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Ski Holidays | Lakes Holidays | City Breaks | Mountain Holidays
Méribel ski area
The Méribel ski area is located in the heart of Les Trois Vallées, which it claims to be the largest ski area in the Alps with around 600 kilometers of slopes. In Méribel, around 64 different slopes of all levels of difficulty await winter vacationers. The place itself delights with the rustic charm of traditional Savoy alpine villages – building sins are nonexistent here.
1) General information about the Méribel ski area
- Part of the Les Trois Vallées ski association with over 600 kilometres of slopes
- 150 kilometres of slopes in the Méribel valley alone
- 46 lifts
- 5 cozy villages with traditional chalets
At an altitude between 1,100 m in the valley and 2,850 m on the Col de La Chambre, the Méribel ski area extends as the middle of the three eponymous valleys in the Les Trois Vallées ski area. The highest point of the entire ski area is the 3,230 m high Sommet des Trois Vallées above Val Thorens.
East of Méribel is the third of the three valleys around the well-known winter sports resort of Courchevel. Méribel consists of five cozy little ski resorts that have retained the charm of the traditional Savoy mountain villages: Brides-les-Bains, Les Allues, Méribel-Center, Méribel-Village and the slightly higher Méribel-Mottaret.
A total of 46 lifts bring skiers and snowboarders from the villages up to the majestic mountain peaks of the French Alps. A wide range of 85 kilometers of blue and green pistes for beginners, 47 kilometers of red pistes for experienced skiers and 18 kilometers of black pistes for real experts offers every skier a wide choice. From the peaks it is also easily possible to switch to the neighbouring valleys to Courchevel and Val Thorens and thus make full use of the approximately 600 kilometers of slopes of the Trois Vallées.
Thanks to its high location, the Méribel ski area offers an exceptionally long season from mid-November to May 1st. The average snow depth is around 57 cm in the valley and 140 cm on the mountain. March is particularly snowy: then the snow on the mountain is up to 202 cm high. Where so much snow falls from thick clouds, the sun becomes rare: With 99 sunny days per season, Méribel is slightly below the French average of 102 sunny days. After all, the chances of sunbathing at Christmas are good: December is the sunniest month in the region with 24 sunny days.
2) Méribel ski area map
3) skiing in the Méribel ski area
The Méribel ski area scores with a variety of slopes for every taste. The Col de la Loze, which is best reached from the Méribel Center, is particularly beginner-friendly. Several beautiful blue and green slopes are waiting here. Other blue slopes lead down from Tougnète into the valley. A special feature for beginners are the so-called Zen Zones around Mottaret: Here, slowing down is the order of the day so that beginners can practice in peace. But the offer for advanced skiers is also rewarded with 5 stars: You can choose between numerous challenging red and black slopes.
The summit runs from the 2,952 m high Mont du Vallon are particularly attractive: the Combe du Vallon overcomes 1,000 meters in altitude and does not cross any other piste. A great challenge is the “Roc de Fer” piste, on which the 2015 men’s ski world cup final in Super-G, giant slalom and slalom was held. The steep black slope “Couloir Tournier” on the 2,738 m high Saulire presents even experienced skiers with a great challenge.
Families with children look forward to an imaginative offer for the youngsters: the “Moon Wild” piste inspires with cute animal figures, while slalom driving is practiced in a playful way in the Inuit village at the “Altiport Hotel”. In 2013 the Méribel ski area was awarded the “Famille Plus” seal of approval, which rewards ski resorts for their family-friendly commitment.
In special ski kindergartens such as “Les Piou Piou” and “La Chaudenne”, 3-year-olds can take their first skiing lessons. Young snowboarders practice on the mini boardercross track “Le P’tit Moon”. This extensive offer is also recognized by the experts from SnowTrex, who reward the Méribel ski area with 5 out of 5 stars.
There is also a full 5 stars for the huge “DC Snowpark Area 43” on Berg 3 Marches: around 90,000 square kilometers, around 45 kickers and 45 rails, two halfpipes, an airbag and a boardercross route await. The obstacles are spread over two lines so that beginners and professionals do not get in the way.
The offer in the Méribel ski area is rounded off by beautiful freeride areas in deep snow, the slalom and ski cross route in the “Moon Park” and a parallel slalom, where two skiers can compete against each other. Last but not least, cross-country skiers get their money’s worth here: with around 59 kilometers of cross-country trails, there is a wide range of opportunities in idyllic landscapes, for example the circuit around Lake Tuéda, which can be mastered as a simple green or more challenging blue trail.
