The snow trainYou can easily and quickly get to ski resorts in the French Alps from Marseille and Aix en Provence by bus or train. This is how to book your travel.

booking.com logoClick here to book a hotel in Provence

Click here to view a map of the ski resorts in the French Alps.

And, if the public transport timetables don't work out for you, you can pre-book a holiday taxi for part of your journey here.

LES NAVETTES BLANCHES / THE SNOW BUSES

The navettes blanches (snow shuttle buses) leave from Marseille-Provence airport at Marignane and Aix en Provence TGV station every Saturday afternoon between 17 December and 22 April 2017. The latest timetable is now available: click on the link below to read about it in English.

The airport office / information desk for the navettes blanches (as well as for the cruise ship shuttle bus) is in a small cabin outside the entrance to the departure lounge for Terminals 3/4, and the buses also depart from this area.

Buses to and from Aix TGV station leave from a stop on the street level below the station exit.

Reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance, and cost 35€ return for adults and 17€ for children under the age of 15.

There is a special fare (90€) for a group of four including at least one child and larger groups can charter an entire coach from 1300€, depending on the size of the party. Children under two travel free of charge.

How to book: visit the snow bus website. Or telephone (+33) 8 21 20 22 03. If calling from abroad the number is (+33) 1 78 66 22 79.

News for Marseille snow busesIn 2016-2017 another company, Imbert, launched a ski bus service called Neige Express. It runs between Marseille airport and Les Orres on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 December-11 March 2017, but is quite a lot more expensive: 68€. Read more about Neige Express here.

Also new in 2016-2017: a competing service from Ouibus, the low-cost subsidiary of the French state railway SNCF. Ouibus now operates a service from Marseille Saint Charles Aix Centre stations to Les Orres, Risoul and Serre Chevalier (Briançon).

The plus: it's cheap (from 15 €uros each way). The minus: it takes a long time: from five to seven hours. Book tickets for the Ouibus to the Hautes Alpes ski destinations here.

LE TRAIN DES NEIGES / THE SNOW TRAIN

Skiing in FranceA snow train also runs on weekends (excluding school holidays) between January and March from Marseille Saint Charles, Aix Centre and Manosque stations to and from 24 ski resorts in Alpes-Provence.

There is one train daily in each direction, with onward coach connections where needed, and it's feasible (if you get up very early!) to go skiing just for the day.

In 2017 the train leaves Marseille at 5.59am and Aix at 6.33am, arrving back in the mid evening. You'll get around six hours' skiing. Click here for more details.

Here too, an advance reservation is necessary. Places are limited to 220 per train and tickets must be bought no later than noon on the Thursday before the weekend of travel.

In 2017 they cost 20€ return for adults and 7.50€ for children under 12. Children under four travel free of charge.

It's worth noting that preferential rates on equipment hire and ski passes are offered at some locations upon production of the Snow Train ticket.

How to book: visit the SNCF website (in French only). Or telephone 0800 11 40 23 (a freephone number within France).

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