Travel by car is the best way to get to Chamonix from Milan, particularly if you are driving from one of Milan's three airports. All of the airports have excellent car rental facilities and there are also Milan downtown car hire facilities.
Milan City to Chamonix
|Time||55mins||2h 05mins||3h 00mins|
If you are driving from Milan City Centre to Chamonix, it is important to take the best route through the streets of Milan to the Autostrada. This is the recommended route from Milan Centre to Chamonix.
Malpensa Airport to Chamonix
|Time||1h 02mins||1h 45mins||2h 47mins|
Linate Airport to Chamonix
|Time||38mins||2h 23mins||3h 01min|
There are eleven car hire companies available at Linate Airport. Four of them are located in the airport terminal building: Budget, Thrifty, AutoEuropa and Sixt. The other seven car rental companies are easily reached by free shuttle bus, at the car collection point.
Bergamo Airport (Orio al Serio) to Chamonix
|Time||33mins||2h 31mins||3h 04mins|
At Bergamo's Orio al Serio Airport, there is a good choice of car rentals. Check the car hire companies. All have desks in the Arrivals Hall and the car collection point is a short walk out of the terminal. Exit the Arrival's Hall through that door farthest right (on leaving baggage reclaim) and turn right; follow the signs to the Car Collection point.
On top of the car rental charge, budget at least €100 each way for travel costs. This will cover fuel and tolls, including the Mont-Blanc Tunnel.
Be sure that snow tyres are fitted. Some companies fit snow tyres as an extra, others as standard. On top of the snow-tyres, ensure that snow chains are supplied. These are a legal requirement during winter in the Chamonix Valley.
Avoid One-Way Car Hire
One way car rental is not advised: leaving the car in Chamonix, at Geneva Airport or anywhere outside of Italy will incur huge extra charges. Be careful if making a One Way booking through an on-line Car rental website. Many on-line systems are not able to supply the true cost of a One Way rental across an international border. The price displayed may appear very reasonable, and it is easy to think this is the price you will pay. Take note of the advice to contact the Rental company for the additional One Way charge. Typically, this will be between €500-€1000 on top of the price already quoted. If this advice is not clear, don't think you can get away with not paying: once the Rental company has your bank card, payments are taken regardless of what you think is contracted.
In summer, the Mont-Blanc Tunnel can be avoided by taking the high road over the Grand St.Bernard pass to Switzerland followed by the route over the Col de Forclaz and Col des Montets to Chamonix. In winter the Grand St. Bernard is usually closed and the Cols de Forclaz and Montets may be closed. Best option in winter: the Mont-Blanc Tunnel.
Additional cost of the tunnel, check the rates and the map.