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Guide

How to Get to Verbier

Discover the top ways to get to Verbier

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It's really easy to get to Verbier because the ski area is located just 160km from Geneva International airport. But flying isn't your only option, you can drive here and trains and coaches come here too.

Whilst there's more than one route option to consider, there's no ignoring the environmental cost of a ski holiday. The means by which you travel to your holiday contributes around 50-70% of its carbon footprint, and with global warming and melting glaciers making the headlines daily, when figuring out what's 'best' for you, you may wish to also consider what's best for the environment.

Let us help you figure it out with our complete guide for getting to Verbier.

Plane: Flying to the Alps generates nearly seven times as much carbon than travelling by train
Train: France and Switzerland's electrified rail networks have some of the world's lowest carbon footprints
Driving: Travelling by car with four to five people can make a significant difference in CO2 output in comparison to flying

Best ways to get to Verbier


Verbier is located in southwest Switzerland, in the canton of Valais, part of the country's French-speaking area. The ski area is at the heart of the Four Vallées, the largest ski resort in Switzerland and one of the biggest in Europe.

What’s the best way to get to Verbier?
Whilst there's no denying the convenience of flying, we would encourage you to at least consider the alternatives. We're not going to give you just one route to Verbier, and below you'll find what we think are the main pros and cons:

How to get to Verbier
  Pros Cons
Flight & Transfer Fastest Environmental cost
Train Eco-friendly
Comfort
Slow-ish
Connections
Drive Convenience Time consuming
Polluting
Coach / Bus Price Time consuming
Less comfort (if overnight)

Flying and Airport transfer
The fastest way to get to Verbier is to fly to Geneva and then get an airport transfer.

  • Pros: 
    Fast – You can't beat flying for pure speed. Geneva airport also offers the greatest selection of airlines, most frequent flight times and lowest prices, while airport transfers are the fastest way to reach the ski area – you’ll be at your accommodation’s doorstep in 2h.
  • Cons: 
    Carbon footprint – To be honest, we should all feel bad about flying these days. There are numerous ways to off-set your carbon, and increasingly transfer companies are putting on larger vehicles and hybrid/electric transfer vehicles are becoming a common sight on Alpine roads.

Train
High-speed trains from Geneva stop at Le Châble, only 10 minutes from the centre of Verbier. From here, you can make connections to Paris and London among other European cities.

  • Pros: 
    Eco-friendly – Carbon footprint can be reduced by as much as 90% when travelling by train. 
    Comfortable – Trains have generous legroom, allowing you to relax and enjoy the ever-changing scenery, and even take a stroll along the aisles or visit the onboard café.
  • Cons: 
    Speed – Takes longer than flying. However, you'll catch up some of the time as you won't have to wait at the airport.

Driving
The extensive network of European motorways makes it easy to come to Verbier by car.

  • Pros: 
    Convenience – No luggage restrictions, you can bring what you want from home, ideal when self-catering, plus you'll have a car in resort and can easily visit neighbouring ski areas.
  • Cons: 
    Time-consuming – It can take quite a long time to reach the Alps and depending on where you're coming from you may wish to split your journey into more than one day. 
    Pollution – As an area that suffers from high levels of air pollution, you should consider the impact of your car's emissions on the environment.
    Challenging conditions – Your vehicle will need to be equipped to drive on snow and/or in inclement weather. From 1st November until 31st March, it is mandatory to have snow chains in the boot of your car or winter tyres fitted.
    Parking – Getting a parking space in resort or at the foot of the slopes can be difficult during peak seasons. 

Coach / Long-distance bus
Probably the least popular option, it is possible to get to [resort] on a coach or long-distance bus.

  • Pros: 
    Price – Usually the cheapest alternative.
    Environment – Coaches are more environmentally friendly than flying, releasing seven times less CO2 per person.
    Sociable – Buses can be quite sociable, so you may make new friends before you set foot on the slopes.
  • Cons: 
    Less comfortable – Buses aren't the most comfortable places to sleep, so you'll likely be quite tired when you reach the pistes.
    Time-consuming – Depending on which city you are travelling from, it can take up to 20 hours to reach [resort].

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About Getting to Verbier

Flying to Verbier


Flying is undoubtedly the more convenient way to travel to Verbier – it’s faster, easier and sometimes cheaper than other means of transport. However, there's no denying the environmental cost is huge.

Which airports are near Verbier?
Geneva is the nearest major airport to Verbier. It offers frequent flights to and from many European destinations, including cities all around the UK, as well as capital cities from across the world. Flight times to Geneva airport from most cities in Europe are under two hours, with London just 1h40 away and Paris even closer at 1h10. Bear in mind that some flight options will only be available during the high season with frequency increasing during the peak holiday periods.

At a glance, these are the main travel hubs for Verbier. Times and distances are approximate and can be affected by snow, bad weather or peak holiday times:

Nearest Airports to Verbier | Times & Distances
Geneva Airport 160km 2h
Zurich Airport 280km 3h30
Sion Airport 54km 45min

 

Airports for Verbier

Plane over snow-capped mountains

Getting from the airport to Verbier


There are several ways to make the trip, including airport transfers, regular buses and even trains.

