Guide to Three Valleys Ski Area in the French Alps

Posted on 12 March 2022

The Three Valleys ski area, called Les Trois Vallées in French, excels in excellence with four glaciers, decent snow fall, three hundred ski runs covering 600 kilometres. 180 ski lifts suiting everyone from beginner to experienced, also promote it to world class professionalism. Avid skiers use one of four airports to reach Three Valleys; Geneva, Grenoble, Lyon, or Chambery. Alternatively, catch a train to Brides Les Bains station, but if arriving by car, remember to pack snow chains. Otherwise, companies in resorts sell transfers and taxis from airports.

As to expect, après ski social scenes vary from resort to resort, but Les Allues or St Martin de Belleville excel in low key establishments, or Meribel and Val liven it up to party moods. For Michelin Starr dining, more than 15 eating establishments like Le Cheval Blanc, Le Sarkara, and Le Chanichou in Courchevel, Rene and Maxime in St Martin de Belleville, present excellent menus that satisfy every diner from the most pickiest to the most adventurous.

For amazing views of this extensive ski area in France, the best destinations are Plan du Bouchet, Saulire, Roc Defer, Pointe de la Masse and Cime Caron. The best blue ski runs are Jerusalem in St Martin de Belleville, Raffort and Roc de Fer in Meribel, and Tete Ronde in Val Thorens. Skiers looking for red ski runs should head to Covili in Les Menuires, Chaplets in Courchevel-Moriond and Combe Du Vallon in Mottaret. So, with that in mind, lets’ look at the ski resorts within the Three Valleys ski area.

More About the Three Valleys Ski Area

1: Ski Holidays in Brides Les Bains

85% of ski area in this resort above 1800 metres ensures good snowfall throughout winter. However, the town also excels in spa breaks offer ample pampering time and facilities with detoxifying benefits to elevate the symptoms of certain conditions. Enjoy Whirlpool pools, hammams, saunas, and much more in well-being establishment like Grand Spa Thermal. Annual social programmes include Christmas markets, Eskilibre et Gourmandise festival, Brides Comedy Festival, and summer concerts. This Savoyard destination adheres to personal touches, from cosy studios to hotels suites looking out onto beautiful alpine peaks. Meanwhile, when the snow falls away, it also does a good job of attracting bikers and hiking fans.

2: Skiing Access From Meribel

Meribel, an enchanting place, has five districts located at different altitudes. Choose between beautiful landscapes, lively nightlife, or architectural gems. They are Allues, Meribel Village, Meribel Centre, Hauts and Mottaret. Visitors can try cross-country, telemark skiing, touring with guides, snowshoeing and sleigh rides.


The ski resort also has the Famille plus awards, making it great for children because of activities like Yeti Park, Inuit trail, torchlight descent, and Piou Piou kindergarten. For exceptional hotels, look for accreditation by the local tourist office. The architecture reflects alpine heritage, featuring wood, stone, and slate making Meribel a delight to stay in.

3: Luxury Courchevel in the Three Valleys

High in Tarentaise Valley, the Aiguille du Fruit, Vizelle and Saulire peaks surround Courchevel, that also look out onto the Vanoise peaks and Mont Blanc. Courchevel consists of 6 destinations, including Saint Bon at 1100 meters, Le Praz at 1300 meters, La Tania 1400 meters, Courchevel-Village at 1550 meters, Moriond at 1650 meters and 1850 Courchevel. Travel between places on skis or via free buses. The jewel in the crown though is Aqua Motion, Europe’s largest mountain aqua-centre, attracts pleasure-seeking holidaymakers.

three valleys ski area

4: Les Menuires Resort

First opening in 1964, this ski resort promotes picturesque charm, and stunning architecture, from Savoyard chalets to luxury residences. Les Menuires offers five districts to stay in like La Croisette, Preyerand, Fontanettes, Grand Reberty and Bruyeres. Skiers quickly get around to other destinations and the pistes on free buses. As a holder of the “Famille Plus” award, families enjoy children’s ski lessons, nurseries and play areas. Beginners should book lessons at France’s best ski School and visit Pointe de la Masse for great skiing opportunities in this ski area.

5: Saint Martin de Belleville Resort

Sitting at 1450 metres, St Martin de Belleville’s ski area reaches 2400 meters, and various locations like Beranger offer the traditional Savoyard charm of the Vanoise massif. Districts include Centre Village, Grangeraies, La Villette, Villarencel and Places. This historic town receives guests with style oozes of impressive accommodation and authenticity on narrow streets featuring typical Savoyard architecture. Discover the Baroque church, old bread oven, and Savoie Museum. Meanwhile, traditional cuisine delights everyone, and free buses also run to Val Thorens for a change of scenery. During summer, visit mountain farms, watch out for beautiful fauna and flora, and enjoy mountain biking.

6: Val Thorens in the Three Valleys

Val Thorens, at 2,300 metres, is Europe’s highest ski resort with a season from November to May, impressive pistes, and aside from that, features more activities like go-karting, ice-skating, paragliding, snowmobiling, and husky sledging. Additionally, La Bee, double zip wire stretching for 1800 metres and 65 metres above the ground, is perfect for adrenaline lovers.

val thorens

Also try Cosmojet toboggan run or ice diving at Lac du Lou. Offering impressive skiing infrastructure, lifts and snow equipment, hotel accommodation in Val Thorens ranges from three to five star or book chalets. Expect various restaurants and eateries to offer international and French cuisine, and eat at the Michelin starred restaurant. The Val Thorens area separates into Soleil, Plein Sud, Grande Rue, Balcons, Lombarde, and Slalom, which link via free buses and additional services to Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville resorts.

7: Orelle Holiday Resort

On the border with Tarentaise Valley, Orelle is just 15 minutes to the slopes in Maurienne Valley. Certain enclaves sit at altitudes of between 880 metres and 1200 metres, and wandering streets is delightful as they throw up traditional alpine architecture. Despite remaining selective and not selling its root for mainstream skiing tourism, Orelle offers affordability throughout various ski accommodation choices like private chalet rentals and 3-star hotels. Beer lovers will also enjoy Orelle Caron Brewery. For off-slope activities, indulge in ice-skating and spa treatments. Also, try Europe’s highest zip wire that runs for 2 minutes.

8: La Tania Resort

Initially built for the 1992 Olympics, La Tania, a quiet alpine ski destination, has many charms. Sitting at 1400 metres and neighbouring Courchevel, the traffic-free centre has a splattering of shops, eating establishments and ski hire shops. It also excels in ski schools, making it perfect for beginners. The heart of Tania is Pub Le Ski Lodge, offering a fully catered dining area for when you feel sociable. Otherwise, this ski resort is tranquillity at its best.

Also, About the Three Valleys

Is a Ski Chalet a Good Investment? Sometimes, clients ask if a ski chalet is a good investment, especially when buying one. But, settling down in a luxury ski chalet in front of the log fire, on the veranda, or cooking traditional food in the kitchen is better when it is our own. So, this article discusses the benefits of owning, tips for buying, and rental investment markets.

Places to Live in the French Alps: More inquiries over the last three years about ideal towns to live in the French Alps. Global real estate markets changed as buyers, including people working from home, could live anywhere they wanted. This article discusses good places to live in the Three Valleys ski area, the French Alps, and why these towns and resorts rank throughout Europe.

Three Valleys