Northern Alps

Val Thorens Overview

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Overview

Val Thorens (2,300m) is the highest ski resort in Europe. It also belongs to the largest lift-linked ski area in the world: the 3 Vallées (600km). 

What's the skiing like? The ski area is 99% located above 2,000 metres and good snow conditions are almost guaranteed November to May. The Val Thorens/Orelle local ski area offers 150 kilometres of slopes - 78 pistes (11 green, 29 blue, 30 red and eight black). But more than just statistics the scenery is breathtaking: 32 fast, modern ski lifts, mean you spend more time on the slopes. The choice of itineraries on groomed slopes or off-piste are simply vast.

Best suited to? All levels of skier/snowboarder.

Advanced . . . The excellent snow quality make certain slopes a must for experienced skiers: Col, Mauriennaise, Col de l'Audzin, le Blanchot and Tétras. The more skilled can discover the red and black slopes of la Combe de Caron, la Combe de Rosaël and Boismint, in the larger 3 Vallées ski area. Moguls enthusiasts will enjoy the Cascades slope. Eight black and 30 red slopes offer a lot of snow adventure as well as many easily accessible off-piste possibilities to make the most of your stay. Freestylers are also spoilt with a world-class terrain park.

Beginners/intermediates . . . In the heart of the domain there is a large area of easy skiing, equipped with four roof-covered magic carpets and free for beginners, allowing a gradual learning curve. Explore a wider area and take in the scenery at your own pace, there is a special ski pass for beginners to access eight ski lifts serving the easiest slopes - 50 percent off normal price. There are 11 green and 29 blue slopes of which the majority are perfectly groomed. The endless choice of long cruising runs towards Les Menuries and St. Martin are ideal for the intermediate skier.

Park/Pipe

The Snowpark (the Plateau sector) - 90 000 m² area divided in four zones: beginners, intermediate, expert and a Jump'Air (shock absorbing stunt man's mattress). There are different modules: whoopswall ridetableshandrails.

The Boardercross (in the 2 Lacs sector) offers skiers and snowboarders the complete range thrills and spills. The Ski Cross Europe & French Cup and the Snowboard Cross French Cup is held there regularly.

The Yannick Richard Stadium Slalom is currently organising slalom and giant slalom competitions after complete renovation and extension works.

What's the resort like? It’s all doorstep skiing – you put your skis on at the exit of your accommodation.

The resort is walkable and car free: you put your car in the car park when you get there and forget it until you leave. There’s a free shuttle bus circulating in the resort every 30 minutes. It is one village with all amenities in the same place, which means that you can access the shops and activities in less than five minutes on foot.

Popular apres-ski venues include The Folie Douce and La Pandora with their sunny terraces and Mongolian Yurt at 2500m with awesome views.

Non-skiing activities: There are plenty! A complete range of toboggan runs for all ages and the Fun Park at the sports centre features trampolines, a bouncy castle, swimming pool  . . . more than 600 square metres just for children.

Downside? The ski area is a little stark due being above the tree line, but then the impressive views more than make up for it.

Nearest airport(s): Chambery Savoie (120km/100mins); Geneva Airport (159km/150mins)

 

Airports

Chambéry – Savoie Airport (120km) 1hr40

Chambéry is a small airport serving the winter resorts of the region. In winter the scheduled airlines essentially serve theUK plusRotterdam andMoscow. There are BA CityFlyer flights from London City Airport; Bmibaby serves East Midlands airport; Flybe Birmingham, Exeter and Southampton; jet2.com Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, London Gatwick Manchester and Newcastle; Titan Airways Bristol, Gatwick and London Stansted. There are also many charter flights in winter.

Grenoble-Isère Airport (194km) 2hrs30

Grenoble with easyJet from Liverpool, Luton and London Gatwick and Stansted.

Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport (196km) 2hrs30

Lyon is France’s fourth biggest airport and serves many cities mostly in Europe and is used by easyJet, Aer Lingus, Airfrance and BA to Heathrow. A third of the flights to this international airport are by easyJet.

Geneva Airport (159 km) 3hrs30

A third of the flights to this international airport are by easyJet.

Train

The nearest railway station is Moûtiers (37km) with regular high-speed services from London and Paris. Bus and taxi connexions to Val Thorens are available (time: 75 mins).

Transfers

Airports are connected to Val Thorens by regular bus services. You can book your bus connexion with altibus.com between Lyon Saint-Exupéry, Genève-Cointrin, Chambéry/Aix les Bains airports and Val Thorens and from Moûtiers (SNCF railway station). Booking is compulsory 48 hours in advance of your trip. Taxis are available as well as all main car rental companies.

