Activities in St Martin de Belleville
A fabulous retreat for non-skiers
St. Martin de Belleville is at its picture-perfect best on a crisp blue-sky morning following a night of steady snowfall. The charming mountain village had its first ski lift in 2003, and hasn’t looked back since!
Despite being linked to the incredible 3 Valleys ski areas, St. Martin is famous for having retained its authentic Savoyard character. As well as chic chalets and 4x4s, don’t be surprised to see farm trucks and tractors – in summertime the pistes are lush pastures for our local cow population.
Here’s what Felice Hardy says in www.welove2ski:
“How could it have happened? St Martin de Belleville is a cute little village attached to the world’s most famous lift system, and it’s managed to retain its style, charm and sense of proportion.”
Getting around St Martin de Belleville
The village of St Martin de Belleville is small enough to walk around easily, with lots of pretty backstreets to explore! to get further afield, there are free buses to Les Menuires. Click here for a timetable.
Another option for pedestrians is to get a ‘pieton’ pass which enables you to go up the St Martin lifts (perhaps meeting skiers at one of the mountain restaurants – le Corbelys is a lovely option). From the top of the mountain you can take the gondolas down into Meribel Centre for shopping, restaurants and bars, and the Olympic Sports centre for swimming or ice-skating.
Click here for an excellent map of the Three Valleys pedestrian lifts which handily marks the mountain restaurants as well! Pedestrian lift pass costs 2017-2018 are:
1 lift: €10
2 lifts: €16.50
Three Valleys 1 day: €23.50
Three Valleys 6 days: €72.50
St Martin de Belleville village history
The emblematic 17th Century baroque church is at the heart of St Martin – and indeed the whole Belleville Valley – life. The spectacular Notre Dame de la Vie chapel sits just above the village and you can visit daily to see the splendid interior which has just opened after 3 years of renovation work. At the village’s museum, you can uncover the history of St Martin from its Neolithic beginnings to today, via the arrival of electricity in 1953 and the connection with Les Menuires and Val Thorens as a ski area.
Walking & snow-shoeing
A multitude of walking routes are suitable for non-skiers (and those who would enjoy a closer look at the scenery) and don’t require snowshoes, although these add an element of fun to a walk! Maps are available in your chalet or join a guided walk with a local guide, available daily.
It’s also possible to use St. Martin’s ski lifts with a pedestrian (‘pieton‘) pass, which enables those on foot to meet up with skiers in the mountain restaurants as well as seeing the incredible views from the tops of the mountains. It’s possible to get down into Meribel using the pedestrian pass.
A popular activity is husky sledding which is a magical way to view our beautiful valley. This must be booked in advance so please do ask us before you arrive to your chalet if this would be of interest.
Spa & swimming
For sheer indulgence you must visit the spa at La Bouitte (even better if you combine it with lunch in the 3 Michelin star restaurant) or Leen Pao Spa in the Chalet du Gypse which has a pool, 2 jacuzzis, 2 saunas, 2 steam rooms and a fitness suite.
In Les Menuires (free buses run between St Martin and Les Menuires), there’s a large pool and wellness area with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. It’s located in the La Croisette Centre Sportif.
Tobogganing, ice-skating, ‘fat bikes’…
For children (and big kids!), the sledging possibilities are endless. Whether it’s a ‘bum board’ on the St Martin nursery slopes or the dedicated Roc’n’Bob toboggan course which stretches for an incredible 4km (helmets and gloves essential!) we have tobogganing covered.
In Les Menuires there’s also Speed Mountain: a roller coaster toboggan ride which is really fun!
St Martin has a small ice-rink near the church which is fun for children.
In Les Menuires from La Croisette, you can try riding a ‘fat bike’ – with huge tyres adapted for snow – on a 4km track under the instruction of a guide (helmet provided).
Cross country skiing
Cross-country skiing is a fun way to see the beautiful tracks around the mountains. There are two options with cross country skiing or ‘ski de fond’: the ‘skating’ type is renowned for being the very best way to get aerobic exercise. For a slower pace, opt for ‘classique’. Cross country equipment can be hired from our local hire shops.
If you’d like an instructor to take you on the tracks to show you the ropes, please contact us in advance so we can book this for you.
The La Croisette sports centre at Les Menuires, 8km up the valley and offers a swimming pool, spa area, gym and badminton and squash courts. There are also fitness classes available.
On Tuesdays you can join in with a yoga class in St Martin de Belleville, or we could organise for a pilates or yoga instructor to visit the chalet for a private session.
For blue run skiers, a tandem paragliding flight is an incredible way to see the mountains from a different perspective! Take-off is from the Mont de la Chambre at 2850m and the landing is in Les Menuires.
The little ice-skating rink in St Martin de Belleville is fun for children after skiing or in the afternoons. Sledging and snowman building is always a good way to entertain youngsters.
In Les Menuires, the indoor play area is a good option on bad weather days – it’s located in the La Croisette sports centre which also has a large swimming pool.
The same sports centre is also home to a cinema, with showings at 6pm for youngsters.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like us to book any activities for you.