3 Vallées


The 3 Vallées is home to not only the world’s biggest lift-linked ski area but also to three unique villages, from the uber-luxurious Courchevel, to the chalet community of Méribel and the high-altitude purpose-built Val Thorens.  

Scout Loves

  • A huge variety of terrain, from skiing in trees at Courchevel, to glaciers at Val Thorens.
  • Reliable snow conditions, particularly in Val Thorens.
  • A variety of accommodation types to suit different tastes.
  • The craziness of La Folie Douce on-piste nightclubs at Méribel and Val Thorens that fire up in the early afternoon.

Scout Tips

  • Weather can close the lifts, particularly when the wind gets up at Val Thorens.
  • Courchevel has become hugely popular with Russians, so unless you have a very large budget avoid Courchevel during the first and second week of January when the Russian holidays force prices sky high.
  • Méribel and St Martin de Belleville have the most charming, traditional villages.

Scout Review

Situated in the French Alps, the 3 Vallées is spread, as you can probably guess, over three valleys – and thanks to its well-linked runs it’s not impossible to ski all three in a day. Equally, it’s so big (more than 600km of runs) that if you’re there for a week, you’ll rarely need to ski the same run twice. With great grooming and wide, open slopes as well as some more challenging, steep terrain it is well suited to all levels of skiers.

Which resort you stay in will depend on the style you’re looking for, and your budget. Courchevel has some of the most expensive hotel rooms Scout has ever seen and with several village areas spread over the mountain the general rule is that the higher you go, the greater the luxury stakes and therefore the price.

Méribel village has several parts and since it’s in the center of the 3 valleys it is also the most convenient if you’re wanting to explore different areas each day. It has the feel of a more traditional European village, with plenty of chalets and luxury hotels, as well as a few budget options. It is particularly popular with the British and has a decent party scene.

Val Thorens is, at 3230m/10,600ft, the highest resort in the Alps and as a result the snow is almost always good (especially on its two glaciers). The village is less traditional, being one of those that was purpose built in the 60s/70s and it consists mainly of high-rise hotels scattered around a base area and on the slopes.

The other main village and resort is Les Menuires, situated just down the valley from Val Thorens. The smaller towns and villages of Brides les Bains, St Martin de Belleville, La Tania and Orelle (in Italy) offer accommodation with lifts to access the main ski areas.

The 3 Vallées is relatively easy to get to from the main transit hubs of Lyon, Chambery and Geneva – each within three hours’ drive. There are also direct trains from London to Moûtiers and from there it’s only a short bus or taxi ride to the villages.

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