Understanding Meribel and the 3 Valleys
If you are new to this ski area then here is a little background to help you get your bearings.
Meribel and the 3 Valleys is a truly wonderful ski area: one of the best and most popular in the world. Here is our quick guide to the layout and what's what for your first time Skiing the 3 Valleys.
The 3 Valleys
The 3 Valleys is the name for the overall ski area, and Meribel is one resort within that area. The 3 Valleys (Les Trois Vallees) has 600kms of marked pistes, one of the largest ski areas in the world. The lift infrastructure is one of the best; 180 lifts including some of the most modern and fast lift systems found anywhere. The off-piste here too is world-famous with large and varied terrain and many guiding companies are based here.
Layout of the Valleys
There are 8 main resorts spread across 3 Valleys:
The Courchevel Valley has the Courchevel Resorts (Courchevel 1850, Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1550 and Courchevel Le Praz 1300) and La Tania.
The Meribel Valley is the central Valley, containing the Meribel Resorts (Meribel Mottaret 1750, Meribel 1450, Meribel Village 1400 and Meribel Les Allues 1100) and you also have Brides-Les-Bains right at the bottom of the valley at 600m (there's no skiing down there, but there is a bubble lift to bring you up to the ski area).
The Belleville Valley contains Val Thorens (the highest resort in Europe at 2300m), Les Menuires 1850 and St. Martin de Belleville 1400.
There is just a touch of a 4th Valley! You can ski over from Val Thorens into a section of a 4th Valley which has Orelle at its base.
Meribel and The Meribel Valley
We are located in Meribel. Being the central valley this is the ideal base from which to explore this great ski area. The skiing within this valley ranges from 1100m right up to 2950m, giving you almost two vertical kilometers in the one valley.
There are four different "Meribel" Resorts. This is very common through the French Alps, where you've a group of villages all close to each other that trade under the same main name, sometimes the only differentiation being an indicator of their altitude.
Meribel Centre (1450), where we are based, is the original Meribel Ski Resort. It's mostly a chalet and small hotel based resort. The main lift hub for this valley, La Chaudanne, is right in the centre of the village.
Meribel-Mottaret (1750) is up above us. It's mostly an apartment-based resort and is also an excellent lift hub for the valley.
Meribel Village (1400) is an off-shoot of the Meribel centre and is ski in with chair lift back out.
Meribel - Les Allues (1100) is a bit lower and has a bubble lift as its main access up to La Chaudanne (the lift hub in the Meribel Centre). There are two runs into Les Allues though often later in the season lots of people would take the bubble lift back down.
Page written by Phil Teare.
Meribel Webcams >>
Meribel Snow Forecast >>
The 3 Valleys
One of the largest ski areas in the world with one of the most advanced lift networks.
- 180 lifts
- 600 kms of marked pistes
- Skiing from 1100m to 3200m
The Meribel Valley
The Central Valley, Meribel is a sizeable ski area in its own right.
- 61 lifts
- 150 kms of marked pistes
- Skiing from 1100m to 2950m