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Les Arcs to Chatel by public transport

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My daughter may be doing a University ski trip to Les Arcs (not sure of precise location yet) the week before Christmas. We will be in Chatel for Christmas and New Year. We will drive out Fri20/Sat21.

Any of the Les Arcs regulars have any suggestions for her to get to Chatel (or close enough for a pick up)?

I've tried the SNCF website (overnight via Paris!) and can only see bus transfers to Geneva.

All suggestions gratefully received.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bus to bourg, train to Martigny, bus to champery, ski across?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
funicular to Bourg, train to Thonon-les-bains, bus. The only problem is what happens on Friday night. The university trips usually head home on the Friday night. She has the option of a night in Bourg (probably the best) or somewhere closer to Chatel. Not sure why you are thinking of Paris.

Oddly enough my son will be in Val Thorens on his University trip and then will be joining us in Les Arcs for Christmas. We are nowhere near organised enough to be thinking 3 months in advance and will probably work out what to do while he is actually out there. And then change the plans.
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johnE wrote:
funicular to Bourg, train to Thonon-les-bains, bus. The only problem is what happens on Friday night. The university trips usually head home on the Friday night. She has the option of a night in Bourg (probably the best) or somewhere closer to Chatel. Not sure why you are thinking of Paris.

Oddly enough my son will be in Val Thorens on his University trip and then will be joining us in Les Arcs for Christmas. We are nowhere near organised enough to be thinking 3 months in advance and will probably work out what to do while he is actually out there. And then change the plans.


Fairly easy really John; get himself down to Moutiers from VT on a bus, short train journey from Moutiers to BSM (only half an hour in a car) then bus or funi up to Les Arcs (and navette from 1600 to whichever Les Arcs village if he gets the funi).
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yes he knows the way. We are in Arc 1600 but the questions are: when do we get there and does he fancy coming home for a few day to see his friends/ have washing done etc. before heading out again. Or does he want to sit in a bus alll night chatting to his friends. Or stay with family friends in Grenoble. Oh! and hangovers may have some part in the plans.

With such hard decisions I propse postponing them all to mid/late December
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Thanks for the suggestions.

under a new name, I hadn't considered Martigny (or even better Aigle) but the sbb website comes up with a convoluted route with a few changes including Lyon and Geneva

johnE, I wasn't thinking of Paris - that was the suggeted routing from the SNCF website.

I'm now thinking that she should do Les Arc to Geneva by bus or something similar and then train to Aigle for a pickup. I was hoping a neater solution would be out there but ist looks tricky and I dont fancy diverting via Bourg St Maurice on that Saturday.

Good point regarding whether it is a Friday night departure from Les Arcs. I'll have to find out on that point and also where in LEs Arcs though I understand you can always get down to Bourg possibly using a navette to get to the top of the lift.
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Quote:

I hadn't considered Martigny (or even better Aigle) but the sbb website comes up with a convoluted route with a few changes including Lyon and Geneva

that's bizarre. Shocked
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pam w, What's the obvious route? I have no knowleddge of French rail (other than Eurostar) so totally dependent on the user unfriendly SNCF website.
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DJL, From what I looked at - all the routes are pretty convoluted. Better rail search sites are the Swiss one www.sbb.ch/en or the German one www.db.de (the DB one is apparently the most complete pan-European database and I think it drives the SBB one.)
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Quote:

Good point regarding whether it is a Friday night departure from Les Arcs. I'll have to find out on that point and also where in LEs Arcs though I understand you can always get down to Bourg possibly using a navette to get to the top of the lift.

I've organised several university trips and generally it was the case that the accommodation is booked for the whole week, and if you asked nicely the tour op would arrange for a Saturday departure. Something worth checking anyway!
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DJL, Could she not catch the train from Bourg St Maurice to Geneva (probably changing at Chambery) and then the Altibus service from Geneva to Chatel?

It doesn't look like the Winter services are being shown yet on the SNCF website to me but if you enter dates for Novemeber it will give you some idea of the trains that will be available a month later.
Likewise with the altibus website www.altibus.com , I don't think they are showing winter services yet but they should be showing them in a few weeks time. An old Altibus timetable I have for services from Geneva shows two buses on a Saturday to Chatel. She can catch the bus to Chatel either from the airport or bus staion in Geneva which are easy to find from the main train station.

Edit: It looks like she would have to reserve a seat at least 24 hours in advance for the journey to Chatel from Geneva with altibus.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Fri 4-10-13 11:29; edited 1 time in total
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
DB website works much better. Thanks for that. Timetable doesnt cover 21 Dec so I used 14 Dec times as a guide.

Routing seems to be Bourg-Chambery, Chambery-Geneva, Geneva-Aigle (or a bus Geneva-Chatel). Still around 6 hours!

Maybe able to get a Les Arcs -Geneva transfer on the day - that must be a busy week for incoming Christmas skiers so the minibuses will all have to get to Geneva for pickups.
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DJL, Another classic way of doing this is for your daughter to get on the return bus from Les Arcs, then get off at a service station (probably Macon) as the bus stops to let all the students have a short break before the overnight stint. They then just wait there for you to collect them on the way down to Chatel.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The method suggested by johnE, sounds good. Otherwise, if she travels sensibly light she could probably hitch from Bourg without too much problem. I've picked up ski-looking folk from time to time, around that area. The train sounds hopeless.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I'm coming down in favour of a transfer to Geneva (minibus or Altibus or obliging TO) and train to Aigle. Motorway stop off worth investigating as well.

Only trouble with the latter is tying in with our travel outbound (tunnel delay, bad weather etc etc) and means travelling by the drive all night method which is not our favourite.

Travel light? That one! I doubt it.

Thanks all.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A couple of things, definitely don't rely on the timetables being the same on the 21st as the 14th. This is France! That would be far too sensible. I live in Les Arcs 2000 and travel regularly. The train from Bourg to Geneva is a nightmare. Far better to get the direct bus, which also stops outside Moutiers station for the 3 Valleys. It takes 2.5hrs, is 60 euros direct to Geneva airport and she can change there as everyone else has suggested. Also less hassle and easier to carry more luggage. As someone else has said, you need to change at Chambery on the train to get to Geneva and connections can be bad.
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Pablito, Thanks. Any idea where I find bus times? Is that the Altibus website?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Found it - Altibus.com as skichampcouk, mentioned above.

Depart 08.45 arrive 12.10 €62 should do it.

Presume it is feasible to get down to BSM by 08.45?
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....here's the link to the timetable from Geneva airport http://www.gva.ch/en/Portaldata/1/Resources/fichiers/publications/publications_informative/aeroski-bus.pdf

A free bus to The funicular, which starts running at 07.30 down the mountain and a walk along the platform (worth getting a trolley as it's a long platform!) and the bus station is at the train station
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks all.

Latest update (30mins ago) is that the German department trip to Berlin is about a third of the price.......kids heh?

All stood down for now
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