An introduction to Meribel
The Meribel Valley is the central of the world-famous Three Valleys. Because it's in the centre, it gives arguably the best access to the full range of world-class skiing which is right on your doorstep.
The skiing within this valley ranges from 1100m right up to 2950m, giving you almost two vertical kilometres 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.
It's easy to tell the difference and find your way around. But it's worth knowing the differences before you book. The closer you are to Meribel Centre, and its prized Chaudanne area of ski lifts, the more you can expect to pay for your chalet holiday.
Compare the Three Valleys to other ski areas...
History of Meribel
In the 1930's British skiers began to looked to France for their winter retreats. Austria had previously held the title as the number one destination for British skiers but this was no longer the case due to it's political alliance with Germany. A Britishman Peter Lindsay, with the help of French skier Emile Allais, set out to create a French ski resort. An untapped valley above the village of Les Allures with an ideal skiing altitude turned xout to be the perfect location. The area was populated with local farmers, many of whom Lindsay paid in order to obtain thier land. He later developed a property company to raise the finances needed to build the ski resort.
Between 1938 and 1941 Lindsay had overseen the installation of the first lift, above Les Allures, and the construction of the first hotels and chalets in the valley. World War 2 stalled Lindsay's plans but when peace returned he continued Meribel's development. Using world class architects Paul Grillo and Christian Durupt to ensure that every building in the resort maintained the traditional Savoyard look and feel.
Meribel's rejuvenation following it's hosting of the ice hockey and the women's alpine skiing events in the 1992 Winter Olympics and the keeping of it's traditional alpine aesthetics has meant that Meribel has continued to thrive as a ski holiday destination.