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If getting to the slopes as soon as possible is at the top of your priority list when looking for the right ski resort, these great destinations close to Geneva will be perfect for you. Have a look at these short transfer time ski resorts and take your pick.

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Photo: La Clusaz CREDIT ClementHudry

Independently researched and written by the Snow Magazine team, sponsored by the experts at Crystal Ski Holidays.

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This winter, more skiers will be flocking to Europe's ski resorts for some world class skiing than ever before, which inevitably means more traffic jams. For this reason, we've decided to highlight the closest ski resorts to Geneva for readers with a love of short airport transfers. So whether you're a fan of high altitude playgrounds such as Zermatt or have a weakness for resorts which allow you to spend your time exploring Europe's best interconnected ski areas, start planning your winter ski holiday today with the help of our guide to the 10 best ski resorts near Geneva.

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Photo: MarkFairhurst-on-unsplash

Samoëns, France

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour

This is one of the prettiest French ski resorts near Geneva – a traditional Savoyard town with a brilliant weekly market, a historic church at its centre and a backdrop of Mont Blanc. One thing which sets the ski resort apart is its architecture. Samoëns has a rich history of stone-cutting, and unlike most ski resorts, the majority of the buildings are made from stone. In summary, if you’ve got a weakness for traditional resorts, this might just be the perfect destination. 

Samoëns is part of the Grand Massif ski area, which means easy access to Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon and Sixt and makes it the fourth-largest ski area in the Haute-Savoie. Its slopes stretch from 1100 to 2500 meters above sea level, and are especially popular with beginner and intermediate skiers, with 23 green slopes, 61 blue slopes 44 red slopes and 11 black. However, a word of warning for advanced skiers: Samoëns blacks are seriously tough, and their steepness shouldn’t be underestimated.

Despite its smaller size, the resort has a huge choice of activities away from the slopes, and is especially popular with fans of Nordic sports. There’s a free shuttle to the resort’s Joux Plane and Cirque du Fer à Cheval cross country skiing areas, as well as a cross-country ski school. 

Wondering where to stay? There’s a great range of accommodation in the resort centre, and it’s now even easier to get to the slopes, thanks to a shiny new gondola – until recently, getting to the slopes was tricky for skiers without their own car. 

Take a look at our full Samoëns ski resort guide for more info.

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Photo: VictoireJoncheray-on-unsplash

La Clusaz, France

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour

All too often La Clusaz doesn’t make it onto skiers’ radars, or it’s written off as resort which simply won’t cut the mustard. Skiers are usually surprised to learn about its snow sure reputation (which shouldn’t come as a shock, considering its runs reach up to 2,600 metres above sea level), the variety of slopes (all 85 of them) and the sheer diversity of the ski terrain, which is spread over five massifs and has a good mix of slopes for all abilities: 16 green, 31 blue, 30 red and eight black.

There’s no denying that beginners and intermediates are slightly better catered for, but the eight black runs will certainly provide the prerequisite adrenaline rush for advanced skiers, and there’s a couple of fantastic snow parks, too. One of our favourite runs is the Combe du Fernuy piste, which starts out black before morphing into an easy red. There are several fantastic ski schools, including an ESI Ski School and Evolution 2, but for some one-on-one tuition we recommend checking out Alter Ego, which is founded by Yvan Dorier, a former member of the French ski team. 

There are plenty of off slope activities to sign up for during ski holidays, too. Make sure you check out the resort’s Aqua Park, where you can soak up mountain views from the outdoor pools, as well as the Hameau des Alpes, a museum where you can learn all about the area’s history. Exhibits include an old saw mill and a traditional community oven. 

Finally, don’t underestimate the range of accommodation, which includes everything from slope-side cabins to luxury hotels. We’re particularly smitten with the four-star St Alban Hotel and Spa, where you can splash out on spa treatments created by luxury beauty brand Nuxe, or simply relax at the hotel’s bar, which is famous for its potent cocktails.

