In this guide to the best Three Valleys ski holidays in Meribel, we’ll introduce you to one of the most popular ski resorts in the Alps. Meribel is famed for its lively party scene and authentic chalets, and is part of the enormous ‘Les Trois Vallees’ (Three Valleys) ski area.
Best Three Valleys ski holidays
Meribel boasts a position in the very centre of the Three Valleys, which with 600 km of slopes is officially the biggest lift-linked ski area in the world. There are 328 pistes in total, featuring 55 green, 131 blue, 107 red and 35 black runs, plus plenty of off-piste opportunities.
From its central position, Méribel has great access to the seven other Three Valleys resorts of Courchevel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, La Tania, Brides-les-Bains, St Martin de Belleville and Orelle. Most can be reached within one lift from Meribel and most of the ski area can be reached within two lifts.
During the best Three Valleys ski holidays in Meribel you can ski from 1100m in Allues up to 3230m at Pont du Bouchet above Val Thorens. The Bouchet glacier here guarantees and early start and late end to the season, and with much of the ski area above 2000m it’s as snow-sure as they come.
Meribel ski slopes
With 150km of piste the Meribel ski area alone offers a lot to explore. With tree-lined runs, themed areas (including the dragon themed Altai trail) and around half the slopes for beginners and half for advanced, it has something for everyone from freeriders to freestylers to first timers.
The highest point of the Meribel ski area is Mont Vallon at 2,652m. Try the long, wide and snow sure Combe du vallon piste – one our favourite runs in the region. Another not to miss if you’re a high-level skier or snowboarder is the Face, a steep and often bumpy former Olympic downhill.
Meribel also boasts the excellent DC area 43 snowpark – which according to Redbull is one of the best in the Alps. With zones for everyone from rookies to pro’s, it is well stocked with kickers, rails, boxes and interesting features. There is also a large half pipe. Its all accessed via a fast Chatelet chair so you can lap it all day.
Ski holidays in Meribel: The town
Meribel is divided into five different areas connected by lifts and shuttle buses.
Meribel Centre is the biggest and busiest, home to the tourist office, Spar supermarkets, a cinema and the Olympic Park sports centre (which has a swimming pool, climbing wall, ice rink, and bowling area). It’s the main ski base, with a number of hire shops, ski schools and lifts around Chaudanne.
Just above the main area is Meribel Les Hauts, which is surrounded by forest at the foot of the pistes. Next to this is ski-in/ski-out Meribel Mottaret, which is a purpose-built hamlet with chalet-style apartments.
Beneath the centre, the newest addition to the group is Meribel Village. A smaller and quieter area with converted farmhouses and classic Savoyard architecture. Les Allues is the valley’s administrative centre and one of the original hamlets, with cable car links to the resort centre.
Ski holidays in Meribel: Food and Drink
In Meribel Centre there’s an impressive range of restaurants serving regional cuisine (e.g. fondue and raclette etc). There is also a good range of international food including pizzas, tapas, burgers, steaks, mezze and more. Prices range from eye wateringly expensive to bargain basement (by ski resort standards).
The centre is also the hub of Meribel’s brilliant bars and nightclubs, which form one of the liveliest après ski scenes in the Alps. Le Rond Point is a local institution, drawing in crowds as the lifts start to close, and the partying continues into the wee hours.
The Folie Douce is part of the reason the best Three Valleys ski holidays are in Meribel. The party here starts on the slopes around 2:30 and the banging beat draws in the revellers. The piste-side party continues to around 5pm when everyone skis down – or takes the lift – back to Meribel.
In town there are plenty of bars to keep the party going, although many people head back to their catered chalets for dinner and appear in town again later. Venues like Les Saint Peres, Le Loft and O’Sullivans have DJ sets and dancing until around 5am.
Ski holidays in Meribel: Accommodation
Each of the areas has its own accommodation with apartments and hotels of different ratings. But the thing Méribel really specialises in is the ‘much loved by us Brits’ catered chalets.
There are all sorts of buildings, ranging from simple alpine homes to amazingly luxurious abodes with private swimming pools and wellness centres. Typically, breakfast, tea and cake in the afternoon and an evening meal with wine are provided on 6 days, with one day being the chalet hosts day off.
Many of the chalets here used to be barns and farm buildings. Strict local rules insist that any new chalets must be built using the same Savoyard materials of wood, stone and slate – which gives Meribel a very traditional, authentic feel.
Nearly all of the British tour operators have chalets in Meribel – whether it’s just one or dozens. To keep trawling multiple websites to a minimum instead search the lot on one of the big ski travel agents like Sno.
Is the best Three Valleys ski holidays in Meribel?
As the largest lift linked area, the Three Valleys is undoubtedly one of the greatest ski destinations on the planet. It offers something for all styles or ability of skier and snowboarder and has a range of resorts catering to different types of visitors.
Based in the centre of this huge area, Meribel has all the factors to make it the best Three Valleys ski holidays destination. For those who like to party, or who love catered chalets in a lively town it is very hard to beat.
Locally there is loads of terrain for all levels of skier and snowboarder and accommodation whatever your budget. We’d happily ski here every season – and know a lot of people who do because they always have an excellent time.
To find out more about Meribel check out the resort website: www.meribel.net