- 22 Resorts
- Consistent Snow
- Diverse destinations
- Resorts open before those of many other states
- Home to Vail, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain
Val Thorens: the highest ski resort in Europe is hard to beat for snow fans. At 2,300m, it has one of the longest ski seasons. It is situated at the head of the 3 Valleys – the largest ski area in the world. It has 100 percent ski-in ski-out accommodation with unbeatable skiing: powdery fields, perfectly groomed slopes – 600km of runs and snow guaranteed right through the season. The ski facilities are cutting-edge, with high-tech ski lifts that take you right up to the highest peaks with views over more than 1,000 mountaintops. The village atmosphere is informal and friendly for après ski with a wide variety of restaurants, clubs and a stack of other activities and it is car-free.
Val Thorens (2,300m) is the highest ski resort in Europe. It also belongs to the largest lift-linked ski area in the world: the 3 Vallées (600km). The construction of the resort was inspired by gold medal skier Christine Goitschel and her husband, national team trainer, Jean Béranger in the 1970s. Val Thorens was a pioneer in the use of helicopter construction techniques.
The ski area is 99 percent located above 2,000 metres, the 'glide' quality is exceptional in this mountain amphitheatre which forms a playground adapted to all levels and styles. Good snow conditions are almost guaranteed November to May.
The Val Thorens/Orelle local ski area offers 150 kilometres of slopes - 78 pistes (11 green, 29 blue, 30 red and eight black). But more than just statistics the scenery is breathtaking: 32 fast, modern ski lifts, mean you spend more time on the slopes. The choice of itineraries on groomed slopes or off-piste are simply vast.
Heavy investment in state of the art lift equipment means queuing is kept to a minimum. The newest version of the twin cable super wind resistant Funitel de Thorens, which features two trains and two gondolas carrying up to 33 people in each, (a passenger flow of 1500 people per hour) now enables passengers to climb from the summit of the Portette chairlift (2,795m) to the col du Bouchet (3,000m) in less than two minutes. From here, skiers and boarders can take either the new Asters red run or the new Chocard blue run.
The excellent snow quality make certain slopes a must for experienced skiers: Col, Mauriennaise, Col de l'Audzin, le Blanchot and Tétras. The more skilled can discover the red and black slopes of la Combe de Caron, la Combe de Rosaël and Boismint, in the larger 3 Vallées ski area. Moguls enthusiasts will enjoy the Cascades slope. Eight black and 30 red slopes offer a lot of snow adventure as well as many easily accessible off-piste possibilities to make the most of your stay. Val Thorens is now an official training site for the French Ski Team.
Groomers and Family
In the heart of the domain there is a large area of easy skiing, equipped with four roof-covered magic carpets and free for beginners, allowing a gradual learning curve. Explore a wider area and take in the scenery at your own pace, there is a special ski pass for beginners to access eight ski lifts serving the easiest slopes - 50 percent off normal price. There are 11 green and 29 blue slopes of which the majority are perfectly groomed. Some start on the mountain tops such as the Tête Ronde.
The Junior Area is dedicated to young skiers - this one-kilometre-long slope '2 Lacs sector' is a challenge with riddles, to get to know mountain animals (marmots, ibex, blanchots etc).
There are many apres-ski activities to keep everyone amused including a complete range of toboggan runs starting with a free, safe and secure "baby fun" tobogganing area in the Place Caron at the middle of the resort for two year olds. For the over 10s, there is the longest toboggan run in France with a departure point at 3,000m, six kilometres in length, with a 700-metre-vertical and a 45-minute descent. Free for children between the ages of 5 and 10 that ride with their parents.
The Fun Park at the sports centre features trampolines, a bouncy castle, swimming pool . . . more than 600 square metres just for children.
The Snowpark (the Plateau sector) - 90 000 m² area divided in four zones: beginners, intermediate, expert and a Jump'Air (shock absorbing stunt man's mattress). There are different modules: whoops, wall ride, tables, handrails.
The Boardercross (in the 2 Lacs sector) offers skiers and snowboarders the complete range thrills and spills. The Ski Cross Europe & French Cup and the Snowboard Cross French Cup is held there regularly.
The Yannick Richard Stadium Slalom is currently organising slalom and giant slalom competitions after complete renovation and extension works.
Auberge des Balcons offers a generous buffet breakfast based on French tradition and mountain specialties. Take your time enjoying good food and the panoramic view on the slopes from the inside or on the sunny terrace. Direct access to the pistes. Contact: email@example.com or +33(0)479-009-191.
