Ben’s Blog | News From Ben’s Bus

Ski Season 2021/22 Airport Transfers

CAN I GO SKIING NEXT YEAR?

 

2021 2022 Ski SeasonThe 2020/21 season was just a tad frustrating for us skiers and boarders, as nearly all ski holidays were cancelled. So many of you are now asking…. when can I go skiing again?

All European ski resorts will almost certainly open for the 2021 / 2022 season and Tour Operators are reporting a surge in bookings. The airlines have already announced their winter schedules and prices for peak weeks are rising fast. So we’ve launched our sales early and you can get a ski transfer quote for your next trip to the mountain now.

 

Get a Quote for your Ski Transfer Now

 

 

2021 / 2022 WINTER SKI SEASON – AIRPORT TRANSFERS

 

The vaccine roll out and minimal disruption to travel caused by Brexit should mean next winter will be a little more normal. To see what transfers we’re running, click on an airport logo below. Or scroll further down and click on your resort. Our transfers from Grenoble Airport are currently only on sale up until the 26th March 2021, which is when the airlines change to their summer schedule. We will be running buses in April and you can find out more about this on our Easter and Spring Transfer Buses Page. To keep up to date with all our news, follow us on facebook.

 

Lyon Airport Ski Transfers 2022 SeasonApart from our special transfers for the RISE festival, our Saturday-only service starts on the 8th January 2022. We have a mid-morning and a late afternoon bus to the resorts listed on our Lyon Airport page. Our transfers from Lyon Airport are now on sale and you can get a quote or book online!

 

Geneva Airport Ski Transfers 2022 SeasonOur ski transfers from Geneva Airport run on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. We also have some weekday buses over the Christmas and New Year weeks (scroll down for more details). For our most popular routes, such as Geneva to Val Thorens, Geneva to Tignes and Geneva to Val d’Isere, we have up to 8 buses per Saturday.

 

Grenoble Airport Ski Transfers 2022 SeasonIf you are heading to Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes, we will have a bus connecting with every single scheduled flight, any day of the week, throughout the season. Our services to other resorts such as Tignes and Val Thorens, will run on week-ends all the way through season .

 

Aime Transfers           Alpe d'Huez Transfers           Bourg d'Oisans Transfers           Bourg St Maurice Transfers

Brides Les Bains Transfers           Chamrousse Transfers           Courchevel Transfers           La Grave Transfers

La Plagne Transfers           Les Allues Transfers           Les Arcs Transfers           Les Deux Alpes Transfers

Les Menuires Transfers           Meribel Transfers           Mottaret Transfers           Moutiers Transfers

Oz en Oisans Transfers           Sainte Foy Transfers           Serre Chevalier Transfers           St Martin de Belleville Transfers

Tignes Transfers           Val d'Isere Transfers           Val Thorens Transfers           Vaujany Transfers

Our transfer buses can also help you get to La Tania, Peisey and Les Coches (from AimeLa RosiereVillard Reculas and Auris en Oisans

 

Get a Quote for your Ski Transfer Now

 

 

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS WEEKS

 

This year, Christmas Day and New Years Day falls on a Saturday, the traditional changeover day in ski resorts. A lot of airlines don’t actually fly on Christmas Day. The resorts know this and a lot of accommodation providers will change their holiday packages to a Sunday – Sunday in December, reverting back to a Saturday – Saturday in early January 2022. We’re running some extra buses from Grenoble and Geneva over the festive period.

If you are planning a trip between Grenoble Airport and either Les Deux Alpes or Alpe d’Huez, we connect with every single scheduled flight. So whatever day you fly in or out, we will have a bus for you.

PLEASE NOTE: The information below does not apply to our Lyon Airport routes, which start on the 8th January 2022.

Saturday 18th December :    Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Sunday 19th December :       Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Saturday 25th December :   No Service except from Grenoble Airport < > Les 2 Alpes and Alpe d’Huez

Sunday 26th December :       Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Monday 27th December :       4 services from Geneva Airport to most resorts.

Tuesday 28th December :      Midday and early evening service from Geneva Airport

Saturday 1st January 2020 :  Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Sunday 2nd January 2020 :   Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.

