The Three Valleys is one of the best ski destinations in the world. Aptly named, the area spans three valleys in the Tarentaise, playing host to a whopping eight individual resorts. With over 200 lifts and around 600km of pistes to explore, the Three Valleys is hugely popular with visitors from all around the globe. Whether you’re a novice skier or a thrill-seeking expert, these resorts have 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? |
The resort of Méribel is divided into two sections. The pretty and traditional Méribel village is one of the more attractive French resorts, with plenty of self-catered and catered ski chalets to choose from. Higher up the valley, Méribel-Mottaret offers more ski-in ski-out convenience to its residents, but at an aesthetic cost. Wherever you stay, however, Méribel truly offers something for everyone. The resort has a great selection of green, blue and red runs, with fantastic access to the rest of the Three Valleys.
La Tania has a well-deserved reputation as a family-friendly resort which offers great value for money. The self-catered and catered ski chalets at the base of the slopes are perfect for those who don’t want to lug heavy sports equipment around. Above the village, trees provide a picturesque setting for beginners to tackle an easy green run. The après scene in La Tania is limited, but Pub Le Ski Lodge regularly hosts live bands and offers a daily happy hour.
St. Martin de Belleville
This small village radiates a relaxed and welcoming alpine ambience. Sitting in a sun-soaked spot down the valley from Les Menuires, St. Martin de Belleville is a traditional mountain resort with bars, restaurants and self-catered and catered ski chalets at the bottom of the central piste. Chairlifts provide fast and easy access to Les Menuires and over the ridge into Méribel, so this resort is perfect for intermediate skiers. If you like to party, you might want to head elsewhere, as the après scene is pretty non-existent in this quiet village.
At an altitude of 2300m, Val Thorens provides peak snow conditions all year round. Beginners can access free nursery slopes from the centre of the village, with more experienced skiers benefitting from the huge range of different slopes. The only downside of a resort at this height is that there’s little shelter if bad weather sets in. The pistes of Val Thorens sit above the tree line, and true ski purists won’t fail to appreciate the incredible runs on offer.
Unlike the rest of the Three Valleys, the visitors to Les Menuires are predominantly French, so a stay here will guarantee a more authentically French experience. Architecturally it’s not the most attractive resort, with concrete apartment blocks dominating the skylines in the village. But the 160km of testing pistes will please intermediate and advanced skiers, who also benefit from easy access to Méribel with a Three Valleys lift pass. Beginners aren’t forgotten – there are dedicated nursery runs to help them hone their skills in peace. Unless the snow is good, however, they might struggle to find enough easy blues to move on to.
Wherever You Choose…
Whichever resort you opt for in the Three Valleys, it’s important to pick the type of accommodation that works best for you. The Three Valleys has a fantastic selection of self-catered and catered ski chalets, so you can choose the best option to suit your budget and needs. Whatever you choose, a ski trip to the Three Valleys is sure to be a holiday of a lifetime.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best catered ski chalet accommodation in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.
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