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Easier drive: Milan - Cervinia or Geneva - Tignes?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
New here so hope this is the right part of the forum for this question.

I'm looking at a short break next weekend so wanting a high-altitude resort, and the options which have travel timings which work for me are Cervinia (via Milan Malpensa) or Tignes (via Geneva). I'd have to drive from airport to resort for either option, due to high cost and/or impractical timing of transfers.

I've only ever driven to a ski resort once and I'm not that experienced at winter driving. Can anyone recommend if either of these would be an easier drive than the other, or if there are any other considerations I should take into account (e.g. snow chains required?, parking - this seems OK in Tignes, not looked at Cervinia yet).

Thanks for any advice Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Milan Cervinia is way easier than Geneva Tignes, also much less traffic prone. Also quicker. Parking easier and cheaper in Cervinia.
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Thanks!
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Turin/Torino Cervinia is even easier than Milan
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Unfortunately flight times to Turin aren't good whereas Malpensa fits really well.
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I've done Milan to Cervinia last 2 years, it's a straightforward drive. Snow chains / winter tyres are required by law but road is kept clear so you would be unlikely to need them. Parking is plentiful and simple, if you aren't bothered about the apres then it's worthwhile stopping a little down the valley, Valtournenche provides cheaper and more flexible accommodation, free parking and a direct link up the mountain.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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First time poster also - long time lurker for what it's worth. Have learnt a lot from this forum so past time to gave back.

Self and Mrs are here in Cervinia for the Easter break after going through the same decision tree you're at the top of by the sounds. So far so good. We stayed in an airport hotel at Malpensa first night but in hindsight should have just driven, it's not far (2hrs daytime, maybe add 10-15 mins for a night ascent, it's a steep and twisty valley climb). We have chains but haven't needed them, roads have been dry all the way to the resort (2000m). Cervinia has a reputation for superb skiing at the season's bookends and so far it hasn't disappointed - wall to wall sunshine today and the pistes were in fantastic condition despite the all-round southerly aspect - all thanks to the altitude. Though it did mean offpiste was impregnable until just before lifts closed!

Parking depends on your accomm arrangements - you might have allocated parking if you're onsite. We are offsite so drive in every day, there are huge parking courts (all free) and even today with a lie-in and at the start of the Italian Easter break we had parking amongst all the Milanese and Torino long-weekenders. Was a good 15 min hike into the resort, but the views of Monte Cervino and Aosta sun on the forrid made it the right kind of palatable Smile

Only thing that's caught us out so far are the road tolls - about €18 when we exited the Autostrade at Chattilon - we might add 30 mins and take the scenic route back on Mon!

Hope you enjoy your spring break wherever your destination.
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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!
Thanks so much for that info - I am sold on Cervinia now (have been once before but was ferried in by coach then).
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Autostrada is allegedly most expensive in Italy. But you will add a lot more than 30 minutes by taking the scenic route, so as one off probably worth it.
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Autostrada is allegedly most expensive in Italy. But you will add a lot more than 30 minutes by taking the scenic route, so as one off probably worth it.
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Tolls in Italy no more expensive than France. Maybe less. Recent posters have reported big problems getting hold of winter tyres or even chains (that fit) from Italian car hire firms. Check carefully if there's snow around. Roads aren't always clear and if it's snowing heavily.....
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
pam w wrote:
Tolls in Italy no more expensive than France. Maybe less. Recent posters have reported big problems getting hold of winter tyres or even chains (that fit) from Italian car hire firms. Check carefully if there's snow around. Roads aren't always clear and if it's snowing heavily.....


Sorry Pam, have to disagree here, at least in northern Italy they are more expensive then France, Wikipedia says by only a little bit though
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@VodkaSorbet, Definitely dearer in Italy. But not terrible - think it's about €18 from Malpensa to Cervinia.

