Skiing The Extensive Three Valleys
The largest ski area in the world, it’s easy to see the appeal and attraction of the Three Valleys. Justifiably famous for being snow-sure and simply ENORMOUS, the Three Valleys (or Les Trois Vallées) consists of 600km of beautifully maintained pistes, snow parks, huge off piste areas, tree runs, high peaks, great restaurants and stunning scenery. What’s not to like?
There’s flattering skiing for everyone, of every level. For beginners there are closed-off beginner areas in each resort. Often with magic carpet lifts to ease you in gently. For intermediates there are countless cruisey blues and reds. And with an impressive commitment to grooming across the Three Valleys, there is plenty of corduroy to keep the most discerning piste skier happy all day long. Then for advanced skiers of boarders there are 23 black runs to tackle, as well as extensive off-piste terrain.
Three Valleys statistics
- 600km pisted runs
- 328 ski runs
- 166 ski lifts
- 85% of the ski area above 1800m
- 42 fun runs
- 9 sledge runs
Skiing St Martin de Belleville
Whizzing you rapidly up and out of the village is the gondola St Martin 1. From there you hop onto the new 6-person chairlift and in just 15 minutes you’ve reached the top of the mountain to see the extent of the skiing available to you on a Three Valleys pass. It’s just gigantic!
But before we head out into the wild white yonder, let’s just investigate St Martin’s pistes…
Regular Three Valleys skiers will undoubtedly tell you not to miss the popular run Jerusalem. And they’re right, you shouldn’t. It’s a wide track that undulates and turns and brings you (grinning broadly!) down to the bottom of the chair.
But go up again and take a right turn to the red piste Pramint. Equally flattering and fun but with a less famous name, it’s definitely a run you’ll ski again and again during your stay.
Pause for a drink at Le Corbeleys before skiing down to the village – a joy on blue Bioley, looking over the Belleville Valley and towards the stunning Vallee des Encombres – it still takes our breathe away on the way home.
The rest of Les Trois Vallées
Getting higher and higher in altitude as you go up the valley, Les Menuires ski pass holders can enjoy everything from St Martin all the way over to La Masse on the opposite side of the valley and find almost 360 degree views from the top!
Over the Tougnete ridge you’ll find the valley Méribel which includes the unmissable reds of Mont Vallon and Tougnete itself and the popular Moonpark and DC area 43 snowpark as well as the Big Airbag on the snowfront at Mottaret.
Onwards and upwards on the Pas du Lac you’ll find yourself at the top of Saulire: Courchevel’s highest peak, where gnarly skiers can try Europe’s steepest black, the Grand Couloir. There’s plenty of gorgeous intermediate skiing here, plus the delights of people-watching from the mountain restaurants. The rule of thumb is that the higher the price of a beer/coffee, the more entertaining the clientele become!
Like to ski off the beaten track? Read our tips on finding the best secret spots in the Three Valleys.