Val Thorens is Europe’s highest ski resort at 2300 metres and has fantastic and reliable snow from November to May. It is part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest ski area in the world with 600km of pistes and 200 ski lifts. Val Thorens is linked into the other resorts of Les Menuires, St Martin, Meribel Mottaret and Courchevel by a quick and efficient lift system. The fourth valley of Orelle has also been greatly extended with fast access by gondola to several new runs and lots of powder. There are many mountain restaurants, a snow park for snowboarders & freestyle skiing and other activities include guided snow shoe walks, parapenting and a 6 km toboggan run. The snow park in particular has a great reputation as one of the best in France.
The nightlife in the village is lively with many bars, discos and over fifty restaurants. ( The village boasts the highest Michelin starred chef in Europe at the Oxalys hotel.) There is a cinema just down the road showing the latest releases, often in English, also a sports centre with a fitness suite, 2 swimming pools, sauna, steam room and jacuzzis. Apart from being a bowling alley, Le Bowling has a bar, shows sporting fixtures on the large screen TVs and has an internet room.
A free bus service goes round the village linking the different parts of the resort.
Val Thorens used to have a reputation for being an ugly purpose-built resort. Over the past 5 years, significant effort has been made to reclad many of the buildings in lighter coloured pine, making the whole village much more sympathetic to the alpine surroundings.
The Three Valleys operates an electronic ski pass system. You have a credit card sized plastic card with a microchip which scans through your jacket pocket to gain access to all the lifts. One advantage of this is that you can book your lift passes in advance (via the resort websites) and have the passes sent to your home address. When you get here you can simply turn up at the lifts straight away and ski.
The village operates a ‘no car’ policy. This simply means that you need to park in one of the designated car parks in the village. You can also book these through the Val Thorens website – the access card is then sent to your home address – we recommend that you buy a parking place in car park ‘P1’ or ‘P0’ This is only a brief overview of the village and resort. There are a number of official websites where you can get more information – the village itself has a good website at http://www.valthorens.com
Transport to/from Val Thorens: Snowbus.co.uk – cheap and reliable shared transfers from Geneva & Chambery airports to Val Thorens. Quick, direct routes and prices from just £54pp. Private transfers for up to 18 people available as well.