Les Trois Vallées (French for The Three Valleys) is a must in every skier’s bucket list for one very special reason: it is the largest ski area in the world. Its 600 km (370 miles) of ski descents are interconnected by 180+ lifts and slopes.
This impressive skiing area is part of the Tarentaise Valley, in the French region of Savoie. Originally three valleys, Les 3 Vallées are has evolved throughout the years. Strictly four valleys today, it houses an impressive 7 different resorts: Courchevel, Méribel, Brides Les Bains, Menuires, Saint Martin De Belleville, Val Thorens, La Tania and Orelle.
So many options! So where, when, how, and at what cost go freeride skiing in Les 3 Vallées? Here’s a guide with the basics to start planning your freeride skiing in Les 3 Vallées.
Freeride skiing in Les 3 Vallées means…
Les 3 Vallées are home to 8 skiing resorts. The following is a selection of a variety of them. Many freeride skiing programs will take you to more than one of these resorts.
Known as the highest ski village in Europe (2,300 m), this is a top spot in Les 3 Vallées. Due to its altitude, the snow and skiing conditions are usually optimal.
Check out this Freeride and Backcountry skiing in Val Thorens trip with local guide Francois. Available for every skill level!
This beautiful and classy village is a European favourite. An extra special spot here is the Col de la Loze, a connection point between Courchevel and Méribel. From the very top, you can even see the emblematic Mont Blanc. This resort also offers high-tech ski lifts and security systems.
Beautiful wooden chalets, stunning scenery, amazing freeride skiing and fantastic après-ski options: all things that describe the beautiful resort of Méribel. Ski terrain here goes from 1,100 m to 2,952 m. This resort is particularly good for beginners.
At 1,450 m high, St-Martin De Belleville is a charming village! It’s perfect for skiers who want to combine amazing freeride skiing and the calm and charm of a beautiful mountain village.
A great idea is to create your own itinerary with the help of an experienced guide.
The ski season at Les 3 Vallées goes from mid-December to the last week of April. Some resorts, Val Thorens and Orelle, are also open until the first week of May.
The high altitude of most of the resorts ensures great snow conditions throughout the season. And this is one of the main feats that make Les 3 Vallées such a great location for freeride skiing.
The off-piste or freeriding possibilities at Les 3 Vallées are practically endless. Going with a certified mountain guide is the right – and safest – way to go. The variety of the terrain is amazing. This includes deep snow areas and, sometimes, unsecured areas. A certified guide will always be able to warn you and take you across secure locations, for your safety and a more enjoyable freeriding experience.
Freeride skiing tours on Les 3 Vallées start at around 70 EUR per person, per day, for groups of 5 or 6 skiers.
There are plenty of options to arrive in Les 3 Vallées, on whichever mode of transportation you choose.
The closest airports are: Geneve, Lyon, Chambery and Grenoble.
You can take trains from Paris or Lyon.
Arriving by car is also a great option. From Chambery or Grenoble, for example, you are within an-hour drive to the main skiing spots in Les 3 Vallées. It is also a mere hour and half of the Italian city of Turin.
Note that when driving around Les 3 Vallées in the winter you are required to take appropriate safety measures, like the use of snow chains and tyres.
The biggest linked freeride skiing area awaits! What’s it going to be? Take your pick from all the off-piste skiing trips in Les 3 Vallées listed at Explore-Share and make your way to the beautiful Alps this upcoming skiing season!
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