Read our full La Clusaz ski resort guide for more info.

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Avoriaz, France

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour 15 minutes

If your kind of ski holiday is one which involves basing yourself in a ski resort with plenty of opportunities for cross-border skiing,  consider Avoriaz, which has a resort height of 1,800 metres above sea level and has some of the best snow sure skiing, thanks to its location in the heart of the Franco-Swiss Portes du Soleil ski area, and where you’ll have access to 600 kilometres of snow sure runs and four snow parks. The resort gets plenty of sun, thanks to its position on a sun-baked plateau high above the nearby ski resort of Morzine. 

The pedestrianised town centre makes it incredibly popular with families and beginners (horse-drawn carriages are the preferred mode of transport here), and there are some wonderful, enjoyable green slopes, including the ones which connect the resort to Morzine. Don’t forget to download the fantastic Les Portes du Soleil app, which makes it easy to find your way around the slopes. You’ll be able to use its brilliant interactive map while keep tracking of everything from snow conditions to restaurant opening times. Our other tip? Book early to get the best deals – Morzine is now one of France’s most popular ski resorts, and accommodation gets booked up incredibly quickly here.

Read our Avoriaz ski resort guide for more details. 

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Photo: pidjoe_iStock

Les Gets, France

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour

If weather and traffic conditions are good, you’ll need just over one hour to make it from Geneva to this pretty French ski resort, which is an obvious choice for keen skiers who love to combine a little luxury with fantastic skiing in one of the best ski resorts near Geneva. Les Gets has undergone somewhat of a transformation in recent years, and it’s now one of our favourite ski resorts in the Portes du Soleil ski area, which includes 14 resorts in both France and Switzerland.

Although it’s not the most impressive resort height (its altitude is 1,200 metres) it’s known for its great snow cover, and its ski season typically starts in early December. Beginners can hit the runs leading to Morzine and Avoriaz, while improvers will find plenty of more challenging slopes on the Mont Chery side of the valley, or in the Swiss resorts of Morgins, Les Crosets and Champéry. 

It’s one of the best ski resorts for off-piste events - the resort has a packed calendar of events, including the Let’s Get Comédie comedy festival in January, and Rock the Pistes, a music festival held in March. Don’t miss the chance to walk through the Alta Lumina Park, which opened in 2020. This one-kilometre footpath weaves through a section of forest filled with light installations. There’s a large number of self-catering chalets (many owned by enterprising expats) in Les Gets, although don’t discount its fantastic hotels. Stay at Hotel Christiania, a beautiful boutique-style property, and you’ll be just 50 metres from the ski lifts.

Take a look at our full Les Gets ski resort guide for more info.

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Photo: GioFleming

Morzine, France

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour 15 minutes

Another brilliant Portes du Soleil ski area resort, Morzine is one of the most well known resorts in France’s Northern Alps, and although it’s expanded at a rapid rate of knots since its Pleney ski lift started operating in 1934, it still retains a certain amount of alpine charm – there are none of the high-rises monstrosities you’ll find in certain purpose built resorts, and its centre is packed full of independent hotels and boutiques. 

Morzine’s large ski area covers 120 kilometres of pistes divided into 69 runs, and has plenty of sunny, south-facing ski slopes (hop on the Pléney gondola to get to the best ones) ideal for beginner and intermediate, skiers although there are plenty of tougher slopes for more advanced skiers. We recommend Nyon and Chamossière, two challenging but snow sure runs, thanks to their altitude of 2,019 metres and 2,002 metres respectively. 

The resort’s amenities include a cinema and bowling alley and there’s a great choice of restaurants, ranging from slope-side grab-and-go snack bars to fine dining restaurants such as L’Atelier, where you can feast on cuisine prepared by Alexandre Baud-Pachon, who’s worked at some of Geneva’s top restaurants. Both skiers and non skiers should make a beeline for Morzine’s newest viewpoint, at the summit of the Pointe de Nyon. Le Pas de l’Aigle opened in 2020 and features a 10-metre glass walkway hovering over a 350-metre drop. The views are truly spectacular – you’ll be able to see Lake Geneva as well as Mont Blanc.

