Les 3 Vallées -

Méribel

There’s literally nothing else like it!

By Marilyn Griffiths and Robert Choquette, Special Contributors

First off, let’s get one thing straight. There is, quite literally, no comparing Les 3 Vallées to anything else. Made up of eight ski resorts with a total of 600 km of runs, this truly is the largest
interconnected ski area in the world. While some of the resorts that make up this mammoth area are not as widely known, others such as Méribel, Val Thorens and
Les Menuires are internationally renowned. The numbers say it all: 321 runs serviced by 183 lifts including 63 cable cars that allow you to explore 105 square kilometres of terrain, 25 summits and 6 glaciers.

No matter how often we visit Les 3 Vallées, we continue to be amazed by the sheer immensity of it all. Note that a significant proportion of the ski area is located above the tree line—so high up, in fact, you’ll have a clear view of the entire thing! Add 1,920 m of vertical and you’ve got a whole lot of exciting terrain to explore!

If you’re wondering where to stay during your visit, remember that the cost of accommodations goes down with altitude! It’s much more affordable to find a room in one of the surrounding villages such as La Tania, Brides-les-Bains, Orelle or Saint- Martin-de-Belleville. And, when it comes time to choose between the four mega-resorts, know that the ultrachic and vibrant Courchevel is located below the tree line—a clear advantage in reduced visibility conditions. Then there’s the vibrant and appealing Méribel, a more traditional option, which also happens to be
our personal favourite. This top-notch resort is also located right at the heart of this vast ski area. A third option is Val Thorens.

With its village perched at 2,300 metres in altitude, this particular resort is well on its way to becoming the new hip destination for an elite clientele—but, be warned, its
popularity is definitely reflected in the cost! Although the high altitude at Val-Thorens guarantees a certain amount of snow, poor visibility can also be an issue. And, last but certainly not least is

Les Menuires, where there are always plenty of runs to choose from, no matter what the weather brings. The 3 Vallées ski area is so incredibly vast, you can’t possibly explore all of it in a single visit. In fact, you’ll barely get to scratch the surface! But, then again, that’s exactly what makes this destination so appealing. Each of the four huge sectors here offers a multitude of runs for every skill level. The best thing to do at Les 3 Vallées is decide where you’d like to stop for lunch, and point your skis in that direction!

 



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GOLF COURSES


EXCURSIONS

PARCS NATIONAUX

SPECTACLES

Text from 2014-2015 ski magazine

 

3 Vallées Unstoppable multi-resort

When it’s time to decide where I’m going to ski next and I’m somewhat undecided, my heart always brings me back to 3-Vallées. Although I’ve only been there three times, it remains the gold standard that I compare everything else to. Not only is 3-Vallées the largest skiable domain the world, this place has absolutely everything you could ever need or want for your ski vacation. It’s no surprise that some of Gendron Travel’s customers have been to 3-Vallées over a dozen times!

IIt’s easy to see why this place is so popular. It clearly has so much to offer: 25 peaks and 600 km of trails serviced by 200 modern lifts spread out over seven interconnected resorts including the opulent Courchevel, authentic Méribel, the modern Menuires, the budget-friendly Bride-les-Bains and the highest resort of them all, Val Thorens.

There is something for absolutely everyone here—regardless of budget or ability. This particular destination is so highly soughtafter that some of its resorts are known to welcome between 20,000 and 25,000 skiers on an average weekday! Don’t let these numbers scare you though. Despite what they might suggest, this place is anything but crowded. It’s just incredibly big!

3 Vallées is also impeccably groomed. So much so, we guarantee you won’t constantly be checking the trail map for another way down. At the same time, there are still plenty of options for those who love gladed terrain. After viewing Le Bouquetin—an impressive giant wooden sculpture of a mountain goat located at the summit of La Masse—you can take in the spectacular views as you make your way through Vallée des Grandes Combes.

The ultimate spot, however, remains the peak of Cime Caron, located at 3,195 m in altitude. Its 150-seat cable car—the biggest of its kind in the world—was inaugurated in 1982. Renovated in 2010, this lift will get you to the highest skiable summit in all of Europe. The view is absolutely breathtaking, both figuratively and literally!

On the culinary front, Savoyard cuisine is the star pretty much everywhere you go in 3 Vallées, both in the villages and in the mountains. If you’re in the mood for a party atmosphere and some unique après-ski enjoyment, I suggest you stop by the slopeside La Folie Douce at the Val Thorens resort. I guarantee you’ve never seen a terrace livelier than this one!

As far as accommodations go, any place you choose is sure to provide easy access to all three valleys and let you enjoy them to your heart’s content. The villages of Méribel or Les Menuires would definitely serve as good base camps. But, no matter where you stay, just remember that you’ll never have time to see it all in a single visit. So, don’t be surprised if 3 Vallées becomes a destination you look forward to re-discovering time and time again!

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Ski stations Accommodations Snow Conditions
TEMPERATURE (CELSIUS)
Month Min. Max.
January -3 6
February -3 8
March 1 13
April 3 15
May 8 21
June 11 24
July 13 27
August 12 26
September 9 21
October 5 17
November 1 10
December -3 6

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