Skiing in Meribel
The Three Valleys are simply awesome. Located at the heart of this amazing region, Meribel forms the hub of the biggest pisted ski area in the world with 600km of ski runs.
From Meribel centre you have easy access to the slopes of Meribel, Mottaret, Courchevel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, and a fourth Valley at Les Orelles.
With an unparalleled number of snow cannons (1,500) and over 200 lifts servicing the 3 Valleys, skiing and snowboarding possibilities are endless. Meribel, on its own, boasts 15 gondola lifts and 19 chairlifts to whizz you effortlessly to the top of the mountain.
Just starting out on your adventure with skiing? Look no further than the green “Fôret” run located just above Meribel – a tree-lined sanctuary where you have the time and space to develop those first turns.
For kids there is the Animal Run, with life-size model animals hidden in the turns of a gentle run on the Altiport.
Perhaps you’re an improving intermediate? Then the Tougnette lifts will whisk you up towards the Vallée de Belleville, where you can exercise the vocal chords whilst gliding down the rollers of the famous “Jerusalem” red run. This in turn leads down to the picturesque village of St Martin de Belleville.
If you’re an expert, Meribel can also throw up some good challenges with the “Aigle” red run beginning at the top of the Meribel Valley descending through 950m of vertical to bring you out into Mottaret. Why not see if you can complete it top to bottom without stopping?!
For those with a greater sense of adventure there is always the iconic Mont Vallon – an absolute must for those who enjoy a good blast on a long piste or for those who like to challenge the knees with a sustained section of moguls.
Or perhaps you could take on “La Face” – the black run that leads from the top of the Olympic chair lift and heads back into the Chaudanne.
If you’re brave (or mad) enough and want to claim bragging rights, the world-famous “Grand Couloir” off the top of the Saulire ridge that drops down into Courchevel is a ski bucket list must.
You really will find something for everyone in Meribel and the 3 Valleys!
Snowboarding in Meribel
If the sound of the snow fizzing under your snowboard as you whizz down the valley isn’t enough for you, then check out one of the two specially designed Snowboard parks in Meribel.
Sponsored by the trendy US skateboard/wintersports brand DC, Meribel’s ‘Area 43’ offers 1.2km worth of sculpted jumps, lines and ramps.
With half-pipes, quarter-pipes, baby-pipes, tables, spines and boardercross, you can spin and leap to your heart’s content. And that’s before we mention the beginners’ airbag.
Whilst you’re up there remember to keep an eye out for some of the top European and American snowboarding royalty too.
If you’re looking for your first jumps or rollers then Meribel’s ever popular ‘Moon Park’, just up from the Chaudanne, may well be the place for you. Catering for people who are wanting to grow their confidence or expand their sense of adventure, you can now even film yourself negotiating your first bumps and jumps. Not to be missed!
Staying purely ‘on-piste’ Meribel enjoys the reputation as being the ‘heart of the 3 Valleys’, which means it’s ideally located if you wanted to speed over to Val Thorens and explore the huge powder bowl there, or indeed make the short trip over the ridge into the stunningly beautiful, tree-lined setting that is Courchevel.
Having benefited from substantial investment, Meribel now boasts new high speed lifts up from Meribel-Mottaret, on the Plattières lift up to an impressive height of 2400m.
Equally on the opposite side of the Valley, the recently improved Saulire Express is exactly what its name implies…fast – whisking the skier from the centre of Meribel, all the way up to 2700m in just over 9 minutes.
But perhaps you’re in Meribel for an altogether more relaxed break? Meribel again comes up with some perfect answers.
Whether it be taking the Rhodos bubble up and casually negotiating your way down a succession of greens and blues or heading up the Plan de l’Homme chairlift, and cruising down the tranquil ‘Gelinotte’ run, Meribel really has got your snowboarding requirements covered.
Meribel boasts a fantastic reputation for providing a range of alternative activities for anyone who is coming out but not skiing or snowboarding.
Perhaps you like speed but not necessarily on skis? Then hiring a ski-doo with an arranged tour may be an exciting Alpine alternative – this is easily done up the way in Meribel-Mottaret.
A head for heights? Meribel has this covered with a host of parapenting schools offering you the awesome experience of paragliding above the resort, strapped to a local guide who will have you soaring on the thermals and whooping with delight.
If you like a bit more control over your activity, then how about renting some snow shoes or bringing your own hiking boots and taking a walk around Meribel’s extensive network of beautiful walking paths?
A particularly serene walk can be found up around Lake Tuéda in Meribel-Mottaret.
Transport doesn’t have to be an issue in or around Meribel either. With a designated free ‘Navette’ or shuttle bus, you can leisurely negotiate the resort, dipping in and out of the range of shops, cafes or patisseries – and with a regular service of around a bus every 12-15 minutes, you won’t be waiting around for long.
Meribel really does have something for everyone and for every age. Ice-skating, a gym, a health spa, ten-pin bowling, helicopter rides – the list goes on!
Please ask us for any details of these activities and we’ll be happy to arrange them for you.
If offering an awesome ski area wasn’t enough, Meribel is a resort that just keeps on giving. How about celebrating an epic day of skiing in one of Meribel’s après bars?
Regularly in the Top 10 list of après-ski bars to visit, The Rond Point is a lively, bustling slope-side bar that draws in all and sundry with seductive live music and an electric party atmosphere.
The ‘Ronnie’ however has been given a close run by its new ‘neighbour’ La Folie Douce – head here if you want the ultimate in alpine partying – but beware…there is still the ski down afterwards.
Maybe you’ve already returned to the Chaudanne and are weighing up your options?
You could head up the street to the Barometer for a refreshing demi or a chocolat chaud or alternatively head over the street to the ever popular La Taverne.
If you fancy something a little more cosmopolitan chic, then L’Abreuvoir (next to the Post Office) is a good choice and is a popular spot for the French to be seen in.
But having finished skiing for the day, it doesn’t all have to be about liquid refreshment.
A skiing holiday is the perfect excuse to stop counting calories so why not treat yourself to the creamy, smooth delight of a cheese fondue, or perhaps even a Savoyarde raclette, with potatoes, mountain meats and gooey local cheeses melting into a taste sensation.
Come the evenings, and Meribel is showered with musical talent. Wander into many of the local bars, be it Le Pub, La Taverne or even O’Sullivan’s (formerly Dicks T-Bar), and you’ll be sure to find a band or a DJ playing into the early hours.
In Meribel, you can relax as little or as hard as you like!
Meribel has an excellent snow record with its high altitude slopes stretching from the resort up to 2700m.
Almost all the skiing is above 1400m so the slopes hold their snow well and much of it is west facing, helping maintain the good snow conditions even in prolonged warm weather.
The ski area’s extensive coverage of snow cannons, pointing at a third of its 600km of slopes, add to the natural snow to ensure levels are always topped up.
This past summer alone there has been a multi €m investment in more snow-making equipment ready for this winter so when other resorts are shutting runs, there’s always skiing to be had in the 3 Valleys.
To put your mind at ease, in the 3 Valleys, the minimum altitude level for skiing is 1300 metres and reaches a heady maximum height of 3230 metres.
Moreover, 85% of the ski area is located above 1800 metres with 25 accessible summits, 10 of which are in excess of 2500 metres.
Meribel and the 3 Valleys are masters at getting the best out of the snow cover – so much so they claim that they have the capability to produce enough snow equivalent to a road 5 metres wide, and 10cm deep leading all the way from Meribel to Paris!