Guide to Belleville Valley

Skiing Meribel to Belleville Valley

Belleville Valley

The Belleville Valley is found to the west of Meribel. It is made up of a total of 22 villages, across three different resorts. The variety of skiing options, the world-class ski infrastructure and the ease of access to the rest of the 3 Valleys has seen the area become a must-visit for ski lovers. And, with a total of 245 marked pistes, along 160 km of stunning terrain, it doesn't take long to figure out why.

The three separate resorts that make up the Belleville Valley are Val Thorens, Les Menuires and Saint Martin de Belleville.

Val Thorens

​At a village altitude of 2300 m, Val Thorens is not only the highest altitude ski resort in the Three Valleys, it is also the highest in Europe. Offering breathtaking views of the whole Belleville Valley and easily accessible from Meribel and Les Menuires via cable car, it is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore further afield during their stay.

Located at the top of the Belleville Valley, in a snowy bowl, Val Thorens is known for ski-sure ski conditions and its spectacular variety of slopes. Advanced skiers will find plenty here to keep them entertained, but Val Thorens is probably most suited to confident intermediates.

The Val Thorens/Orelle ski area combined features 150 km of skiing, across 78 pistes (11 Green, 29 Blue, 30 Red and 8 Black), and a total of 31 ski lifts. Orelle is easily accessible from Val Thorens and, with some of its lifts reaching 2360m, skiing there is pretty much guaranteed from November to early May.​ Orelle is classed as being in the 4th 'unofficial' valley.

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Les Menuires

At 1850 m, Les Menuires is a purpose-built ski resort that is centered around the joy of skiing. With a huge variety of slopes, across two mountain faces, and the bonus of being a part of the Three Valleys' super-modern ski lift infrastructure, Les Menuires is staking its claim as one of the best resorts in the region.

Thanks to its altitude, one of its main draws is the quality of its ski conditions throughout the season. It is the ideal location for intermediate skiers and boarders to spend an entire day. Its west-facing slopes enjoy daylight into the late afternoon, but this also means that its slower slopes can get a bit soft. Its 160 km of slopes are made up of 12 green, 40 blue, 22 red and 8 black runs.

Les Menuires lacks the tradition and culture of some of its neighbouring resorts, and the architecture isn't the easiest on the eye. But, for a day of straight-up skiing bliss, it doesn't come much better. The easterly facing La Masse is the mountain that hosts the majority of the more challenging slopes and remains relatively crowd-free. The westerly facing La Chambre features mostly intermediate and beginners slopes and tends to be overcrowded during peak times.

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Saint Martin de Belleville

Lying at the bottom of the Belleville Valley, Saint Martin de Belleville is a traditional Savoyard village that has a friendly atmosphere, narrow streets and stunning chalets. As it stands at a lower altitude (1450 m), than some of the other resorts in the 3 Valleys, during warmer months of the season some 50% of its pistes are aided by snow machines.

The slopes of Saint Martin de Belleville are southerly facing and are kept in sunlight for most of the day. The skiing here is best suited to intermediates and beginners, but there is also a good deal of options for advanced skiers.

The 160 km of skiing in Saint Martin de Belleville is made up of 12 Green, 41 Blue, 24 Red and 8 Black. And 33 lifts. If you're looking for some higher altitude skiing, the resorts of Les Menuires and Val Thorens are also easily accessible from Saint Martin de Belleville.

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Quick Stats: Belleville Valley

  • 3230 m
  • 1825m
  • 160km
  • Longest Run 12km
  • Gondolas: 24
  • Chair Lifts: 44
  • 245 marked pistes
  • 24 Black pistes
  • 76 Red pistes
  • 110 Blue pistes
  • 35 Green pistes
  • Terrain Parks 4

Map of the area

Belleville Valley Piste Map

Click here to download the Les Menuires and St. Martin Piste map PDF

Click here to download the Val Thorens Piste map PDF

Belleville Valley Ski Season Opening Dates 2021 - 2022

Full Opening Dates

The lifts officially opened full-time for the season in the Belleville Valley on Saturday 4th December 2021.

Ski Season Finishes

Ski lifts in Belleville Valley close on Friday 22nd April 2022. Some lifts may close earlier, depending on snow conditions. As always, these dates are snow-dependent and are subject to change.

Ski Lift Times

Ski lifts across the Belleville Valley open around 09:00 each day (on average), throughout the season. Ski lifts across the Belleville Valley close around 17:00 (on average), depending on the lift and the time of year. It's always worth checking the exact times for each main lift at the lift stations.

A view of the Belleville Valley
Ski lift in the Belleville Valley
Snow covered pistes in the Belleville Valley
Ski lift station in Les Menuires
View of slopes in the Belleville Valley
Ski chalets in Les Menuires

Getting Here From Meribel

Val Thorens
From Meribel Centre to Val Thorens

The skiing in Val Thoren is best accessed from Meribel via Les Menuires. Once you reach Les Menuires village, it's just a matter of taking the Bruyeres ski lift to the top of Col de la Chambre (2850m).

