The legendary Three Valleys: a huge playground with 600km of high altitude pistes
The World’s largest ski area…
But size isn’t everything… The Three Valleys also boasts a huge variety of terrain (off-piste, gentle winding greens, forested reds, snow parks, need we go on?) and plenty of high altitude skiing, with natural snow cover topped up by over 1230 super-efficient snow cannons.
With its reputation as one of the best resorts in France, it has some very high standards to uphold, meaning that huge ongoing investment is being pumped into building an efficient, comfortable and speedy lift system. Natural reservoirs are used to fuel the snow cannons, and a magnificent fleet of piste-bashers is deployed each evening to groom those pistes back to perfection for skiers and snowboarders the following morning.
The Three Valleys comprises several resorts – Courchevel, Meribel, Les Menuires, St Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens, Brides-les-Bains and Orelle, with smaller villages included in many of these bigger resorts.
At the Eastern end of the Three Valleys lies Courchevel which includes La Tania (at 1400m altitude) and Le Praz (1300m) where you can find all our chalets. You can ski the Courchevel Valley on a local one valley lift pass and it’s a good sized area for beginners and intermediates. The other villages in Courchevel lie at roughly 1850m altitude (which is ‘Courchevel’ – the main resort), 1650 (Moriond), 1550m (Courchevel Village).
For those with a Three Valleys pass, the area opens up to include the Meribel valley as well as the Belleville valley (including Les Menuires and Val Thorens) and Orelle (‘the fourth valley’).
Getting between the villages is easy, using the local free buses ‘navettes’ which run from early morning until late in the evening. Click here for the timetable, or ask your host whilst you’re in the chalet.
One of the best things about the Three Valley is that there are so many slopes to suit all levels of skier and snowboarder.
There is an amazing choice of meticulously prepared green and blue pistes for beginners and some superb runs through the trees towards La Tania. There are long open sweeping red pistes on the Combe de Saulire and Creux and some excellent wide open blues in Courchevel Moriond for intermediate skiers. For experts, the couloirs have some of the steepest skiing in the Alps and good bumps are always available on Chanrossa, Marmottes and Suisse. The choice is almost endless which is why people come back to the Three Valleys time and time again.
Snow conditions are great as there’s a huge amount (80%) of skiing at high altitude (above 1800m), and there has been huge investment in snow-making facilities which tops up the snow lower down in dryer seasons. The overnight grooming team do a truly incredible job, especially at the end of the season when the freeze-thaw can make late afternoons slushier – by next morning it’s all back to corduroy again!
Try our favourites…
Blues & Greens:
- Plan Fontaine, La Tania – a winding green which gives beginners a nice long run into La Tania
- Loze to Meribel Village – gentle blues take you on a lovely adventure, great for kids (look out for dragons!)
- Folyeres, La Tania – a gorgeous tree-lined blue piste with fun rollers. Snow cannons keep the snow in great condition
- Biollay, Courchevel 1850 – a nice undulating blue which turns into a green to get back to the village
- Ariondaz, Courchevel Moriond – Enjoy the wide, quiet slopes and stop in Le Bel Air for lunch/vin chaud
Reds & Blacks:
- Mont Vallon, Meribel – Starts at 2952m, meaning beautiful vistas and gorgeous snow
- Dou des Lanches, La Tania – steep and narrow and takes you to the Bouc Blanc restaurant
- Glacier & Christine, Val Thorens – long run from the Glacier Peclet down into resort
- Jockeys, Le Praz – it’s steep and forested and is fantastic on a snowy day when the trees help visibility
- Grand Couloir, Courchevel – dare you try the steepest black run in Europe?
The Three Valleys in figures:
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