Here’s why you should book a ski resort transfer from Geneva airport instead of renting a car
Geneva airport is one of the most popular locations of choice for accessing the French Alps during the ski season.
Over the past 10-15 years private transfers have become a very popular way to get to the Tarentaise valley for ski holiday makers flying into Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble and Chambery airports.
Before, the only option was to get from Geneva to the Tarentaise by train and then book a taxi or car rental from the airport and make the trip yourself.
We spoke to Simon Wilkinson, one of a large number of English born French business owners in the French Alps, who explained why he thinks his company Mountain Rescue Transfers is the best option as opposed to renting a car for getting you to your ski chalet this winter.
Mountain Rescue Transfers offers private airport transfers from Geneva direct to the Alps all year round. During the winter month the environment can be very testing at times, not only are there heavy snow falls but, flight delays, heavy traffic and the occasional land slide can make for an very interesting und unpredictable business operation to manage.
So why book a transfer instead of renting a car?
I get asked occasionally why not rent a car from the airport and drive ourselves as it seems like a similar price in some cases, and it certainly makes sense for some groups but overall I believe that the service we offer makes for a much more relaxed start and finish to your ski holiday and overall is better value.
Firstly, there is no faffing at the airport. The day before you travel you will receive an SMS and email reminding you of the meeting time and the drivers direct number so contact is easy if required. Once you have collected your skis and luggage you will meet your driver holding a sign with the booking name on and be whisked off in the direction of the French Alps. Likewise for the return trip. We plan your departure time and consider the traffic and weather right up to the day before you travel. Our driver will drop you at the flight departure doors, help you with your luggage and see you inside the airport.
No route finding! Our drivers do this route a lot so getting to the resort and finding your chalet is not a problem, even if the driver hasn’t been to your chalet before Mountain Rescue use a drivers app with a very large accommodation database with GPS locations of 100’s of chalets, hotels and apartments.
No tangling with snow chains in the freezing cold: That dreaded moment you realise you need to put snow chains on… If you haven’t done it before or even if you have done it a few times its never the most enjoyable part of the trip. Let our drivers worry about the snowy roads, its their job and they love it. If required they know when to pull over and add snow chains and can do it quickly and with little fuss. Our vehicles are completely alpine ready and we use high spec Nokian snow tires to ensure a firm grip on the road in all conditions.
No extra charges: When you book an airport transfer with Mountain Rescue, everything is included, there are no hidden extras. There are a couple of things to consider when renting a car in Geneva, firstly decide which side to rent your vehicle from. Geneva is split into two parts, the French side and the Swiss side.
You are going to be driving on Swiss motorways if you are heading in the direction of the Tarentaise valley and this requires road tax. You could try to avoid the motorways and take the back roads but I really wouldn’t advise that as it will add considerable time to your trip.
The Swiss road tax is in the form of a window vignette and this is supplied with Swiss rentals but not the French rentals which adds more hassle. Also don’t forget you will need snow tyres and snow chains (usually supplied) and for sure child seats will be extra cost if you’ve got kids.
Plenty of room: Ski gear can be very bulky, and along with your luggage you are going to need a fair bit of room. We use Volkswagen Caravelle minibuses to operate all of our transfers so there is plenty of room for groups of up to 8 passengers to sit in comfort and carry all their gear. The Caravelle minibus is a genuinely nice place to be, strong and sturdy: its become our vehicle of choice and we love it.
Traffic jams: They do happen and the Tarentaise is pretty famous for it on the peak weekends. A large part of our planning is avoiding traffic jams and our drivers use a lot of not so obvious routes to avoid traffic when required. Our general advice to miss the heavy traffic is to either arrive early in Geneva before 10:00 or fly in on a Friday evening staying overnight at a Geneva hotel and get us to pick you up early and get to resort for say 09:00 and go skiing on the quietist day of the week! For resort departures it’s the same thing. Leave resort early, before 09:00 or after 16:00 to avoid sitting in traffic jams.
Car Parks: Using our transfer service means when you are dropped at your chalet you can go straight to your room unpack and get skiing. Renting a car you will probably have to use the resort parking facilities. Tignes is currently charging 85.00 euros for a weeks parking in one of the interior parking spots or 80.00 euros for an exterior spot.
It’s a personal choice at the end of the day but if you are not sure feel free to get in touch to chat about our service or the resorts in general. This winter Mountain Rescue are operating 24/7 from Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble, and Chambery airports direct to all of the fantastic ski resorts in the Tarentaise. We have vehicle hubs in Moutiers, St Foy Tarentaise, Bourg St Maurice and Peisey Nancroix.
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