Monday 3rd January 2020 :   Frequent service to Geneva Airport

 

 

2021/22 SKI SEASON TRANSFER PRICES

 

Ski Transfer Prices 2021 2022Times are hard for everyone, so we’re doing our bit and have frozen nearly all our prices for the 2nd year running. That means you’ll pay the same in the 2021/22 season as you would have done in the 2019/20 season. You can see our fares on our Prices Page. A Return costs about £90pp for resorts like Val Thorens, Tignes, Val d’Isere, Les Arcs, La Plagne and Meribel and just over £50pp for Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes. However, we have loads of discounts for groups and children. Make sure you sign up to our Mailing List below and like us on facebook to get access to our early bird promo codes.

 

 

WHAT REFUND GUARANTEES ARE THERE?

 

Bens Bus Plus Refund GuaranteeThe hugely successful roll-out of the vaccine in the UK is offering the ski industry some optimism. That said, we know that you still need the peace of mind of receiving a refund should you need to cancel. Flexibility to change your booking for free is another key requirement for many holidaymakers. That’s why we recommend upgrading to Ben’s Bus Plus, which allows you to book with confidence.

 

 

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Required Paperwork to ski in France due to Brexit and Covid

NEWS UPDATE:

As of the 30th January 2021, all ski lifts in all ski resorts in France remain closed. This is because Covid case numbers remain stubbornly high. The French Government plan to review the situation again in the middle of February. We think it is unlikely the resorts will open until the middle of March at the earliest and there is now a strong possibility that they will not open at all for the 2020/21 season.

Due to the latest variants of Covid-19 detected around the world, both France and Switzerland have imposed temporary entry restrictions for all travellers. France has now completely closed its borders to most non-EU travel. People can only travel to France for essential purposes and must have had a negative test within 72 hours if entering France by air or sea. Switzerland’s restrictions (so if you are flying into Geneva Airport) are also currently quite strict. Read the latest news from the French Embassy in London and the Swiss Embassy in London.

The UK’s current nationwide lockdown does not allow its citizens to travel abroad except for essential purposes. Going on a ski holiday is not classed as essential travel! In addition to this, to stem the transmission of the new variants, the UK has now closed its borders, including its travel corridors, until the 15th February at the earliest. Returning UK citizens must be able to provide proof of a negative test within 72 hours of travelling and must then isolate for 10 days in the UK (or 5 days if they take a second test after returning and it is negative).

2021 2022 Ski Season Preview

 

HOW WILL COVID AND BREXIT AFFECT ME IF I WANT TO GO SKIING IN FRANCE?

 

Are you thinking about skiing in France this winter or in the 2021 / 2022 season but worried about what paperwork you will need? There have been a lot of changes recently due to COVID, so it’s understandable if you’re confused about what you need to do. You might also be wondering how Brexit will affect your ski holiday. We’ve been keeping a close eye on things and have summarised what we’ve learnt below. Our page dedicated to Coronavirus and Safety also explains what you can do to help everyone stay safe whilst on our ski transfer buses and on holiday.

 

 

WHICH AIRPORT ARE YOU FLYING INTO?

 

Airport Requirements Covid and BrexitIf you are flying into Grenoble Airport or Lyon Airport, and skiing in France, then you only need to worry about what France asks of you. Depending on where you are coming from, you probably won’t need to fill in any forms. Keep reading for more info.

If you are flying into Geneva Airport, then you also need to consider what the Swiss ask of you. If you have tickets booked to transit straight to France, you should be ok. All the ski resorts we cover are in regions in France that are currently not on the Swiss naughty list. However, you probably will need to fill in a ‘traceability sheet’ upon landing at Geneva Airport.

 

 

I AM BRITISH AND COMING IN FROM THE UK

 

UK Flag Rules on Brits travelling to EUBrexit won’t have much impact on Brits holidaying in France. However, with the departure of the UK from the EU, British nationals will be required to have 6 months validity on their passport, should ensure they have adequate health insurance and/or check that their E111 is still valid. You can find more up to date info, including about Covid-19 on the UK FCO page for France or the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The Ambassador’s website has regular updates with the latest news. Read our blog post about the rules on returning to the UK.

