The Three Valleys, or Les Trois Vallées, are an area of mountains that include seven resorts (eight if you count La Tania). The actual valleys themselves are called Saint Bon, Allues, and Belleville. Through gradual expansion of the ski lift network, there is now a fourth valley called Maurienne that is also part of Les Trois Vallées crowd.
How Big Is the 3 Valleys Ski Area?
The resorts, each with their own unique style, are all connected via an intricate network of ski lifts and pistes. The network was established in 1973 and has since made Les Trois Vallées the largest ski area in the world. There are 370 miles (600km) of slopes (although this figure has been challenged), and some 75 miles (120km) of off-piste skiing.
Some 183 ski lifts transport over 250,000 people per hour up the mountains. Madness.
What Resorts Make Up the Three Valleys?
We’ve picked out our favourite highlights for each resort that we think are worth checking out if you’re visiting the Three Valleys on your next ski vacay. You can get a Three Valleys ski pass that covers all eight resorts. Either purchase your pass directly from the Three Valleys website, or add them to your trip when you book with WeSki.
Ski Passes for the Three Valleys 2019/2020 Season
There are several different Three Valleys ski passes available, one for each part of the season. If you plan to head out in the first two weeks of the season, from the 7th to 20th December 2019, rates start from €50 per adult for one day and increase to around €290 per adult for seven days. Rates are slightly more expensive for that second week. Check out the price list for more info.
From 21st December 2019 to 10th April 2020, prices increase to €63 per adult for one day, €312 for 6 days, and €1336 for the season. Pedestrians can also get lift passes for €25 for a day and €76 for 6 days. Check the price list for more details.
Prices drop for the last week of the season. From the 11th to 26th April 2020, adults can enjoy a day’s ski pass at €57 and six days at €280.
Throughout the season there are discounts for children aged up to 13 and seniors aged 65 to 75. Duo, triple, and family groups can also save on a six or seven-day Trois Vallées ski pass.
Three Valleys Piste Maps
For a comprehensive piste map, check out this interactive 3D wonder. Individual piste maps can also be found at each resort website:
Brides les Bains
Brides les Bains is considered one of the best value resorts partly due to its great accommodation options. Notable features of the resort include the Grand Spa Thermal, the Brideski Gourmet, and the casino.
An incredible spa offering a full range of treatments, the Grand Spa Thermal consists of 2100m² of relaxation. Using the Brides thermal spring water, treatments cover wellness, beauty, and slimming. The spring water is famed for having diuretic properties and improving circulation.
Brideski Gourmet allows you to enjoy a fancy lunch at one of three superb restaurants for just €55, although that price excludes drinks. Dine out at two-Michelin-star restaurant Le Chabichou, situated in Courchevel. Or, head to Le Farçon in La Tania, Courchevel, which received its Michelin star in 2006. Finally, Restaurant Azimut, also boasting a Michelin star and located in Courchevel Le Praz, offers some incredible dishes. If you’re up for a night of black jack, poker, or roulette, head to the Brides les Bains Casino for your kicks.
This resort is ideal for beginners, as over 60% of their slopes are graded blue. The resort is quite large, with 53 lifts, and 77 pistes. There are also 21 miles of cross country terrain and two terrain parks for snowboarders. The season starts on the 13th December 2019 and will close on the 17th April 2020.
Nestled amongst forests is a gorgeous little collection of six ski villages. Meet Courchevel. This pedestrianised resort offers a truly fabulous ski-in ski-out experience. Free shuttle buses link the six villages and each village has its own distinct character, and the architecture is a mix of stone and wood.
Architecture and aviation enthusiasts can discover Courchevel’s Altiport, which sits at 2,007m and sees 6,000 flights each winter. Opened in 1961, this airport has an upslope runway with the steepest gradient in the world at 18.66%. You needn’t be an expert skier to be able to view the Altiport, and the trip is definitely worth it as the views are stunning and watching a plane use the runway is a jaw-dropping moment.
If you’re skiing in Courchevel, you can expect panoramic views and a great variety of terrain. There are high altitudes, large forests, and sprawling open spaces, and the skiing experience is constantly being improved through expert management of slope conditions.
Michelin-star Eateries in Courchevel
Courchevel is famed for its gastronomy scene, touting world-class chefs and frankly incredible restaurants. There are several Michelin starred restaurants including Chef Yannick Alléno’s Le 1947 restaurant at the Cheval Blanc five-star hotel. Chef Jean-Rémi Caillon at Le Kintessence and Chef Gatien Demczyna at Le Montgomerie at the K2 Altitude five-star hotel, and Chef Michel Rochedy at Le Chabichou restaurant hold two stars. If you ever run out of Michelin rated places to eat, there are plenty more establishments to be found across the Three Valleys. Check out our review of the Michelin-starred restaurants in Val Thorens.
Non-Ski Activities in Courchevel
If you’re not big on fancy food, there’s plenty more that Courchevel has to offer. La Saulire is the highest point that you can ski in the resort, sitting at 2,738m. Enjoy stunning panoramas with Mont Blanc and La Grande Casse standing majestically in the background.
Adrenaline junkies can practice their jumps on the big air bag at the Family Park, which also offers tables, rails, and moguls. Alternatively, you can whizz down the 2.5km toboggan run. There are also four ski jumps at La Praz, used in the 1992 Olympics, ranging from 25m, 60m, 90m, and 120m in height.
