About Val Thorens
Val Thorens is Europe’s highest ski resort, standing proud at 2300 metres. The purpose built french ski resort knows why it’s there and how to put on a ski holiday. Boasting the longest season in France, open from November until May, she’s a bully that packs a punch through The Three Valleys. The terrain offers everything you could want, usually from ski in ski out accommodation, and the town won’t let you rest.
The wonder Val Thorens lies in the guaranteed skiing options. Starting your day can be tricky when arguments break out within your group about which lift to take, Cascades, Plein Sud, Moutiere and Caron are all good options depending on your destination. If the skies are blue, grab the Caron lifts which will float you way up over 3000 metres where you can drop over to the Orelle glaciers, The Three Valleys’ secret fourth valley. Drop off the Col de Thorens or Rosel on the way back for the 1000 metre beer earner descents.
The opposite side of the bowl that links to Meribel is naturally busy, especially when snow conditions are struggling at lower altitudes as everyone seeks the cooler air of Val Thorens. As the afternoon slips away let the chaos finish before making your way home, unless you enjoy scenes resembling the Empires assault on the planet Hoth.
Beginner skiers have great options with multiple covered magic carpets on the green runs in town.
Hide away in the mayhem at the infamous Folie Douche for some of the highest altitude apres ski in the world, but remember you have ski down once your done, potentially in the dark.
Find Bar 360 at the base of Moraine & Portette chairlifts which has a rival more varied apres ski, with DJ sets from some of the best that have included Afrojack and Hardwell. There is a great Chinese takeaway attached to Bar 360 called ‘Wok Ski’. If your staying toward the top of town, be mindful before committing to a post lift closure session or you could be carrying equipment and your other half up the hill.
Val Thorens has a bountiful selection restaurants for evening meals Michelin star restaurants, for people who don’t like money, along with hearty fondue and pizza dining. If you want a good feed for a good price, John’s American Restaurant is serving burgers, fajitas, steak and wings. Oh, and it’s owned by a Danish man named Soren. Did someone say all you can eat ribs?
Once your done with daytime and Val Thorens descends in to darkness another beast awakens. Famous Le Saloon and the Frog bar will offer you a feeling of ski resort bar with local live bands invoking toffee vodka spilling, ski boot knocking, rip your ski pants fun. Don’t end up being the last one still in your ski boots come 1am, or do, whatever you prefer.
A few night clubs are dotted around town some of which require a certain indiscriminate taste towards establishments. Malaysia is the big venue that burrows deep under the dark pistes, only noticeable by what looks like a miniature wooden chalet. It’s a good idea to warm up in the near by Baramix bar as a precursor to entering Malaysia, which is the biggest club in the Alps.
This resort does everything big, if skiing, snowboarding and partying are boring you for some reason, you might want to ramp up your adrenaline with a valley splicing zip line. It runs from the top of Orelle to the top of Val Thorens keeping the whole wire above 3000 metres. Peclet gondola also has a hidden trick up it’s sleeve, with the longest toboggan run in the French Alps. It is 6 kilometres long, turning a children’s activity into a thrilling race.
As a ski resort and holiday destination Val Thorens will have you non stop, all day (and night) every day. You might find the you need a holiday to recover once you’re done and the boss won’t be happy when you return more tired than when you left. The mix of big high altitude terrain that guarantees snow from 6 glaciers, sun bathed table top dancing terraces, underground night clubs, James Bond zip lines can’t be missed. If you are looking for an action packed adrenaline fuelled holiday, it’ Val Thorens.
Resort Review: Eliot Prince
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