How do you get from Geneva airport to Verbier?
The easiest and fastest way to get to Verbier is to book an airport transfer. The transfer time is around 2h, but will be longer on snowy days and in peak weeks, such as Christmas, New Year, school holidays and Easter. Learn more on our Transfers Guide page.

If you're travelling during the weekend, the Verbier Express train connects Geneva airport and Le Châble, the closest train station to Verbier, twice per day on Saturdays and Sundays. See our Train Travel guide for more information.

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Transfer Options for Verbier

About Transfers to Val Thorens

Trains to Verbier


Travelling to Verbier by train is very easy. It's also a great option when considering the impact of our journey on the environment, as it's been proved to be more eco-friendly than flying. Trains also allow you to carry more luggage without additional charges, avoids long waiting times in airports, and certainly for a trip from London it doesn't take much longer when you take into account transfer times.

How do you get to Verbier by train?
There is a train station right at the foot of the Verbier Valley, in Le Châble, only 10 minutes by lift from the resort centre. Trains to and from Geneva and Martigny stop here, from where you can reach London, Zurich and Paris.

We've compiled a very comprehensive guide with all you need to know to get to Verbier by train.

Trains in Verbier

About Trains to Verbier

Driving to Verbier


Bringing your own vehicle with you to Verbier is a good choice if you want to have more flexibility once you’re here, even if you don't really need a car in winter to get around resort thanks to the free shuttle buses.

How do you get from the UK to Verbier by car?
It's not a short trip from the UK to Verbier but it can be done in a day, depending on where you leave from. Most people driving from the UK to mainland Europe will need to cross the English Channel from Dover to Calais, which is the nearest French town.

You can cross to France from Folkestone to Calais by Eurotunnel in 35 minutes, or take a Channel ferry from Dover to Calais in around 90 minutes. We recommend you book tickets in advance. There are also ferries from Portsmouth and Poole to Caen, Cherbourg and St. Malo, in the north of France, while from Hull you can travel by ferry to Zeebrugge in Belgium and then make your way down to Verbier.

The Calais to Verbier driving time is around nine hours for a distance of 850km. The most direct route makes use of the network of French motorways (A26, A5, A31, A39 and N5) and then crosses the border into Switzerland just north of Lake Leman. After entering the country, Swiss motorways will take you to Martigny via Lausanne, from where you can make your way up to Verbier. To drive on Swiss motorways you'll need to purchase a 'vignette' at the border which costs around CHF40 and is valid for the current year.

Another thing to take into consideration when bringing your car to Verbier is that the road on the way up to resort from Le Châble is around 10km long and quite winding in places. Even though snow clearers operate every day in winter, driving conditions can be challenging and it is highly recommended to have snow chains in the boot of your car (and know how to fit them) or winter tyres fitted.

Read our Driving to Verbier guide and find more information on our Parking in Verbier page once you’ve arrived.

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Driving to Verbier

About Transfers to Val Thorens

Coaches & long-distance buses to Verbier


There are a number of international coach companies that travel between the largest cities in Europe and Geneva or Lausanne, including Eurolines, BlaBlaBus and RegioJet. To get from Geneva and Lausanne to Verbier, you'll only need to hop on a train – take a look at our Train Travel guide for more information.

Are there any regular coach services from the UK to Verbier
Yes. There are no regular coach services from the UK to Geneva or Lausanne so you'll need to change buses in Paris. The London Victoria to Geneva or Lausanne (via Paris) coach travel time is around 18 to 20 hours. These coaches are run by Flixbus and BlaBlaBus several times per day throughout the year. From Geneva or Lausanne, you’ll have to take a train or a transfer to Verbier.

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Bus Services in Verbier

About Transfers to Val Thorens

Bringing your skis, snowboard or bike to Verbier


Airlines, trains and transfer companies are well versed in catering for customers who travel with their own sports equipment. Each company will have its own individual policy terms and conditions depending on the type of gear you are transporting so it’s well worth checking the details in advance. Here's a snapshot of the different transport options and a guide to their restrictions:

Plane
Most airlines charge a fee for taking skis, snowboards, bikes, golf clubs, parachutes and mountaineering equipment on board, so check before you book. However, a few airlines, such as Swiss, will fly the first set of skis or snowboard for free. Also, make sure you pack your gear well and ensure it falls within the packaging guidelines specified by the carrier.

Train
On Eurostar trains you can take one pair of skis or one snowboard onboard for free with you, in addition to your standard two-bag luggage allowance. Skis are also allowed for free on TGV trains. Bikes can be transported on French trains, either in special luggage carriages or in passenger carriages when stored in a bike-specific carrying case, although fees may apply so check before you book.

Airport transfers
Transfer buses are usually well equipped to transport sports equipment, but it’s always important to let them know exactly what you’re bringing so that they can ensure they have sufficient capacity. Sports equipment may be subject to a surcharge, please ask when booking.

About Getting to Val Thorens