For a different kind of heart-stopping action, snowshoe to the Lac de La Rosière and take in the views. Courchevel opens on the 7th December 2019 and closes on the 26th April 2020. Book your next trip to Courchevel with WeSki.
Like Méribel, Les Menuires is a ski resort that boasts 360° panoramic views of the Alps. Take in the view of Point de la Masse and Sommet du Mont de la Chambre when you visit. The resort has a distinctly welcoming feel to it; locals are proud of their roots and passionate about sharing their love of the moutains.
With remarkably good off-piste ski and 160km of groomed slopes, Les Menuires has a lot going for it. There’s also the Walibi Gliss and BK Park to try out, as well as typical ski resort activities like mountain biking, torch-lit descents, and the Roc’n Bob tobogganing. Husky sledding and snow-sculpting workshops are great fun, and there are also plenty of good spas, bars, and restaurants to enjoy.
Les Menuires is very popular with families, catering for children as little as three months old in the two ‘Piou-Piou’ villages. Adorable. Children under five ski for free as no ski pass charge applies, and there’s a Mini LK fun park too.
The resort opens from 7th December 2019 and closes on 26th April 2020. Create and book your trip online with WeSki now.
At the heart of the Three Valleys is Méribel. It sits at a crossroads of the other resorts of Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens, Courchevel, La Tania, Brides-les-Bains, and Orelle.
Méribel’s powdery panoramic qualities attract skiers and snowboarders of all levels from around the world. With six glaciers protruding out of 15 summits, the scenery is simple jaw-dropping. Take in 360° views at the top of Roc de Fer and you’ll be able to spot the Grande Casse, the Dent de Burgin, the Pierra Menta, the Ecrins, Aiguilles d’Arves, and, of course, Mont Blanc. Head to the highest point in Méribel, Mont Vallon at 2,592m, for more panoramic views of Gébrolaz glacier and Grand Casse.
Skiers can enjoy off-piste wonders or scoot down 300 beautifully maintained slopes. Zoom down Mission Black Forest, a 3.4km toboggan run, or head to the interactive Yéti Park for slalom races and general fun and games. Those looking to practice their freestyle can head to DC Area 43. Little boxes and bumps help newbies build their confidence, whilst seasoned freestylers can enjoy kickers, rails, and larger airs.
Within Méribel’s village, you can find cosy traditional lodgings, including chalets, hotels, and some lovely spas. Dine out at the resort’s very own Michelin-starred restaurant, L’Ekrin run by Chef Laurent Azoulay.
Méribel opens on the 7th December and closes on the 26th April 2020. Bookings for the season have already begun. Book with WeSki now.
In the heart of Maurienne valley sits Orelle, one of the less known resorts, but which has perhaps the easiest access to the Three Valleys network and nearby Val Thorens. The resort is a charming little village with a traditional feel. Expect to find stone hamlets with gorgeous slate roofs.
Orelle is indeed the gateway into the Three Valleys, and as such there are three ski passes to choose from; Orelle/Val Thorens, Orelle/3 Valleys, and Orelle/Vallée des Bellevilles. To access the ski area, take a 15 minute gondola ride up the mountain and soak in the views.
The highest zip wire in Europe belongs half to Orelle and half to Valtho. Soar for nearly two minutes from the Bouchet chairlift over into Val Thorens.
Orelle’s ski season runs from the 30th November 2019 to the 3rd May 2020.
Saint Martin de Belleville
If you’re visiting Saint Martin de Belleville this season, you will find yourself in nothing less than an authentic Savoyard village. This resort hasn’t strayed far from its roots and the atmosphere is charming. Wander down the narrow streets and you’ll soon discover the clock tower. Marvel at the old stone farms and wooden barns with vaulted ceilings. One of the farms hosts a museum that reflects upon 200 years of the local history. Saint Martin de Belleville also offers Nordic dog sledding and hosts many music events in the local church throughout winter.
The resort is home to the restaurant La Bouitte which is run by a father and son team. Chefs René and Maxime Meilleur have run the show since 1996. La Bouitte was the first Savoyard restaurant to gain three stars from Michelin.
The winter season starts on the 14th December 2019 and ends on the 17th April 2020.
Perhaps the most popular resort within the Three Valleys, and arguably our favourite because we just can’t stop writing about it, is Val Thorens. From spectacular pistes to fabulous non-ski activities, Valtho is a resort that really has it all. Sitting at 2,300m, this resort is typically considered snow sure. The resort is semi-pedestrianised and jammed full of great restaurants, from Michelin-starred and fine dining establishments through to great mid-range eateries. The après-ski scene is pretty lively too.
Take a ride up in a panoramic Caron cable car to view Cime de Caron in all its glory. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the many summits of the Swiss, French, and Italian Alps.
Enjoy the snow park, try husky sledding, ice diving, or have a go on the Cosmojet toboggan run. The world famous Val Thorens Ice Driving school offers up great experiences too.
The Val Thorens season kicks off on the 23rd of November 2019 and closes on the 3rd May 2020. Find out more about trips to Val Thorens next season.
Visit Les Trois Vallées This Season
With seven resorts to choose from, all of which connect to the largest ski area in the world, Les 3 Valleys is a very safe bet for some good snow and great fun. Cheap ski deals are already flying off the shelves and we think we’ve got some pretty good trips on offer too.
WeSki is an online travel company that helps you quickly and easily create your ski trip for solo or group travel. Put together your own personalised ski package with flights, accommodation, transfers, gear, luggage, and lessons planned and booked all in one place. Bookings for the 2019/2020 are open! Visit our website to learn more.