Simply stated there are a bucket load of activities that one can enjoy even if they’re not thinking skiing or snowboarding whilst out on holiday in Meribel.
There are in fact far too many to list here, so on our last day off (yes even living here we deserve one) we chose one, left our skis at home and went for an alpine walk.
When zipping around the slopes, anyone can easily overlook the kilometres of woodland walks that are intertwined between some of the more tree-lined runs located around the base of the Col de Loze (at the top of the Rhodos 1+2 lifts).
With so much natural beauty and nature, the individual is inundated with visuals of winter animal footprints, pine-cones and fir spine droppings. It’s simply mesmerising.
On this occasion we set off from Le Blanchot restaurant located just below the Altiport at Meribel 1800, scurrying onto the snow and crossing over the ‘Lapin’ ski run which leads down to Meribel Village.
After a gentle meandering through the trees, all the while climbing upwards, we made it to the ‘Fôret’ tow-rope lift and followed the well-trodden path around the biathlon training tracks.
This really deserves its own write-up as a must try activity, but in any case, we pushed on, scurrying across the ‘Blanchot’ beginner green run and heading for the walking paths that follow the route of the ‘Piste des Animaux’ (the Animal Trail).
By some good fortune we also heard plane engines so decided to surge up the banking on our left, looking on as several small aircraft launched themselves across the snow-covered airstrip of the Altiport and up into the air.
Gaining yet more altitude whilst following the walking track up, we were rewarded when we emerged from the trees.
Faced with a sun-kissed vista across the valley, we took a short while to enjoy sitting on one of the many wooden benches littered along the route, whilst taking a moment to rest and relax in our surroundings. This really is the perfect place to enjoy a winter picnic, sandwich or even photographic opportunity.
All the routes can be circuitous if you want them to be…that’s the beauty of them. They can also be as long or short as you like too. To give you an idea, if you want a proper winter yomp, then you can bite off the 2hr 20min climb up to the ‘Col de Loze’ which is the ridge separating Meribel from La Tania, and gains some 500m vertical.
For something more sedate you can do a quick 30-minute stroll around the tracks which run parallel to the biathlon circuits.
The beauty here in Meribel is that there is a walk for everybody…young, old, fit, not so fit, avid walker, or the Sunday stroller type. Best of all, all these trails are set in the most stunning surroundings.
We got back to base, wholly satisfied with our decision to leave our skis in the garage, sun-kissed with a whole new sense of love for this place.
For more information, and routes check out this link: http://activities-ski-resort.meribel.net/nature-alpine-valley/walking-french-alps.html