Les Menuires (3 Valleys), France
Les Menuires is part of the world’s largest ski region the Les Trois Vallées and it sits at 1850m (6,070 ft) on the Western side of the Belleville valley. It is one of the most popular resorts of Les Trois Vallées and is situated right at the heart of the 3 Valleys ski area; it is a fully functional resort with all the amenities you’d expect. The architecture is traditional, with chalets filling the area with natural charm and its slopes are connected to more than 600 km of slopes in Les Trois Vallées, thus making it part of the largest skiable area in the world. Having beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes it makes it an ideal spot especially for families and it is known as having a friendly family atmosphere, it has also been recognised as the resort was awarded the ‘Family Plus’ label. There are eight small villages each connected by ski runs, walking paths, chair lifts and shuttle buses. For beginners, there are five different free chair lifts for starting out, each in different areas of the resort. Intermediate skiers can take advantage of ‘Mont de la Chambre’ at 2850 metres above sea level. A mix of blue and red runs sweep down the mountain side, ideal for improving your skill level. For the more experienced head over to the ‘La Masse’ area of the resort, here, there are several long and challenging descents with 3 black slopes.
During the 1992 Winter Olympics, the men’s slalom alpine skiing event was held at Les Menuires. Its neighbours are Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens and the lift links towards all of Les Trois Vallées are fast and efficient and the slopes are great for all levels of skiers. The resort has not only skiing facilities, but also offers a range of other activities too such as snow cross courses, snow parks and border cross courses for your pleasure.
The nearest airport is Chambery which is 105 km away from the resort and transfer time is around 90 minutes. Geneva airport is also popular with this resort its 195 km away and the transfer time is around 2.5 hours. For your convenience, Moûtiers stations is a mere 28km (40 minutes) away, transfers are made easy with regular shuttle transfers or private taxis to reach your holiday home destination.
The activities in Les Menuires are varied for both adults and children alike; children have a large fun park, children’s club, a large indoor swimming pool and a crèche. Beginner slopes are a perfect way to introduce the little ones to the joys of skiing. There is an array of activities to take part in such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing and snow scooters. An Aqua spa and wellness centre with fitness gym, saunas, Jacuzzis, solariums and Turkish baths is a must to pamper and soothe yourself after a day on the slopes. There are also other activities such as squash and badminton available at the large sports centre, this resort is large and has everything you could possibly want in a holiday destination.
The main resort is centred on La Croisette, all of the restaurant’s shops and bars are linked by an internal gallery. These areas front onto the piste and the ski lifts that link the three valleys network, the shopping here includes ski shops, boutiques, bakers, butchers and supermarkets, gift shops and many, many more, everything you could possibly need to make your holiday as pleasurable as can be. Families can dine in if they choose not to eat out in the evenings and they can find everything they need with the wonderful array of shops available.
Time for Après ski, the Savoie region is known for its wonderful cheeses; dine on Savoie cheeses, tartiflette, raclette and everyone’s favourite cheese fondue. There are plenty of great restaurants that are family-friendly as this resort is not as lively as some resorts but there are bars and piano bars offering wonderful cocktails and comfy sofas to rest and relax after a days skiing. Les Menuires is a laid back ski resort perfect for families due to it being quieter and the focus is definitely on the days skiing and other activities. If you love music then you are in for a treat as there is also often classical music concerts organised in the evenings amongst a whole host of other events. If you are looking for a vibrant and exciting nightlife then this is probably not the resort for you.