Meribel

Ski Resort in France

Introduction

Méribel lies in the very centre of the Three Valleys, the most popular French ski area and ski holiday destination in the world. It is arguably one of France's most attractive ski resorts with the tree lined ski runs and pretty village.

A Méribel skiing holiday will give you the opportunity to explore the 600km of totally linked piste the Three Valleys has to offer; linking Meribel to the ski resorts of Courchevel and Val Thorens.

The lift system is ultra modern (queues are almost unknown here), there is ample skiing in Méribel for all abilities including endless off piste possibilities.

The local runs are mostly aimed at intermediates, and the resort has a reputation for being 'piste basher heaven' but there are challenges for advanced skiers too, mostly off the piste. It's also a good place to learn to ski, and novices who are keen to start exploring will benefit from the clear signage, excellent piste grooming and the opportunity to ski from Meribel into both of the adjacent valleys and return entirely on green and blue runs.

And generally if Meribel lacks something, it can usually be found elsewhere in the Three Valleys and easily reached. There are no lifts ascending over 3000m in the Meribel valley for instance (although Mont Vallon gets very close), but there are plenty in Val Thorens. Local tree skiing is limited, but there's lots in Le Praz and La Tania. The Meribel black runs are not very steep, but just across the Saulire ridge in Courchevel, the Grande Couloir certainly is.

As a village, Meribel is a purpose-built resort in France like no other. The original low-rise chalet style has been preserved and so has the British legacy. Meribel was conceived by Colonel Peter Lindsay in 1938 and even today over a third of winter visitors come from the UK. The main village is also quite low (at about 1400m) and rather spread out - some of the accommodation is a long way from the main lifts. For real slope-side convenience, you have to stay up the valley in the satellite village of Meribel Mottaret which probably has the best location in the whole of the Three Valleys in terms of skiing, but has less charm and less nightlife than the main resort.

Meribel info card

Resort Altitude1450m
Highest Lift3230m
Total Piste600km
Longest Run12km
Directions of SlopesN/W, E, S/E
Uphill Capacity260000
Total Lifts183
Gondolas/Cable cars40
Chairlifts69
Drag Lifts74
Snow Parks6


Méribel Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Meribel Resort itself is very large with 41 lifts, 64 marked runs that form about 150km of piste from 1,100 to 2,952m elevation (1,852m vertical), and 2 terrain parks. The runs are typically wide and well maintained. Meribel skiing and snowboarding (and Les Trois Vallees) is ideal for intermediates who love to cruise for km upon km to get to the next pit stop. Skiable descents of up to 1300m vertical are possible.

Meribel is excellent for beginners. Although some of the green runs may be a little pitchy, over half of the piste terrain is rated 'easy' or 'very easy'. Bump runs are available for advanced riders (if you’re into bumps!) and whilst experts may lament the lack of steep terrain, there are challenging steeps to be found, particularly if you have a guide. Couloirs that head into Courchevel such as the Death Couloir, (such a catchy name!) will keep one alert........ and alarmed!

Purchasing a 3 Vallees lift pass opens up around 600km of pistes on around 328 trails and includes the high altitude glaciers of Val Thorens ski resort.

Meribel Beginner Skiing

Meribel is the best base for beginners, even though its excellent nursery slope is slightly removed from the resort base.

It is possible to ski all of the Three Valleys on green runs and, while some of the blue runs might at first seem a little daunting, their sheer breadth and the quality of the grooming means most of the ski area will quickly open up to beginners.

The best place to learn is the Foret green as it is by far the most gentle slope of the lot; it can often be so flat that it is necessary to schuss or pole along.

The Blanchot green, accessed by taking the Rhodos gondola from the Chaudanne, is also flat and winds nicely through trees in places to give beginners an opportunity of feeling as if they are travelling somewhere, albeit at a nice gentle pace. Halfway down there is a restaurant with a decent terrace if things get too difficult.

Altiport, a golf course in the summer, is rarely icy, wide and tree-lined. It is also blessed with very little through traffic. From here is also easy to access the blues slightly higher up the mountain and is the perfect place to learn or to progress to from the Blanchot slopes.

Those stationed in Meribel-Mottaret will have to rely on the Truite green that runs down the Chaudanne in Meribel proper.

The Rhodos green is the hardest of the beginners' slopes in Meribel. If you can tackle the Rhodos then it is a fair bet that you will be able to handle the Geai, Biche and Belette blue area of Saluire or the Choucas, Escargot, Grive and Faonblues in Plattieres.

Meribel Intermediate Skiing

The Three Valleys is the place to clock up mileage and Meribel is the ideal base from which to do so.

All the runs to the right of the Tougnete bubble and drag are excellent, particularly the Blaireau red. It is also worth following the track along the ridge line along to the blue Choucas whose rolling hills you can ride as if on rails. From there the route down to Chaudanne along Gelinotte winds down through the trees but can get a bit icy. The reds Pramint and Jerusalem that take you down to St Martin de Belleville are perhaps two of the best red runs in the entire Three Valleys, certainly first up in the morning. They are not too bad on the way down to lunch, either.

