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How long does it take to drive from Calais to Chamonix?

Many of our guests ask how long it takes to drive from Calais to Chamonix (or the Mont Blanc Tunnel for those heading to Courmayeur).

In this blog post we look at all the key questions that we get asked about driving from Calais to Chamonix.

Points covered include:

  • How long will it take to drive from Calais to Chamonix?
  • How far is it from Calais to Chamonix?
  • How much are the tolls from Calais to Chamonix?
  • Do I need snow chains to drive to Chamonix?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Where to stop overnight en route from Calais to Chamonix?
  • What are the best options for crossing the channel?
  • Where can I park in Chamonix?

 

How long will it take to drive from Calais to Chamonix?

Let’s start off with the key question of how long it will take to drive from Calais to Chamonix.

One of the great advantages that Chamonix holds over other ski resorts for those planning to drive is that it is not just one of the nearest, but you can travel on dual carriageway for the entire journey.

Google calculates that if you take the most direct route, on the A6 Autoroute via Reims and Dijon, it will take you 8 hours and 17 minutes.

That’s based on an average speed of 108 km/h (67 mph). That may sound quite fast, but bear in mind that the journey is entirely on dual carriageway.

It may take longer on peak dates

It’s certainly possible to go faster (many of our guests have), but you should also be mindful that if you are travelling on a Saturday on one of the peak ‘vacances scholaires’ weeks (such as New Year or February half term), queues can build up in peak areas as you near the Alps. 

The journey time does not take into account stops along the way. This will vary for everyone, depending how long you like to take for your lunch/breaks etc.

How far is it from Calais to Chamonix?

According to Google, if you take the most common route, via Reims, Dijon and Geneva, the total distance from Calais to Chamonix is 554 miles or 892km.

Surprisingly, the alternative route via Paris, Auxerre, Beaune and Macon is only slightly longer at 558 miles or 898km.

Google estimates that this route will take around 40 minutes longer, although this will depend on when you choose to travel past Paris.

How much are the tolls from Calais to Chamonix?

SANEF has a handy calculator to allow you to work out the cost of tolls from Calais to Chamonix. Their results show that the cost for a ‘Class 1’ car is €84 each way.

Note that this cost would be the same if you are driving an electric vehicle, but more if you are towing anything.

Do I need snow chains to drive to Chamonix?

You might be able to get away with a journey to Chamonix without chains, but we do not recommend it.

Although the main roads to Chamonix tend to be cleared very quickly after fresh snowfall, the laws in France mean that using winter tyres or snow chains are a now a legal requirement in winter.

If you don’t own your own snow chains or winter tyres, you can easily rent them in advance from the UK.  We have regularly recommended the specialists at snowchains.com, who rent chains for around £40-£60 per set.

Car in the snow

How much will it cost to drive?

Evidently this depends on the type of car that you drive and the speed that you drive, as well as whether you have a roof box.

Broadly speaking we suggest it will cost around €100 on fuel in each direction.

So added to the cost of tolls (€84 in each direction), you can expect a figure around €370 in total for the return journey.

Where to stop overnight en route from Calais to Chamonix?

This will always be down to personal preference and will be affected by where you start from in the UK.

We find that many visitors to Chamonix like to set off on a Friday evening and drive for a few hours in France before stopping.

That breaks up the journey and can leave just a short trip on the Saturday morning before you arrive in resort, allowing you to either check in early and maybe even get some skiing in that afternoon.

Towns along the route that are close to the motorway, but have several options include Reims (about 2h30m), Troyes (3h45m) or Dijon (5h10m). Good websites to look at for accommodation options are Airbnb and Booking.com.

What are the best options for crossing the channel?

We always recommend Eurotunnel. It’s the fastest option at just 30 minutes for the crossing. Flexiplus is more expensive, but you have the advantage that you can 'fast track' onto the next departure whenever you arrive and are not fixed to specific crossings.

However, depending on your budget and where you are starting from in the UK, you might also want to consider a ferry from Calais or Newhaven to Dieppe.

 

Where can I park in Chamonix?

Parking in Chamonix can be worth planning in advance. Please take a look at our blog post specifically on this topic.

Accommodation in Chamonix

To find the right accommodation in Chamonix for you and your group, please contact the Ski Weekend team on +44 (0)1392 878 353.

We can match you to the right self-catering apartments, catered chalets or hotels suitable to your budget.

Please note that Ski Weekend is ABTOT and ATOL protected, so you can be confident that – should travel rules change and travel not be possible – you will be refunded.