Getting Around

It’s all doorstep skiing – you put your skis on at the exit of your accommodation. The resort is walkable and car free: you put your car in the car park when you get there and forget it until you leave. There’s a free shuttle bus circulating in the resort every 30 minutes. It is one village with all amenities in the same place, which means that you can access the shops and activities in less than five minutes on foot. A guaranteed hassle-free break!

Transportation

You can book all types of holiday accommodation through Val Thorens Reservation. The multilingual team is at your disposal to see what's available for hotel, apartment or residences. At the same time arrange accommodation, skipass, insurance, ski lessons, wellness package at the sport center and private transport from the nearest airports or railway stations. This is a very popular resort and bookings really get going in September. So reserve early. Contact: +33(0)479 000 106; reserver@valthorens.com

High-end

Alta Pura is a new four-star property with 88 rooms and suites. Hotel Alta Pura opens its doors December 2011. Five categories of room all designed for the needs of skiers, to give an unforgettable stay surrounded by the exceptional snow conditions. The Nordic themed walls, the warm mix of woods and the soft fabrics in refreshing red tones combine with the mineral stone in the bathrooms for real mountain décor. Also available 3 restaurants, 3 bars, fitness & spa of 1000m², skishop. From €155 per person/day with half-board, drinks not included, on a double basis.

Contact: +33(0)480 368 036; contact@altapura.fr

Residence Montana Plein Sud is a new five-star luxury Savoyard chalet-style residence perfectly situated at the foot of the slopes in a quiet sunny location, close to the "Village Montana". The residence contains 37 apartments and has been has been built respecting all current environmental and climatic regulations. The Caron commercial centre and the sports centre are just a short walk away. The ESF kindergarten and children's ski school are in the centre of the residence "Village Montana". From €1120 for accommodation seven nights in a four-person apartment.

Contact: +33 (0)479 002 101; contact@village-montana.com

Mid-range

Fitz Roy is located in the centre of the resort. This four-star hotel is set directly on the slopes providing quality any time of the year. With 56 elegant rooms, a gastronomic restaurant, warm lounge, and spa the Fitz Roy hotel is the perfect location for a relaxing stay. This hotel is well-known in the resort and a favourite of those seeking charm and discretion. From €175 per person/day with half-board, drinks not included, on a double basis.

Contact: +33(0)479 000 478; welcome@hotelfitzroy.com

Economy

Chamois d'Or is located in the heart of the resort. This three-star property has immediate access to the ski slopes and ski school departures. Le Chamois d'Or provides furnished studios and apartments rentals (180 apartments for two to eight people, from 20 m² to 67 m²) for comfortable stays all year round. The residence includes a wide variety of services and facilities (supermarkets, sport store, pub, restaurant ) to provide you the best possible stay. From €440 for seven nights' accommodation in a four-person studio.

Contact: +33(0)0479 013 434; contact@lechamoisdor.com

Condo/House rentals

Estate agencies in Val Thorens: (Number of beds in real estate agencies: 2,990. From €280 for seven nights' accommodation in a four-person apartment).

Agence les Adrets +33 (0)479 000 222

Val Thorens Immobilier +33 (0)479 000 403.

La Cime +33(0)479 000 859

3 Vallées Immobilier (online contact form)

Restaurants

Breakfast

Auberge des Balcons offers a generous buffet breakfast based on French tradition and mountain specialties. Take your time enjoying good food and the panoramic view on the slopes from the inside or on the sunny terrace. Direct access to the pistes. Contact: balcons-valthorens@wanadoo.fr or +33(0)479-009-191.

Delices Cafe: Simple and delicious cuisine known for its excellent pancakes. Enjoy your hot chocolate in the center of the station just at the departure point of the slopes. Contact: +33(0)479-011-568

Lunch

Aiguilles de Peclet at 3000 metres proposes homemade traditional cuisine with Savoy specialties like beaufort tart, tartiflette and fondue. A typical lunchtime meal might be Savoyard hotpot, diots with a polenta and beaufort mousse. Even non-skiers can enjoy a good meal by taking the Funitel de Péclet (eight minutes away), admire the mountain views on the way. Contact: Tel:+33(0)479-000-376

Face West Cafe has easy access for both skiers and walkers, a beautiful, south-facing terrace and panoramic views at any hour of the day. Try the succulent pizzas, grilled meat, club sandwiches and delicious homemade pastries on offer. Warm mountain atmosphere and interesting modern design. Contact: Hendrik Van Heek +33(0)479-000-594

