Our chalets operate Sunday – Sunday so you will always find the roads quieter
Coming to stay with us and driving in your own vehicle is a surprisingly cost-effective way of travelling. Especially if you are coming during the peak weeks. The costs of flights and transfers for a family of four can soon put a holiday out of budget. Travelling as a group or as a family can often cost only the same as one return flight ticket into Geneva. You'll be able to pack whatever you like and as much as you like, as you won't need to worry about any excess baggage charges. (Just so long as you are good at playing Tetris).
Our Director Colin always prefers to travel down via car and recommends this route: Folkstone – Calais – Reims – Troyes – Dijon – Beaune – Lyon – Chambéry – Albertville – Moutiers – Méribel
The route in detail: If you are looking to do the journey in the quickest way possible, depending on your location within the UK, Folkstone is a wise choice with the Eurotunnel. This journey only takes 35 minutes (Compared to 90mins on the Ferry from Dover) and it’s a very efficient service, especially with prices starting from £31 per car, 4 times per hour, 365 days a year. Once you arrive in Calais, we recommend it is best to stick to the motorways and to take the toll roads, as you will be saving yourself so many hours rather than weaving your way through the back roads and busy towns.
When you arrive in the resort, you are, of course, more than welcome to park at our chalets however we can’t promise you parking in the garages at the chalets as these are often being used by the owners. Either use the drive space available outside our chalets or, there are plenty of local underground car parks where you can reserve a space online. We recommend using the underground car parks simply because of the added security factor but also keeping your car at a consistent temperature and not exposing it to the winter chill. Park at our chalets and unload your luggage and then if you wish, you can then drive to one of these car parks and we can come, collect you and bring you back to your new home for the week.
En Route Residences
From departing Calais to arriving in Méribel the journey will take roughly 10 hours. This is subject to traffic but driving overnight on Saturday you can expect minimal hold-ups. Having our holidays running Sunday – Sunday really has the customer's interests at heart. If you can do the journey in one go, then it will be a breeze compared to what you’d be facing on a Friday night for those Saturday - Saturday holidays.
For those looking to take a more leisurely approach to their holiday, then stopping off at the various Formula 1’s on route or staying at the Le Val Moret Hotel Restaurant & Spa is a smart choice. Le Val Moret is a comfortable 3* property just off the motorway after Troyes which is the town after Reims, a favourite for us on our way down. You will be about 4-5 hours into your journey here so that is a good halfway place to rest up and recharge. Especially if you have come from further afield than the South East.
If you have travelled from further afield, then a Formula 1 earlier on the route would be a good suggestion. There is one in Reims should you prefer. Alternatively, if you would much rather get the bulk of the journey done, we would recommend choosing to stop off in Dijon for the night. One step closer still, Annecy, is an incredibly beautiful town to visit for the day with the lake views and the mountains in the distance. Breaking up the journey really does have its perks. Trying to undertake 10 hours of driving on top of where you have departed from in the UK can take a toll for the week's holiday, best to rest up if you have the time so you can spend your days skiing with bounds of energy. If you still happen to arrive slightly weary-eyed, do not worry! Afternoon-tea will soon sort that out. (Cut yourself an extra slice of cake, designated drivers get two slices…)
When it comes time to leave us on Sunday, we ask you to vacate your chalet at 10:00. Make sure you take advantage of the breakfast on offer for your return leg. Let us know in the week if you plan to make a crack of dawn departure and I am sure our chefs can see about making a sandwich the night before.
Driving on the roads in Europe
Driving on the roads in Europe is a slightly different experience than driving on the roads here in the UK. For one thing, they're often much quieter. There are some mandatory documents and equipment that you will need, the table below is a guide to help, measures do change often so please check through the official channels before starting your journey.
As you’ll be heading into the mountains it’s recommended that you have winter tyres as these are going to really help if you happen to get caught out in the snow, if you haven’t got winter tyres then tyre socks or chains are the next best thing. Unfortunately, do not expect much sympathy from the police should you need a hand with your car if you have got summer tyres on.
Journey Times and Rest Stops
Just to give you an idea on the journey times, Google Maps & RAC are going to give you very accurate route planning and guidance on time. We have laid out below a rough journey timeline depending on where you are in the country.
The chart below is based on return journeys from London to Méribel.
Your Feedback Is Always Welcome
This blog has been focused around catching the Eurotunnel in Folkstone or the Ferry from Dover to Calais. As a business we are all largely located in the Cotswolds so for us, it is easier to drive as a group than to fly. Let us know your preferred routes so we can help others looking to avoid the crowds at airports this winter.
UPDATE: Peter drove out to Méribel for a spot of work within the valley recently. He recorded his journey and has shared his costs to really drive (sorry, couldn't resist) home the financial benefit to self-driving this winter. The car used is a 1.4 Hatchback using Petrol and taking the Toll roads.
Cheltenham - Méribel - 13 Hours including 2 petrol stops and rest breaks. This time also includes a wait at the Channel Tunnel for the train.
Cost £383.00 (€426.97)
If you are to car share on the way down then you can easily see how this journey can become incredibly cost-effective.
2 People - £191.50
3 People - £127.67
4 People - £95.75
If you're travelling with children, just make sure you bring entertainment for them! At the service stations all the way down to Méribel there are several with playgrounds and areas for children to run around. The service stations are very frequent so you won’t get caught out.
See You Soon!
We cannot wait to have you staying in our chalets so please, if you have any questions about this journey, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Sales@Meriski.co.uk or 01285 648518. We can help point you in the right direction for tickets, hotels, and route information. We have included below some recommended websites to help further plan your journey. Looking forward to raising a glass with you this winter.
Recommended Websites for more up to date information
The environment is so precious
The environment is so precious, we always try and do our bit to offset as much as possible. An added benefit when driving is that your carbon emissions will be a third lower than when flying. Your passion and our business rely on us all working together to make sure we can keep skiing year after year.
Flying into Geneva and getting a transfer for four people releases three times as much pollution as driving down in a vehicle for four. You can get the ski train down but that arrives into Bourg St Maris Saturday morning, you won’t be able to access our chalets, however, it’s a lovely town to be in should you prefer the train. Taking the train is also 22.5 times more efficient than flying. This is based on a party of four flying Heathrow – Geneva and getting a Private Transfer creating roughly 1.06 Metric Tons of CO2e. Four trees over 100-year life span absorb 1 Tonne of CO2.