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.
Where to go and stay in Les Trois Vallees
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
2016’s ‘Best Ski Resort in the World’, ‘European Best Ski Resort’ and ‘Best Ski Resort in France’.
Altitude of 2300m, network of fast ski-lifts, plus Cime Caron panoramic cable cars and 1300m long Tyrolienne zip-line.
7500m² indoor Sports Centre; 6km Toboggan Run; Fun Slope and modular Snow Park; Ice Driving track; ESF Val Thorens Ski School.
Over 60 resort restaurants and birthplace of ‘Snow Bistronomy’: haute cuisine with a laid-back ski resort atmosphere.
Val Thorens was once Les Trois Vallées most famous ‘party’ resort. It’s now one of the most popular family resorts in France but with enough lively cool to appeal to teenagers.
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.
10 small hamlets connected to Les Trois Vallées ski area by high-speed gondolas.
Excellent childcare facilities, ESF Orelle Ski School and Maurienne Hors Piste.
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.
Five resort villages all with ski-in/ski-out accommodation and interconnected by a network of fast lifts and free shuttle buses.
Top for piste-grooming, snow-making and all-season run recontouring and maintenance.
Three ski schools: ESF Courchevel 1550, 1850 and 1650.
The Forum sport, leisure and shopping centre; 25, 60, 90 and 120m high Le Praz ski jumps; 2.5km Toboggan Run; Aquamotion Centre; Family Snow Park; Courchevel Children’s Village.
Les Trois Vallées gourmet giant with seven Michelin starred chefs and over 70 restaurants.
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.
One of the best value Les Trois Vallées resorts for family accommodation.
160km of groomed runs, fast lift network, extensive off-piste and ‘doorstep’ skiing.
BK Freestyle and Boardercross Park with ‘Big Air Bag’; free ski-passes for under 5s; Walibi Gliss and Mini KL Fun Park; Roc ‘n’ Bob 4km Toboggan Run; 4500m² indoor Sports Centre; Aquafun Centre.
ESF Les Menuires ski school and two ‘Piou-Piou’ children’s clubs with childcare from three months.
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.
Forest and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing; fast lift access to Courchevel and Méribel; kindergarten from four months to five years; kid’s playground; Michelin starred Le Farçon restaurant; ESF La Tania ski school.
Unique, serviced eco-chalets and completely pedestrianised streets.
Right at the heart of Les Trois Vallées, Méribel is the famously sporty resort with Alpine village charm and a fabulous forest setting.
Host to the 2015 World Cup Alpine Ski and preferred venue for major sporting events throughout the winter season.
Inuit Piste kid’s village for 5 – 12 year olds with event and activity programme, playpark, husky sledding, falconry and children’s entertainers.
Yeti Park Magical Kingdom all-ages adventure snow park; Parc Olympique indoor sport and wellness centre; Element Park beginner and intermediate terrain park; DC Area43 advanced terrain park; Michelin starred L’Ecrin restaurant.
ESF Méribel ski school and four piste beginner’s ski area.
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.
2100m² Le Grand Spa Thermal; Les Trois Vallées Casino; summer Spa Garden; The Centenaire Square live music and entertainment venue; Brideski Gourmet restaurants, bars and cafés.
Fast gondola access to Les Trois Vallées ski area and ski schools at La Tania and Méribel.
Saint Martin de Belleville
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.
‘Montagnard’ is Saint Martin de Belleville’s personality and it’s the most historic resort in the area with ancient churches, Baroque bell towers, 18th century barn conversions, heritage farmhouses and 19th century maisons de ville.
Ô des Cimes and La Bèla Vya spas; Saint Martin Museum; Heritage Circuit; classical concerts in 16th century Notre Dame de la Vie church.
Local Nordic and family skiing experts.
ESF Saint Martin ski school and childcare from 18 months.
What do and see with kids in Les Trois Vallees
Liberty Ride, Les Menuires 100% natural, non-groomed slopes for beginners and experts with easy access from several resorts. Liberty Ride
Heritage Circuit, Saint Martin de Belleville 5km long circular tour of historic Saint Martin de Belleville and the surrounding area via free app available at local tourist office. Heritage Circuit
Courchevel Adventure Snowmobile and airboard multi-gliding activities for adults and kids from age six. Courchevel Adventure
Fat Biking, Courchevel Snow riding down Courchevel’s slopes at night on adapted Fat Bikes. Fully supervised by professional instructors, runs from beginner to advanced. From age 12. Fat Biking
Air Bag Ski Jumping, Val Thorens Kids can practice jumps and master techniques with the safety cushion of an enormous airbag. Non skiers get to play on the silly but great fun Air Tubby. Airbag and Air Tubby
Dog Sledding, Val Thorens Mushers, huskies and family sleighs are the start of two hours’ exhilarating zipping through the magical Savoyard winter landscape. Dog Sledding
Loup Gris et sa Tribu, Courchevel A wild west adventure with everything from archery lessons to tepee building with Grey Wolf and his Indian tribe. Loup Gris et sa Tribu
Speed Mountain Luge, Les Menuires 1000m long, twisty, turny, fast as you like luge on rails surrounded by Les Menuires towering mountain landscape. Speed Mountain Luge
Mini KL, Les Menuires Top speed downhill in complete safety for kids at skill-honing levels in need of a challenge without any risk. Mini KL
Scoot ‘Evasion Snowmobile, Les Menuires Guided night rides for teenagers and adults on new generation, low noise, low emission, high speed snowmobiles. Scoot ‘Evasion
Educational value for kids
Tueda Nature Reserve in Méribel is a protected area where kids can see local wildlife supported by the resort’s conservation initiative.
Saint Martin Museum is a good place to learn the customs, traditions and history of the cultured and ancient Savoyard region.
Most resorts have ESF certified ski schools and Les Trois Vallées has over 2000 English-speaking qualified instructors.
Snow shoeing with local mountain guides is a fun way to explore the majestic countryside and learn a new skill.
Several resorts have ski-clinics with programmes designed for teenagers and older kids.
Almost all resorts have kindergarten and many have kid’s clubs combining fun activities and creative play with beginner’s ski lessons.
Indoor sports centres at Val Thorens and Chamonix offer a range of skating, swimming and racquet sport lessons.
Getting about with kids in Les Trois Vallées
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.