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Review: Val Thorens, The 3 Valleys, France

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  • Review: Val Thorens, The 3 Valleys, France

    Resort: Val Thorens, The Three Valleys, France

    Date visited: January Ď08

    Cost (from UK): £700 with Thomas Cook (Neilson) inc flights, transfer to resort, 6day 3Vs lift pass, 7 nights HB accommodation

    Slopes & Parks: Part of probably the largest linked area in existence! Villages of Val Thorens, Meribel, Les Menuires and Courcheval all linked by 600km of pistes. A lot to cover if you have the time and the legs for it. VT is the highest but is very open and can get windy up top, lower resorts have more shelter. Plenty for all abilities and plenty of off-piste terrain to explore. Slopes around the resort (VT) itself were a little busy, but not inhibiting by any means. Val Thorens had a decent sized park, mostly big kickers with a few rails/boxes, but novice level features were absent when we were there. It also has a boardercross course alongside the park and another over the in the ď4thValleyĒ but these was closed when we were there. Meribel had an easy, novice boardercross, a smaller park and a half-pipe but the pipe didnít seem that well maintained. Parks in VT and Meribel seemed slightly deserted, could have been good for more experienced park riders. There are also parks in Courcheval and Les Menuires.

    Lifts: Lifts seemed fast enough and well located. No queues longer than five minutes when we were there. Only a few drag lifts on small slopes around resort centres. Otherwise a mixture of different sized chairs and gondolas.

    Snow conditions: Val Thorens ski area is at altitude of between 1800m and 3200m, the village itself lies at about 2300m so unsurprisingly the snow record is very good. This year was fantastic. Slopes around the resort itself were a little busy and common routes between the different areas seemed to get pretty mogulled. With all the snow that fell I think they were struggling to keep all the pistes groomed. Slopes away from the resort centres were better.

    Accommodation: We stayed at Hotel Val Chaviere, which on the whole was very good. You can ski to and from the back door. The room size was ok, we benefited (by chance) from having a family room with an extra bed we could dump stuff on. No fixed shower just an attachment off the bath taps, but we could live with that. The food was pretty good, a five-course meal every night served to your table, not buffet. Breakfast was continental buffet, but plenty of choice of cereals, ham, cheese, fruit, yoghurts etc. and you could boil eggs for something hot. Only minor complaint was that the ski room didnít have proper lockers, just clamps to put your skis in with a padlock. Wide skiboards didnít fit, but they had no complaints about us taking them to our room. Overall would definitely recommend this place! A wide range of accommodation is available in whole of 3Vs, inc catered chalets and apartments. Was a little ill with flu on this trip so didnít sample the nightlife, but there seemed to be an abundance of bars to go to.

    Tour operator: Thomas Cook flight was pretty good, best in-flight hot breakfast Iíve tasted so far! We had a slight delay at Lyons airport on arrival since the coach up to resort was delayed getting there by snow conditions in resort, a small price to pay for snow! Neilson reps were good on the whole, though one guy obviously hadnít bothered to learn any French before he went there and had a bit of trouble conversing with the coach driver.

    Pros: Massive extent and variation of terrain. Very good snow record. Good choice of accommodation.

    Cons: Can be pretty windy higher up in VT. Long transfer from Lyon airport (4hrs), but shorter from Grenoble/Chambery airports. A little on the expensive side, but not the worst in Europe.
    Revel8 BWP - Spruce Pro Prime
    SnowJam 90 - Extreme II

  • #2
    This is a fantastic area, been there twice, there are over 200 lifts/gondolas/cable cars. Just spending a week there and you will still not hit all the areas. It definitely is the biggest ski-able area in the world.
    Edward in NYC


    • #3
      Yeah, we stayed in Val Thorens and covered bits of Meribel and Les Menuires, but didn't get to Courcheval in our week, thats how massive it is. Of course guys like Valmorel with more stamina can have great fun covering it all in a week!!
      Revel8 BWP - Spruce Pro Prime
      SnowJam 90 - Extreme II