links to website to easily travel to the French Alps
If you are travelling from South England (especially London) you may benefit from excellent fast train service with the Eurostar and the French high-speed train (TGV) getting you very close to your favourite Alps resort (in most cases, much closer than the airport). You can also benefit from very efficient high-speed train from Belgium, Nederlands, West Germany, with the Thalys or the ICE and then the TGV. Contrary to what is generally believed, travelling by train is a more time efficient way of travelling than the plane as transit time at the train station is very short compared to the airport. High-speed trains are very comfortable and you can easily work, read, play cards, enjoy the landscape, sleep, and it can be part of the enjoyment of your holiday to the Alps. It is generally worthwhile to consider travelling by train for holiday of 6-7 days or more (some even do it for a 3 days Alps stay), and most of the people who have experienced it once tends to do it again and again as it so pleasant. You may also take a break and visit Paris, Lille or Lyon (Unesco world heritage), or the ancient and beautiful cities of Strasbourg and Dijon if you come from Germany. Travelling by train will help preserve the glaciers of the French Alps, as the CO2 emission for a train journey amounts to barely 10% of an equivalent plane journey (The French Alps glaciers have unfortunately dramatically shrank for the past 30 years, see the peer review article "Analysis of the glacier retreat in the French Alps since the 1960s...") .
Eurostar website: Eurostar also includes direct train to the Tarentaise valley in winter (Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski-les Arcs -la Plagne, Espace Killy Tignes- Val d'Isere...) getting you very close to the ski resorts. It is also worth mentionning that Eurostar is experimenting a direct service to Lyon
Deutsch Bahn website: very useful for the train timetable all over Europe and of course if you start your journey from Germany, however for the Thalys, it is better to book on Thalys or Sncf website as tickets' price tends to be more up to date
Thalys website: to book your Thalys high speed train journey from Nederlands, Belgium, West Germany
Sncf website: to book your TGV high speed train journey from Paris, to Geneva, Annecy and the Arve valley (Samoens, Megeve, Saint Gervais, Chamonix...), Chambery, Grenoble, the Maurienne Valley (Les Sybelles, Val cenis, Valloire-Valmeinier...)
seat61 : excelllent website for travelling by train, with a very informed and detailled section on how to travel by train (eurostar and others) to the French Alps ski resorts. Do not miss also the "London to France" section with excellent advice on how to travel to Lyon, Grenoble, or Chamonix (with the Eurostar and Lyria)
idTGV : the Sncf website for cheap seats on the TGV all over France
Watch Daniel Elkan, founder of SnowCarbon.co.uk, and Neil English, ski journalist, both racing from their homes in the UK to Meribel by train and plane respectively, and the result is surprinsingly tight!
Official Airport websites:
Ben's Bus provides shared transfers from Geneva or Grenoble airports to all the major French ski resorts including Meribel, Val d'Isere, Tignes, Val Thorens, Alpe d'Huez, Les Deux Alpes and many more. Their prices start at £45pp Return with discounts for groups and children. They have limited space so it is best to book early
Cool Bus has been providing airport transfers since 2001. Based in Bourg St. Maurice, they are in the most central location to cover airport transfers between all ski resorts in the Tarentaise, and 3 Valleys (including Tignes, Val D'Isere, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Meribel, Courchevel and Val Thorens) and Geneva, Lyon, Chambery and Grenoble airports. They believe airport transfer should be an enjoyable part of your ski or snowboard holiday and therefore try to make it as comfortable and entertaining as possible.