Driving from the UK to Chamonix Mont-Blanc


Driving from the UK to Chamonix works well for families and groups and anyone touring around different ski resorts. It is less hassle than by train and can be quite a bit cheaper than flying, and you have the benefit of having a car in the resort, as not all the individual ski areas in the Chamonix valley are connected. From the Channel ports of Calais or Boulogne, there is a toll motorway all the way to Chamonix, taking approximately eight or nine hours to drive in normal conditions.

London to Chamonix Road Map
Crossing the Channel - Dover Ferry Harbour
Channel Tunnel Crossing

Channel Crossing

From the UK to Calais take the ferry (23 saillings daily) from Dover or the E​urotunnel train (46 crossings daily) from Folkestone.

The main compa­nies that operate direct ferries on the Dover-Calais route are: P&0 Ferries and DFDS Seaways (previously the Norfolk Line).
Crossing the channel on a conventional ferry takes about 90 minutes and starts from about £70.

The Eurotun­nel train transfer is the fastest, only 35 minutes, but also the most expen­sive, from £130. If you book early you can get some good deals.

Stena Line also has ferries across the channel to France.

Road conditions

The preferred route is Calais > Reims > Dijon > Geneva > Chamonix. It's about 560 Miles (900 km) from Calais to Chamonix (via Dijon) with a drive time of about 9 hours. All but the last twenty kilome­ters are on toll motor­ways. The motorways in France are toll roads called "Autoroutes" and you pay at the "Peage". Autoroute tolls are approximately €80 one way.

If you are not in a hurry, and you want to cut out the toll roads, there is a route through Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Even if it is a little further, depending on your car's fuel consumption, you can save some money. This route is about 300km longer, there are no road tolls but there is road tax of £25. This journey can take up to 13 hours.

To plan your route consult the ViaMichelin Route Planner or The AA Route Planner.

To see what is happening on the roads in France, check out BisonFute, a website run by the French government, or Autoroutes, run by the French Motorway Companies.

Driving back to London, follow signs to Geneva, Dijon, Chaumont, Reims and Calais.

Important Information

French law requires you to have a reflective vest handy in the car, as well as an emergency warning triangle. Non-compliance could result in a 90 to 135 Euro fine.

From 2012, you must also carry an approved breathal­yser kit in your car.  Read more about French driving regula­tions from the RAC.

In winter, it’s a legal require­ment to carry a set of snow chains. Attention! Snowsocks for tyres do not conform to French regula­tions!

(Ouvert = Open; Fermé = Closed; Equipements Spéciaux Obligatoires = Special Equipment, e.g. Chains, is necessary)

Ensure you have Valid Registration Documents!