Val Thorens Review - Ski Resort Guru (2022)

Rating:★★★★ 9,8 out of 10

“Val Thorens is a part of the 3 Valleys (3Vallées in French) ski area in France (the largest ski area in the world with more than 600 km of linked pistes). Val Thorens is the highest altitude ski resort in Europe so you won’t have to worry about snow. Architecture isn’t great, in the beginning builders have used lot of concrete so you won’t get that real alpine feel. It is best suited for younger people but it is also very versatile, you can find accommodation in a cheap mountain refuge or in 5 star hotels, also you can just eat kebab or you can find restaurants graded with Michelin stars. Two things are certain: the quality of skiing is unparalleled and night life is the best in the Alps. Visitors are mainly foreigners (British).”

(Video) Val Thorens | France | Travel Guide ⛷️

click to enlarge

PROS:Part of the biggest domain in the world, diverse, great snow reliability, the best night life in all of the Alps.

CONS: You will need a substantial amount of time to get to other parts of the domain, lots of people who go off piste, architecture.

SLOPES

Easy312 km (52 %)
Intermediate216 km (32 %)
Difficult72 km (12 %)
TOTAL600 km

It was really hard for me to write the Val Thorens review. What couldonesay about one of the best resorts in the world? I will start from the most important thing, an overview of the slopes.

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The whole 3 Valleys area has 169 ski lifts with more than 600 km of pistes. Val Thorens (140 km of runs) belongs to the Belleville valley. Its slopes are wide, there is no tree in sight (due to the altitude), runs are groomed well, but don’t expect perfection like in some Italian or Austrian resorts. Red runs are dominant. If you are a good skier a week will be enough to visit all corners of the whole domain.

Highest skiable peeks are Pointe du Bouchet (3220 m) and Cime de Caron (3200 m). The Cime de Caron Gondola is one of the biggest in the world and you should check out the view from its last station. You will have to climb a small hill, and from there, on a sunny day, you will see the spectacular view ofthe surrounding mountains including Mont Blanc. Even the fittest are going to lose their breath, due to the great panorama and lack of oxygen. If you want to experience the view, you should be a medium good skier at least, since slopes which go from the top are black and red. Black pistes are really hard, full of ice and moguls (almost not groomed at all like in rest of France). Even if you are a beginner you will find plenty of great slopes which will suit your knowledge.

If you want to visit other parts of the domain (Courchevel and Meribel) Val Thorens is not ideal, because itis off to the side and the whole domain is huge. You will need almost a whole day to reach Courchevel. You will change an endless number of lifts. Be aware of the time, because if you miss the last ride on your way home you could end up far away from your accommodation. It will result in a high taxi bill (some people I knew even rented a room for the night since it was cheaper than a taxi ride home).

Val Thorens Review - Ski Resort Guru (2)

(Video) Valfrejus Eski-mo Freeskiing

FREE RIDE AND TERRAIN PARKS IN VAL THORENS

You will find literally amillion different spots for free ride in this endless space, but there is a catch. People who visit 3 Valleys would sell their moms for a powder day, because even after heavy snowfall your precious maiden powder will be criss-crossed in several hours. You should try out areas around Cime Caron and Funitel Peclet. The area around Boismint lift is also interesting. Check out slopes behind Chalet de la Marine(accessible with Cascades lift). Be prepared to rise early and catch the first lift ride in order to get the most out of a powder day. You can always hire a mountain guide, or get a ski package which includes them. TIP: check specifics before you select one, because I have seen a number of big groups which just go several meters off the groomed run and they consider that to be a big off-piste experience.

Every valley has its own big snow park. In Val Thorens it is situated in Plateau area. It has different difficulty lines (from beginner to pro level), and you can film your run and watch it on screen. Several seasons ago they made a small park in the Le Roc area (almost city centre) and now there is a huge airbag there, so you can practice new moves without fear that you might get hurt. There is also a nice snow cross run just by 2 Lacs lift. Meribel’s park is called Area 43 (sponsored by DC Shoes). It also has a big number of elements including the small half pipe, which is really fun to ride. You can’t miss it since it is on the way to Meribel.

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HOW TO GET TO VAL THORENS

Val Thorens is situated in the Savoie province (France), close to 4 major airports. Chambery Airport is the closest and it is 120 km away (it will take you 1h 37 min to get there by car). Geneva is 160 km away and you will need to drive for around 3 hours. Lyon is around 200 km away (2h and 30 min by car). Grenoble airport is 200 km and you will need 2h and 30 min by car. All airports have public transport connections, and you can check availability and book tickets online. You can also arrange transport with accommodation providers. Before you choose an airport, see how much transfer is going to cost you, because it can be several times more expensive than a low-cost airplane ticket.

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If you take thetrain, the closest station is in Moutiers. It is only 35-40 km away, but you will need around 50 min by car. During the winter there are regular trains. Also there are regular shuttles which will take you from the station to your hotel.

If you are arriving there by car, reserve your parking spot online(at least 7 days before arrival) because you will save money that way. There is no free parking and you will have to pay around 60 EUR per week.

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WHERE TO STAY IN VAL THORENS

Good news is that almost all places where you can stay are ski in/ski out meaning that you will have to walk to/from the closest slope 30 m at the most. ThePlace de Caron area is perhaps the best location since everything would be near you (shops, fast food places, restaurants, clubs, lifts, etc.). You can choose among huge apartment blocks, and hotels which have a ski-lift view from their outdoor pool. It is up to you and your budget. Generally, accommodation in Val Thorens is cheaper than in Meribel or Courchevel.

