Regular readers of our newsletter or Facebook will know that the whole team do love skiing in March and April, last season we all headed over to Tignes Val d'Isère, and this year we opted to head for the highest resort in Europe, the famous Val Thorens.
Val Thorens has access to the amazing 3 Valleys ski area, which also includes Courchevel, Méribel and Les Menuires. (Les Menuires is a hidden gem and great value for money). The 3 Valleys is the largest ski area in the world with over 600kms of runs and with 99% of the ski area situated above 2,000 metres, you have guaranteed snow cover from November to May. On our second night, in late April, we woke to fresh powder and it snowed on and off while we were there!
Val Thorens is the mecca for snow lovers - with carving, off-piste, ski touring, snowpark, boardercross and télémark skiing, there really is something to suit everyone - the ski area is just so vast.
You will find powder snow fields and perfectly groomed runs, wide cruisy slopes and plenty of off-piste opportunities. Val Thorens is an all-round resort for beginners and experienced skiers alike, whatever the ability level and preference! In our group, we had a real mix, and après was full of smiling faces from them all!
Top Tip: For those who want to try off-piste skiing (do book a guide) for the very first time in Val Thorens, the Pierre Lory run is brilliant. For the more adventurous off-piste skiers, there is the famous Lac du Lou run, which has a challenging 1400m vertical drop.
The views from Val Thorens and the ski area are spectacular - notably, the legendary Glacier de Péclet from the Cime de Caron - the resort's position at the head of the Belleville Valley, surrounded by dramatic peaks, is truly spectacular.
We have mentioned the vast network across the well-known Méribel and Courchevel valleys, but you can also ski into the neighbouring fourth valley, the Maurienne. And a couple of team members decided to do just that and skied over from Val Thorens to the slopes of Orelle. They weren't lucky enough to experience the stunning panoramic views though as the snow came down and they ended up skiing in a whiteout but they still thoroughly enjoyed the experience!
As we're talking about the weather, although the high altitude of Val Thorens has many many advantages, when the weather closes in it can feel a little extreme! So ensure you're prepared, even at the end of the season, we found ourselves wrapped up in buffs with hoods over helmets which felt like a stark contrast to the skiing in Les Deux Alpes a week earlier where we were stripping off!
Getting to Val Thorens
Flying (Transfer times): Chambery to Val Thorens: 70 miles, approximately 1 hr 45 mins. Lyon to Val Thorens: 123 miles, approximately 2 hrs 45 mins. Geneva to Val Thorens: 125 miles, approximately 2 hrs 45 mins. We opted to fly to Geneva and drive to Val Thorens stopping at other resorts along the way. It's a very easy drive and we can arrange car hire for you or, if you prefer, we're able to arrange a private transfer. Just give us a call on 023 9289 0960 to discuss.
Train: Taking the Eurostar from London couldn’t be easier. We offer two options: direct Ski Train (St Pancreas or Ashford to Moûtiers) or Eurostar Beyond (with a change at Paris). See our train services page for more information. Moûtiers is only 23 miles from Val Thorens! Again, we can arrange transfers for you.
Where to stay
One of the main reasons we visit our resorts is to check out the accommodation we're offering to our clients to ensure that it meets our, and importantly, your expectations. What our team at Ski Collection HQ, and many of clients, love about Val Thorens is that it is a doorstep skiing resort, with many ski-in/ski-out options - you leave your accommodation and you're on the slopes!
We offer over 20 different places to stay in Val Thorens itself, including 5-star luxury hotels, exquisite large chalet apartments, 3-star self-catered apartments and everything in between! With such a selection, we recommend you browse of all the accommodation or if you'd like us to do the leg work for you, fill in our quote request form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, it's helpful to tell us how many people are travelling and when you'd like to travel as a minimum.
4-star Le Hameau du Kashmir is ideally located at the entrance to Val Thorens, just metres from the mid-station ski lifts, offering you ski-in/ski-out possibilities. You'll also find an indoor pool and spa!
3-star superior Village Montana is directly on the ski slopes and adjacent to the French ski school (ESF) and the children's snow garden and just 200m from the resort centre.
Hotel Les Arolles is a popular hotel enjoying a ski-in/ski-out location on the slopes, and yet right in the centre of the resort! Access to the lifts is via a short blue run to the Cairn gondola or beginners’ area.
Hotel Pashmina le Refuge is a 5-star luxury hotel located in a quiet location, right on the pistes, offering great ski-in/ski-out convenience. Offered on a half-board basis.
Chalets Cocoon is a small, exclusive residence ideally situated in the Balcons area and offering superb views. Ski-in/ski-out and absolutely stunning!
Bars & Restaurants
Après in Val Thorens does not disappoint. With over 50 restaurants, 12 slopeside restaurants, 1 restaurant with a Michelin ‘fourchette’, a Michelin-starred restaurant and more... If you want it, Val Thorens guarantees lively après-ski! With tonnes of choice, you will certainly not go short of places to drink or eat. There is a mixture of traditional, cosmopolitan, lively and chilled-out bars plus 3 night clubs for the party animals.
We all ended up in a bar called Wild & Savage which has a quirky, laid back style. Dinner hotspots include La Maison, which is right in the heart of the resort. It has a fabulous menu, friendly service and a relaxed welcoming atmosphere. We also enjoyed the fondue served at the L'Auberge des Balcons, a very friendly bar-restaurant.
Comments from our team...
"I love the vastness of Les 3 Vallées, it feels like we have only just touched the surface of what it has to offer." - Claire
"Skiing above the clouds over 3000m is exhilarating." - Alison
"Having 25cm of snow overnight and skiing fresh powder under blue skies at the end of April was amazing." - Emilie
"The lift system is speedy and works really well. It has huge capacity." - Xavier
"The shopping centre has a really good activities area which is sure to entertain the kids when they're not on the slopes - there's trampolining, a pool and lots of other activities too" - Molly
"I really loved the lift system around the resort - even on foot is was easy to get around from one area to another" - Marie-Anne
"The après-ski in Val Thorens is excellent. There's nothing nicer than sitting in the sun with a mountain backdrop as our outlook. And, of course, Val Thorens has a Folie Douce!" - Sarah