Getting There — Most (but not all) trains coming from other parts of France or Switzerland require a transfer in such nearby villages as St-Gervais (in France) or Martigny (in Switzerland). Passengers change trains in either of these villages before continuing on by train to Chamonix. Passengers from Aix-les-Bains, Annecy, Lyon, Chambéry, Paris, and Geneva pass through those villages. There are six daily connections from Paris (trip time: 6 hr.); the one-way fare is 91€ to 141€. From Lyon are six relatively complicated rail links per day (trip time: 4 hr.): a one-way fare costs 44€, with transfers at Annecy and St-Gervais. For more information and schedules for trains throughout France, visit www.oui.sncf or call tel. 36-35 (.40€/min.).
Year-round, two to six buses a day run from the Geneva airport; the one-way fare ranges from 19€ to 24€. Buses arrive and depart from a spot adjacent to the railway station. For information, call Cie S.A.T. (www.sat-montblanc.com; tel. 04- 50-78-05-33).
If you’re driving, you probably won’t have to worry about road conditions. Because Chamonix lies on a main road between Italy and the Mont Blanc Tunnel, conditions are excellent year-round. Even after a storm, roads are quickly cleared. From Paris, follow A6 toward Lyon, and then take A40 toward Geneva. Before Geneva, turn south along A40, which runs to Chamonix.
Getting Around — Within Chamonix, a local network of small buses (navettes, usually painted yellow and blue) make frequent runs from points in town to many of the téléphériques (cable cars) and villages up and down the valley. For information, contact Chambus (www.chamonix-bus.com; tel. 04-50-53-05-55).
Visitor Information — Chamonix’s Office de Tourisme is at 85 pl. du Triangle-de-l’Amitié (www.chamonix.com; tel. 04-50-53-00-24).
Ski Passes — To buy passes online, go to www.chamonix.com; many ski offices in the area sell same-day tickets. The ski offices are dotted around Chamonix, for example at the Brevent or Montenvers lift entrances or further afield in Les Houches. Daily ski passes cost 43.50€ for Les Houches only (37€ per child; 134.90 for a family); 52.50€ for Chamonix (43.80€ per child; 134.90 for a family); and 63.50€ (54€ per child; 196.90€ for a family) for “Mont Blanc Unlimited.”
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.