Meribel is an attractive chalet-style purpose-built ski resort situated right at the heart of the world’s largest ski area.

The Ski Area

The Meribel valley is the middle one of the three that make up the massive Trois Vallées ski area.

The principal Meribel settlement is simply called Meribel and sprawls up a west-facing hillside from 1,400m to 1,750m. The key parts of Meribel proper, which are linked by a free shuttle bus service, are, in ascending order, Centre, Altitude 1600, Plateau de Morel and Belvedere. This is the place that most people think of when they talk about Meribel ski holidays and it is arguably the prettiest post-war purpose-built resort in Europe, largely thanks to its Scottish founder, Colonel Peter Lindsay. While other new French resorts were being built in rather unattractive raw concrete, Meribel began as a collection of wooden chalets and it is to this style of architecture that it has fortunately remained faithful right up to the present day.

The Resort

Visitors to this main cluster of Meribel settlements need to bear in mind that they are situated one above the other on a mountainside. Getting between them all during the day using skis and lifts is not too hard, but by night you can face a lot of steep walking unless you use your car (but parking is hard to find) or the shuttle bus service (never quite frequent enough). By contrast Meribel is an ideal place for those who prefer to remain in a chalet of an evening and make their own entertainment.

At the end of the road up the Meribel valley, past the pretty little village of La Rosiere, lies Meribel-Mottaret, or simply Mottaret, as it is more usually referred to these days. It is at an altitude of 1,700m, which means it gets better natural snow-cover than Meribel itself, but it is architecturally much less distinguished, being a collection of large hotels and apartment blocks.