The highest resort in the excellent Trois Vallee ski area, Val Thorens is situated on a glacier and has one of the best snow records in Europe. The skiing here is exemplary: pistes are varied, snow conditions are excellent and piste maintenance is second-to-none. The only drawback to the resort is that due to its altitude temperatures can be colder here than adjacent Meribel (with its south-facing slopes) and Courchevel. However, early or late in the season, or when snow can’t be found elsewhere, Val Thorens is the place to come.
The resort itself is less attractive, and slightly less lively than its closest neighbour Meribel. Though fewer British tourists book flights to Val Thorens – perhaps because of the smaller amount of traditional wooden chalets – this is nonetheless one of the top destinations in France, if not Europe. At 2,300m it is the highest resort to be found in Europe and as it is purpose-built, almost all chalets and hotels have ski-to-the-door accessibility. Skiers wanting to enjoy its slopes sometimes stay in Meribel, or even Courchevel as it is possible to get between the three resorts and home again for supper within a day’s skiing. Val Thorens is best suited to more advanced skiers: its range of red and black runs is extensive as is the off-piste. On a clear day, the view from the top of the highest lift stretches out for miles, across a range of snow-covered mountains. Even without the fantastic ski to the bottom, this sight alone can be worth the Val Thorens flight.
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- The highest ski resort in the Alps, Val Thorens has almost-guaranteed snow, and with a glacier under part of its pistes you can often even ski in summer. There is a total of 68 pistes, with lots on offer for all abilities, including eight black runs.If that’s not enough, you can ski direct to Meribel and on to Courchevel to enjoy the Trois Vallees.
- The custom-built resort is not one of the prettiest in the Alps, however, it does mean that almost every chalet and hotel enjoys skiing from the doorstep.
- The resort is car-free. If you’re planning on driving here be aware that you are only allowed to park outside your accommodation to unpack. After that you must leave your vehicle in an outdoor or a covered car park. And you’ll have to pay for the parking space.
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