You are still obliged to have snow chains in Aosta next weekend. You won't need to use them though.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Don't know how much snow there is in Cervinia, but we have bucketfuls for the time of year in Tignes right down to the lower villages. Geneva-Tignes is traffic prone but only on Saturdays, I suspect next weekend will be busy going down the hill but not coming up. If you give more details on timing I will comment. If you rent a car in Geneva it will have snow tyres on, but with the high temps coming next week you will probably not need them. If you come via Annecy the tolls are only a few euros and parking works out about €10 a day in Tignes or free if you park in a lower resort like Boisses or Brev (assuming spaces are available).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Skiwi 55 wrote:


Only thing that's caught us out so far are the road tolls - about €18 when we exited the Autostrade at Chattilon - we might add 30 mins and take the scenic route back on Mon!
.


We took the scenic route by accident on our first trip (sat nav set to avoid tolls and didn't realise due to time difference), it took an hour more and we went through some very "interesting" villages. Definitely worth paying the €18 in my opinion snowHead
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
According to Via Michelin, and confirmed by my pocket, motorway tolls are Turin to Aosta = 6km/€, Turin to Milan = 8km/€, Dijon to Chamonix = 17km/€.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

We took the scenic route by accident on our first trip (sat nav set to avoid tolls and didn't realise due to time difference), it took an hour more and we went through some very "interesting" villages. Definitely worth paying the €18 in my opinion


I would agree with this, unless you're familiar with the backroads and know it's worth it, you might find yourself climbing quite high (using more fuel) and not being able to do more than 50kmph in 90kmph zones. I would stick to the autostrada
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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?
The drive from Milan to Aosta/Cervinia would be fine, if it weren't for all the Italian lunatics on the roads.

Literally every 30-40 minutes last time I drove that way, while someone was legitimately overtaking a car in front of me, some nutter would be simultaneously undertaking me, the car in front, and the car overtaking the car in front. Mental.
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@clarky999, sounds like the Italian skiing experience in general! - pistes wide as the M1, gentle grades and immaculate surfacing, and every second senore out the telecabina thinks they're Enzo Ferrari Toofy Grin
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Third day in Cervinia today and another reason to promote the place - cheap access to Zermatt. Over we went for €32pp (over and above the multiday Cervinia pass mind) but we got all the multi-CHF experiences, Gornergrat furnicular, wandering and windowshopping the CBD, and all the Instagrams of Mt Toblerone that Mrs always wanted for a fraction of the price of basing there. Can feel a bit disingenuous to praise for proximity to elsewhere (Milton Keynes - it's 30mins to Euston!) but the opportunity for added variety made a big difference for us when deciding where to go.
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I know this is an old post, but I found it by googling. Loads of useful info on it.
Thinking of doing this next year so just doing some research on the drive.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Lou1, If you mean the trip to Cervinia then be warned that the Aosta valley is prone to horrific fog...
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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!
Yes, that’s the one.
Ahhh ok. So not advisable?
I can keep looking - it’s for next year actually. I wanted to try somewhere new with my teenage son.
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@Lou1, no it's totally not advisable. Every year at least 200 cars get lost, forever, in Thhhheee Ffffoooogggggg...

It's completely fine. You want to fly in to Malpensa (90 mins), or Turin (~60mins) (those timings approx & for Champoluc, but I don't think Cervinia that much longer).

Which is at least rather quicker than GVA-EK.
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It’d be Turin I looked at as I can fly there from Bristol.
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@Lou1, Turin's best anyway so that's a good thing. Sorry, got timings wrong (been a while since we approached from that direction) Turin ~>90 mins, Malpensa ~>2hrs.

Still faster than tignes.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
That’s good then.

I need to read up on Cervinia to see if it would suit us. But the fact I can get there without doing a long coach transfer certainly appeals.
So now I need to research it’s cost/vs our (my) ability.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I agree Cervinia is a much better drive. But I would not do it without chains or winter tyres. All three times I have done it, they have been necessary. Fortunately, we were being driven, so it was the taxi driver lying in the snow putting the chains on, rather than me.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Driven to Cervinia from Turin and Malpensa about 12 to 15 times. Never used chains. Only once considered using them.

In truth have rarely had them tho probably should know better but always forget the requirement until we start ascending the road up after the autostrade.
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