Skiing from Col de la Chambre to Val Thorens

From the summit of Col de la Chambre, you'll be greeted with a huge selection of blues (Plein Sud and Pluviometre being the most popular), reds (taking the Mont de la Chambre blue connects you with the 4 Vents red, which in turn connects with the Alpage red), and blacks (Leo Lacroix, accessed from the D.Douillet red).

Les Menuires
From Meribel Centre to Tougnete

From La Chaudanne in Meribel Centre, take the Tougnete 1 and Tougnete 2 cable cars to the Tougnete top station (2437m).

Skiing from Tougnete to Les Menuires

At Tougnete, take the blue Gros Tougne run down, connecting with La Violette green, and from there into La Croisette, the main chairlift hub of Les Menuires as well as the location for the resorts restaurants, bars and shops. From La Croisette, you can attack the slopes of Pointe de la Masse (to the west) or head back up Mont de la Chambre (to the east).

Mont de la Chambre is an intermediate skiers' candy shop, with a great mix of blues and reds dovetailing down the mountainside. Perfect for mastering those finishing touches, these slopes are challenging yet forgivingly wide enough for any missteps. From Croisette, you can reach the top of Chambre's Les Menuires slopes by taking the Roc 1 cable car halfway up and connecting with the Roc 2 cable car. This will take you to the 3 Marches station, offering a massive choice of reds, blues and greens to bring you back into La Croisette.

Cable car from Tougnete to 3 Marches

Instead of heading into La Croisette from Tougnete, you can also take the quick top leg of Gros Tougne to the Granges chair lift. This will take you straight up to the 3 Marches station. (Check out our favourite runs on Mont de La Chambre here).

La Masse is less busy and is more suitable for experienced skiers. It is also a north-facing slope, so will usually have better conditions than La Chambre. You'll find three black runs, as well as numerous tricky reds and blues. Once you reach the hub of Croisette, you can take the new Pointe De La Masse cable car to reach the summit of La Masse (2804m). Or, you can get about halfway up via the Masse 1 cable car, and still have plenty of options. (Check out our favourite Les Menuires runs from Mont de La Masse side here).

Saint Martin de Belleville
From Meribel Centre to Tougnete

From La Chaudanne in Meribel Centre, take the Tougnete 1 and Tougnete 2 cable cars to the Tougnete top station (2437m).

At the top of the Tougnete station, you can catch the St Martin Express ski lift and connect with the St Martin cable car, which will bring you straight down into Saint Martin de Belleville. Or, you can take the St Martin Express halfway down, which connects you with Biolley and Loy blue runs.

Skiing from Tougnete to Saint Martin de Belleville

The top of Tougnete offers a number of blue runs. Jerusalem (which connects with the Biolley and Loy blue runs further down) and Gros Tougne (which connects with the Pelozet blue, and in turn, with Biolley and Loy) being the main two. At the start of Gros Tougne, you can connect with the Pramint red. This will also bring you to the halfway point of the St Martin Express. Here you can head back to the top, take the blue runs into the village or continue down on the second half of the express.

The Belleville Valley ski areas on Google Maps

You can see the major ski areas and also the top stations of all the major lifts. Please note that this only shows the "Local Area" ski areas covered by the local area ski pass.

Belleville Valley on Fatmap

For its great level of detail and interactive ability, we use Fatmap to check out a resort or valley before heading out. It's ideal for planning your day, and researching the best pistes and routes. Click here for the Belleville Valley on Fatmap.

Our Favourite Runs in the Belleville Valley

With a staggering 245 pistes, across 160 km, the Belleville Valley is in a league of its own when it comes to variety. While we've tackled the most popular runs, and loved them all, we've done our best to whittle this list down to our 12 favourites.