Val Thorens Review - Ski Resort Guru (5)

(Video) La Plagne piste guide | Mont Blanc piste | Montchavin / Les Coches | Preview / Aperçu

WHAT TO DO AFTER DAY ON SNOW (APRES-SKI) IN VAL THORENS

Val Thorens is the Alpine capital of fun. Party starts around noon at La Folie Douce, aplace which combines club atmosphere with top notch cuisine. Here you will find DJs backed by live instruments and singers/MCs. You will be able to eat kebab for just a few Euros, and on the other hand, you can visit Michelin stars-graded restaurants called L’Épicurien and Jean Sulpice. There is a bowling alley, cinema, a substantial number of shops (selling mainly gear for snow sports), and an ice driving track (the famous Top Gearshow made one episode here). You can have drinks with your friends at the Saloon Bar (there are several more bars and pubs in the neighborhood, pick one). Finish your evening at a posh club called Le Malaysia (which boasts a 700m2 dance floor).

FAQs

Is Val Thorens good for beginners? ›

Val Thorens has always had quite a good offer for beginners simply because its high altitude means that all season long it's very convenient for first-timers to get on the nursery slopes without the hassle that can be the case at older, lower altitude resorts.

Is Val Thorens snow sure? ›

Few resorts can rival Val Thorens for its reliably good snow cover. Not only is it the highest ski resort in Europe, but its slopes also reach 3200m and include two small glaciers.

Is Val Thorens a big resort? ›

As Val Thorens is a relatively small resort it means it is never far to stumble back to your chalet, or to another bar!

Is Val Thorens steep? ›

A ski area like nowhere else, open 170 days a year, Val Thorens is a dream destination for die-hard mountain enthusiasts. With steep slopes, wonderful winding runs and adventurous off-piste zones, it's the ideal environment for experts and beginners alike.

Can you drink the tap water in Val Thorens? ›

Yes! Val Thorens is a proper town with decent water treatment. The water can sometimes taste a bit metallic due to the high mineral content and during the melting periods some people prefer to switch to bottled water just in case the treatment plants are over-capacity.

Can you get altitude sickness in Val Thorens? ›

Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), can be encountered by anyone reaching heights of 2,500m and above, so it's even possible for skiers in the Alps to experience it, particularly in higher resorts such as Zermatt (Switzerland) and Val Thorens (France).

How cold does Val Thorens get? ›

average temperature Val Thorens

The temperatures are highest on average in July, at around 10.6 °C | 51.1 °F. January has the lowest average temperature of the year. It is -9.1 °C | 15.6 °F.

Which ski resort has most snow? ›

Best Snow in North America
ResortSnowfall Score
1Alta UT96.1
2Snowbird UT90.0
3Brighton UT92.4
4Powder King BC92.3
14 more rows

Can you ski from Val Thorens to Courchevel? ›

Courchevel and back in a day from Val Thorens is much easier (and quicker) than you might think. An intermediate skier ought to be able to get there in just over an hour on the most direct route, although you can branch out if you wish to make a day of it.

What is Val Thorens known for? ›

The highest resort in Europe. Val Thorens, at an altitude of 2,300 metres, is the highest ski resort in Europe and offers breath-taking, high mountains views. In this outstanding 3 Vallées resort in the Belleville valley, the snow stays on the ground from November to May.

What is the highest ski resort in the world? ›

Highest ski resort worldwide (3,985 m)

The ski resort Gulmarg Resort (Kongdoori-Aferwat) is the highest ski resort worldwide. With 3,985 m , it has the highest slope/ski slope or the highest ski lift/lift worldwide.

How many ski runs does Val Thorens have? ›

Val Thorens is, for beginners, quite simply one of the best places to learn and improve. In Val Thorens alone there are 11 green runs and 29 blues. If you extend that to the whole of the Belleville Valley, learners have access to 20 green runs and 60 blues.

Which airport do you fly to for Val Thorens? ›

The closest airport to Val Thorens is Chambery, but it has a limited choice of flights. Geneva (GVA) is the next closest, followed by Grenoble (GNB), then Lyon (LYS). The transfer time to Val Thorens is just over 3 hours, although this depends on the traffic and weather.

How long is transfer from Geneva to Val Thorens? ›

The Geneva Airport to Val Thorens transfer time is about 3 hours 20 minutes, depending on the date, time of day, the weather and traffic. We allow more time for the journey when we think travelling conditions may be bad. The distance is 155km (96 miles).

Can you ski from Val Thorens to Courchevel? ›

Courchevel and back in a day from Val Thorens is much easier (and quicker) than you might think. An intermediate skier ought to be able to get there in just over an hour on the most direct route, although you can branch out if you wish to make a day of it.

How long does it take to ski from Val Thorens to Meribel? ›

meribel to val thorens takes about 20 mins (lift up ski down) . Val thorens to courchavel takes about an hour.

Videos

1. Paradiski Ski Guide: La Plagne, Roche de Mio, Levasset.
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2. Michael enjoyed beautiful slopes in Les Menuires, the 3 Valleys
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3. val thorens freeride by marcin
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4. La Plagne piste guide | Pierres Blanches piste | Montchavin / Les Coches | Preview / Aperçu
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5. La Plagne piste guide | Myrtilles piste | Montchavin/Les Coches | Preview / Aperçu
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6. Best Hotels and Resorts in Les Deux Alpes, France
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