The closest airport to Meribel is Chambery Airport, a one hour and 20 minutes drive from Meribel. However, Geneva Airport is more popular as it has more regular flights. Geneva Airport is just over two hours from Meribel.
Flights for peak weeks (e.g. Half-Term) tend to be much more expensive. If you're travelling during a busy week, it's well worth booking far in advance.
Pro Tip: use Google Flights to track airline ticket prices. Off-peak airline prices can rise, but can also fall. Google Flights can send you an alert as soon as prices for your preferred flights change.
Pro Tip: If you're arriving on Saturday, it can sometimes be cheaper to get a late-night Friday flight and stay in a Geneva Airport hotel overnight (double rooms available, starting from £80 online). That way, you can save money and be on the slopes by late morning.
The nearest airport to Meribel is Chambery, though Geneva airport is also very easily accessible and has the largest number of flights.
While Geneva and Chambery airports are the most popular, you can also fly from the UK into Lyon or Grenoble. The easiest way to get from the airport to the chalet is by airport transfer. There are various companies offering airport transfers, linking Meribel and its surrounding airports.
If you are flying with your ski equipment, always double-check with your airline first. Some airlines will count a boot bag and a ski bag as one piece of checked luggage, while others will count them as two separate items. It is also worthwhile giving yourself a little more time to check in. British Airways advise passengers flying with ski equipment to add an extra 15 minutes.
If you are planning to fly directly from Ireland, there is a total of three airports you can arrive in, all leaving from Dublin Airport. These airports are Geneva in Switzerland, and Grenoble or Lyon in France. Getting a connecting flight, from any Irish airport to London, will give you more options.
It's about a nine-hour and 30-minute drive from Calais to Meribel, and it's all motorways until the last 30 minutes. Below is a map that will take you right to the door of the ski chalet. If you are planning to drive, please do let us know, so we can plan parking for you (there is parking right in front of the ski chalet).
Pro Tip: Please note that the default sat nav routing will take you through Paris; not a pleasant experience! We've modified the route below to take you through Reims/Rheims and Troyes, which is both easier and faster in our experience.
If flying isn't your thing, then there are some good options available, via land and sea, to get you to Meribel.
Travelling by ferry from the UK to France and back can be a more relaxing and less expensive option than flying, albeit more time-consuming. The most popular ferry from the UK to France is Dover to Calais, (see above map for best driving route from Calais to the 3 Valleys), with 16 daily crossings. Dover to Dunkirk is the second most popular, with 12 daily crossings. For more info on the UK to France Ferries, please visit Direct Ferries.
There are two Irish ferry ports servicing France: Dublin (connecting Roscoff and Cherbourg) and Rosslare (connecting Roscoff). Both of these ports are in the northwest of France. Meribel, being in the east of France, means a total drive time of over 11 hours. This would not be advisable without having slept during the journey or, if there is more than one capable driver, driving in shifts. See the following map for directions from both Roscoff and Cherbourg to Meribel. Again, please note that your sat nav routing will take you through Paris, which is not a time saver. The furthest south routes, on the maps below (taking you through Tours and Bourges), will save both time and hassle.
If you live in London or the South East, then you can easily take the train to Meribel. It's a leisurely way to travel to the French Alps. The best way would be to take the Eurostar Snowtrain which departs every Friday night (overnight train) and Saturday morning (daytime train).
The train departs London St. Pancras or Ashford and travels directly to Moutiers. It is possible to travel with up to two suitcases, as well as a ski/board bag. The overnight train is alcohol-free too, so you can arrive fresh and ready for an extra day skiing on the Saturday! For more information, visit the Eurostar website.
If you are travelling outside of the Snowtrain timetable, then it is possible to take the Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, then cross to Gare de Lyon and take a train to Moutiers. This is also a great travel option. Worth checking; The luggage allowance might restrict you from bringing a ski bag.