Sometimes navigating the vast expanse of the Alpine super-resorts is no easy undertaking – especially with a team of friends and family in tow. Toilet stop… again? Anyone? The best approach for exploring these mighty networks of groomers and gondolas, and maximising that pricey pass, is to have a plan. So to get you started, we’ve put together a day tour that will guide you from Meribel, to Val Thorens and on to Orelle (that mysterious fourth valley over yonder), and get you back in time for G and T après ski at the infamous La Folie Douce.
For more fantastic routes like this one, we can recommend guides and instructors in the Three Valleys, whose impeccable local knowledge means they'll be able to craft a route that fits your ability and interests perfectly.
- Lift Pass: Three Vallees Full Pass
- Start Point: Chaudanne, Meribel
- End Point: Chaudanne, Meribel (or Folie Douce!)
Take the TOUGNETTE 1 bubble followed by the TOUGNETTE 2 chairlift. Alternatively ride the PLAN DE L'HOMME chairlift and once at the top, hang a right over the rollers in the Moonpark to get those ski legs working. Head on up TOUGNETTE 2. At the top of TOUGNETTE 2, turn hard left and take the GROS TOUGNE run to the GRANGES chair. From the top of the chair, take the ALOUETTE run on your left to arrive at the foot of the COTE BRUNE chairlift. We reckon you probably deserve that morning coffee stop about now, check out the new restaurant here.
Ski into Val Thorens
On exiting off the COTE BRUNE chair, take the left piste - you will need to schuss! From here there are a few choices of reds, blues or blacks to take you all the way into Val Thorens. We recommend the PLUVIOMETRE, as the snow is generally better and the run is often quiet. Make your way all the way into Val Thorens.
Continue down the main drag and then the CAIRN run. Stop by the MOUTIERE chair on your left, before the bridge over the piste, and take it to the top. Ski down LINOTTE to the GRAND FOND gondola. At the top, you have the choice of the lovely GENTIANES or the MAURIENNAISE to take you to the refuge in Orelle. There is a lovely sunny terrace here to enjoy your well deserved lunch. Once you feel suitably sunned and refuelled, gather your gear about you and alert the troops for the start of the second half.
The Highest Point
If the weather is in your favour be sure to take the PEYRON and BOUCHET lifts to reach the highest point in Les 3 Vallees at 3,240m for that all important summit selfie. Return to the foot of the ROSAEL chairlift and ride it back over towards Val Thorens. Follow the FALAISE piste as it swings to the left past the bottom of the GRAND FOND gondola, and head towards the CIME CARON telepherique.
Cruise to Les Menuires
Feeling energized and up for a challenge? Take the telepherique for a quick loop round enjoying the superb snow in the Cime de Caron bowl on COMBE DE CARON or COL DE L’AUDZIN. Then let GENTIANE (not to be confused with GENTIANES that you took earlier) lead you to the boulevard CUMIN for a schuss all the way to Les Menuires.
Follow the track to the REBERTY chairlift, after which, take the BRUYERES gondola. From here there is the easy (ish) VENTURON followed by BOUVREUIL to get you to the PLANS DES MAINS chairlift.
Still with us? If there is time for a coffee, relax on the comfy sofas at the restaurant here with a brilliant view of Mont Vallon.
Test your skiing in the Freeride Park
From the top of the PLAN DES MAINS take the SITTELLE and MARTRE pistes all the way into Mottaret (via the freeride park… you’re surely buzzing from that coffee, right?)
Once in Mottaret, you can take the easy TRUITE back to Meribel. Alternatively, end your day in style with a trip up the PAS DU LAC bubble to the mid station, take the CHARDRONNET track, and make your way to the finish line via a dance on the tables at the Folie Douce. From the Folie Douce there are a choice of runs to ski back into Chaudanne… It might be prudent to take a head torch with you!
Bonne chance mes amis!