4) Expert evaluation
The ski area as part of the Trois Vallées is one of the most popular ski areas in the French Alps. The offers for beginners, experts and families with children have all been awarded the best rating of 5 out of 5 stars. The snow reliability in the region, the gastronomy and the lively après-ski scene also deserve a top rating. Overall, the ski area receives an excellent rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, which promises winter sports fun for everyone.
5) Off-piste activities
Culinary delights are very important in the gourmet country France and the Méribel ski area is no exception. Along the ski slopes, various huts have come together under the term “Food Altitude” to highlight their high-quality cuisine made from regional ingredients. We recommend the beautiful “Les Pierres Plates” at 2,738 m above sea level on the Saulire.
Other recommended huts are “Le Plan de Mains” at the valley station of the Mont du Vallon cable car and “L’Arpasson” with a large sun terrace. The après-ski party starts in the early afternoon in the Austrian umbrella bar on the terrace.
In general, the Méribel ski area is a great address for all party fans and the après-ski scene is also awarded 5 out of 5 points by the experts at SnowTrex. In the afternoon, the party starts at “La Folie Douce” at the Saulire middle station, before later moving to “Rond Point”, “Doron Pub” and “O’Sullivans” in Méribel Center.
A multi-course dinner in a luxurious atmosphere is served by “Le Grand Coeur” in Méribel. In the evenings, for example, the “Bistrot de l’Orée” (Rond Point), the “L’Igloo” pizzeria and the “Aux Petits Oignons” at 1,600 m above sea level are more comfortable and cheaper.
For days off skiing, the Méribel ski area offers a wide range of off-piste activities such as winter hikes and snowshoe hikes through the snow-covered landscape. Two toboggan runs offer fun and entertainment for the whole family: the 3 km long “Mission Black Forest” and the 2 km long toboggan run in the “Yeti Park”. The latter is illuminated on Thursdays so that you can toboggan long into the evening.
Several hotels in Méribel such as the “Helios Spa” and the “Le Yeti Spa” have their own wellness department with a pool, saunas and steam baths, which non-guests can also visit for a fee. Alternatively, the thermal baths in Brides-les-Bains are ideal for a half or full day excursion.
For everyone who would like to experience the Trois Vallées from a bird’s eye view, there are several options in the Méribel ski area, from a helicopter tour to a leisurely balloon flight to tandem paragliding. Winter sports enthusiasts who prefer to stay on the ground can whiz through the snow-covered landscape on a dog sled in Val Thorens or circle on the Méribel ice rink. Climbers can ice-climb frozen waterfalls outdoors, or go to the indoor climbing hall in bad weather.
6) Locations in the ski area
The cozy Méribel has retained the rustic charm of the traditional Savoy alpine villages. Small chalets that can be rented as holiday homes or apartments dominate the appearance of the 2,000-strong village. Méribel consists of the two larger towns of Méribel Center and Méribel-Mottaret, as well as some smaller settlements. It is the middle of the three valleys of the Les Trois Vallées ski area and is framed by Courchevel and Val Thorens.
Méribel also includes the village of Brides-les-Bains, which is located deeper in the valley and is connected to Méribel and Mottaret by a cable car. It was already known in ancient times for its hot springs and is now a popular year-round health resort. Winter sports enthusiasts can pamper their tired muscles in the “Grand Spa Thermal” with massages and other wellness treatments or relax in the hot water of the thermal bath.
7) Arrival in the Méribel ski area
Getting to the Méribel ski area is not that straightforward by car. From Germany the route leads via Geneva and Annecy to the Olympic site of Albertville. From here the N90 leads through the Isère valley to Moûtiers. From there, continue on the D90 to Brides-les-Bains and up the mountains to Méribel.
It is easier to travel by train, for example from Paris with the TGV to Lyon or Chambéry and from there on to Moûtiers. Regular buses run from the train station to the Trois Vallées as well as various ski shuttles.
The nearest major airports are in Lyon and Geneva (both around 180 km away). Regular buses run several times a day from the airports to the Trois Vallées, which take around three hours for a one-way trip. In the main season, the airports of Chambéry and Grenoble are also served by charter flights for winter sports enthusiasts.
08:00 – 18:00
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08:00 – 18:00
08:00 – 18:00