Driving to Flaine
Posted: 14 December 2009 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi,

We’ve now decided that our first driving adventure to the Alps will be to visit Flaine (close resort, couple of beginners!), and was wondering if there’s any, apart from cost, pro’s/cons on the Eurotunnel Vs Ferry option?

We’d obviously like our first driving adventure to the Alps to be as hassle free and straight forward as possible so would the Channel crossing we decide on make any difference to our journey?

I’ve had some great replies to an earlier post with regards to snow chains and general advice on driving in the Alps, but if anyone could give any advice with regards to driving to Flaine itself, it would be much appreciated.

Many thanks, Merry Christmas and may your powder be fresh and plentiful!!

Gareth

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Posted: 23 January 2010 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Gareth
I have been using the tunnel for several years now and I find it the best option and well worth the extra cost.  The main advantage is speed.  There is an airport style departure lounge at Folkstone (and Calais) where you can get refreshments before boarding.  The shuttel itself is basic - sit in your car or stretch your legs with a walk to the toilet.  Often you will be loaded on the first available shuttle if you arrive early, which is another bonus.  However, if you have a long drive to the shuttle, bear in mind that the crossing doesn’t really offer a chance to rest or grab a snooze.

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Posted: 30 January 2010 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi,

I’ve just been in the same position - myself and 3 friends went to Les Carroz(Flaine) on Sunday night and returned Wednesday night. It was my first drive to the Alps and I can honestly say it was a really good decision.

We drove to Folkstone from Aylesbury and caught the tunnel, paid £80 return, which I purchased several months ago. I have to say it was highly efficient and gave ample time to stretch our legs etc.  Simply followed SAT NAV from that point and got there very easily - motorways were deserted and are in much better condition than in the UK. 

Essentials
- Flask / Drinks
- Take sandwiches(Motorway service prices are even worse than ours)
- If possible drive outside of working hours, keeps average spped at the very top end

Left Aylesbury @  7pm on Sunday and arrived in Flaine at 6.30am Monday.  I would have to recomend the tunnel simply for time efficiency

The snow was superb and we didn’t queue at all. Really good varied runs one of the best I have been to.  Try to avoid spending too much time in Flaine - it really is as ugly as they say buy the other linked villages, including Les Carroz are really nice and decent eating as well

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Posted: 02 February 2010 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Having suffered what the charter airlines loosely describe as service for the last umpteen years, and a particularly unpleasant and overpriced experience at GVA in January this year, I have finally cracked.
I like the idea of not having to stand in line for half an hour, before stripping almost to my scants, walking barefoot over a filthy floor, and puting my toothpaste on a poly bag thet they have just charged me a quid for, before joining my form of transport. So the ferry is booked, snow chains (can’t buy a snow tyre in the UK at the moment - wonder why!) hi viz and ski rack bought, and I’m off to Courchevel with the mates at the beginning of March. Big deal I hear some of you thinking, but, I do not live in the ‘two hours from the channel ports’ part of the UK, so have to use the Rosyth or Hull overnight ferry to Zeebrugge, with a 9 hour drive at the other end. If the trip is a success, and I see no real reason why not, that will become my preferred option our trips to the alps, costing the airlines yet another fare paying customer, (and his friends).
You do wonder if the airlines actually realise that the crapology they put their customers through is actually making people look at alternatives, even if they are more expensive, and more time consuming.
Anyway off the soapbox now, any advice from the seasoned Alpine winter motorists?

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Posted: 02 February 2010 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I live a supposed 3 hour drive from Dover, but the drive there can take 5 hours and is more far the most stressful part of the journey. Good luck with the overnight ferry crossing.

My tips include:

Take a big flask of coffee (though how you keep this hot on an overnight ferry I could not say) . Though coffee in French service stations is better and cheaper than those in the UK you do not want to be stopping too frequently. The service stations also have some nice sandwiches. Only go into the restaurants (rather than the filling station sections) if you have a lot of time to kill or have not eaten in several days. Can you imagine getting venison (biche) and good veg in a british motorway service station? And having wine with it?

Take a couple of talking books to relieve the boredom of sitting on the motorway with the cruise control set on 130 and not another car in sight.

Speed cameras are shown on www. mappy.fr and by warning notices. Police hiding behind motorway bridges are not.

If you need to put on snow chains then rubber gloves and a waterproof sheet to kneel/sit on make life much more comfortable. As will a torch if you have to do it by night. You may need to in March.

Your 9 hour estimate from Zeebrugge to Courchevel looks tight, but should be just about doable provided you only want fuel once.

Use a debit car to pay motorway tolls, but not if your bank charges every time you use your card. The queues at the toll booths are much longer at the manned stations.

If you tie your ski bags to the roof rack make sure they have nothing flapping.

I am not totally convinced about sticking little pieces of tape over the headlights doing any good. I use the cabin control and point mine down a bit.  Thinking about it wouldn’t a switch on the dashboard switching lights from dipping to the right to dipping to the left be a really useful invention. Certainly much more useful than automatically dipping mirrors or electrically adjustable seats. Reading one car handbook recently it said to take your car to the dealers every time you crossed the channel to have them adjust the headlights. What do other people do?

Consider getting a flight to Paris and the sleeper from Paris. But then IMHO CdG is much worse than Geneva. I like Lyon airport. My wife found flying to Chambery and getting the train from there much more convenient and cheaper overall than flying to Geneva and getting a grossly overpriced coach to Les Arcs.

John

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Posted: 02 February 2010 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Davie,

I just noticed that you did Aylesbury to Flaine in 10 and 1/2 hours. I am impressed, very impressed. The best I have done Birmingham to Les Arcs is 14 hours.  I usually get held up at the tunnel for at least an hour before crossing and it takes 3 hours to get to the tunnel.

Any tips?

John

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Posted: 02 February 2010 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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John,

I suspect it may be down to good fortune as much as good judgement - travelling on the UK motorways post 6pm on a Sunday night meant I got to Folkstone in well under 2hrs and as soon as we arrived we were striaght through and on a train, which left no more than 15 mins later.  Driving through the night in France was a joy, utterly no traffic.  I doubt if I will be quite as lucky next time

Cheers

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Posted: 02 February 2010 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Jammy soul,

The French motorways are rarely the problem. Getting to the tunnel is, and in my experience Sunday night is one of the worse for traffic. And why are there always “operational problems” that mean I have to wait, on one occasion 2 and a half hours, for a shuttle. It got so bad that I decided that the ferry was actually faster; and it was, until last summer when storms delayed one of those crossings a couple hours.

Nice to know the system works for someone sometime.

John

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Posted: 28 March 2017 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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gareth76 - 14 December 2009 08:59 PM

Hi,

We’ve now decided that our first driving adventure to the Alps will be to visit Flaine (close resort, couple of beginners!), and was wondering if there’s any, apart from cost, pro’s/cons on the Eurotunnel Vs Ferry option?

We’d obviously like our first best driving lessons adventure to the Alps to be as hassle free and straight forward as possible so would the Channel crossing we decide on make any difference to our journey?

I’ve had some great replies to an earlier post with regards to snow chains and general advice on driving in the Alps, but if anyone could give any advice with regards to driving to Flaine itself, it would be much appreciated.

Many thanks, Merry Christmas and may your powder be fresh and plentiful!!

Gareth

Hello,
How many people with you driving to flame.
How are you all driving?

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