 

 

I AM COMING FROM AN EU MEMBER STATE (or a country on France’s Exemption List)

 

Rules for EU Citizens entering France in Time of CovidIf you’re coming from a Member State of the EU, Andorra, Australia, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland or Thailand, then France does not require you to fill in any forms related to COVID. However, all passengers landing at Geneva airport will be required to fill in a tracing form. This details where you came in from and where you are staying, such as in Val Thorens or Val d’Isere. This is so the authorities can contact you should anyone on your flight subsequently test positive for COVID.

 

 

I AM ARRIVING FROM A COUNTRY NOT ON THE EXEMPTION LIST

 

If you are arriving from any other country, you should check the requirements on the official Government website of your country of origin and the French Government website to see if you can travel and what you may need to do. It is very likely that you will, as a minimum, have to fill in a “Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire vers la France métropolitaine” This form can be downloaded in English and is simple to fill in. The first part of the form confirms where you are coming from and that you hold a valid passport. The second part confirms that you are currently not positive for Covid.

In addition, if you are arriving from a country on the list below, even if you are in transit, or if you have been there in the last 30 days you must present a negative test result carried out less than 72 hours before boarding. You will not be allowed to board without this document: Algeria, Bahrain, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Panama, South Africa, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United States and Zimbabwe.

 

 

The information above is intended as a guide only. Ben’s Bus cannot be held responsible for inaccurate or out of date information. To be certain of the current laws, guidelines and entry requirements, you should visit the official Government websites. This page was last updated on the 30th January 2021.

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Ben’s Bus Plus Refund Guarantee

Posted 3rd November 2020

NEW! UPGRADE FOR BETTER REFUND TERMS

 

We understand that in these uncertain times, you need the peace of mind of booking with confidence in case you need to cancel your booking. That’s why we’ve introduced Ben’s Bus Plus. For a small surcharge, you could get a 100% refund should you no longer be able to travel. You’ll get extra benefits too, including free unlimited changes to your booking. Visit our Ben’s Bus Plus page for full details and Conditions.

Ben's Bus Plus Refund Guarantee

Ben’s Bus Plus is available on all our transfers, including our buses from Geneva Airport to Val Thorens, Geneva to Tignes, Geneva to Val d’Isere, and Grenoble Airport to Alpe d’Huez. Visit our ski resorts page for a full list of available routes. To find out more about what we’re doing to help mitigate the effects of Covid-19, visit our Safety Page.

 

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Travel & Quarantine Rules on Skiing in France and Switzerland

The information below is intended as a guide only. Ben’s Bus cannot be held responsible for inaccurate or out of date information. To be certain of the current laws, guidelines and entry requirements, you should visit the official Government websites. This page was last updated on the 30th Jan 2021.

NEWS UPDATE:

All ski lifts in all ski resorts in France are currently closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The French Government aim to review the situation again in the middle of February. We don’t think the resorts will open until at least the middle of March, and it is now looking increasingly likely they will remain closed all season.

Due to the latest variants of Covid-19, both France and Switzerland have imposed temporary entry restrictions for all travellers. France has now completely closed its borders to most non-EU travel. People can only travel to France for essential purposes. Those that are allowed to enter must have had a negative test within 72 hours if entering by air or sea. Switzerland’s restrictions (so if you are flying into Geneva Airport) are also currently quite strict. Read the latest news from the French Embassy in London and the Swiss Embassy in London.

The UK is currently in a national lockdown and its citizens can only travel abroad for essential purposes. Going on a ski holiday is not, unfortunately, classed as essential travel! The UK has now closed its borders, including its travel corridors, until the 15th February at the earliest. Returning UK citizens must be able to provide proof of a negative test within 72 hours of travelling and must then isolate for 10 days in the UK (or 5 days if they take a second test after returning and it is negative).

