- In a Nutshell
- Accommodation Options
- Plenty of snow
- Après ski
In a Nutshell
‘First lift, last orders’ is the only way to make the most of Val Thorens, with the largest array of bars and the exhilarating nightlife coming second only to the amazing 600km of jaw-dropping pisted runs. As part of the largest linked ski area in the world with a huge network of blue and green runs, it’s perfect for beginners as they can really make the most of the mountain. If you’re a pro then the copious parks, including the famous DC Park just over in Meribel, and the abundance of challenging black runs will keep you more than entertained. The lack of tree line runs is amply compensated for by the vast open powder fields and miles of off-piste just waiting to be tracked. We love Val Thorens and we’d like to share a few of our secrets with you about where to ski and what to do in the resort.
Plenty of snow
There are few ski areas in the world more snowsure than Val Thorens. As the highest ski resort in Europe with a glacier at the top and a massive snowmaking operation when needs must, snow is in no short supply.
So great is the snow cover that Val Thorens opens for almost six months of the year. Opening first in mid-November and one of the last resorts to close its lifts far later in May.
The majority of runs here are located over 2000m high – that means the top of some slopes in many other resorts don’t even reach the bottom of most slopes here!
Places to Stay
As far as accommodation is concerned Val Thorens really can provide something for everyone. The resort can offer luxury hotels, comfortable chalets with spa facilities, large apartments with bedrooms for all. Or at the other end of the spectrum there’s plenty of cheaper crash-pads perfect for those looking for a budget getaway. Slope-side access? Central location? Away from the noise of bars? Or even right on top of the bars? Whatever ticks your boxes this resort can do it all!
Best Bits of Val Thorens
Track the Moraine lift
Close to resort and easy to access this is the perfect place to warm up your legs and hone your technique! A collection of blue and red runs come down the mountain alongside each other, they’re a little more challenging than the greens and blues lower down in resort and with such a long descent you’ll have plenty of time to perfect your turns. If you already have the confidence to send it all the way to the bottom it’s a lot of fun to race your friends and clock the highest speeds you can, plus if conditions are good you can hop straight onto the Col chairlift to take you up to the Glacier. After flying down these runs a few times you’ll be more than ready for a pit stop at Wok Ski!
Pop over to Orelle
Val Thorens, Meribel and Courchevel may steal the limelight as the big names of this ski area but let’s spare a little thought for the lesser known “4th Valley” of Orelle. Easy to get to from Val Thorens by catching the Grand Fond lift and popping over the other side, you’ll find long cruising blues and reds taking you down towards Orelle. There are typically less people crowding the runs over on this side so enjoy the sense of peace and quiet for a little while. From Orelle you can catch a couple of lifts to take you up to the Sommet Des 3 Vallees, at 3230m it’s the highest point in Val Thorens making it the perfect point to grab a group picture. There are only red runs to take you back down so make sure you’re ready to test yourself, or if you’re a real thrill seeker maybe you fancy the peak-to-peak zip line that sends you across the valley.
Explore the full 3 Valleys
You could quite easily spend a whole week around the Val Thorens valley and not get bored, but don’t waste the opportunity to explore the full 600km on offer at the tips of your skis. As soon as you head over the edge from Val Thorens to Meribel you’ll spot the difference, at a lower height of 1450m you’ll notice the appearance of trees offering picturesque runs in and around the resort. you should push to get all the way over to Courchevel too and stop for a lovely piste side lunch, but make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get home before the lifts close.
As if one incredible après bar wasn’t enough this resort gives you two! You can choose between the table-strutting entertainers at La Folie Douce or the floor filling DJ’s of Bar 360, so nothing gets stale!