Educational ski trip to Val Thorens
During our recent educational trip, I was very impressed with the ski resort of Val Thorens in France. This is a great all-round resort with something for everybody. It is an animated resort with lots to do as well as brilliant skiing.
I am an intermediate skier and managed to ski one morning with a private ESF ski school instructor, it was amazing! The sun was shining and the snow was perfect! Even though it was late in the season it was no problem due to the height of the resort. There are some great green runs which are gentle and wide - perfect to start on to get your confidence back up if you haven't skied for a while (like myself!). The beginner section of the resort is perfect, large and wide. There are loads of blue runs, some slightly harder than others, so you can push yourself as much or as little as you like. A great point of the Val Thorens ski area is whatever slope you find yourself on there always seems to be an easier part of the slope to get down - just in case you have a little wobble - like I did at one point!
As Val Thorens is part of the massive 3 Vallees ski area, there is definitely no shortage of skiing! I would have loved to have stayed longer and been able to ski in the neighbouring resorts of Les Menuires, Meribel, Courchevel or La Tania - hopefully it won't be too long before I can go back!
We visited the ESF ski school, which is one of the best I have seen. They are so geared up for children, I was very impressed. They take children from 3 months to 12 years and I would not have any worries at all with leaving either of my two children in their very capable hands.
Although Val Thorens is a purpose built resort, it didn't feel like that to me. The large selection of accommodation provides something for everyone, whilst still giving the impression of a lovely French village ski resort. The apres-ski is really good, with a big choice of bars and restaurants to suit all types of people. I can certainly recommend the 'Rhum-Box' bar for it's unique style and chilled-out atmosphere and the 'Malaysia' cellar bar for its lively music.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch-time pizza at 'La P'tite Ferme', a gorgeous evening of traditional Savoyard Fondue, Raclette and Pierrade at 'La Jolie Fondue', a nice meal at 'Les Balcons' Restaurant and a truely amazing 3 course meal at 'Le Karmin' restaurant within the 4* Luxury residence we stayed in Le Hameau de Kashmir. The apres-ski highlight of our trip has to be our lunch at 'La Folie Douce' on the ski slopes. We arrived by snowmobile which was great fun and enjoyed a delicious lunch, around 14.30 everyday the open air bar comes alive with music - we were even lucky enough to enjoy Champagne in the V.I.P area! Leaving this place is very difficult! The bar closes at 17.30 everyday.
There are 2 main shopping centres in Val Thorens, Galerie Caron and Galeric Peclet with a good selection of supermarkets, ski hire shops, souvenir shops, eateries, take-aways, butchers, regional products and more......Galerie Caron also houses a brilliant 7500m2 indoor Sports Centre - offering 2 swimming pools, Jacuzzis, steam room, saunas, relaxation rooms, river showers, numerous swimming lessons/activities, body and facial treatments, massages, sun beds, hydro-massage bed, fitness room with a full range of machines, tennis, squash, badminton, ping-pong, volley-ball, football, basket ball, equipment hire, numerous weekly tournaments and an amazing 600m2 Fun Park for the little ones with trampolines, bouncy castles ball-pools and soft play - guaranteeing hours of fun and tired out kids!
I would strongly recommend this resort to any type of holiday maker, young, old, couples, friends and families - I think everyone and anyone would enjoy a truly amazing ski holiday in Val Thorens.
We also managed to fit in a visit to nearby Les Menuires, although we didn't ski. The resort is quite spread out and each part of Les Menuires is its own area in its own right - with supermarkets, bars and restaurants dotted throughout. This mean that you could stay in your own area without actually going in the main La Croisette centre of Les Menuires, with it's larger selection of restaurants, bars, shops, markets, medical centre and chemist, if you didn't want to. The shuttle bus runs up and down the resort at regular intervals between 08.00 - 23.00 every day, making travelling around very easy. Again there is a good selection of accommodation here, something to suit everyone and every budget - offering doorstep skiing to the whole of the Les 3 Vallees ski area - ideal!