Destination Guide : Grenoble Airport
Grenoble-Isere Airport, to give it its proper name, is actually in the town of Saint Etienne de Saint Geoirs, which is 40km north of Grenoble itself.
Grenoble Airport (IATA code GRB) is a small and friendly airport that has attracted low-cost airlines in recent years and plays a very large role in welcoming charter flights during the winter season for ski and snowboard holidays in the Savoie area.
Surrounded by the Alps, Grenoble Airport has over 150 ski resorts accessible in less than one and half hour's drive away. Road access to the airport is quick, as the airport connect easily to the main 'autoroutes' or motorways.
Perennially popular ski resorts such as the Three Valleys and Espace Killy are all accessible from Grenoble Airport, with transfers taking on average 140 minutes and 160 minutes respectively.
The vast majority of clients arriving at Grenoble are British, with 77% of all passengers arriving from the UK, which is why Mountain Drop-offs decided to launch private transfers from Grenoble in 2010 and can be booked directly through the Mountain Drop-offs online system.
In fact, statistics show that during the winter ski season Grenoble Airport welcomes a total of 23 tour operators using charter airlines such as Thomson, Monarch, BMI, Jet2, Flybe and Thomas Cook Airlines, in addition to services from low-cost airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair.
This all means that on a busy Saturday during the ski season, the airport handles up to 60 flights a day. Over a year the airport handles nearly 40,000 take offs and landings into Grenoble.
Although Grenoble Airport is small compared to the likes of Geneva Airport or London Gatwick, facilities are pretty good. You can expect an ATM machine, 'duty free' shops, a newsagents selling everything from magazines and newspapers to chocolate and souvenirs, as well as the Sport and Mode boutique for those last minute clothes and accessories before hitting the slopes.
If you get hungry, there's the Restofly bar and restaurant area where you can grab a bite to eat and a coffee. If you're hankering to check your emails, there is wifi access in the public areas landside (that's the area before going through security into airside), but it costs 8€.
Did you know...?
* Grenoble Airport was build especially for the Winter Olympics held in Grenoble in 1968
* Passengers numbers have increased from 56,000 in 1968 to 456,000 per year in 2009
* The airport benefitted from a brand new 7.8 million euros terminal building in 2002, capable of welcoming up to one million passengers a year
* The 3050m-long runway is large enough to accommodate at Boeing 747-400
* If you fancy flying out in luxury, Grenoble Airport has a VIP lounge area for you to chill out in