In the middle of the French Alps lies the huge ski region “Les 3 Vallées”, which is also the largest connected ski area in the world. The snow world is made up of three valleys, which together offer 600 kilometres of pistes as well as countless activities for every type of winter holidaymaker. SnowTrex itself is a big fan of the three valleys, offers more than 50 accommodations there and knows 10 reasons that speak for the exceptional ski region:
1. Numerous slopes for all levels
Les 3 Vallées, with the three valleys of Vallée de Belleville, Vallée de Méribel and Vallée de Courchevel, forms the largest connected ski area in the world. The total of 600 kilometres of pistes are connected by 159 lifts, giving skiers and snowboarders a huge choice of pistes. These can be reached with the “Les 3 Vallées” ski pass from four ski areas. The lowest slopes of this piste paradise are at 1,100 metres. From there, it’s high up to the 3,230 m high “Sommet des 3 Vallées”, which is located in the Val Thorens-Orelle glacier ski area.
In total, winter sports enthusiasts can choose between 312 kilometres of green and blue pistes, 216 kilometres of red runs and 72 km of black slopes. In addition, snow parks can be found in many corners of the ski areas, which complete the fun on the slopes.
The size and diversity of the ski region mean that everyone, from young to old and from beginner to expert and freerider to professional, is well catered for in Les 3 Vallées and can experience unique ski days there.
2. Guaranteed snow? Of course!
Every winter lover who dreams of white peaks, soft-patterned runs and powder fun is in the right place in the winter wonderland of “Les 3 Vallées”. The winter dream can come true here from the beginning of December to the end of April. The reason for this is that 85% of the 600 kilometres of pistes are above 1,800 m, which means that the frequent snowfall ensures that the slopes turn white. In addition, especially at lower altitudes, 332 snow guns support the natural snowfall. It should not be forgotten that the Val Thorens-Orelle ski area is part of the ski region and, as a glacier ski area, almost guarantees snow.
3. Families welcome
Especially for families with children, the three valleys are the perfect place to spend a few days away from the stress of everyday life and really get together again. In addition to many child-friendly slopes, adventure courses such as the Walibi Gliss’ in Les Menuires, extra snow parks for little snow dwarves, many ski schools and ski kindergartens, the ski region also offers countless family activities away from the alpine snow hills.
For example, families can enjoy the region’s many toboggan runs during their stay, visit the “Fun Park” in Les Menuires with trampolines, slides and multi-sports fields, or discover mini-joering, where children and adults can be pulled through the snow on skis by ponies.
In addition, all SnowTrex accommodations welcome families with open arms! Examples are the Résidence Les Ravines in Méribel or the Résidence Aconit in Les Menuires, where children stay at reduced rates. The residence Le Machu Pichu in Val Thorens also offers children’s discounts and is one of the accommodations that even has an extra play area for little winter holidaymakers.
4. Diverse ski resorts
There are a total of eight ski resorts in the three valleys, all of which have access to at least one of the ski areas and together form the interconnected ski region or ski area. The valley with the most kilometres of pistes is the Belleville Valley, in which the resorts of Val Thorens, Les Menuires and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville are located. The reason for its popularity is in particular the village of Val Thorens, better known as the highest ski resort in Europe. Situated at 2,300 m, the ski resort is characterised by various cafés, bars and restaurants as well as many shopping facilities in the middle of the Alps and is considered the most luxurious place in the valleys. Those who want to spend their holidays in Val Thorens also have direct access to the Val Thorens-Orelle glacier ski area, which has 150 kilometres of pistes and reaches heights of up to 3,230 metres.
Directly below it is the ski resort of Les Menuires – St Martin. With 160 kilometres of pistes, this is slightly larger than its neighbouring ski areas and reaches up to Val Thorens at 2,850 metres. The resorts of the ski area are Les Menuires and St. Martin-de-Belleville. The former is located at 1,850 metres above sea level and is characterised by chalets built of wood and natural stone as well as many child-friendly leisure facilities. St. Martin-de-Belleville is located at 1,450 m and is the original mountain village of the valley. It is also home to one of the many SnowTrex accommodations called Chalet Loutantin, which is built of old natural stone and thus fits perfectly into the tradition-rich community.
In the neighbouring valley of Méribel is the ski resort of the same name, Méribel, and the beautiful village of Brides-Les-Bains. Both villages have access to the valley’s only ski area “Méribel”. This skiers’ paradise is 150 kilometres of pistes and has its highest point at 2,952 metres. The resort of Méribel, which hosted the women’s alpine competitions at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics, is divided into two parts, the lower of which is at 1,400 m, making it the perfect altitude to enter the ski area directly. The second resort in the valley, Brides-Les-Bains, is below Méribel at about 600 metres altitude and is accessed by a cable car.
The third valley is on the far left when looking at the piste map and is known as “Vallées de Courchevel“. The resort is spread over four parts, all at different altitudes. All districts have access to the Courchevel ski area, which has 150 kilometres of pistes and is located between 1,300 and 2,738 metres above sea level. Courchevel is a very sporty area. It offers many action-packed activities and is a traditional venue for the Ski Jumping Grand Prix and various ski races, such as the 47th World Ski Championships in 2023 together with the neighbouring valley of Méribel.
The youngest resort of Les 3 Vallées is located between the Méribel and Courchevel valleys and is called “La Tania“. It is situated at 1,400 m and has a special feature that sets it apart from the other ski resorts. La Tania is a car-free resort, with all shops and amenities within walking distance. Two different ski lifts and gondolas provide quick access to the ski resorts of Méribel and Courchevel from this small ski resort.
