Three Valleys Ski Holidays
Image © C.Cattin / OT Val Thorens
The Three Valleys or Les Trois Vallées is the largest and perhaps the best known ski area in the world.
Covering Courchevel (1850, 1650, 1550 and Le Praz), La Tania, Méribel and Méribel Mottaret, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Brides Les Bains, Saint Martin de Belleville and Orelle, there is a resort within the Three Valleys to suit everyone. Val Thorens has also consistantly been voted “Best ski resort in the World” in various ski awards.
The ski area is immense with 600 kms of ski runs over 40,000 hectares, totalling some 400km² (4 times greater than the surface area of Paris). There are 328 marked alpine ski runs: (13% green, 39% blue, 38% red and 10% black).
There has been a huge investment in the lift system too, for winter 13/14 there are a total of 166 ski lifts, including 2 cable cars, 33 gondolas and 40 high speed chair lifts. The whole area has a very efficient hands-free ski pass system which if you book through Erna Low can be sent to you in advance which means that you can ski as soon as the lifts open on the first morning of your holiday rather than having to wait in line to collect passes.
The minimum altitude level for skiing is 1300 metres and the maximum 3230 metres, meaning that 85% of the ski area is located above 1800 metres. There are 25 accessible summits, 10 of which are in excess of 2500 metres and there are 2000 snow making machines cover 1/3 of the ski area. The runs are maintained nightly by 80 piste grooming machines. There are also safe learning zones dedicated specifically to children and beginners as well as specialised parks.