Take a look at our full Morzine ski resort guide for more info.

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Photo: MegeveCommune_SimonGarnier

Megève, France

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour 15 minutes

Megève, in the heart of the Mont Blanc massif, is a great option for a short ski break, and proof that easy access from Geneva doesn’t mean settling for second best. It takes just an hour to get to this beautiful resort, which serves as a brilliant base for those looking to explore the Mont Blanc massif area. Despite its growing popularity, the resort has retained the feel of a much smaller ski town, and has a traffic-free centre filled with independent hotels and boutiques – although the three Michelin-starred restaurants are a reminder of Megève’s popularity with skiers who love the finer things in life. 

That said, there’s no denying this is one of the best skiing areas in Europe for beginners and intermediates, as well as families – lift queues are few and far between here, and the resort’s three main ski areas all offer direct access to the slopes (in addition to being linked by a fast, reliable shuttle bus service). If you love a good tree run, head to Rochebrune area, and an even wider range of runs, purchase the multi-resort pass which allows you to ski over to Les Contamines or St Gervais, which form part of the enormous Evasion Mont Blanc ski area. 

Megève has a laidback feel so while this isn’t a resort with regular, groundbreaking expansions, in recent years huge sums of cash have been poured into improving its accommodation options. Examples include the spectacular makeover of the 120-year-old Soleil d'Or hotel (which has become a five-star property as a result) and the renovations to the Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois complex, which now has a swimming pool, sauna and Michelin-starred restaurant. 

Read our full Megève ski resort guide for more details. 

 

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Photo: danielgbueno_iStock

Les Diablerets, Switzerland

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour and 40 minutes

A small, family-friendly ski destination which has always been popular with skiers keen to avoid Switzerland’s more expensive resorts, Les Diablerets is proof that opting for smaller resorts doesn’t mean compromising on ski terrain. 125 kilometres of pistes includes an abundance of beginner and intermediate-friendly slopes and a handful of black ones, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t an abundance of terrain for advanced skiers – it’s just that much of it is off-piste.

The area is incredibly popular with skiers who love to slash through unridden powder fields, and safety-conscious skiers can sign up for one of the Compagnie des guides des Diablerets’ avalanche training courses before taking the plunge. There’s brilliant heli-skiing here too - we recommend Air-Glaciers if you fancy taking a chopper to the region’s best bits. 

Beginners will be pleased to know that the best nursery slopes can be accessed directly from the village. Intermediates, meanwhile, will find a great selection of slopes across Les Diablerets’ three main areas. You’re unlikely to run out of terrain here, despite the resort’s small size. There are great bus connections to nearby Gstaad and Leysin, and fast lift connections with several of the nearest ski resorts, including Villars. Away from the pistes, activities on offer including ice climbing, sleigh rides and snow tubing.

Don’t miss the chance to combine a night-time toboggan run with a cheese fondue at the Mazots mountain restaurant – an experience offered by mountain-evasion.ch. You’ll take the Diablerets Express cable car to a mountain restaurant for dinner, before flying down the seven-kilometre toboggan run.

Read our full Les Diablerets ski resort guide for all the details.

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Photo: Pascal-Gertschen

Zermatt, Switzerland

Transfer time from Geneva airport: three hours and 20 minutes

One of Switzerland’s biggest ski resorts, Zermatt has it all: fantastic apres ski, 200 kilometres of slopes, plenty of snow and breathtaking views, thanks to the Matterhorn’s looming presence. Admittedly, the transfer time is on the long side – it’s possible to get from Geneva to the resort in a little over three hours – but given that it takes much longer to get to some of France’s top ski resorts from certain airports, we’re sticking to our guns that it’s certainly worthy of a spot on this list.

