Les Trois Vallées (3 Valleys) is the world’s largest ski area connected solely by lifts and slopes and part of the Tarentaise Valley in Haute-Savoie.
‘Trois’ is an historic name that’s stuck, but there are really four valleys included in the area: Saint-Bon, Alues, Belleville and Maurienne. Between them they’ve over 600km of runs and some of the finest resorts in Europe.
Les Trois Vallées’ resorts include: Courchevel, Val Thorens, La Tania, Mèribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Orelle. 600km of ski-in, ski-out interconnected runs covered by one single Les Trois Vallées lift pass. The area has eight certified French ski-schools and 2000 instructors. Classes range from beginners with private nursery slopes and lifts to ski-clinics and off-piste and heliski tuition. Les Trois Vallées has over 600km of runs, 330 slopes and a 50/50 easy and expert range.
Direct flights from UK to Chambery Airport take one hour and 40 minutes during winter ski-season. Direct flights from UK to Turin take one hour and 45 minutes all year round. Airport transfers from Chambery and Turin to Trois Vallées’ resorts take between one and two hours by road.
The highest resort in Europe, Val Thorens was purpose built in the 1970s and isn’t the place to look for traditional Alpine village charm. What it lacks in authenticity it makes up for in a longer ski season than anywhere else and 100% ski-in/ski-out family accommodation
Val Thorens’ nearest neighbour, Orelle, is another high-altitude resort. It doesn’t have the extensive après-ski facilities of some but it’s well connected to resorts that do and scores high on cute, original architecture and Alpine prettiness.
The best known of Les Trois Vallées’ resorts, Courchevel’s cultivated a celebrity reputation with a wide range of restaurants, elegant spas and chic shopping. But it’s also the only resort in France to have a ‘children’s village’, dedicated entirely to young skiers, and a day-to-night Family Ski Park.
A ‘Famille Plus’ resort, Les Menuires has two ‘Piou-Piou’ kid’s clubs (three months and up), an all-season children’s event and entertainment programme, a Fun Ski Zone and Snow Park and a friendly, laid-back, local atmosphere.
The youngest resort in Les Trois Vallées, La Tania is also the most environmentally friendly, completely pedestrianised and designed on a ‘human scale’ to appeal to families. It looks and feels like a traditional Alpine mountain village but still has fast, easy access to the world’s largest ski area, good accommodation and facilities.
Right at the heart of Les Trois Vallées, Méribel is the famously sporty resort with Alpine village charm and a fabulous forest setting.
Source of Hybord and Philbert natural therapeutic springs, Bride-les-Bains is by far the best value family resort in Les Trois Vallées. The atmosphere’s young and lively but well balanced by exceptional spas and a tranquil, riverside setting.
The most traditional Savoyard mountain village in Les Trois Vallées, Saint Martin de Belleville has some of the loveliest hotels and chalets in the area. It’s also home to La Bouitte, the only authentic Savoyard restaurant to hold three Michelin stars.
All resorts in Les Trois Vallées are within easy driving distance of Chambery, Geneva and Turin airports. Car hire’s only necessary if you want to explore the region as resorts are linked by lifts, free shuttle buses and high-speed gondolas.