Chamonix, lying in a narrow valley, isn't situated on a main train line.
To reach the town, you have to take a small, old fashioned, orange, and consisting in ONE (in low season) to three cars (in high season) train joining Saint-Gervais - Le Fayet to Martigny (Switzerland).
It's really a 'slow coach' stopping in every little station (even stopping on demand to pick exhausted mountaineers) but the scenery is so magnificent than it's quite impossible to complain about it.
For transfers from Geneva Airport to Chamonix try:
Cheaper than most others, good service, English speaking and for 1 to 21 people!
From 20 Euros per person
They meet your flight and take you door-to-door
We arrived at the train station in the summer -lovely scenic backdrop. Good rail connections from France and Switzerland.
Indeed the Mt Blanc Express from Martigny-Chamonix takes about 2 hours ...a slow narrow gauge train journey but wow the scenery across the MT Blanc range is stunning...and dare I say, the most scenic train journey I've encoutered so far!
In the winter we should have flown in to Geneva but it was fog bound (often happens) so we were diverted to Grenoble airport were we had a long wait for the coaches to bus us in.
Oh, there are so many ways to get to Chamonix... but my very favourite one is by train from Switzerland - and more specifically from the station of Martigny - which is only about 40 minutes away from Geneva's international airport. It's not the fastest way to get there - the whole trip Martigny-Chamonix takes about 2 hours... but it's breathtaking. The train is a narrow-gauge train and travels very slowly, climbing up steeply, and giving u plenty of time to admire both the landscape and the rural architecture... it's called the "train du Mont Blanc" and it crosses nearly the entire mont blanc range. So yes, the real adventure starts even before you get there.
Going to Chamonix, we flew From Philadelphia to Frankfurt, then to Geneva with prior arrangements for a coach to Chamonix. Two passport checkpoints, a narcotics checkpoint and 3 hours later we were in Chamonix. Going back we hired a car. It cost 130 Euro divided by the 4 of us and took a mere 45 minutes...Fillipe is AWESOME!!
A few things:
1) be sure to mention if you have ski/snowboard gear when you hire the car
2) there are several listings for car hire, and the same person answered the 3 we tried.
3) Geneva airport does not have an efficient means unloading skis and snowboards.
During ski season, there are very regular buses to the major ski towns around Chamonix. They are a bit crowded, but do the job. Driving IN Chamonix can be hectic, it is primarily a walking town. It's not very big, we walked everywhere.
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