Guide to Three Valleys: Our Favorite Ski Resort
Three Valleys is one of the best ski destinations in the world. Properly named, the region includes three valleys on the Tarentaise, which hosts eight individual resorts. With over 200 lifts and about 600km pistes to explore, Three Valleys is popular among visitors from around the world. Whether you are a novice skier or a sensation seeker, this resort has something for you. But with so many amazing resorts to choose from, how do you make a decision about where to spend your winter break?
Méribel resort is divided into two parts. The beautiful and traditional village of Méribel is one of the more attractive French resorts, with many self-catering and catered ski huts to choose from. Higher above the valley, Méribel-Mottaret offers more ski-in skiing comforts to its inhabitants, but with aesthetic cost. Wherever you live, however, Méribel really offers something for everyone. The resort has a large selection of green, blue and red lines, with fantastic access to the rest of Three Valleys. Guide to Three Valleys: Our Favorite Ski Resort
La Tania has a good reputation as a family resort that offers good value for money. The self-service and catered ski lodge at the base of the slope is perfect for those who do not want to carry heavy exercise equipment. Above the village, the trees provide a wonderful atmosphere for beginners to face easy green runs. Views of après in La Tania are limited, but Pub Le Ski Lodge regularly hosts live bands and offers happy hour daily.
St. Martin de Belleville
This small village exudes a relaxed and pleasant alpine atmosphere. Sitting in the sun loungers down the valley from Les Menuires, St. Martin de Belleville is a traditional mountain resort with bar, restaurant and self-service ski lodge and catered at the bottom of the central runway. Chairlifts provide quick and easy access to Les Menuires and over the ridge to Méribel, so this resort is perfect for middle skiers. If you like partying, you may want to go elsewhere, because après landscape does not exist in this lonely village.
At 2300m altitude, Val Thorens provides snow-peak conditions throughout the year. Beginners can access free nursery slopes from the village center, with experienced skiers who benefit from a variety of different slopes. The only downside of the resort at this altitude is that there is little shelter in if the weather is badly set. Pistes Val Thorens sits atop a tree line, and a true ski purifier will not fail to appreciate the incredible path it has to offer.
Unlike the rest of the Three Valleys, visitors to Les Menuires are predominantly French, so staying here will ensure a more authentic French experience. Architecturally it is not the most attractive resort, with concrete apartment blocks dominating the horizon in the village. But the 160 km pistes test will help medium and advanced skiers, who also benefit from easy access to Méribel with the Three Valleys lift lanes. Beginners are not forgotten – there are special nurseries that run to help them hone their skills in peace. Unless the snow is nice, however, they may struggle to find enough blues that are easy to continue.
Wherever You Choose …
Whichever resort you choose in Three Valleys, it is important to choose the type of accommodation that best suits you. Three Valleys has a fantastic selection of self-catering and catered ski lodges, so you can choose the best option to suit your budget and needs. Whatever you choose, a trip to Three Valleys skiing must be a vacation of a lifetime.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has helped avid skiers in their perfect winter break for more than a quarter of a century. If you are looking for the best catering accommodation in Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is a go-to company for winter sports enthusiasts looking for a lifelong holiday. Guide to Three Valleys: Our Favorite Ski Resort