5. Accommodation directly on the piste
A skiing holiday is particularly enjoyable if you are spared the sometimes very strenuous journey by car or bus, or even a long walk in full ski gear to the lifts. Les 3 Vallées also has a particular advantage over many other ski regions here, as the lowest point from which every other corner of the ski region can be reached is already at 1,100 metres. In addition, almost all the ski resorts in the 3 valleys are above this. This allows guests of the ski resorts a short way to the slopes and often even direct access to the ski areas at their accommodation.
Especially in Val Thorens, which is awarded as the highest ski resort in Europe, many accommodations offer direct access to the slopes. SnowTrex also appreciates this and therefore has over 40 accommodations on offer that are located directly on the slopes, so that nothing stands in the way of skiing and snowboarding fun right on your doorstep.
6. Freeride paradise
When it comes to the unique ski region of Les 3 Vallées, it is important to remember that it is a renowned freeride paradise. With 600 kilometres of pistes connected by lifts, there is endless scope, even between the pistes, for action fans to experience some very special powder fun. In particular, the landscape around the Méribel ski area is ideal for short excursions off-piste, but powder dreams come true time and again between the remaining 450 kilometres of pistes. Only at the border to the National Park are there powder slopes that are completely promised to nature and are therefore a no-go zone even for the best skiers and snowboarders.
In addition to off-piste professionals, beginners are also in good hands on the non-prepared slopes. Guides, the right equipment and a wide range of courses are available on site to teach and support safe off-piste skiing.
7. Cross-country skiing and tobogganing fun galore
In addition to winter sports on the alpine ski slopes, the ski region of the three valleys naturally also offers every opportunity to pursue other classic winter sports. Especially for cross-country skiing and tobogganing, there are countless cross-country trails and slopes on which sporty snow lovers can let off steam.
Cross-country skiers have 119 wonderful kilometres of trails at their disposal. These cover a wide range of difficulty levels, so that everyone from beginners to professionals can discover the right trails for them. The cross-country world in the middle of the huge ski region mainly runs along the picturesque Belleville Valley, although many other cross-country highlights such as the routes up to 17 km long or great high-altitude trails can also be optimally reached from Méribel and Courchevel.
This video shows why winter sports enthusiasts should not miss the fantastic toboggan run in France:
As for the toboggan runs, there are runs for young and old in almost every one of the ski resorts, which can be explored by sledge and toboggan by day and some by night. From the free tobogganing area “Baby-Fun” at Place Carone in Val Thorens for the very young from 2 years of age, to many other long and short, easy as well as more challenging toboggan runs distributed throughout the entire ski region. There is a large selection, right up to a special tobogganing attraction: the start of Europe’s highest toboggan run is located at Tête Ronde in Val Thorens at 3,000 metres above sea level. From there, there is a 6 km long downhill run and 700 metres of altitude to climb before arriving back at the Val Thorens ski resort.
So what if you’re looking for fun and action-packed entertainment on your own, with friends or the whole family during the day or in the evening? You’ll be able to make some very special memories on the cross-country ski runs and toboggan runs in the three valleys.
8. Numerous winter hiking routes
If you want to explore the winter paradise of the French Alps on foot, you can look forward to many winter hiking offers. Many signposted and often even prepared trails can be explored normally on foot, but also with extra snowshoes. How and with whom the region and its breathtaking landscape are to be discovered is up to each hiker. A wide variety of options are offered so that you can immerse yourself in the snowy world alone, in a large group or with a guide. Very special memories are also created if you decide to go on a hike with an animal companion. One of the many starting points to enjoy the winter routes embedded in nature as a pedestrian or snowshoe hiker is at the Pointe de la Masse in Les Menuires.
9. Many other winter activities
The ski region also has a lot to offer for fun after skiing, or for winter holidaymakers who prefer to stay off the beaten track. In addition to action-packed activities such as go-karting on an ice rink in Val Thorens, ice skating in Méribel or exploring the region on a snowbike there is so much more. Like paragliding over the Alps or dog sledding with a musher, the ski resorts of the world’s largest ski region offer many quieter activities to pass the time.
For example, you can relax in several swimming pools in the valleys, unwind with countless wellness offers, watch the latest blockbuster in the cinema and forget the stress of everyday life in the shops of Val Thorens. Thanks to this wide range of activities, everyone from families with children to action lovers can find the right holiday programme for them.
The video shows how much fun it is to ride on two wheels on the snow in Val Thorens:
10. The highest rope slide in the world
The world’s largest connected ski area offers countless special and sometimes unique highlights. One of them is the rope slide called “La Tyrolienne”, which leads from the 3,230 m high “Sommet des 3 Vallées” to Val Thorens. This results in a 1,300 m long flight, which you cross in 1:45 minutes while hanging in a seat belt with skis and board in your luggage. In total, winter fans cover about 230 metres in altitude at over 100 km/h on their ride down the world’s highest mega-rope slide with a view of the beautiful glacier area. “La Tyrolienne” is therefore just the thing for anyone looking for a unique and action-packed experience during their ski day.
The moving images from the perspective of the “passenger” show how spectacular the ride on the zipline is:
If you are now in the mood for a winter holiday and skiing in Les 3 Vallées, SnowTrex has a very special advantage. A large selection of over 50 accommodations awaits anyone who wants to enjoy a break in the largest connected ski area in the world – and that includes a ski pass.