Delices Cafe: Simple and delicious cuisine known for its excellent pancakes. Enjoy your hot chocolate in the center of the station just at the departure point of the slopes. Contact: +33(0)479-011-568
Aiguilles de Peclet at 3000 metres proposes homemade traditional cuisine with Savoy specialties like beaufort tart, tartiflette and fondue. A typical lunchtime meal might be Savoyard hotpot, diots with a polenta and beaufort mousse. Even non-skiers can enjoy a good meal by taking the Funitel de Péclet (eight minutes away), admire the mountain views on the way. Contact: Tel:+33(0)479-000-376
Face West Cafe has easy access for both skiers and walkers, a beautiful, south-facing terrace and panoramic views at any hour of the day. Try the succulent pizzas, grilled meat, club sandwiches and delicious homemade pastries on offer. Warm mountain atmosphere and interesting modern design. Contact: Hendrik Van Heek +33(0)479-000-594
Oxalys (2,300m) is the highest (two) starred Michelin restaurant in Europe under élite chef Jean Sulpice. Maximum freshness, maximum flavour savoured on uncovered walnut wood tables from original and contemporary earthenware plates. Relaxed atmosphere, very attentive service, panoramic views of the mountain. Lightness, freshness, a taste for adventure . . . putting mountain herbs back in vogue - meadowsweet, gentian, burnet, berse, calament, and beautiful wild sorrel, known as oxalys in French. The Oxalys can be reached on skis or even on foot to enjoy a unique culinary experience. Contact: Jean Sulpice firstname.lastname@example.org; +33(0)479-001-200
Epicurien is a very unusual restaurant offering flavours from five continents. Jérémy Gillon, the passionate gourmet chef features a fine modern cuisine. Great emphasis on using the best seasonal products, selected from small producers. An intimate atmosphere and excellent service for an exceptional experience in the mountains. Contact: email@example.com + 33(0)479-002-130
Steak Club boldly mixes French cuisine based on grilled meats and Asian flavours such as Thai curry prawns but respects the harmony and quality of its creations. The Steak Club is a comfortable place where you enjoy your dinner in cosy, elegant and modern interiors. Some evenings jazz musicians offer a lively performance. Contact: tel. + 33(0)479-013-119
Pizz'Burger is a good option for a cheap night out when your credit card needs a break. This fastfood burger-pizza joint is relaxed and fun. There is free internet and a big screen to watch sporting happenings. You will find it in La Gallerei Caron. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org +33(0)479-010-421
From 3 p.m, the slopeside open-air club The Folie Douce enjoys a party atmosphere with DJ, show and very cold drinks! Its south-facing aspect means holidaymakers can have fun under the sun. Lounge décor by Starck. Contact: +33(0)633-680-934
Mongolian Yurt has been erected by The Chalet de la Marine at 2,500m on the Dalles blue run. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening the chalet offers an exceptional evening for holidaymakers seeking a brand-new experience. In a cosy, warm and authentic area you can sample Mongolian dishes (ragout, deep-fried dumplings, salted milk tea) prepared by the chefs and dropped off on the antique stove just before the partygoers arrive. A breathtaking view of the twinkling lights of the resort. Accessible on skis via the Cascade chair lift last ascent between 5-5.30 p.m) or on snowshoes (accompanied by a ski guide).Torch-light descent also possible. Contact: Chalet de la Marine: email@example.com, +33 (0)479-000-186
Le Pandora is in the heart of the resort. This bar/restaurant has a magnificent panoramic view of the Aiguilles de Péclet, Cime Caron and Masse. Its cosy terrace gets a lot of sun until sunset. With its dominant red and gold colors and lounge atmosphere, this 3-floors place is open from 10am to 2am and proposes: pleasant lunch on the cosy terrace's sofas; after skiing relax inside or outside animated by a DJ. Contact: Jonathan Tranquille (it's his real name!) +33(0)669-045-935
Mountain bike on snow. Starting at 3,000 metres, hurtle down "Tête Ronde" blue slope: a vertical of 700 metres and length of six kilometres. This is available for experienced mountain bikers on three nights every week (Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays).
Ice driving on the Alain Prost circuit is normally reserved for Trophée Andros racing drivers, but the Ice Driving Academy offers initial training and a first drive in a Renault Clio RS, Renault Mégane Sport, Cross car or Mitsubishi Lancers under the supervision of well-known drivers. The Alain Prost ice circuit, the highest in Europe, 980 metres in lenth, hosts the first Trophée Andros event at the beginning of December every year.
Visit the Cime Caron summit (3,200m) for the most beautiful view of the Alps. It offers a memorable panoramic 360° view over more than 1,000 French, Italian and Swiss Alps summits. On the peak, it is possible to have lunch in the sun and relax, and thanks to the special map you will be able to identify the Mont Blanc, and all the great peaks.
Major events in Val Thorens:
December: Trophée Andros and the SFR Freeskiing Tour
Feburary: Ski Cross European Cup
March: Slopestyle Snowboard European Cup
mi Snow Making