2021 2022 Ski Season Preview

 

A GUIDE TO TRAVELLING TO SWITZERLAND, FRANCE AND BACK TO THE UK IN THE COVID ERA

 

Heading to the French Alps? Maybe you’re considering booking your holiday for the 2021 2022 ski season? Confused by all the different quarantine rules? Which country’s rules do you need to follow? What if you’re flying into Geneva Airport in Switzerland, but then heading to France to ski in Val Thorens, Tignes, or Val d’Isere? We’ve tried to make sense of it all.

 

SWITZERLAND: As we understand it, some nationals can fly into / out of Geneva Airport and transit to / from a neighbouring country (i.e. France), provided the region in France is not on the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health’s naughty list. All Ben’s Bus ski resorts are in regions that are not currently on this list. However, you are strongly advised to have onward transport to your final destination booked in advance and you should know the rules of the country of your final destination. The UK FCO page for Switzerland is a useful resource for British citizens.

 

French Travel Restrictions Covid Ski ResortsFRANCE: You cannot currently travel to France if you are arriving from any non-EU country. You can travel to France if you are arriving from Switzerland or an EU Member State but you must have proof a negative test within 72 hours. You should also check France’s Exemption List before you fly. This site has information on what documents you may need to enter France. The UK FCO page for France is a useful source of information for British citizens.

 

UK Flag Rules on Brits travelling to EUUK: Travel restrictions have been re-imposed in the UK and you can’t currently go on holiday. Once they’re lifted, you should still consider what effect Brexit will have on you. Before returning to the UK, you need to complete a Passenger Locator Form. The UK’s Travel Corridors have been temporarily closed. When returning to the UK, you are required to self-isolate for 10 days. However, travellers can pay for their own test (£65 – £120) upon their return to the UK. If the test is negative, the Quarantine period is reduced from 10 days to 5 days! This BBC article explains more.

 

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NEW BUS STOP IN TIGNES VAL CLARET

Posted 7th August 2020

NEW, SECOND BUS STOP IN LOWER TIGNES VAL CLARET

 

Tignes Val Claret Airport Transfer Bus StopWe’ve added a new bus stop in Tignes Val Claret. As well as our existing stop at the top of the resort, we’ve now added a second stop lower down, on the roundabout at the entrance to the town. Click the map to the left to see a larger version.

From our new stop, you can walk on a flat road to the accommodations in the lower part of the resort – so no walking up and down hills!

You can select either of these stops when you book with us. If you’re not sure which stop is best for you, ask your accommodation providers or consult the Tignes Tourist Office Map. You can also select your stop after you have booked with us by logging into your account.

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WE’LL GIVE MORE MONEY TO CHARITY FOR EARLY BOOKERS

Posted 27th July 2020

BOOK EARLY AND BEN’S BUS WILL GIVE EVEN MORE TO CHARITY

 

Extra Charity Donations CovidOur routes will go online really soon. We’ll launch our routes one by one. Our Lyon Airport routes will hopefully go live later today (27th July). Then our Grenoble Airport to the Tarentaise resorts will go live, followed by our Geneva Airport routes and finally, by the middle of August, our Grenoble Airport to Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes route will be on sale.

We’re not offering early bird discounts because we have already reduced most of our prices and extended our child discount scheme. Instead we’re trying to help stop the spread of all diseases in the world’s poorest countries. WaterAid promotes access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation standards. You can’t wash your hands if you don’t have clean water!

 

HOW IT WORKS

 

For a few years now, when our customers book a ski transfer, they have had the option to add 25p to their booking, all of which goes directly to charity. Ben’s Bus then matches that 25p, so in total, together, we give 50p to charity. You can see where this money goes on our Charity page.

We’re continuing with this scheme but this year, if you book before the 31st August 2020, we’ll donate an additional 50p. That means Ben’s Bus will give a total of 75p to charity. This extra 50p will go entirely to WaterAid.

To all of our lovely customers who opt into this scheme – thank you!

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New Bus Stop in Mottaret Le Hameau

Posted 16th July 2020

NEW BUS STOP IN MOTTARET LE HAMEAU

 

Mottaret Ben's Bus Airport Transfers StopsWe’ve listened to our customers and have added a new stop in Mottaret. Now all our services from Geneva Airport to Mottaret will make a stop at Mottaret Centre and Mottaret Le Hameau.

