val thorens view

Head high in the Three Valleys

09 February 2017

Méribel sits in the heart of Les 3 Vallées (The Three Valleys), the self-proclaimed 'world's largest ski area' including eight resorts and over 600km of ski slopes. The options for beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers are plenty, from gentle cruisers whilst admiring the mountain scenery to some seriously high glacier skiing throughout the season (and well into the spring and summer!)

The highest resort in Les 3 Vallées - and the highest in Europe - is Val Thorens. Established in 1971 and sitting at 2,300m (7,545 feet), the resort is easily reached from Méribel via various ski runs and one of Europe's most advanced ski lift networks. If you're looking for late season spring snow or if conditions lower down the mountains are a little thin, Val Thorens offers conditions for all skiers and snowboarders. The sheer height of the resort almost guarantees snow between November and April, with 99% of the ski area located above 2,000m (6,560 feet).


Three Valleys Piste Map


A day trip to Val Thorens begins fairly early; avoid the queues and aim to be heading up to the resort of Méribel-Mottaret soon after the lifts open. From Méribel-Mottaret, the Plattieres 1 & 3 lifts will carry you to the top of the ridge separating the Allues and Belleville valleys. Once safely in the Belleville Valley, you can take various routes to the bottom of the Bruyères 1 lift. Take Bruyères 1 & 2 to the summit of Col de la Chambre and take in the stunning views of Mont Blanc and the Alps before heading down to Val Thorens - just in time for lunch!

If you feel like a treat, grab a table at the Chalet de la Marine, just below the top of Les Cascades chairlift. With unparalleled views of the Belleville Valley and a menu full of alpine specialities and fine wines, this is the place to wind down for an hour or two before your leisurely afternoon ski back to Méribel. If you're looking for more time on-piste, Val Thorens has something for everyone. Spend some time touring the groomed pistes or head to the snowparks and border-cross course if you're feeling more adventurous. If you have time, a journey to the top of the Pointe du Bouchet will take you to the 'Sommet des 3 Vallées' at 3,230m (over 10,500 feet). With views across the Alps and into Italy, you'll feel like you're on top of the world.

The latter option does take some time and is only recommended for those able to ski back to Méribel with some speed!

After a nice lunch or a few exciting runs, it's time to head back to Méribel in time for some well deserved après-ski. Take a nice leisurely line back to the bottom of the Bruyères 1 & 2 lifts and then back up to Col de la Chambre. From here it's back down to Méribel-Mottaret and onto Méribel, taking home memories of a proper day's ski touring and enjoying a relaxing evening in your Ski Cuisine chalet.

Skiing across all resorts will require a Three Valleys ski pass. You can buy your pass here.