Getting To & From the Raid Alpine (N – S)
Start & End Points
Hotel Cotes Sud Leman, 6 Rue de Pamphiot, 74200 Thonon Les Bains. France. Tel: 0033 (0)4 50 70 36 70
Hotel Campanile, 2317 Ch de St Claude, 06600 Antibes. France. Tel: 0033 (0)4 93 74 80 01
We offer included airport transfers from Geneva airport at the start and back to Nice airport at the end of the Raid and there are a wide range of flights available to and from UK regional airports – see the trip Essential Information pdf for all the details.
Long Haul: arriving a day early, leaving a day late
If you are not able to make a flight that ties in directly with one of our transfers, you may want to Overnight in Geneva at the start or in Nice or Antibes at the end of the Trip: A visit to either of these cities would make an excellent addition to your holiday.
Renowned as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, it is never going to be a hardship to visit Geneva and if you have the annual leave available, exploring the city on the shores of Lake Geneva is a great way to extend your holiday at the start.
Nice: With its Mediterranean coastline, the luxuries of this infamous seaside resort tempt you to stay a while and relax after your physical exertions! Family and friends may be tempted to join you out here to celebrate your achievments on the Raid. We are not able to recommend acomodation in either city, but there is a huge range of choice available to suit every need and budget. We suggest using Trip Advisor or similar for ratings on the various hotels.
Getting from Geneva Airport to the Start Hotel (Thonon Les Bains) Independently
There are regular trains each day from Geneva airport station to Geneva mainline station, Cornavin, (trains take about 6 mins and run very regularly).
Cornavin is the first stop on all the destinations for trains from the airport. Change here to a bus for Geneve Eaux Vives station (takes about 15 minutes and run regularly) – for details use www.rail.ch
Check out www.sncf.fr for train times from Geneve Eaux Vives to Thonon Les Bains. Most trains are direct or via Annemasse, and the journey takes approx three quarters of an hour and costs about 8€. There are trains running both morning and afternoon.
There is a free public transport scheme operating in Geneva whereby you can pick up a free public ticket from the machine in your baggage collection area at Arrivals. This gives you 80mins of free public transport within Geneva so will certainly get you into Geneva town centre, and on to Eaux Vives, but you will need to buy a ticket from there to Thonon.
On arrival in Thonon Les Bains train station, you will need to get a taxi to the start hotel above.
If there are a group of you, it may be cost effective to use a taxi.
We have used the following English speaking company in the past: AlpineCab ( firstname.lastname@example.org), SARL Alpinecab, Chalet Les Iris, La Beunaz, ST Paul en Chablais, 74500 FRANCE, TEL 0033450731938
2014 prices from Geneva to Thonon were as follows: 19 seater minibus: €320, 9 seater minibus: €185, 5 seater €150
You would need to contact them to explain how many bikes you have etc so as to get an accurate and up to date quote.
Getting Independently to Nice Airport from the End Hotel
We offer transfers to Nice Airport at the End of the trip, however, if our timings do not suit you then it is a taxi journey of around 30mins.
Travel by Train
If you decide to travel to Geneva by train then the above information on independent travel to Thonon should assist you.
We recommend that you look at The Man in Seat Sixty-One, which is full of advice and links about rail travel. Rail Europe have produced an excellent interactive map of all the Rail links in Europe, but it is currently not easy to find timetables on their website. For timetable information we suggest DB Rail website (German Rail network in English) – it is currently not possible to purchase tickets from their website, but you can give them a ring once you have worked out which train you want to travel on! Alternatively, tickets can be purchased by ringing Rail Europe on 08708 371 371 (UK number)
NB: – Timetables and ticket purchases are only available 3 months before travel- If you buy your tickets exactly 3 months before travel you can get some good deals so it is worth being organised.
On the train with a bike
The French rail network (SNCF) are trying to promote travel with a bike and have put together an excellent website – VeloSNCF ( external site in French but still useful!. Basically if your bike is in a bag or box it is fine to take on a train. If it is simply as a bike, then you normally need to book it a place and pay a nominal charge – have a look at the links on the VeloSNCF. If you are traveling from the UK with a bike, try to change trains in Lille as opposed to Paris (in Lille you only need to change platforms, in Paris you normally need to take a short underground journey).
Driving to Thonon Les Bains, on the shores of Lake Geneva, can be a great way of extending your holiday. Alternatively you could fly to somewhere elsewhere in France and use a hire car from there!
Directions to the Hotel Cotes Sud Leman (Thonon Les Bains):
If you want help in planning the best route, have a look at the fantastic AA European route planner, which even gives you an indication of how long your journey will take.
From Annemasse or Geneva: keep following signs to Thonon, cross Douvaine, then Sciez. At the entrance of Thonon, you will find a first round about with a Mc Donald’s on your left, continue straight ahead. Turn right at the second round about, then left. The Hotel is just behind the Renault Garage.
From Lausanne, St Gingolph, or Evian: cross Thonon following signs for Geneva/Douvaine. Once out of Thonon, at the second round about turn left and left again between the 2 Renault garages
There is ample parking in the car park at the Hotel Cotes Sud Leman. The proprieters will show you the best place to park on arrival
An alternative to driving to the hotel is to drive to Geneva airport and leave your car there during your trip. We have used ParkingFriend previously – a service where they collect and return your vehicle to you, having parked it off the airport site in a secure car park during the holiday. This makes plans at the end of the Raid easier (see below)
At the end of the Raid
If you have left your car with Parking Friend at Geneva airport, then the easiest option is for you to take one of our Transfers to Nice airport, and fly back to Geneva with Air France. Parking Friend will deliver your car to you for you to drive home, or continue your holiday as appropriate.
If you have left your car at the start hotel, then you have the option of flying or catching the train back to Geneva and then travelling independently to the start hotel to pick up your car (using the advice above).