In the heart of the French Alps lies the world's largest ski resort, Les 3 Vallées, the subject of today's article. This ski resort in the French Alps is made up of three valleys that give a name to the ski area and offer more than 600 kilometers of slopes for all types of skiers and snowboarders.
Belleville, Courchevel and Meribel valleys are home to some of the most renowned ski resorts: Les Menuires, Méribel Mottaret, Val Thorens and Courchevel, Saint Martin, La Tania and Brides-les-Bains.
We on Esquiades.com are huge fans of skiing in the French Alps and offer plenty of affordable accommodations in Les 3 Vallées.
Fancy skiing in the world's largest ski area yourself? Keep on reading to find out our Top 5 reasons for skiing in Les 3 Vallées:
Slopes to suit all levels
Being home to these many ski resorts, skiing in Les 3 Vallées is synonymous with a diversity of slopes and runs to suit everybody's needs and skills. The more than 600 km of slopes are connected by more than 170 ski lifts , making the different ski resorts easily accessible to anyone. Winter sports enthusiasts can choose from 312 kilometers of green and blue slopes, 216 kilometers of red runs, and 72 kilometers of black slopes in total.
Additionally, numerous snow parks can be found in various corners of the ski areas, offering a complete and thrilling skiing experience. But there is even more variety to come: Les 3 Vallées is home to eight ski resorts, each offering its unique charm.
Aerial view of Courchevel Valley in January of 2023
In the Belleville valley area, we find Val Thorens , Europe's highest ski resort at 2,300 meters, is a popular destination due to its facilities and services.
Right below, we find the ski resort of Les Menuires – St Martin , which boasts 160 kilometers of pistes and is slightly larger than its neighboring ski areas. It comprises two resorts: Les Menuires and St. Martin-de-Belleville.
Les Menuires, situated at 1,850 meters above sea level, is known for its wooden and natural stone chalets, as well as its numerous family-friendly facilities. st. Martin-de-Belleville, on the other hand, is located at 1,450 m and combines the attractions of a traditional village with new ski resort facilities such as an ice rink, a fitness centre, and indoor pools.
The valley of Méribel is home to a ski resort of the same name and the charming village of Brides-Les-Bains. Both villages have access to the Méribel ski area, boasting 150 kilometers of slopes and reaching a peak altitude of 2,952 metres.
The third valley to the far left on the piste map is known as the " Vallées de Courchevel. " This area is home to four ski resorts, all located at different altitudes. Courchevel is a sporty area, offering a wide range of thrilling slopes for the most advanced skiers.
Spending too much time in a coach or having to walk an eternity to reach the lifts can be really nerve-wracking and spoil your ski holiday. Luckily, Les 3 Vallées has a significant advantage over many other ski regions in this regard. The lowest point from where you can reach any part of the ski region is already 1,100 meters, and most ski resorts are located above this. As a result, guests of the ski resorts have a shorter route to the slopes, with some accommodations providing direct access to the slopes.
The charming village of Courchevel features traditional lodge-looking accommodations
Especially in Val Thorens, most accommodations are considered ski-in-ski-out hotels , meaning you can hit the slopes as soon as you leave the front door. This allows for more time on the slopes and less time spent travelling. Winter enthusiasts looking for a dream winter wonderland with snow-covered peaks, well-groomed runs, and plenty of powder will find it all in "Les 3 Vallées". This winter paradise offers an unforgettable experience from December to April thanks to its high-altitude location.
Most of the slopes in Les 3 Vallées are located at an altitude between 1,500 and 3,200 meters above sea level, which means that they receive a reliable amount of natural snowfall throughout winter, ensuring great skiing conditions.
Aerial view of Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in Europe
Additionally, Les 3 Vallées has invested heavily in its snow-making capabilities, with over 2,400 snow cannons located at lower altitudes. This ensures that even if there isn't enough natural snow, the resort can still provide excellent skiing conditions throughout the season.
Many ski resorts in the French Alps are well suited for a family ski holiday, but Les 3 Vallées stands out in particular. Val Thorens, for instance, has been awarded the "Famille Plus" certification, as being semi-pedestrianised, it is very safe for children.
And the other ski resorts in Les 3 Vallées are not lagging behind, offering dedicated areas for children and beginners , such as the Family Park in Courchevel , where young skiers can learn and practice in a safe and fun environment or the Walibi Gliss adventure course in Les Menuires.
Les 3 Vallées offers plenty of fun activities for a family ski holiday
Les 3 Vallées is also home to some of the best ski schools in Europe , which offer a range of lessons and programs for children. The ski schools in the resort are known for their excellent instructors and child-friendly teaching methods, ensuring that kids have a fun and enjoyable learning experience on the slopes.
Another reason why Les 3 Vallées is the ideal ski resort for families is the range of non-skiing activities, as it offers a variety of indoor and outdoor activities that kids will love. Keep on reading to find out about them!
Plenty of winter activities
Aside from hitting the slopes, Les3 Vallées offers various classic winter sports and activities suitable for all ages. These include cross-country skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing and hiking. For those seeking post-skiing fun or for those who prefer off-the-beaten-path activities, the region has a lot to offer. Thrilling activities such as ice karting in Val Thorens, ice skating in Méribel, snowbiking , paragliding over the Alps, and dog sledding with a musher are just a few examples.
Mushing is one of the several activities besides skiing you can enjoy in Les 3 Vallées
Additionally, the largest ski region in the world has many low-key activities that visitors can enjoy, such as swimming in several valleys' pools, indulging in numerous wellness offers, catching the latest blockbuster film at the cinema, and shopping in Val Thorens. With this broad range of options, families with children and thrill-seekers alike can find the perfect holiday itinerary.