Ben’s Blog | News From Ben’s Bus

How to Avoid French Holiday Ski Resort Traffic

Updated 8th May 2024

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

 

Avoid School Holiday Traffic French Alps Ski TransferIf you’ve travelled to a French ski resort during the school holidays, you’ve probably experienced some heavy traffic. Bottlenecks can form at 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 or end to your holiday. We’ve created some top tips to help you avoid spending half a day stuck in a traffic jam. Or read our suggestions on how to kill time at the airport.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE WORST DATES TO TRAVEL?

 

Worst dates to travel to french ski resortsThe French take holidaying as seriously as they take striking. And they’re good at 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 mountain21st & 28th December 2024 – You may find the days either side of these will be busier than usual too.

8th, 15th, 22nd February & 1st March 2025 – The 15th & 22nd February will be particularly bad.

 

HEADING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

 

Traffic down the mountain28th December 2024 & 4th January 2025– If it is snowing on these dates, the traffic will be horrendous!

15th & 22nd February and 1st & 8th March 2025 – The 22nd February & 1st March will be the worst dates.

 

The Annecy Carnival the 15th March and the Geneva Motor Show is the 1st March. You should avoid these areas after 8am if you can.

 

 

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 driving 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 7AM – 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 8am. Between 11am and 3pm the roads climbing the mountain can be moving at a snail’s pace. When leaving the resort, try to do it before 07:00 or after 14:00. The worst areas are between Bourg St Maurice – Moutiers (transfers from Val Thorens & Les Menuires don’t take that road), the ring road around Grenoble and the Lyon and Chambery motorway peages.

If you’re on a Ben’s Bus leaving Grenoble, Geneva or Lyon Airports between 9am – 4pm, you will probably 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 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.

 

 

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.

 

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Rise Festival Airport Transfers

Updated 8th August 2023

RISE FESTIVAL RETURNS TO LES DEUX ALPES FOR 2023

 

Rise Festival Airport Transfers 2020 Grenoble Lyon Les Deux AlpesThe now infamous RISE Festival is returning to Les Deux Alpes for 2023! The pre-Christmas party in the Alps will run from the 9th – 16th December 2023. It promises to be one of the best high-altitude ski parties of the season and we have the best airport transfers to get you there. The line-up, as always, will include some big names.

The resort offers fantastic skiing and even better apres ski. With the Main Stage and the Indoor Arena playing host to big names later in the evening, it’s a party not to be missed. All our RISE festival airport transfer buses make 3 stops in the resort so you won’t be far from your accommodation.

 

GRENOBLE AIRPORT TO THE RISE FESTIVAL BUS TRANSFERS

 

Grenoble Airport to Les Deux Alpes RISE TransfersBen’s Bus has laid on extra buses for the festival dates. This means you’ll spend less time in the airport and more time at the RISE festival. Our prices are an unbeatable £56.50pp Return, £32.50pp Single, but with our group discounts, you could pay just over £29pp Single.

Grenoble Airport is the closest airport to Les 2 Alpes, with a transfer time of about 1 hour 45 mins. We will have a bus to meet every single scheduled flight into and out of Grenoble Airport.

Make sure you book early as we expect to sell out. Upgrade to Ben’s Bus Plus in case your flight changes. Find out more on our Grenoble Airport to Les Deux Alpes page. The available flights include:

easyJet Airlines

easyJet from London Luton and Bristol on the 9th, and back to London Luton, Gatwick, Bristol and Edinburgh on the 16th. There are also flights from Manchester on Sundays.

 

Jet2.com Flights

Jet2 from Newcastle (and back to London Stansted, Birmingham and Manchester on the 16th December).

 

British Airways

BA flies to and from London Gatwick and London Heathrow

 

WizzAir Airways

Wizzair have flights available from London Luton (and back to Gatwick on the 16th December). Skyscanner is a great website to compare prices and see which airports you can use.

 

Ryanair Airlines

Ryanair will have flights back to Manchester, London Stansted, Bristol and Dublin on the 16th December.

 

 

LYON AIRPORT TO THE RISE FESTIVAL BUS TRANSFERS

 

Lyon Airport to Les Deux Alpes RISE TransfersLyon Airport to Les Deux Alpes Transfers take a little longer than from Grenoble Airport, at just over 2 hours. All buses are direct to the RISE Festival. One of our 3 stops in resort is right outside the main meeting point for the festival. A Return costs £72.50pp Return but with our group discounts, you could be paying just £63.50pp Return.

Our first bus on the 9th December will leave at 09:10 and our last bus at 21:30. For the return on the 16th December, our first bus will arrive at Lyon Airport at about 06:45 in time for any flight departing after 08:40

As always with Ben’s Bus, a rep will meet you at Lyon Airport and in resort to make sure you get on the bus.

 

 

GENEVA AIRPORT TO RISE FESTIVAL

 

Geneva AirportWe do not operate any transfers from Geneva Airport. Although it is well serviced by many flights, is the furthest airport from Les Deux Alpes and the least convenient. You would need to cross the international road border between Switzerland and France and the transfer takes quite a while.

Geneva Airport should be avoided as there are so many flights coming into Lyon and Grenoble which are both much closer.

 

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Trip Advisor Award for Ben’s Bus

Posted 11th February 2023

4.7 STAR AVERAGE TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS EARN A ‘BEST OF THE BEST AWARD’ 2020

 

Bens Bus Reviews Trip Advisor Best of the Best Award 2020

We’re really pleased to have been awarded a Trip Advisor ‘Best of the Best’ Certificate for our Grenoble and Lyon Airport routes for the 2019 / 2020 ski season.

Everyone at Ben’s Bus is very grateful to our kind customers who took the time to write a review about us. We’re delighted that we continue to meet your expectations. Rest assured, we will be working hard to make sure we continue to provide a great service in the upcoming 2021 / 2022 ski season.

To see what the travel community thinks about us, visit our Trip Advisor page. Or find out why over 1,000 people rate us as “Excellent” on Trust Pilot and facebook.

If you need an airport transfer to your ski resort, take a look at what we have available by selecting your airport from our Airports page. Or you can select your resort from our Ski Resorts page.

 

 

PREVIOUS CERTIFICATES OF EXCELLENCE FROM TRIP ADVISOR

 

              2019 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Bens Bus                                               2018 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Bens Bus

 

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