Location and Local Information
Chalet Papillon is located at an altitude of 1,000 metres in La Baume, a traditional mountain hamlet. One and a half hour’s drive from Geneva Airport and 20 minutes from Morzine.
The nearest main village is St Jean d’Aulps which has all supermarkets, restaurants, Post Office and all you need. Easy to stop on your way to and from the ski slopes.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS - How to reach Chalet Papillon
Fly to Geneva Airport and hire a car - typically 1hr+ drive depending on traffic
Geneva is a well-connected international airport, with daily short and long haul flights to and from many destinations. From the UK one can get flights to Geneva from British Airways, Swiss, Easyjet and BMi.
Geneva airport is on the other side of Geneva from Chalet Papillon, so the actual transit time will depend upon the time of arrival. Geneva, like all cities, has rush hour traffic jams that are best avoided. Cars may be hired from the well known hire companies direct from the airport. It is often cheaper to advance book from the UK to take advantage of advance booking discounts and make use of price comparison websites. Do be aware of the “local” costs sometimes charged for airport taxes, snow chains, winter equipment, etc - particularly when picking up a car on the French side of the airport.
We recommend hiring the car from the Swiss side of the airport - particularly during the winter as it is mandatory for Swiss cars to be equipped for winter driving (Snow chains/tyres in particular). They will also have a ‘vignette’ attached to the windscreen allowing you to use the Swiss Autoroute. There is normally additional charges for extra drivers and full excess insurance (We purchase an annual excess insurance for about £50.00 which means you can decline the extra insurances with the additional costs - although some price comparison websites now include this in the package).
Snow chains and roof racks should be booked in advance as well as car seats for children.
The car hire desk is a short walk from the arrival hall and once the paperwork has been done you will need to board a shuttle bus (sometimes with a trailer for skis) to take you a short distance to a nearby car park next to the World Trade Centre. If you have a SatNav it is worth marking this point to enable you to return the car easily!
The easiest way out of Geneva is to head along the Autoroute out of Switzerland into France towards Annemasse and then exit the A40 at the Annemasse junction. Then follow the directions from Annemasse in the section below.
Driving out from the UK
Our usual route is via ferry from Dover to Calais with an approximate crossing time of one and a half hours (or try the tunnel). We like to get an early ferry to avoid the M25 traffic and allowing us to have a good breakfast and rest before starting off again in France. A 7am Ferry usually means we arrive at the Chalet about 8pm - allowing for French time being normally one hour ahead of UK time. From Calais allow about 10 – 12 hours driving time if using the Autoroutes with short but frequent stops. Total distance is about 575 miles from Calais – of course you may wish to enjoy the journey through France and stopover. We suggest that you avoid Paris by using the following route:-
From Calais you can travel totally on the Autoroute to Geneva, exiting at Annemasse. From Calais take the A26 to Reims. Bypass Reims following signs to Chalon Sur Marne/Dijon The remainder of this journey is all autoroute to Geneva passing near to Dijon. At Dijon head off east on the A39 towards Dole and follow this new autoroute down to Bourg en Bresse where you will meet the A40 Autoroute to Geneva. This autoroute avoids the main Paris-Lyon section which can become very busy at times.
This route is slightly longer than going through Paris but is less busy, particularly if you are likely to be passing through Paris during busy periods.
You have to pay to use the autoroute with a typical one way cost of about £45 for a car. Speed limit is 130km/hr (80mph) on autoroutes when dry and 110km/hr (68mph) when wet. Speed traps are employed (Especially on the return leg approaching Calais where they are keen to relieve returning visitors of any unused euros!). Check out the latest legislation - you need reflective vests, headlamp deflectors, breathalyser kits, and even a spare pair of glasses if you wear them!!
All autoroutes have rest areas about every 10 to 15 miles with toilets and picnic benches. Fuel stops and Restaurants are also frequent at about 30 - 40 mile intervals. Petrol is more expensive than in the UK but Diesel is less.
Whichever route you choose you will presumably arrive on the autoroute A40 which delivers you to the outskirts of Geneva. You can choose to transit through Geneva (thus Switzerland) following signs for Evian. However at the Swiss customs you may be asked to purchase a vignette (£25 - ish) which allows you to travel on the Swiss autoroutes - OK if you plan to travel in Switzerland but a bit expensive for the 5 miles or so into Geneva! Alternatively take the next exit off the autoroute after Geneva Centre, signposted Annemasse.
Bear right after leaving the autoroute, keep right as you go over the bridge and then left at the traffic lights (past a Casino and up the hill). Keep straight on through Annemasse and follow signs to Thonon - there is a short cut if you go through the small town of Bons from which the road joins into the bypass around Thonon.
Take the new bypass – signposted Montreux/Evian and then exit at Junction 1 following the signs to Morzine. Follow the route up the gorge and into the mountains. When you reach the village of Le Jotty pass through and travel for a 1.6km until you see a right hand signposted La Baume. Go up the hill into the village and follow the road leaving the church on your left.
Go past the first immediate right hand turning beside the water fountain and after 40m go past a small village road which branches to the right. After a further 70m bear right and head up a narrow mountain road signposted to La Goutreuse. (A block of apartments and the school should be on your left with the cemetery and war memorial on your right). You should pass a blue“Snow Chains Obligatory” sign at the base of hill – heed this warning if there is snow on the road! Carry on for about 1.3km passing a farm/gite where the road forks – keep right. After another 0.3km the road forks again, but this time take the left on to level ground where there is a sign on the left which says La Haute Goutreuse. You should have reached a group of five chalets. After the first house on the right, take the track on the right up a gravel driveway and our parking is immediately on your right.
A level area for two cars has been constructed in front of the chalet, with steps leading up to the chalet. In winter our caretaker will usually clear the snow prior to your arrival from the parking area. Turning can be tricky and we tend to reverse up the hill and drive forward into the parking space allowing a forward exit the next day. In winter if you find it is too difficult to get up the hill please talk to Eric who will find you a space in front of his house. There are two snow shovels in the shed for clearing snow.
From here the steps lead up to Chalet Papillon – exterior lights should come on at night – if they don’t they may be switched off – there is a master switch inside the shed on the lhs by the door. The lights will come on and after a few minutes will set themselves.
(Please note the track behind the chalet is not owned by ourselves and must be left clear at all times).
Local Bus service
When you are at the Chalet and need to get to the resort on your own or back from Chalet Papillon there is a local Balad d'Aulps bus which runs along the valley to and from all the resorts. You can walk down our mountain to the main road, then take a small footpath round the church to the main road and pick up the bus across the road. There is parking at this stop (Pont de Gys) or at the Abbey as well, so you could leave your car and take the bus in. Or get the bus back to these stops and get someone to pick you up. Very cheap and easy. This is the timetable for this winter it is route 1,2 and 3. http://summer.valleedaulps.com/summer-baladaulps-bus.html