Situated in the heart of the largest and, for many, the finest ski area in the world, Meribel’s reputation has been built on its extensive skiing & snowboarding, and breath-taking scenery. Nearly all of the buildings in the town are constructed in the traditional Savoyard style from wood and stone, making Meribel one of the most picturesque ski resorts in France.
The ski area is truly inexhaustible and with 600km of pistes in the Three Valleys (150km in Meribel), there is something for every standard of skier. Also, as the epicentre of the world’s largest ski domain, there are endless stretches of off-piste. The valleys are superbly linked, with Val Thorens under an hour away and Courchevel even closer.
Meribel has two areas dedicated to free-style riders. In Meribel-Mottaret there is the Plattieres snowpark with its 17 acres of jumps, whoops, banks and two half-pipes. The Meribel Moonpark offers one competition-standard half pipe, one half-pipe for learners and a boarder cross with whoops, tables and other obstacles.
Meribel is the largest of the villages in the Three Valleys and offers plenty of alternatives to skiing and snowboarding, such as horse-drawn sleigh rides, dog sledding through the forest, paragliding, ice-skating, snow mobile hire and swimming & spa at the local sports centre. Graced with plants and fauna, trees and dramatic landscapes the Valley provides a spectacular environment. The Vanoise National Park, France’s first National Park, is a boundary-less paradise of 140,000 acres with stunning animal life and wild flora, it offers a stunning backdrop for your Meribel ski holiday.
At a glance
Located in the heart of the world famous Three Valleys
The largest and best linked ski area in the world
Spectacular scenery and an abundance of alpine charm
600km of pistes
Approx 200 ski lifts
2 Dedicated snowboarding parks
In excess of 1400 snow canons
An excellent choice of ski schools to cater for all levels
Childcare facilities for little ones
Olympic ice skating rink, swimming pool, rock climbing & 10 pin bowling alley
Guided snow shoe walks in the valley
33km of cross country skiing
Husky sledding in the forest
Free resort bus service
Fitness and wellbeing spas
Cinema – Films shown in English
Live après ski entertainment every night
A great selection of bars, restaurants and a couple of nightclubs
Skiing in the Three Valleys
The skiing is unrivaled and what sets it apart from other top ski resorts is the choice of runs, super efficient lift system and maintenance of the ski area. This allows you to get around the mountain quickly and easily and it is possible to ski all 3 valleys in a morning and then break for a hearty mountain lunch. Guests return year after year to enjoy the ski slopes. For first timers to Meribel here is a little taste of what the skiing has to offer.
Meribel is located in the centre of the Three Valleys, the biggest ski area in the world with 600 kilometres of piste and 200 lifts. Meribel sits in the middle which makes access to the other valleys extremely easy. Courchevel can be reached in 12 minutes via the newly installed Saulire Express and Val Thorens (the highest ski resort in Europe) takes just under an hour. The variety and choice of runs is unsurpassed, as it has something to offer every level of skier. For beginners there are the wide open and gentle green runs of the Meribel Altiport. The runs are tree lined and it is a very picturesque backdrop for learning to ski. It is also a great spot for a picnic or there are restaurants on the piste to give you a break. You can also take a nice trip in the bubble to Courchevel 1850 and enjoy an extensive choice of green runs, again tree lined and with plenty of vin chaud stops.
The range of skiing for intermediates means you are truly spoilt for choice. There are 135 blue runs and 119 red runs. I would be tempted to start my holiday on the sunny east facing slopes of the Meribel Valley. Beautifully groomed overnight and ready to ease you in gently. You can then have a really good blast down to the very picturesque village of St Martin du Belleville, accessed by blues and gentle red runs. You will not be able to ski all the runs in the Three Valleys in a week but certainly you can give it a good try.
For advanced skiers there are plenty of challenges, the Bartavelle bumps in the Meribel Valley will sort the men from the boys and the Courchevel Couloirs and Chanrossa bumps will put you through your paces. The variety of terrain, from moguls to steep challenging pistes will keep you more than occupied. The Three Valleys has a staggering amount of off piste and it is really worth considering taking a ski instructor to guide you around and show you the best of what is on offer. Make a day of it and enjoy the views, the peacefulness and great skiing off piste.
Snowboarders are very well catered for with seven dedicated, and specially prepared snowboarding parks in the Three Valleys. The two snow boarding parks in the Meribel Valley allow you to try half pipes, quarter pipes, table tops and various jumps. They also have dedicated lifts to give you quick and easy access.
It is worth remembering that Meribel probably has the most extensive artificial snow making system in Europe if not the world and the skiing goes up to 3200 meters in the three valleys. It is therefore as snow sure as you can get and in 2006-2007 Meribel tripled its snow making capacity, which meant we have enjoyed good skiing all winter long. Since then we have had some superb seasons for consistent snowfalls and some of the coldest recorded temperatures since the 1950’s.
A big thank you to specialist Meribel Operator Ski Blanc for this resort review of Meribel - Ski Blanc have 6 fabulous catered chalets in the unspoilt French village of Meribel les Allues
23/12/2017 via Alpine Independents
Superb start to the season with the best conditions seen here for 20 years. There is snow and lots of it, blue skies and cold temperatures keeping the white stuff in perfect condition. Loads of special offers available for New Year and January too!
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