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.
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.
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)
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: email@example.com 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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; +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: email@example.com + 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 firstname.lastname@example.org +33(0)479-010-421
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: email@example.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
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.
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).
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.
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!