An alpine resort in France, The Three Valleys is the world’s largest ski area. Just as the name indicates, it spreads out between the three valleys: Des Allues (Meribel), St. Bon (La Tania, Courchevel) and Belleville (Val Thorens, St. Martin de Belleville, Les Menuires). The region is situated in southeastern France, in the department of Savoie, and covers an area of 10,000 ha.
It all started in the 80’s, when modern cables – modelled on cobwebs – stretched out between Val Thorens station and neighbouring valleys – Meribel and Courchevel. From then on, the whole bunches of snow sports enthusiasts began to flow in, and it lasts till now. Almost 300 ski runs with a total length of 600 km, and over 200 ski lifts and cables are waiting for them. Every day you have a chance to conquer another slope, and surely you will be satisfied with the selection of attractions. Everyone will find something suitable – both beginning skiers slowly learn how to ride while admiring beautiful surroundings, as well as professionals, fond of extreme riding. The other ones can check out the toughest downhills in Europe, for example “Masse” in Les Menuires, “Coloirs de la Saulire” in Courchevel, or “Bouquetin” in Meribel – Mottaret, while the beginners can ride with no pressure on less frequented ski runs between Les Menuires and Saint Martin de Belleville (chair lifts La Becca, Les Granges or Saint Martin).
The phenomenon of the resort’s popularity is easy to understand- two impressive glaciers , de Cheviere (3210 m.a.s.l.) and de Peclet (3300 m.a.s.l.), majestic mountains, sunny weather along with mild climate, and what is more, perfectly organized infrastructure and uniquely practical connections between stations. Important thing to know – by buying a ski pass you have the access to the whole ski area. Approximate prices of ski passes: adults – 300 euro/7 days, kids – 240 euro/7days, weekly pass for the group (3 people or more) 282,70 euro/person. The group pass for the whole season costs 1115 euro/person, and with this option you get a discount for other attractions. Introduction of contactless ticket readers, called “Mains Libres” (free hands) around the whole ski area is a great convenience.
The Three Valleys in one camper
You can get to The Three Valleys by a camper. One of the possibilities for an overnight stay in such accommodation would be a dedicated car park for camping vehicles in the very centre of Val Thorens, located right near the ski slopes. This complex provides us with all the facilities we need – toilets, electricity access, ability to empty the chemical toilet of fill the tank with clear water. Weekly cost of this kind of accommodation during the season 2012/2013 is 122,5 euro/vehicle. You can make a reservation online at http://www.valthoparc.com.
Another place similar, however less expensive than Val Thorens, is a parking space in Preyerand, Les Menuires. The costs of parking during the season 2012/2013 is 10euro/day/vehicle. With extra charge you can get the access to the electricity or facilities enabling you to empty the toilet. Just like in Val Thorens, the location is perfect – the place is situated right near the ski slopes, shops and restaurants. For more information you can visit the site: http://en.lesmenuires.com/winter/camper-park-202.htm.
Apart from the ski runs that are obviously great, each of the Three Valleys ski resorts attracts tourist with something different. For example, there is a Sport Centre in Les Menuires with a fun park for the youngest. The adults can fly a motor glider, ride a quad bike on a safe track, or try a dogsled. The guests are also encouraged to use Aquaclub Spa with saunas, swimming pool, jacuzzi, relaxation solarium and water gymnastics. Those, who are willing to experience something from cultural, or spiritual field can visit Sanctuary Notre Dame de la Vie and the Church of Saint Martin de Belleville, or go to a musical meeting in Belleville Valley, where they can listen to chorals, gospel or Celtic music.
Another station, Courchevel, is reportedly the most renowned among all of the alpine ski resorts. Those, who fancy very comfortable conditions, both in hotels, as well as on the slopes, make a stop right in Courchevel. Heated seats, ski runs monitoring and modern snowmaking systems will fulfil their expectations. The adherents of freeriding will surely choose the highest station of the region, Val Thorens (2300 m.a.s.l.). There you have the unlimited possibilities to do crazy things snowboarding or skiing down the slope, or at the SnowPark, equipped with halfpipe and bordercross track (1,5km).
What attracts people in Meribel, is its unique traditional wooden architecture. You won’t find there hotel complexes that are modern on severe. Your body and spirit can indulge in station with thermal water, Brides les Bains. This place is visited every year by health resorts residents, and skiers rest here after the day spent on the slope. In this beautiful mountain town you can relax all year long, and the famous ski lift “Olympe” enables you to get to all of the Three Valleys ski runs.
Three valleys, lots of ski runs, great view – the place perfect not only for winter craziness.