Unsurprisingly, the terrain is incredibly diverse – its slopes top out at 3,899 metres and the entire linked slope network, which includes Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy, includes 360 kilometres of pistes. 

It’s hard not be wowed by this resort, which is surrounded by 38 summits with a height of over 4,000 metres. For the best views, hop on the gondola which links Trockener Steg to the Klein Matterhorn – it’s one of the highest in the world. Like everything else in the resort, the accommodation is incredibly diverse, with plenty of slope-side options. For a truly memorable stay, bag a room at the Riffelalp Hotel, which you’ll find 2,222 metres above sea level, on a plateau high above Zermatt. The property was built in 1884 and is regarded as Europe’s highest luxury hotel.

Take a look at our Zermatt ski resort guide for more details. 

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Photo: Maxime-Coquard

Chamonix, France

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour and 15 minutes

What’s not to love about Chamonix? One of France’s most popular resorts amongst British skiers, this French ski town might not have ski in, ski out access but it’s still an unbeatable base for anyone keen to explore its four beautiful ski areas, dotted throughout the Chamonix valley. 

It’s a resort with an incredibly rich history but which has also managed to move with the times – Chamonix enjoyed a boom time in the Victorian years, was the chosen ski resort for the winter Olympics in 1924, and is now regarded as one of the world’s best destinations for freeriding. Intermediate and advanced skiers should consider splashing out on the Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass, which covers not just Chamonix but several ski resort close to Zermatt, including Megeve, Courmayeur and Verbier, although there are plenty of wonderful pistes in Chamonix itself. The Brévent-Flégère ski area – often referred to as the sunny side of the Chamonix valley, and easily accessible thanks to the Flégère gondola which opened in 2019, has some brilliant intermediate runs, while Pierre à Ric is a fast, challenging red run in the Grands Montets area. 

Given the size of Chamonix, it won’t come as a surprise that this is regarded by many as one of the best French ski resorts when it comes to the range of accommodation, which includes several hotels and chalets run by British expats. If you’re after a quieter place to stay, opt for one of the villages such as Les Houches, Argentière and Vallorcin. If you’ve got time, squeeze in a ride on the Tramway du Mont-Blanc, which is France’s highest railways. You’ll depart from the train station in Saint Gervais, a 20-minute drive away.

Read our full Chamonix ski resort guide for more info.

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Photo: OTFlaine_m.dalmasso

Flaine, France

Transfer time from Geneva airport: one hour and 30 minutes

This is the largest resort in the Grand Massif ski area and a fantastic options for anyone looking for ski resorts near Geneva. The resort is split into two areas: Flaine Forêt, a wooded area popular with beginners and families and which has a high number of self-catering apartments, and Flaine Forum, which has a town square at its heart and direct access to the slopes. Head to Flaine and you’ll have effortless access to 265 kilometres of runs and plenty of snow – Flaine has fantastic snowmaking facilities, and its north-facing slopes get plenty of the white stuff. 

Its 64 runs sit between an altitude of 1,600 metres and 2,500 metres, and the wider Grand Massif ski area has 139 runs. There are also great lift connections to nearby resorts, such as Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. There are nursery areas in the resort itself, and some fantastic intermediate runs in the north-facing bowl above the resort – get there using one of the gondolas which leave from Flaine Forum. Although there’s some great off piste here, this is certainly a destination best suited to intermediates although advanced skiers will still find a handful of challenging black runs.  

Interestingly, although this purpose built resort started life in the late 1960s – an era which saw endless ugly concrete ski resorts spring up across the Alps – its brutalism has been softened with the use of sculptures (including pieces by Picasso) and its Bauhaus architectural elements certainly set it apart from other resorts, for better or worse. 

Take a look at our full Flaine ski resort guide for more info.