The Hameau area includes accommodations such as Residence Le Lac Blanc, Les Logis du Meribel, Residence Club Odalys Le Hameau de Mottaret and VVF Le Fontany a Meribel. There are also 2 hotels, Les Arolles and Hotel Tarentaise close by.

The area of Hameau is above the centre of Mottaret and so previously customers would have to take the shuttle bus to get from our stop in the centre up to the Le Hameau sector. The problem is that in the early hours of the morning and late in the evening, the shuttle bus might not have been working, which meant a bit of a walk. So our services will make a stop on the roundabout at the top of the road, so it’s just a very short walk to many of the large accommodations centres in Le Hameau. Click on the map to view a larger version.

Our services from Grenoble Airport and Lyon Airport still only make stops at Moutiers, but from here you can use public buses or taxis to take you onto your accommodation.

Our cheap shared ski transfers from Geneva Airport will continue to make stops at Meribel and Meribel Village, Les Allues and Brides Les Bains.

We hope you can make use of this new stop and that it will enhance your holiday experience.

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NEW SKI SEASON 2020 / 2021 PRICES NOW ONLINE

Posted 8th July 2020

PRICE FREEZE/ REDUCTION FOR THE 2020 / 2021 SKI SEASON

 

Our prices and dates of operation for our transfers from Geneva Airport, Grenoble Airport and Lyon Airport for the upcoming season are now online. We’ve frozen nearly all our transfer prices and reduced quite a few of them too. For instance, a Single from Geneva Airport now costs just £48.50 instead of £51.50! On top of that, you will still be able to make use of our Group Discounts and we’ve extended our Child discounts to our Geneva operations.

See a full list of our 2020 / 2021 Prices here.

 

Although our systems are not yet available to take bookings, as we have not yet finalised our timetable, you can now see which dates we will operate on which routes. To find out more about the service that interests you, click on your airport below and then select the resort you are heading too. We’ll update everyone by facebook and by Mailshot as soon as our tickets are on sale, which should be around mid July.

Geneva Airport Shared Transfers                                                       Lyon Airport Shared Transfers                                                          Grenoble Airport Cheap Ski Transfers

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Charity Donations from Ben’s Bus Customers

Posted 8th May 2020

BEN’S BUS CUSTOMERS HELP GENERATE £1, 200 FOR CHARITY

 

bens bus airport ski transfers charitiesThank you to all our customers who opted in to donate 25p to charity when they booked their ski transfer in the 2019 / 2020 ski season. As promised, Ben’s Bus has matched the total amount given by customers. This year our passengers generated £599.25 in charitable contributions, so we’ve rounded that up to £600 and doubled it, to make a total of £1,200. Although this is a bit of a drop compared to last year, that’s mainly because we had to refund so many bookings in March and April due to the Coronavirus. However, we’re sure our charities are more grateful than ever for these donations in the troubling times. We’d like to send out a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all our customers who travelled from Geneva Airport, Grenoble Airport or Lyon Airport and opted in to give to charity.

 

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

 

We gave £300 to SolarAid, which helps poorest Africans use their natural resources to improve their lives with minimal impact on the environment.

We gave £300 to WaterAid, a charity helping to deliver clean water and sanitation to people around the world.

We gave £300 to Shelter, a UK homelessness organisation.

We gave £300 to The British Ski & Snowboard National Foundation, which helps fund young Great British skiing talent.

Our Environment and Charitable Donations page can tell you more about our Policy for Charities.

A huge thank you from our chosen charities and and from Ben’s Bus to all of you who donated. Hopefully next year we can generate even more money! Stay safe in these difficult times and and we hope to see you again next season.

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How to Avoid French Holiday Ski Resort Traffic

DRIVING TO THE ALPS FOR THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS? READ OUR TOP TIPS ON BEATING THE TRAFFIC

 

Avoid School Holiday Traffic French Alps Ski TransferIf you’ve driven to a French ski resort or taken a transfer during the school holidays, you’ve probably experienced some heavy traffic on the way to the Alps. Bottlenecks can form at places like motorway toll stations, and when 2 lanes turn into the 1-lane mountain roads, causing huge tailbacks. If it’s snowing, things can get really messy as vehicles pull over to put chains on or, even worse, lose control and cause an accident.

