HomeHomeSeparator Practical Info

Planning

To allow more participants in Les Houches there will be two 10-day sessions. The first session is from  5 to 14 June 2017. The second session will take over from 14 to 23 June 2017. See here for the working groups schedule. The detailed programme of each session in Les Houches builds up on a daily basis. 

Fees

The total fee covers lodging (single room) and meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). It amounts to 900 Euros for a 10 day period.
This fee should be made payable to the Secretariat in Les Houches upon arrival.

Payment can be made by: Cash in Euros, French cheques in Euros, Visa and MasterCard.
Note that American Express, Diners Club and JCB are not accepted!

Visas

Some nationals require a visa for France. This is delivered as a Schengen visa. Note that if you are travelling from another Schengen country to France you will be permitted to enter France provided your visa is valid during the whole period of your stay.

The situation with Switzerland joining the Schengen protocol has changed for the better. A Schengen visa will allow you to enter Switzerland. Likewise Swiss authorities  also issue Schengen visas. A valid Schengen visa allows to stay in both France and Switzerland.

If you require a visa, please indicate so when you register so that we can send you appropriate invitation letters. We also urge you to apply for visas at least two months in advance.

How to contact the Centre des Houches

Postal Address:
Ecole de Physique des Houches
La Côte des Chavants
F-74310 Les Houches
FRANCE

Phone: +33 4 57 04 10 40 (from Monday to Friday at office hours)

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You may contact participants at mealtimes (12:30-13:30 and 19:30-20:30) by calling the Restaurant at +33 4 50 54 41 24

Emergency numbers, only reachable during the meeting and outside office hours:

+33 6 87 82 87 83 from outside France or 06 87 82 87 83 within France.

More numbers will be listed later.

Facilities

The School has the following facilities:

  • a small library with the main scientific journals and some reference books,
  • three working rooms with blackboards and an auditorium for 70 people,
  • projectors, video-projectors, multi-media equipment...
  • printers, a photocopy machine
  • WiFi/LAN

For the Workshop 'Physics at TeV Colliders' special arrangements have been made as concerns computing facilities (details are/will be given on the wiki)

Your Stay

Participants will be staying at the Centre, Ecole de Physique des Houches.

Meals are taken at the restaurant building (Les Balmes).

Drinks are not included. Coffee, tea (free!) and liqueurs are available at the cafeteria.

Breakfast: 7:45 to 8:45; Lunch: 12:30; Dinner: 19:30.

Participants are housed in "chalets". All the buildings have been renovated recently. Most rooms are single occupancy.

The cafeteria has a piano, table soccer and table tennis. A few mountain bikes are available.

Here are pictures of the Housing and Conference complex at Les Houches.

There is a new piano. Bring your music sheets and instruments! (See here why)

Weather

Weather is unpredictable (altitude 1150 m), temperature may range from -15 to 5°C in winter and from 5 to 25°C in summer. Sport clothes are preferable. Warm sweater(s), rain gear and good walking shoes  are necessary. Shoes such as slippers for indoor use could also be useful. Note that we will most probably organise some excursions. If it is sunny and we are hiking it is strongly recommended that you bring sunglasses and skin cream/sun block.

Albeit generally warm in June, we recommend that you bring some warm clothes: it can get chilly in the evenings. Considering how dreadful the weather has been all over France this Spring, warm clothes for Les Houches are a necessity this year. We will update you, fingers crossed for the weather to change.

Weather in Les Houches and Chamonix (8 km down the valley...)

Miscellanea

A flashlight is handy at night; the school chalets are scattered on the mountainside and outside lights may be poor (power failures, storms,..).

Electricity: AC, 50Hz, 220V. Bring an electric plug adaptor for your laptop and other electric equipment.

Telephone: there is GSM and 3G coverage.

Access and Arrival 

Session 1 participants can not arrive at the Centre before 16.30 on Monday 5 June.

Session 2 participants can not arrive before 16.30 on Wednesday 14 June.

This applies whatever means of transport you are using to reach the Centre.

It is a good idea to download/print the map (or better the leaflet) of the Centre with you especially if you are not taking the Conference bus. The map indicates the location of  the various buildings including the chalets you will be sleeping in. Head to the main building (Jacassière). You will also need the pin code to enter  the chalet. The pin codes will be provided later.

By Conference Bus from/to CERN [recommended]

Only those who are registered to take the conference bus will be able to board the bus. Registration  for the bus  will be made on the wiki. This page is only accessible to the participants. 

The reason we are reverting to this method  is that in the past many participants kept changing their mind about the bus, many asking for a change at the last minute after finding out that a colleague may be going by car or that the colleague did no longer have a car..... Updating this info through emails, a few times for the same user sometimes, is a lot of work.

In case of a problem on the day of departure or if you are late to take the conference bus, send an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.You may also call or send a SMS to  the following (mobile) telephone numbers of one of the organisers who will on the bus: 

Session 1:    To be given later 

Session 2:     To be given later

One or two of the organisers will be at the meeting point  at CERN. Make sure you are not late. The bus will not wait long.

Conference Bus: CERN <-> Les Houches (Centre de Physique). The bus journey from CERN to Les Houches takes about 1h40.

Departure from CERN: Monday 5 June 2017 at 16:00, Main Entrance B

Departure from Les Houches: Wednesday 14 June 2017 at 13:30. 