Dinner

Oxalys (2,300m) is the highest (two) starred Michelin restaurant in Europe under élite chef Jean Sulpice. Maximum freshness, maximum flavour savoured on uncovered walnut wood tables from original and contemporary earthenware plates. Relaxed atmosphere, very attentive service, panoramic  views of the mountain. Lightness, freshness, a taste for adventure . . . putting mountain herbs back in vogue - meadowsweet, gentian, burnet, berse, calament, and beautiful wild sorrel, known as oxalys in French. The Oxalys can be reached on skis or even on foot to enjoy a unique culinary experience. Contact: Jean Sulpice contact@restaurant-loxalys.fr; +33(0)479-001-200

Epicurien is a very unusual restaurant offering flavours from five continents. Jérémy Gillon, the passionate gourmet chef features a fine modern cuisine. Great emphasis on using the best seasonal products, selected from small producers. An intimate atmosphere and excellent service for an exceptional experience in the mountains. Contact: reservation@restaurantmontana.fr + 33(0)479-002-130

Steak Club boldly mixes French cuisine based on grilled meats and Asian flavours such as Thai curry prawns but respects the harmony and quality of its creations. The Steak Club is a comfortable place where you enjoy your dinner in cosy, elegant and modern interiors. Some evenings jazz musicians offer a lively performance. Contact: tel. + 33(0)479-013-119

Pizz'Burger is a good option for a cheap night out when your credit card needs a break. This fastfood burger-pizza joint is relaxed and fun. There is free internet and a big screen to watch sporting happenings. You will find it in La Gallerei Caron. Contact valdis@wanadoo.fr +33(0)479-010-421

Apres-ski

From 3 p.m, the slopeside open-air club The Folie Douce enjoys a party atmosphere with DJ, show and very cold drinks! Its south-facing aspect means holidaymakers can have fun under the sun. Lounge décor by Starck. Contact: +33(0)633-680-934

Mongolian Yurt has been erected by The Chalet de la Marine at 2,500m on the Dalles blue run. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening the chalet offers an exceptional evening for holidaymakers seeking a brand-new experience. In a cosy, warm and authentic area you can sample Mongolian dishes (ragout, deep-fried dumplings, salted milk tea) prepared by the chefs and dropped off on the antique stove just before the partygoers arrive. A breathtaking view of the twinkling lights of the resort. Accessible on skis via the Cascade chair lift last ascent between 5-5.30 p.m) or on snowshoes (accompanied by a ski guide).Torch-light descent also possible. Contact: Chalet de la Marine: contact@chalet-val-thorens.com, +33 (0)479-000-186

Le Pandora is in the heart of the resort. This bar/restaurant has a magnificent panoramic view of the Aiguilles de Péclet, Cime Caron and Masse. Its cosy terrace gets a lot of sun until sunset. With its dominant red and gold colors and lounge atmosphere, this 3-floors place is open from 10am to 2am and proposes: pleasant lunch on the cosy terrace's sofas; after skiing relax inside or outside animated by a DJ. Contact: Jonathan Tranquille (it's his real name!) +33(0)669-045-935

 

Terrain

The Mountain

Val Thorens (2,300m) is the highest ski resort in Europe. It also belongs to the largest lift-linked ski area in the world: the 3 Vallées (600km). The construction of the resort was inspired by gold medal skier Christine Goitschel and her husband, national team trainer, Jean Béranger in the 1970s. Val Thorens was a pioneer in the use of helicopter construction techniques.

The ski area is 99 percent located above 2,000 metres, the 'glide' quality is exceptional in this mountain amphitheatre which forms a playground adapted to all levels and styles. Good snow conditions are almost guaranteed November to May.

The Val Thorens/Orelle local ski area offers 150 kilometres of slopes - 78 pistes (11 green, 29 blue, 30 red and eight black). But more than just statistics the scenery is breathtaking: 32 fast, modern ski lifts, mean you spend more time on the slopes. The choice of itineraries on groomed slopes or off-piste are simply vast.

Heavy investment in state of the art lift equipment means queuing is kept to a minimum. The newest version of the twin cable super wind resistant Funitel de Thorens, which features two trains and two gondolas carrying up to 33 people in each, (a passenger flow of 1500 people per hour) now enables passengers to climb from the summit of the Portette chairlift (2,795m) to the col du Bouchet (3,000m) in less than two minutes. From here, skiers and boarders can take either the new Asters red run or the new Chocard blue run.

