Once you've arrived in Chamonix, how do you get from A to B?
You're arrived in Chamonix after flying, driving, catching the train or transfer bus, but how do you find your way around whilst you're here? We've put together this handy guide on the best way to get around so you can get to all the key places, and help you find your bearings quickly.
The various resorts and villages which make up the Chamonix Valley are all linked by a number of different train lines running the length of the valley from Les Houches to Vallorcine, stopping at all the ski areas along the way.
The buses are free to anyone bearing a lift pass, carte d'hote, gens du pays card or residence secondaire card - which covers pretty much everyone in the valley!
Chamonix buses run all year round, 7 days per week, with a reduced timetable operating during the quiet interseason periods of spring and autumn. They run from approximately 7am to 7:30pm, with the main lines operating every half hour.
The main bus terminal is in Chamonix Sud, in front of the bowling alley on Avenue de Courmayeur. Most buses also stop behind the tourist office on Allée Recteur Payot and opposite the Galerie Alpina on Avenue du Mont Blanc. All of the towns and villages between Les Houches and Vallorcine have at least one bus stop where you can connect to the rest of the valley.
There is also a smaller shuttle bus called Le Mulet that offers a free hop-on-hop-off service within Chamonix town.
Night buses run from 8:30pm to midnight, from Argentiere to Les Houches at 2€ per journey. There are four per night and they can be pre-booked if you are planning a night out. See all the timetables above.
The Chamonix train service is also included in your carte d'hote, gens du pays card or residence secondaire card, for all stops from Servoz to Vallorcine. It is often a more comfortable way to travel than the bus but does not offer the same flexibility.
Trains run once an hour in each direction and are quicker than the bus but the stations are not always as conveniently located for the ski areas as the bus stops are. We recommend taking the train if you are going to Vallorcine, as the station and the ski lift are right next to each other. However, for all other ski areas we recommend taking the bus.
During the summer you can take your bikes on the train; there is a maximum limit of 5 bikes per train (which is often down to the conductor's discretion) and you must use the carriages marked with the bike symbol on the door.
For a nice day trip, you can take the train beyond the Chamonix valley to Martigny in Switzerland or to Saint-Gervais but you will have to pay the entirety of the fare as the free transport is only valid between Servoz and Vallorcine.