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Note where the airport is in relation to the city and autoroutes (Swiss green, French blue). The airport can be accessed and cars can be hired from the "French side" or the "Swiss side".
If you hire from the Swiss side the car will be taxed to use the A1, but it is shorter to drive through Geneva - and surprisingly easy (Also see our "Geneva airport hints and tips").
With a vignette you are allowed to take the N1 autoroute, but it is easy to drive through Geneva. On leaving arrivals you are headed SW so be careful to follow signs for "Genève" not for "France". Take three right turns around the long-term multi-storey car park (P51 on airport plan), in order to head SE through the city.
That 3rd turn is at traffic lights. You then cross the bridge over the autoroute, following blue direction signs towards the city centre. Take the straight through road at any junctions to keep heading towards "le lac" and city centre.
Get into the middle lane over the bridge. Your exit sweeps round to the left. Then as soon as possible get into the right-hand lane where traffic lights are linked for a clear through run, climbing gently for almost two kilometers.
When the road starts to descend again, look out for a right turn sign-posted to Chamonix. This enters a short link road ending with a left turn to "France".
It is another kilometer up the dual carriageway to passport control and then straight ahead onto the Autoroute Blanc heading towards Chamonix, Combloux and many other French ski resorts.
From here Sallanches is 47 kms, and Combloux is a further 9 kms. There are two tolls to pass through costing 1.60 €, and 3.50 € - pay by cash or credit card.
From Combloux it is 75 minutes to Geneva airport.
It is 9 kms to the A40 junction 20 at Sallanches, another 10 kms to the toll gate at Cluses (3.50 € by cash or credit card), and 37 kms more via a 2nd toll (1.60 €) to Geneva.
On Saturday mornings it better to avoid Sallanches - about 2 kms down the N212 from Combloux, turn right to Domancy, turn right again at the roundabout and again onto the N205 towards Chamonix. At the next roundabout (near Intermarché and Quechua), turn left onto D339, pass under the A40 autoroute and turn left up the slip road towards Genève.
From the A40 autoroute take the left fork to "Geneva Vallard", not the main route to Paris, Lyon and Geneva. It is about 1 km to the customs. Just through the customs there is a 24 hour petrol station. If you have to return a hire car with full tank this is close enough, and petrol is cheaper in Switzerland than in France.
About 1 km after the customs, take the right turn at traffic lights signposted "Chene Bougeries and Jussy". This street is 0.7 km long and ends in a T junction - turn left towards Genève Lac.
Keep straight on for 3 kms, avoiding left-turn lanes, until you reach the head of the lake and will bear right over the bridge, past the spectacular (if running!) fountain "jet d'eau"...
As you bear right to cross the lake (over Pont du Mont Blanc), get into the left-hand lane in order to go straight ahead at the traffic lights. Follow airport signs.
About 250 meters on, after traffic lights, your route veers left (because straight ahead is a no entry street leading from the railway station).
Carry on straight ahead (avoiding left turn lanes) for 2 kms until the road forks and you follow the right towards the airport.
About 1½ kms further on take the right turn to the airport (In fact, this is just before the France-Lausanne autoroute, and the airport is just on the North side). Avoid the green sign for the autoroute slip road, follow airport signs to loop left over the autoroute towards Airport arrivals.
To return hire cars, take the lane marked "Illimitée" and descend to level -2. Go to arrivals hall to return your keys. If you are picking up a passenger avoid "Illimitée" and go into the short term car park - one hour limit, first 10 minutes free.