It can be a stressful start and end to your holiday – but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve created some top tips to help you avoid spending half a day stuck in a traffic jam.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE WORST DATES TO TRAVEL?

 

Worst dates to travel to french ski resortsThe French take holidaying as seriously as they take striking. Hats off to them, because they are pretty professional about it. They get 2 weeks off for Christmas and then another 2 weeks for February half term. In February they split the country up into 3 zones, each one taking a different 2 week period. This spreads the load evenly, but it means there are a total of 8 Saturdays in the winter season when the traffic can be pretty nasty.

Here’s a list of dates when you should expect a lot of cars on the road. You should plan your journey more carefully on these dates and take some precautions to make sure you don’t get caught out.

 

HEADING UP THE MOUNTAIN

 

Traffic up the mountain18th, 19th & 26th December 2021 – Christmas Day falls on a Saturday in 2021, so lots of people will probably travel on Sunday.

5th, 12th, 19th & 26th February 2022 – The 12th & 19th February will be particularly bad, as 2 zones in France are on holiday.

 

HEADING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

 

Traffic down the mountain26th December & 1st & 2nd January – The January dates may not be that bad this year as the traffic may be spread over 2 days.

12th, 19th & 26th February and 5th March – The 19th & 26th February will be the worst dates.

 

 

 

BE PREPARED – BRING PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER

 

Food and Water on Ski Transfer JourneyHowever you are getting to and from the resort, whether it be on a shared ski transfer with Ben’s Bus, a private transfer or in in your own car, make sure you have enough food and water, especially if you are diabetic. Keep any medicines in your hand luggage and make use of the toilets before you get into your vehicle.

It’s not unusual for an airport transfer from Geneva to Tignes to take 5 or even 6 hours instead of the usual 3 & 1/2 hours. So bring a book, some games for the kids and lots of pre-downloaded videos to view on your device.

 

 

AVOID THE MOUNTAIN ROADS BETWEEN 8AM – 2PM

 

Snail's Pace Mountain TrafficPlan your journey in advance. If you’re heading up to the resort, try to get to Grenoble or Albertville by 9am at the latest. Between 11am and 3pm the roads climbing the mountain can be moving at a snail’s pace. If you’re leaving the resort, try to do it before 07:30 or after 14:00. The worst hotspots are between Bourg St Maurice and Moutiers, the Rocade Sud ring road south of Grenoble and the Lyon and Chambery peages.

If you are taking a Ben’s Bus leaving Grenoble, Geneva or Lyon Airports between 10am – 4pm, the chances are you will hit some heavy traffic. Your Ben’s Bus eTicket will mention if we have allowed extra time for your journey. If you are heading to Val Thorens, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Val d’Isere or Tignes, our drivers may have to take a legal break en-route. This is to comply with EU legislation and is designed to protect all road users. Use the facilities at the airport or in the resort before you leave as not all of our vehicles have toilets. If you need to go en-route, just ask the driver to pull over at the next convenient place. Thank you for your understanding with this.

 

 

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE IS GOLD!

 

Ben's Bus Ski Transfer VehiclesBook your ski transfer with a reputable and established company. Ben’s Bus has been working in the mountains for 15 years and works with local coach companies. Our drivers know the cheeky short cuts and how to avoid the bottlenecks. Our coordinators consult traffic websites and traffic cameras and our drivers and reps report where the roads are congested.

Top Tip: Don’t rely completely on Sat-Nav as it might try to take you across mountain passes that are closed in the winter!

 

 

CHOOSE YOUR DATES WISELY

 

French School Holiday Dates

The easiest way to avoid the rush and the crowds is to take your ski holiday in January or March. You’ll also get cheaper deals on accommodation and the queues for the ski lifts will be much smaller. Plus, you’ll get that table at your favourite restaurant! This website is a good source of information about school holidays in France https://about-france.com/school-holidays.htm Of course if you have kids in school, then that’s not possible.

Posted 4th March 2021

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