Green Pistes
La Violette
2 Combes
  • A nice and easy green run. Wide and straight enough to just flick on auto-pilot and take in the sights.
  • Connects off the Dalles blue, taking you into the heart of Val Thorens.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of 2 Combes
  • 1.3 km
Montagnette
  • This is a slightly more challenging green. Ideal for those thinking about making the move to blue.
  • Located at the foot of the Mont de la Chambre lift, above Les Menuires.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of Montagnette
  • 1.3 km
Blue Pistes
Pluviometre
Bouquetin
  • Bouquetin is a long and challenging blue, allowing beginners and intermediates a starting point down from the top of La Masse. Be sure to check out the viewing platform at the start.
  • Accessible from the summit of Pointe de la Masse.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of Bouquetin
  • 3.0 km
Jerusalem
  • An all-time favourite of ours, with a thrilling mix of steep drops and undulating rollers.
  • Located at the top of the Cherferie chairlift. Finishing above St. Martin.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of Jerusalem
  • 2.8 km
Red Pistes
Allamands
  • A nice cruisey red that offers several steep pitches and enough width to go at your own pace. Spectacular views throughout.
  • Located between the Roc 2 and Des Granges chairlifts, above Les Menuires.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of Allamands
  • 1.8 km
Col de L'audzin
  • Starting off from one of the highest points in the 3 Valleys (Cime Caron, 3200 m). A long, steeply pitched red that's not for the faint-hearted. Links straight onto the Gentiane green, and down towards the edge of Val Thorens.
  • Accessible via the Caron chairlift from Val Thorens.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of Col de L’audzin
  • 4.2 km
Fred Covili
  • Fred the Red is favourite off La Masse. Named after the French alpine skier who competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Grab a coffee or hot chocolate at the top, before embarking on this fun and enjoyable red.
  • Located at Pointe de la Masse (2804). Leads straight into the Enverses blue, and onto Les Menuires.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of Fred Covili
  • 2.4 km
Black Pistes
Combe de Caron
  • Starting from the summit of Cime de Caron (3195 m), Combe de Caron is a great steeply pitched black, with smoothly rising and falling terrain. Can be a little icy early in the morning.
  • Taking the Caron Cable Car to the summit. The Cime red loops back around to meet the Combe de Caron black.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of Combe de Caron
  • 2.2 km
Lac Noir
Combe Rosael
  • A super challenging but short black piste, and a gateway into the unofficial 4th valley of Orelle (above Val Thorens).
  • Found at the summit of Cime de Caron (3195 m) and running to the junction of the Gentianes blue and Mauriennaise red.
  • Click here to see a 3D map of Combe Rosael
  • 1.7 km
Where to Go

Like all snow areas, the weather in the Belleville Valley around the time of your visit will determine the quality of the skiing. Here we look at the best places to head in the Belleville Valley, depending on the snow conditions.

On Good Weather Days
  • If it's sunny, get as high up as possible. At least as far up as Les Menuires, but Val Thorens if needs be. The slopes in St Martin at 1450 m, run the risk of getting slushy even with the help of the snow machines.
On Bad Weather Days
  • If there's heavy rain or low visibility from fog, it's best to avoid the higher slopes of Val Thorens and Les Menuires. The safest option would be St Martin. Although the slopes here are best suited for intermediates and beginners, more advanced skiers will still find enough variation to fill the day.
With Poor Snow Conditions
  • Your best bet is high altitude here. Val Thorens and its neighbouring resort of Orelle are pretty much snow guaranteed throughout the ski season.
After a Recent Snow Dump
  • Arriving in Val Thorens after a recent snow dump is the stuff dreams are made of. If you make it there early enough in the morning, you'll be greeted with impeccably groomed pistes and powdered snowfields.

Where To Dine

The Belleville Valley has every dining option you might expect from a world-class ski area. From fine dining establishments, to grab-and-go Cafés, to match all budgets and time restraints.

  • Chez Pépé Nicolas Val Thorens
  • Nicely tucked away in the mountains and offering stunning views, Chez Pépé Nicolas is a popular Val Thorens eatery that won't break the bank.

  • +33 6 09 45 28 35
  • Google Map
  • Website
  • Le Fitz RoyVal Thorens
  • One of Val Thorens oldest restaurants, Le Fitz Roy is part of the hotel of the same name. Can be on the pricey side for food, but the bar makes a great spot for a mid-morning coffee.

  • +33 4 79 00 04 78
  • Google Map
  • Website
  • Il GustoVal Thorens
  • The ideal lunch break spot, Il Gusto is modern and reasonably priced... And delicious! Indoor and outdoor seating available, with burger, pizza and vegetarian options.

  • +33 4 79 08 00 93
  • Google Map
  • Website
  • L'EtoileLes Menuires
  • Overlooking the slopes of Les Menuires, L'Etoile is a small menu eatery that can be on the pricey side, but is oh so tasty. Indoor and outdoor seating available.

  • +33 4 79 00 75 58
  • Google Map
  • Website
  • Cafe SnackLes Menuires
  • Small, compact and no-frills. All the food is homemade (burgers, fries, breads and tarts!), and is simply divine. Super cheap and super cheerful!

  • +33 4 79 08 68 84
  • Google Map
  • Facebook page
  • La FromagerieLes Menuires
  • One that might be best suited towards the end of the day. Cheese galore! Raclette and fondue in massive portions, and soups and salad for those that like moving later in the day.

  • +33 6 49 10 17 11
  • Google Map
  • Website
  • La RissoleSaint Martin de Belleville
  • A homely and traditional French restaurant. A great option to nip in and out off, or relax and unwind. Serving delicious steaks, ramen and fondue.

  • +33 6 49 10 17 11
  • Google Map
  • Facebook page
  • Le MontagnardSaint Martin de Belleville
  • A mountain restaurant, nestled away but hugely popular. Pre-booking for larger groups is advisable. Delicious regional food and wines. Outdoor seating available.

  • +33 4 79 01 08 40
  • Google Map
  • Website
  • Le CorbeleysSaint Martin de Belleville
  • Another of Saint Martin's super popular mountain restaurants, so booking ahead is essential. Great atmosphere, delicious food and stunning views.

  • +33 4 79 08 95 31
  • Google Map
  • Website

Other useful resources