Val Thorens takes the prize as the highest ski resort in Europe and as a result, it often has the best snow of Les Trois Vallées. The resort is at 2,300m and is one of the few stations that can almost definitely guarantee snow for both Christmas and Easter. Whilst Val Thorens is a purpose-built resort it has managed to keep its charm and is more architecturally beautiful than its rival resorts. Being in Les Trois Vallées means that you have easy access to the surrounding resorts such as Méribel and Courchevel.
Resort Altitude: 2,300m
Resort Skiing: 3,230m
Total Ski Area: 600km
Green Runs: 96km
Blue Runs: 240km
Red Runs: 204km
Black Runs: 60km
Cross Country: 120km
Les Trois Vallées is one of the largest ski areas in the world, with its three largest resorts being Val Thorens, Courchevel and Méribel. Les Trois Vallées consists of 600km of skiable area with a good mix of runs for every level of skier. Val Thorens is the highest of the resorts and has guaranteed snow cover as well as the freshest powder.
There are also 120km of cross-country ski routes.
There’s a good mix of skiing in Val Thorens and you won’t be struggling to find runs to match your ability. There are plenty of sweeping, gentle pistes for beginners and intermediates but the more advanced skiers will really benefit from this area the most with a vast array of challenging reds and blacks and plenty of opportunities to ski some incredible off-piste.
We recommend trying the long slopes down into Orelle and the Maurienne Valley as well as the Cascade run.
Freeriders will find Val Thorens a bit of an off-piste paradise with lots of genuinely challenging powder bowls, don’t forget your avalanche kit around here. The slopes can get a bit busy during the peak season as the resort is very popular, but fortunately, there are many wide slopes. There is a terrain park by the 2 Lac lift and it has a good half-pipe however the park itself is not as large as some as the others in Les Trois Vallées.
In Val Thorens we recommend Evolution 2, New Generation and Oxygène ski schools. Their friendly, English-speaking instructors offer great lessons for all abilities and ages. Whether you’re looking for a group lesson or private tuition.
The ESF run two mini clubs - Le Montana for children from 3 to 17 months and Le Roc aged 18 months and over. The Piou Piou Club section of the ski school takes children from 3 years upwards. There are also a few private nanny companies in the resort if you don’t want to go through the ESF.
Val Thorens has some good options on the mountain and off, however, if they aren’t to your liking you still have the entire Trois Vallées to find somewhere for lunch. Near to 360 Bar, one of Val Thorens' après hotspots, there is Les Chalet du Thorens who serve up various choices of food including a great burger aptly named ‘McThorens’ and an amazing Asian restaurant called ‘WokSki’. A good place to visit in the resort is La Maison, a friendly brasserie that serves hearty fondue, raclette and great pizzas.
Your two main après bars on the mountain are the famous Folie Douce and 360 Bar, both bars are worth a visit. 360 tends to stay open a couple of hours longer than La Folie Douce if you want to spend a bit longer on the slopes.
A great place to grab a beer after skiing down in resort is the Red Fox Pub near Les Balcones. If you’re looking for a nightclub to party until the early hours of the morning, then your best bets are Le Malaysia and Klub Summit.
For those who are fair weather skiers only, or for those who want to breathe the mountain air but not actually ski, there are better places to go than Val Thorens. That said, the village does boast a swimming pool and indoor tennis and squash courts although these do tend to get crowded at peak times. There are numerous shops and restaurants within the village itself and you can while away a good few hours in the pleasant bars and cafes.