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.