Departure from CERN: Wednesday 14 June 2017 at 16:00, Main Entrance B.

Departure from Les Houches: Friday 23 June 2017 at 13:30.

Once the bus arrives at the Centre we will distribute a map (or even better, the leaflet) that will indicate the location of  the room and chalet you will be sleeping in. You can also download/print the map. You will also need the pin code to enter  the chalet. The list of pin codes will be on the wki (restricted access). We will also send the list by email.

Note that on Wed 14 and Friday 23 the bus from Les Houches to CERN will first stop at Geneva Airport before continuing to CERN. This is not only very useful for those taking a plane but also those taking a train. If you have a train to catch on those days it is advisable to start your train journey from Geneva Airport rather than Cornavin (Geneva Main Train Station). You will save time not taking the bus/tram from CERN to Cornavin.

By Local Buses from Geneva

This is not recommended as the service is quite limited (2 departures a day only. Moreover the bus stops in the village in the valley which is 5 km way from the Centre!)

From Geneva centre (main bus station) to the Les Houches Village.

Take the bus going to Chamonix and get off at the stop Office du Tourisme (tourist centre) of Les Houches. Note that this bus starts from Geneva Airport before continuing to Geneva centre, and then to the Chamonix Valley (les Houches).
Bus Timetable: Geneva bus station website

Note however that this service is not convenient. First it is not frequent. Second, the bus stops in the village which is still 5 km away from the School. If you do not want to climb on foot, we advise you to take a  taxi from Les Houches village. Fare: about 15 Euros.
You need to reserve a taxi by calling one of these five companies (you may also ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve the local taxi for you, but allow at least a couple of days)

  • Taxi M. Persault - Les Houches: 04 50 54 41 09 (land-line), 06 07 27 71 61 (mobile)
  • Taxi Garny Hervé - Les Houches: 04 50 54 44 60 (land-line), 06 12 35 30 72 (mobile) 
  • Taxi Carrier: 06 22 75 19 37 (mobile)
  • Taxi Servoz: 06 84 66 86 73 (mobile)
  • Taxi Favre 06 11 27 23 21 (mobile)

replace the first 0 with +33 for an international call

To go from Geneva train station to the bus station, see here.

For a map of Geneva and general information, go here.

Once you arrive at the School, go to the Secretariat in the Chalet Jacassière or just look for your pigeon hole in the lobby. In Jacassière (Main building), there will be a  list indicating your room (Lodging Plan). You still need the pincode to enter the chalet. The pincodes will be on the wiki (restricted access). We will also send the list of pincodes by email a couple of days before the meeting. Bring this map of the Centre with you (or even better, the leaflet).

Shuttle/Limo service from Geneva Airport

If you are not taking the Conferene bus, this is the most practical way to get to the Centre.

Geneva Airport is 1 hour drive from les Houches. There is a regular bus service between Geneva Centre and Les Houches (see section Local Buses from Geneva).

The simplest way is to use a shuttle service (approximately 40 euros up to the School, book at least three days in advance). If you already have your return date, we would recommend to book a return tripClick here for a complete view of the different companies. Beware: The Ecole des Houches does not recommend the Alpybus company since this company will only take you to the village des Houches which is 5 km away from the Centre. NB: You can have a discount with the company Mountain Drop-Offs: MDO discount. Mountain Drop-Offs transfer desk at Geneva Airport, here.

You could also rent a car from Geneva Airport.

By train

Arrival at Les Houches station is through at least one change at Saint-Gervais (from France) or at Martigny (from Switzerland). There are about 10 trains per day between St Gervais and Les Houches. If you are coming from Geneva we strongly advise you not to take the train too many changes. Les Houches train station is about 5 km from the Centre de Physique (the latter being uphill!!). If you do not want to climb on foot, we advise you to take a taxi. See tips on taxi in the above section on "Local Buses from Geneva".

For other fares, updated train timetables and reservations, you can consult the French Railways site.

By car

The best way to find your way (if you don't have a GPS) is to print the itinerary given by the online Michelin interactive map or of course google maps

Les Houches are easily accessible from France (A41 highway), from Switzerland (Martigny and Col des Montets).

From Geneva and Le Fayet: 8 km before Chamonix, 300 m after passing under a tunnel, bear right by the first road out for "Les Houches Les Trabets".  

When arriving at the cable car station "Bellevue", turn right and continue upwards (roughly 2 km starting from the cable car).  You will reach a small roundabout, near a second cable car station, named the "Prarion". Turn left and follow the sign "Ecole de Physique". Go uphill  till the Route de la Côte des Chavants where you will have to make a sharp (right) turn (there is a sign for Ecole des Houches/Centre de Physique).  You should then drive almost all the way up the Côte des Chavants and follow Parking Visiteurs. 

From Chamonix: bear right for "Les Houches-Chef-Lieu", turn right in Les Houches, go ahead at the cable car station "Bellevue". Then proceed as above.

Cars may be rented from Geneva and from Chamonix, but it is useful to make a reservation well in advance.

Once you arrive in the Centre, please park your car in the "visitors' car park" then walk down (or take the stairs) to the main buiding. Bring this map with you. The Secretariat is in the Chalet Jacassière. You can also just look for your pigeonhole in the lobby of Jacassière. There will be a  list indicating your room.

 Tourism

Les Houches tourist office.