Meribel in Winter
The Méribel valley, including the purpose-built Mottaret area, suits skiers of all levels
Meribel is arguably the prettiest resort in the famed Three Valleys of France with its traditional Savoyard style wooden buildings, including the giant chalet-like Parc Olympique sports centre built for the 1992 Albertville Olympics. Founded in 1939 by British Colonel Peter Lindsay who stipulated that all buildings had to be constructed in traditional Savoyard style using only wood, stone and slate, the town offers a wide variety of shops, bars and restaurants from the bustling après-ski bar Le Rond-Point to the cosmopolitan cocktail bar La Poste.
The Méribel valley is one of the largest of the French Alps extending from Brides-les-Bains at 600m to Péclet-Polset at 3,560m. The town has 57 ski lifts in its immediate vicinity to serve 74 groomed ski runs that total 150 kilometres of pistes. One particularly popular run is the Olympic women’s downhill run, and as the epicentre of the world’s largest ski domain, there are endless stretches of off-piste to enjoy. Queuing is a rarity thanks to the electronic lift pass system, two 50 person cable cars, over 40 gondolas and 25 high speed chair lifts.
The Meribel ski area suits skiers of all levels. Beginners can cruise down the wide gentle slopes of the Altiport, a tree-lined area ideal for those experiencing snow for the first time. For Intermediates the range of runs is almost limitless, with 89 blue and 116 red runs. For the truly Advanced skier every day here is filled with challenges and adventures, be it acres of off-piste, endless mogul runs or simply kilometres of groomed perfection.
Meribel has two areas dedicated to free-style riders. In Meribel-Mottaret there is the Plattieres snowpark with its 17 acres - over a length of 1,300 yards - of jumps, whoops, banks and two half-pipes. The Meribel Moonpark offers one competition-standard half pipe, one half-pipe for learners and a boarder cross with whoops, tables and other obstacles.
Meribel, Courchevel and La Tania offer 90 km of cross-country tracks, with a combination of green and blues for beginners and reds for the more experienced Nordic skiers.
For those not skiing there are many mountain restaurants accessible by car or on foot where you can meet up with the skiing members of your party for lunch. Alpine Infusion can also advise you on local walks as well as other activities such as toboganning, parapenting, swimming, ice skating, tennis, squash and quad biking. In addition, the beautiful Lac de Tueda is the perfect spot from which to appreciate the snow-clad peaks without donning skis or a board.