If you're heading to Méribel for a ski holiday, chances are you'll be flying in to Geneva Airport. You've got a number of options to get the rest of the way to the resort, but for a leisurely way to start your holiday, why not hire a car and drive from Geneva to Méribel yourself? It's only about 130km away by road (approximately two hours driving time) and it's one of the most picturesque routes you can imagine. |
Sit back, relax (oh, and concentrate on the road if you're the designated driver!) and enjoy this mini road trip from Geneva to Méribel.
Once you've exited the airport you're basically going to be heading in the direction of France, but before you head down the motorway you may as well take in a few of the city's attractions.
Jet d'Eau: The city's most iconic landmark is actually harder to miss than it is to find! Shooting 140 meters up in to the air, this powerful fountain spurts out 500 litres of water a second. It's only about a 10-15 minute drive to the lake edge for a closer look. (Left along Route de Meyrin, Rue de la Servette, then Rue de Mont Blanc down to the lakeside is the most direct way.)
L'Horloge Fleurie: The beautiful English Garden (Jardin Anglais) is well worth a look and as luck would have it, you're practically there! Cross the Pont du Mont Blanc and you'll be at these lovely gardens, which are home to the famous Flower Clock - L'Horloge Fleurie. Dedicated to the city's watchmakers and jewellers, the five-metre wide clock is made up of over 6,500 colourful plants and flowers.
Stade de Genève – As it's on the way to the A41, take a drive past the famous Stade de Genève on your way to connect with the motorway. The stadium, with a capacity of over 30,000 spectators, is a pretty impressive sight - especially if you're a soccer fan. From the English Garden, make your way along Boulevard Helvetique, then follow it across the city to Route de Jeunes (1A). You can then continue along the 1A to connect to the A41 to Annecy.
Lunch in Annecy
Follow the blue signs to Annecy, which is about 40kms to the south. Set around a picturesque lake, it is a lovely place to stop for lunch.
Park in the Parking Bonlieu, at Rue de la Prefecture (€1.90 per hour) near the lake, and from there it's just a two-minute walk into the Old Town - la Vieille Ville - where you can see the famous Château. Take a walk across the Pont Perrière for a fabulous view of the 12th century Palais de L'Ille, then have a lovely lunch in one of the many cafes and restaurants that line this junction point of the canals.
After lunch you've got time for a leg stretch around the beautiful Jardins de L'Europe (on Quai Napoleon III, down by the lake), and if you're on a romantic holiday you may even want to check out the gorgeous Pont des Amours, before heading back to the car.
A Ride Along the Lake
Continue your journey along Rue des Marquisats (D1508), which runs parallel to the lake. You'll pass through the ancient lakeside settlement of Duingt, which is famous for its Bronze Age origins and its two castles – one of which, the Château de Duingt, is situated on its own tiny island in the lake and connected to the mainland by a causeway. While you can't actually visit the castle, it does make for a very pretty picture!
The next (and final) stop we recommend on your road trip from Geneva to Méribel is Albertville. Continue along the D1508, turning off on the D1212 in the direction of Albertville. There is short term (two hours) metered parking around town, or you can park up in the downtown underground car park for as long as you like for €1.10 per hour. Take a leisurely stroll through the town, which is designated as a 'city of art and history', and visit the main square, Place de l'Europe, around which the town is set against a dramatic mountainous backdrop.
If you're feeling energetic you can walk the two kilometres to the medieval village of Conflans (be warned, it's uphill), which is home to some interesting ancient buildings, including the Maison Rouge and the Chateau-Rouge. Take a stroll up to the 'vue panoramique' for a fabulous view of the surrounding area and the ruins of the original Conflans Castle.
… And You’re There!
From Albertville it's just an easy 45-kilometre drive along the N90 straight through to Méribel, arriving just in time for some après ski fun!
Taking a leisurely drive from Geneva to Méribel gives you two holidays in one: a picturesque road trip and a fabulous ski holiday. What more could you ask for?
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable transfers from Geneva to Meribel, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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