Posted on 27 March 2017
It’s that age old question: does size really matter? When it comes to the ski area your new alpine retreat gives you access to, surely bigger is better for any avid winter sports enthusiast with time on their hands. Home to more than half of the world’s ten largest ski areas, the French Alps certainly has nothing to be embarrassed about in the size department. So let’s focus on the regions undisputed world number-one when it comes to the supply of slopes: The Three Valleys.
The mammoth Three Valleys ski area – consisting of the three parallel valleys of Courchevel, Meribel and Belleville – combines world-class ski resorts with access to a seemingly endless supply of interconnected slopes. Take a look at the figures to try and get a grasp of the sheer scale of what could be your new back garden:
- 600 kilometres of ski-in, ski-out interconnected ski runs, catering for all abilities
- 105 square kilometres of skiable area
- 183 modern high-performance ski lifts
- Over 2,100 artificial snow making machines, ensuring 1/3 of the ski area is equipped with artificial snow
- Minimum skiing altitude: 1,300 metres / Maximum skiing altitude: 3,230 metres
- 85% of the ski area is situated above 1,800 metres
- 335 Alpine ski runs: 48 green, 135 blue, 119 red, 33 black
- 25 accessible summits, including 10 above 2,500 metres and 6 glaciers
- 35,000 hectares (135 square miles) of nature
If you want to buy in the Three Valleys so you can ski to your hearts content, click here to download the FREE guide to buying a home in France
Since 1973, it has been possible to ski the interlinked valleys using a single ski pass, making it a vast snowy playground for ski and snowboarding enthusiasts from across the globe. So where should you begin your house hunt in the daddy of domains?
- Courchevel: this world-renowned, elegant resort is comprised of 4 main villages: Le Praz 1300, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1850.
- Meribel: sat in the middle of the Three Valleys, the Meribel valley is split into 4 distinct areas: Meribel-Mottaret, Meribel, Meribel Village and Les Allues.
- La Tania: located neatly between Courchevel and Meribel, lying at an altitude of 1400m, La Tania is a family friendly ski-in ski-out resort set in the pretty surrounds of a pine forest.
- Les Menuires: nestled between Val Thorens and St Martin de Belleville, not only is Les Menuires a great skiing choice for beginners, it also has great après activities for all ages.
- St Martin de Belleville: the family friendly resort of St Martin de Belleville is a quieter, affordable base for exploring the Three Valleys. Keeping in line with the more traditional feel of this village, après tends to revolve more around local bars than larger cosmopolitan venues.
From upmarket Courchevel to affordable and unpretentious Les Menuires there’s something for everyone in the Three Valleys: off-piste animals, wobbly first timers, millionaires and property buyers with a rather more modest budget will be guaranteed to find their idea of alpine heaven, such is its reach both on and off the pistes
For a step-by-step guide to buying a property in France, download the France Buying Guide by clicking here.