Flights for peak weeks (i.e. school holidays) 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. As well as going up, off-peak airline prices can also go down. Google Flights can send you an alert any that prices for your preferred flights go up or down.
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 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. You can also fly into Lyon or Grenoble. The easiest way to get from the airport to the chalet is by airport transfer, and there are various companies offering this service between Meribel and all airports serving the Three Valleys.
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 for checking in. British Airways advise passengers flying with ski equipment to add an extra 15 minutes.
If you are planning to fly directly from Ireland for your ski holiday there is a total of 3 airport you can arrive in, all leaving from Dublin. These airports are Geneva in Switzerland and Grenoble or Lyon, both in France. Getting a connecting flight, from any Irish airport to London, will give you more options.
It's about 9 hrs 30 mins of driving time from Calais to Meribel, and it's all motorways until the last 30 mins. Below is 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 with you (there is parking right in front of the ski chalet)
Please note that the default sat nav routing will take you through Paris, which is not a pleasant experience! The route below we've modified to take you through Reims/Rheims and Troyes, which is both easier and faster in our experience.
Travelling by ferry from the UK to France and back can be a more relaxing and less expensive option than flying albeit a more time consuming one. 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 2nd most popular with 12 daily crossings. For more info on UK to France Ferries please visit Direct Ferries.
There are 2 Irish ferry ports servicing France: Dublin (connecting Roscoff and Cherbourg) & Rosslare (connecting Roscoff). Both of these ports are in the north-west 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 a sleep 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 routes furthest south, on the maps below (taking you through Tours and Bourges), in our experience, 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 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 direct to Moutiers and it is possible to travel with up to 2 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. Just check as the luggage allowance means you may not be able to take a ski bag.
There are a number of coach companies that operate luxury coach trips from London to Moutiers, 16 miles outside of Les Allues, at foot of the Meribel Valley. The price for these is usually around the £65 one way. Be sure to ask the coach company before booking what their policy is on ski equipment as some may have more restrictions than others.
Last Updated: 02 April 2020