Destination Guide: The Three Valleys

The Three Valleys is made up of three major ski resorts (hence the name!): Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens. However within that, are other smaller resorts that fall within the larger resorts. For example La Tania is part of the Courchevel Valley and resort. Here’s our destination guide of how the Three Valleys resorts compare to one another.

Courchevel & La Tania

Courchevel includes the villages La Tania, Le Praz, Courchevel Village (1550), Courchevel Moriond (1650) and Courchevel 1850. And there is loads to love about Courchevel.

High quality skiing – It’s hard to describe how well taken care of the pistes are in Courchevel. Queues for lifts are rare, everything is interlinked really well, the grooming is immaculate and the resort is constantly getting new upgrades. If you’ve skied in Courchevel before this may be something that you take for granted, but the lift company really puts in a lot of work to make it easily accessible for everyone and a pleasant skiing experience.

Variety of price point options – One of the best things about Courchevel is that the whole valley caters to all types of budgets. Courchevel 1850 is definitely the most expensive and you will struggle to find budget accommodation there, however all of the other villages including La Tania have relatively cheap options. This also goes for food as well. You can opt for easy takeaway pizza or dine at a Michelin star restaurant, and everything in between.

Variety of Pistes – Although many resorts tout themselves as having something for every level of skier, Courchevel and La Tania however offer a truly do. There are a good variety of pistes with numerous accessible beginners areas, loads of wide open pistes for intermediates, and big adventures for powder hounds. So if not everyone in your party is the same level of skier, you won’t have to worry about them

Head to See Courchevel to find out more about the resort or check out our La Tania resort guide for more info about La Tania.

la tania

Meribel

Meribel is made up of Meribel Centre, Meribel Village and Meribel Mottaret. It’s a famous resort amongst many British holiday-makers.

Central location within the 3 Valleys – Meribel is known as the heart of the Three Valleys because it’s situated in between Courchevel and Val Thorens. This makes it easy to get around. Spend a few days exploring Courchevel, another few in Val Thorens and really make use of a 3V lift pass.

A great après and party scene – If this is something you’re after on your ski holiday, Meribel has some of the best après in the Three Valleys. The infamous Folie Douce is situated here (although easily accessible from Courchevel). The Rond Point plays music piste-side nearly every day and you can keep the party going into the wee hours a Sully’s. Other great spots include Jacks Bar, The Brewer’s Den, The Tav & Scott’s Pub.

Charming Chalet Village – You won’t see any high-rises or big block apartments in Meribel. The resort has managed to keep its aesthetic charming and traditional even as it’s grown. There are local regulations ensuring all new buildings use local materials and keep within a similar chalet style.

See Meribel has more info about the resort.

three valleys

Val Thorens

Val Thorens has 150km of pistes and includes the villages of St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires. It also includes what is considered the fourth valley, Orelle. This is off to the far righthand side of the resort.

High Altitude – One of the best perks about Val Thorens is its high altitude. Situated at 2300m it’s the highest resort in the French Alps. And with that comes two things. Firstly, snow. It’s considered a snow-sure resort because it is situated so high, it often doesn’t struggle with snow the way some lower resorts do. But also, it means a longer season. So if you’re looking for an early Dec getaway or want to come out into early May – you can do that in Val Thorens.

Budget-friendly – Val Thorens is an affordable resort, which is why it tends to draw in loads of uni groups and a younger crowd. However, quieter villages further down the mountain have more authentic french alps charm if that is something you’re after.

Festivals and events galore – Of the whole Three Valleys, Val Thorens is host to the most events and festivals. Elctro festival Festi Val Tho runs during the end of March, a bike race Trois Vallees Addict Tour is here and the resort is also often host to the Tour de France.

Check out See Val Thorens website for everything you want to know about the valley.

But we love La Tania the most

We might be biased, but we love La Tania. It gives you all that Courchevel has to offer and it’s just 2 lifts away from accessing Meribel. Along with that it offers you great access to the entire 3V scene at a more reasonable price than the centre villages.

Think a Three Valleys ski holiday might be on the cards for you? Check out our ski chalets in La Tania or get in touch for more info.

6 Top Tips for Skiing Half-Term

With half-term upon us, the slopes are about to be filled with loads of little ones. Family ski time is amazing and a great experience that you can all share, and we want to make sure you make the most of your holiday time. So here are a few tips to help make skiing half-term as smooth as possible.

1. Ski over lunch

Depending on the age of your children and the time of your lessons this may or may not be feasible. However, it’s a great way to make the most of the quietest time of day on the slopes. Opt for either an early lunch around 11:00 or a late one after 14:00…or both! The window from 12:00 – 14:00 will be when most people are taking a break to grab some grub. If you can make snacks & meals work around this time slot, it’s worth it.

2. Stay safe on the piste

Ski safety is also a valid concern when there are lots of little ones whizzing around. Here are a few top tips to keep in mind:

  • Always stop to the far side of the piste, specifically on a high point. If you stop just under a drop in the slope, people skiing down won’t be able to see you.
  • Look around when crossing an intersection as skiers are coming from all directions.
  • Take care on chair lifts with little ones. Sit next to them and help them get on and off the chair.

3. Make sure your kids are dressed properly

This will make their days on the slopes more enjoyable, and thus YOUR days on the slopes more enjoyable. Ensuring their boots are completely dry each evening, double-checking that they don’t have any lumps in their socks, and using a balaclava to keep their whole head warm are just a few top tips from a local mum. Check out this guide on how to dress your child for skiing – from head to toe.

4. Beat the half-term morning rush (yep it’s possible)

If you can manage to get up and out the door early, you can beat the lift queue rush. Essentially, get there before they open so you’re ready and waiting. This means being prepared in the morning – see point 5!

Everyone will be meeting up for their lessons starting from 9:00 – 9:30. And by the time the entire group arrives, everyone is checked in and ready to go, they will be getting to the lift queues a bit later. So those lifts opening at 9:00 will get their rush between 9:15 – 9:30. Try to beat it and get up and out on the hill quicker.

la tania kid friendly ski holiday

5. Be prepared!

This might be an obvious one but it makes a big difference. Organise your clothing the night before. Set out all the kids’ kit in advance. Know your skis and boots are ready to go. Pack your rucksack in the evening. And have a plan for the day! The more prepared you are, the less time you’ll waste in the morning and hopefully the more relaxed you will feel.

Also, prepare as many other aspects of your week as possible – such as making dinner reservations well in advance.

6. Ski the ‘outskirts’ of resort

If you want to escape the crowds and find some empty pistes, our best recommendation is to ski to the outskirts of resort. For example, head over to the far end of 1650. Or ski down into Meribel Village where there is less cross-traffic, or up to the tip-top of Mont Vallon in Mottaret. All of these ‘outskirts’ of resort will have much less through traffic, and also can take longer to get to, so you’re bound to find some quieter slopes. Plus you can make a little adventure out of it!

Cheers to a fab time skiing half-term this year!