Les 3 Vallées: a huge range of skiing in France
Ski resort:
Les 3 Vallèes

Les 3 Vallées in brief


Visit Les 3 Vallées for a huge variety of pistes, Europe’s highest ski resort, quiet ski villages and great apres-ski.

Resort name:

Les 3 Vallées (Les Trois Vallées)


South-east France

Nearest airport:

Geneva, Lyon and Chambery

Transfer time:

Varies depending on airport and chosen resort


3,230 m (top)

Total ski runs:

600 km

Beginner runs:

52% (including 13% green)

Intermediate runs:


Advanced runs:



Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, hiking, hang gliding, paragliding, skydiving, ice climbing, ice skating, snowshoeing, ice diving, ski touring

Did you know?

Les 3 Vallées is the world’s largest ski area connected only by slopes and lifts. The surface area of Les 3 Vallées is 400 sq km - which is 4 times the size of Paris.


Skiing in Les 3 Vallées


Les 3 Vallées is the biggest ski area in the world, containing 8 resorts linked by 180 lifts and containing hundreds of slopes. It is an excellent destination for skiers of all abilities thanks to the generous number of green, blue, red and black runs across all of the resorts.

Around 85% of the ski area is located above an altitude of 1,800 m, with 25 accessible summits (10 of which are above 2,500 m) and snowmaking covering about a third of the Les 3 Vallées ski area - ensuring snow from the start of December through to the end of April.

The resorts that make up Les 3 Vallées are:



Courchevel is one of the most popular destinations in Les 3 Vallées and offers 150 km of runs connected by 58 lifts. There are 19 green and 35 blue runs for beginners to enjoy across for ‘ZEN’ areas, and 34 red and 8 black runs for more experienced skiers.

The resort is made up of 4 villages: Courchevel Le Praz (formerly known as Courchevel 1300), Courchevel Moriond (previously 1650), Courchevel (formerly 1850 and also the biggest and highest village) and Courchevel Village (previously 1550).

Notable areas for intermediate and expert skiers include Saulire/Creux, which has challenging runs between 2,000 and 2,700 m, and Le Praz, where skiers can tackle particularly difficult black runs on the way there.

Other attractive features of Courchevel include fun areas for skiers and snowboarders such as the Fin Park, Stop Zone, Family Park and Snake Park. Some of the other activities you can enjoy range from hot air ballooning and skydiving to skating and sledding.



Méribel is a popular family-friendly resort with 150 km of piste and 57 lifts - not to mention great apres-ski. It occupies a prime position with Courchevel and La Tania to the east and Val Thorens to the west, making it the perfect place to stay for skiers looking to access a wide variety of slopes during their ski holiday.

There are 5 main parts to the resort: Les Allues, Méribel Village, Méribel Centre, Les Hauts and Mottaret. The slopes in Méribel are mainly blue, followed by a decent number of red runs and a few green and black ones.

Highlights include Altiport with its beginner-friendly skiing, some excellent red runs south of Mottaret and the Face run from the top of the Roc de Fer (2,290 m), which was originally created for 1992 Olympics’ downhill races.

Snowboarders and freestylers can enjoy DC Area 43 and the Moon Park, and there are various other fun areas for families. Other activities available in Méribel include off-piste skiing, heli-skiing, ski touring and cross-country skiing.


Val Thorens

Europe’s highest ski resort, Val Thorens is set at an altitude of 2,300 m and offers superb skiing and beautiful views as a result. The resort is overlooked by 6 glaciers and 99% of the slopes are above 2,000 m.

There are around 140 km of pistes within Val Thorens itself, with a further 160 km in the nearby Les Menuires-St Martin ski area and more besides elsewhere in Les 3 Vallées. The most attractive skiing for experts can be found at the 3,200 m Cime de Caron, where skiers will find 1 red run, 3 black runs and some off-piste opportunities.

For snowboarders, the 70,000 sq m snowpark is a dream come true with its variously sized tables, rails and boxes, as well as other interesting features. The apres-ski in Val Thorens is perfect for young skiers looking for a good night out, and there’s a great selection of restaurants for all budgets.

Other activities available in Val Thorens include snowshoeing, ice diving, paragliding, tobogganing and glacier touring, to name a few.


La Tania

La Tania offers a quiet, relaxing place to stay while enjoying access to the wider Les 3 Vallées ski area.

Situated at a relatively low altitude of 1,400 m, the resort itself doesn’t have much in the way of skiing, with a handful of runs for all abilities leading back to La Tania from other parts of the area. However, it’s perfectly positioned halfway between Méribel and Courchevel to enjoy the 600 km of skiing elsewhere in Les 3 Vallées.

There are wooded, uncrowded slopes above La Tania and neighbouring Le Praz and a gondola that heads out to Praz-Juget and connects with Courchevel 1850 and Méribel by way of Col de la Loze. Snowboarders can easily get to the Family Park in Courchevel from La Tania and there are around 67 km of cross-country trails in the La Tania-Courchevel area.



Brides-les-Bains is a scenic spa town ideal for a quiet stay in Les 3 Vallées. The resort markets itself as a lower cost option for skiers wanting to take advantage of the wider ski area’s slopes without splashing out for accommodation in the middle of one of the bigger resorts.

The nearest skiing and snowboarding facilities are in Méribel (see above), which are easy enough to get to from Brides-les-Bains thanks to a 20-minute gondola ride. The apres-ski is fairly quiet, but there is a casino to take advantage of. Skiers looking to relax can enjoy the thermal springs nearby.


Les Menuires

Les Menuires is located at an altitude of 1,850 m and offers access to the 79 pistes (totalling 160 km) of the ski area it shares with St Martin, as well as the hundreds more kilometres of skiing elsewhere in Les 3 Vallées. It is fairly laidback and has a lively apres-ski scene.

The Les Menuires-St Martin ski area offers 12 green runs, 37 blue runs, 24 red runs and 6 black runs, making it more geared towards beginners than very experienced skiers. However, it’s easy to get to nearby resorts such as Méribel and access the expert pistes there.

There are also a few areas for snowboarders close to Les Menuires, although again you may wish to try other facilities elsewhere for some variety.


St Martin de Belleville

St Martin de Belleville can be found at an altitude of 1,450 m and shares its ski area with Le Menuires (see above). It is especially ideal for families thanks to the quiet atmosphere.

The resort is a pretty village with a good selection of intermediate runs and plenty of wooded slopes. There isn’t much for beginners here, but there are lots more options elsewhere in Les 3 Vallées. The nearest snowboarding facilities can be found above Les Menuires and in Méribel, while 28 km of cross-country trails are available in the Belleville valley.



Orelle (880 m) is a small ski village in the Maurienne valley. It adds around 10 km of piste to those of nearby Val Thorens to create a 150 km ski area in the immediate vicinity of the resort, with access to the Belleville valley also readily available.

The resort features some pretty architecture in the form of wooden and stone buildings. There isn’t much more to the village, making it a perfect place to stay if you crave some peace and quiet between trips out to the slopes.


 Photo credits:

Copyright ©David André



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