in a blizzard is not fun).
The ‘Backdoor’ Route to Val Thorens via Orelle and the Tunnel du Frejus.
This could be a useful option if you are coming from Turin Airport or any other part of Italy. Take the E70 Austostrada to the Fréjus road tunnel between Bardonecchia in Italy and Modane in France (toll payable), then the A43 Autoroute, then the D1006 to Orelle. Look for the Orelle gondola which is located in the hamlet of Francoz-Orelle. You then complete the journey using this Orelle Gondola, then the Orelle-Caron gondola, then the Cime Caron cable car, then the Caron gondola (and possibly the Cairn gondola too, depending on where you are staying in Val Thorens). It’s a very scenic way to enter the resort because you cross Cime Caron at 3200m but there is a lot of getting on and off lifts with all your luggage. You can park in Francoz near the lift but it’s expensive so using a transfer service to get to Orelle (see below for details) is probably a better option than hiring a car. And obviously you must check the lifts are still running by the time you arrive at Orelle – opening and closing times are available at www.les3vallees.com/en/live/lifts-and-trails-opening
Airport Transfers to Val Thorens
Ski-Lifts Airport Transfers
Each year Ski-Lifts helps thousands of skiers and boarders get to their accommodation in ski resorts, with a range of hassle-free, door-to-door transfer options from all major airports and train stations, and 24/7 English language assistance if needed. Get an immediate quote and book online >>>
Mountain Rescue Airport Transfers
Mountain Rescue Airport Transfers offer a safe and reliable service from Geneva, Grenoble, Lyon and Chambery direct to your Val Thorens accommodation in resort. Free ski carriage and free child facilities along with sole occupancy of an 8 seater minibus makes it a comfortable and competitively priced way of getting you from plane to the powder and back again. Last minute bookings available and secure online booking and payment system. Tel: UK +44 203 287 4588, France: +33 977 217 766. Request an airport transfer quote >
Airport Bus Services to Val Thorens
There is also a public bus service between Val Thorens and Geneva, Chambery and Lyons aiports provided by AltiBus. To/from Geneva there are normally three buses a day on weekdays, up to seven on Saturdays and up to four on Sundays. The journey takes over 4 hours, including a stop in Moutiers where you often have to change buses. Between Val Thorens and Chambery Airport there are usually between two and four buses a day on a Saturday, one on Sunday and none on weekdays. The journey takes between 2 hours 30 mins and 4 hours, depending on the length of the stop at Moutiers. Between Val Thorens and Lyons Saint Exupery airport there are usually 2 buses a day on Saturday and 1 on Fridays and Sundays – journey time is about 4 hours. You are strongly advised to buy tickets in advance because if the bus is full they won’t let you on.
Getting to Val Thorens by Rail
Nearest Train Station to Val Thorens is Moutiers
The nearest railway station to Val Thorens is Moutiers, about 40kms away. On railway timetables, Moutiers station is also sometimes called Moutiers-Salins-Brides Les Bains.
Eurostar and TGV Rail Services from UK / Paris to Moutiers
From the UK, Eurostar operates services to Moutiers from London St Pancras, which takes between seven and a half hours and ten hours. There are some direct trains with no changes, but these can take longer than services with one change in Paris, which necessitates getting from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon. If you take the Metro this is just two stops on RER line D (Direction Melun). Even allowing time to buy tickets and walk to and from platforms, this should not take more than 30 to 40 minutes. But if you have a lot of baggage, a taxi ride might be a better option.
Trains from Paris for Moutiers depart from the Gare de Lyon and normally take between four and six hours. There are direct trains from Paris and also indirect services which usually involve taking a TGV to Chambery, Aix Les Bains or Lyon, then completing the journey onto Moutiers on either a regional TER train service or a bus.
There are also international Thalys train services direct from Belgium and the Netherlands to Moutiers. From Southern and Eastern Europe, services from Geneva and Milan go via Chambery.
Getting from Moutiers Train Station to Val Thorens
To get from Moutiers station to Val Thorens, the 38km taxi ride takes about 45 to 60 minutes door to door. Ski-Lifts lets you book online a private transfer from the train station to the resort and provides a 24/7 English helpline if your train is delayed.
There are also several buses a day – see www.mobisavoie.fr for bus times.
Driving to Val Thorens
For a resort that is so high, Val Thorens is reasonably easy to reach by car from the UK or Northern Europe. It’s a 976km journey from Calais but only about a 9 to 10 hour drive because it’s on motorways almost all the way. (The toll charges add up, though.) Usually the A6-A46-A432 route around the outskirts of Lyons quicker than the A39-A40-A41 route around the outskirts of Annecy and Geneva but check road conditions on the day. Either way, the final part of the journey is on the A430 then N90 then D117 via St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires.
Parking in Val Thorens
Val Thorens is mostly car-free and does not permit street parking during the ski season except for loading and unloading, then park in one of the mandatory car parks on the outskirts of the village. A shuttle bus takes you to and from the resort. You are strongly recommended to buy your parking in advance. You can reserve a place online at www.valthorens.com but you must do it at least one week before arrival. If coming via Orelle you park the car near the Orelle gondola basestation.