Powder Day

The excellent snow quality make certain slopes a must for experienced skiers: Col, Mauriennaise, Col de l'Audzin, le Blanchot and Tétras. The more skilled can discover the red and black slopes of la Combe de Caron, la Combe de Rosaël and Boismint, in the larger 3 Vallées ski area. Moguls enthusiasts will enjoy the Cascades slope. Eight black and 30 red slopes offer a lot of snow adventure as well as many easily accessible off-piste possibilities to make the most of your stay. Val Thorens is now an official training site for the French Ski Team.

Groomers and Family

In the heart of the domain there is a large area of easy skiing, equipped with four roof-covered magic carpets and free for beginners, allowing a gradual learning curve. Explore a wider area and take in the scenery at your own pace, there is a special ski pass for beginners to access eight ski lifts serving the easiest slopes - 50 percent off normal price. There are 11 green and 29 blue slopes of which the majority are perfectly groomed. Some start on the mountain tops such as the Tête Ronde.

The Junior Area is dedicated to young skiers - this one-kilometre-long slope '2 Lacs sector' is a challenge with riddles, to get to know mountain animals (marmots, ibex, blanchots etc).

There are many apres-ski activities to keep everyone amused including a complete range of toboggan runs starting with a free, safe and secure "baby fun" tobogganing area in the Place Caron at the middle of the resort for two year olds. For the over 10s, there is the longest toboggan run in France with a departure point at 3,000m, six kilometres in length, with a 700-metre-vertical and a 45-minute descent. Free for children between the ages of 5 and 10 that ride with their parents.

The Fun Park at the sports centre features trampolines, a bouncy castle, swimming pool  . . . more than 600 square metres just for children.

Park/Pipe

The Snowpark (the Plateau sector) - 90 000 m² area divided in four zones: beginners, intermediate, expert and a Jump'Air (shock absorbing stunt man's mattress). There are different modules: whoops, wall ride, tables, handrails.

The Boardercross (in the 2 Lacs sector) offers skiers and snowboarders the complete range thrills and spills. The Ski Cross Europe & French Cup and the Snowboard Cross French Cup is held there regularly.

The Yannick Richard Stadium Slalom is currently organising slalom and giant slalom competitions after complete renovation and extension works.

Inside Scoop

Mountain bike on snow. Starting at 3,000 metres, hurtle down "Tête Ronde" blue slope: a vertical of 700 metres and length of six kilometres. This is available for experienced mountain bikers on three nights every week (Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays).

Ice driving on the Alain Prost circuit is normally reserved for Trophée Andros racing drivers, but the Ice Driving Academy offers initial training and a first drive in a Renault Clio RS, Renault Mégane Sport, Cross car or Mitsubishi Lancers under the supervision of well-known drivers. The Alain Prost ice circuit, the highest in Europe, 980 metres in lenth, hosts the first Trophée Andros event at the beginning of December every year.

Visit the Cime Caron summit (3,200m) for the most beautiful view of the Alps. It offers a memorable panoramic 360° view over more than 1,000 French, Italian and Swiss Alps summits. On the peak, it is possible to have lunch in the sun and relax, and thanks to the special map you will be able to identify the Mont Blanc, and all the great peaks.

Major events in Val Thorens:

December: Trophée Andros and the SFR Freeskiing Tour

Feburary: Ski Cross European Cup

March: Slopestyle Snowboard European Cup

Plan Your Trip

Val Thorens Lodging
Ski Lessons

Best Time for Snow

Total Snowfall

230cm
144cm
96cm
48cm
0cm
0cm
Nov
90cm
Dec
191cm
Jan
38cm
Feb
144cm
Mar
0cm
Apr
0cm
May

Terrain Overview

13%
Beginners Runs
44%
Intermediate Runs
34%
Advanced Runs
9%
Expert Runs
88
Runs in Total
150 km
Runs in Total
3.5 km
Longest Run
150 km
Skiable Terrain
48 ha
Snow Making
120 km
Snow Making

Total Lifts: 31

10
Gondolas & Trams
12
High Speed Sixes
2
High Speed Quads
7
Surface Lifts

Elevation

3230m
Summit
930m
Vertical Drop
1825m
Base

Important Dates

November 20, 20212021/11/20
Projected Opening
May 08, 20222022/05/08
Projected Closing
168
Projected Days Open
164
Days Open Last Year
50
Years Open
686cm
Average Snowfall
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