All of the runs from the top of Saulire are wide cruisers (once you have navigated the sometimes rutted and always icy path around the headland to the runs leading down to Meribel). The Niverolle and Aigle reds combine for a nice long ski down to Meribel Mottaret.

The Chamois red has a nice steep incline to start off with but don't miss the opportunity to ski the Mauduit red from top to bottom if the snow is good enough; it is almost 1,300m of vertical. Most of the blues are fairly easy.

Intermediates will love the winding reds that come down Mont du Vallon, Combe Vallon and Compagnol. Mouflon is a lovely red run when it has had a bit of sun, but can get icy and hardpacked in shade and flat light. Lagopede, accessed from the Roc de Tougne drag, has a fantastic pitch and camber and can be extended by taking either Fouine or Coqs down to Mottaret which, incidentally, are the nicest runs in to the resort centre.

Both the Venturon and Lac de La Chambre red off the Cote Brune are an excellent challenge for improving intermediates.

Meribel Advanced & Expert Skiing

Meribel does not have the most testing terrain in the Three Valleys but there is still enough to warrant the serious skier's interest, on and off the piste. And Meribel's central location means that advanced skieres who are based there can quickly access the challenges in the other valleys.

The blacks of Bartavelle (which generally has good snow) and Bosses (which generally does not) in the Tougnete area are best for bumps though there is a tendency to keep most of the pisted runs mogul-free.

Of the other blacks Tetras struggles with snow and is almost always a mogul field, Le Face (the women's Olympic downhill) can be sublime in unpisted powder or a massive adrenaline rush on freshly pisted corduroy. Grande Rosiere and Sanglier are unremarkable but testing and enjoyable and Combe Tougnete is a good quick run with a very steep first hundred metres.

Skiers wanting to sample the off-piste challenges in the valley should head to Mont Vallon and from the safety of the lift carefully inspect the area inbetween the Combe de Vallon and Campagnol pistes. But be careful: there are dangers here and once you go beyond the piste markers, you're on your own - so make sure you have the right equipment and if you have any doubts, take a guide. 

Strong skiers however, will not want to spend all their time in just the Meribel valley. Meribel's location in the middle of the world's largest lift-connected ski area means they can access a huge range of advanced skiing in Courchevel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens. As long as you make an early start, don't do too much exploring along the way and avoid accidents, any piste on the Les 3 Vallees map can be reached, skied and returned from well before the lifts close. Keep an eye out for unscheduled lift closures though, particularly in bad weather - there are intereactive maps showing what is open and what is closed at all the major stations and for most expeditions there is more than one route back. Meribel to Val Thorens by lift and piste might be a reasonably quick and pleasant journey but the same can not be said for an enforced return by road, and if you have to hire a taxi (bus connections between the Three Valleys are few and far between) the fare charged will reflect this.

Meribel Snowboarding

Meribel has two major snow parks, one with a completely enclosed beginners’ area.

The Snowpark at Plattieres has recently been refurbished and now also includes a completely enclosed area where beginners can evolve without being intimidated. There are 17 acres, two half-pipes plus jumps, whoops and banks.

The Moon Park in Meribel has a decent vertical drop, one competition standard half pipe, another for learners and a boardercross that stretches to a kilometre.

For those who like things more natural there is an enormous wall beneath the Adret chair just before you reach the top. The wall can be accessed from either the Marmotte or Geai blues. At its steepest it rises around two metres but it levels out the further to the right as you approach it. The landing is a little too flat for comfort.

Runs that boarders should consider avoiding due to their flat nature are the Ours blue from the base of Mont Vallon and Lac de La Chambre from the top of Cote Brune to the bottom of Mont Vallon. The last part is incredibly flat. The Boulevard de La Loze that takes you from Loze to Saulire is very flat, while the Perdrix green that takes you into Mottaret from the Tougnete is very flat at the bottom - make sure you get some speed up.


Meribel Off-Piste Skiing

As it is such a popular resort, a lot of the fresh powder is tracked extremely quickly. After a decent snow fall in Meribel you will be lucky if there is a much left after two to three days.

Much of the off-piste in Meribel is easily accessible, with few hikes or tours needed to reach it. As a result, and due to the sheer numbers in resort powder gets tracked out remarkabl;y quickly but if you make the effort and avoid the more obvious areas you should still pick up some fresh stuff.

Saulire

Much of the off-piste around Saulire centres on the couloirs that head into Courchevel and a few that come back into Meribel. The couloirs that drop into Couchevel are covered in the Courchevel guide.

As you come out of the Saulire gondola most skiers carry on to their left. Those who want to access the couloirs leading into Meribel must turn right. The Couloir L'Echelle is known as 'Death Couloir' to English speakers and is reached by the ladder visible on the right. Couloir L'Echelle is the first gully you come to while further along the ridge is the Couloire de L'Antenne. Neither are particularly enjoyable, with Death Couloir particularly rocky and exposed to the sun, but for the macho it is a necessity.

On the way down to Mottaret there is some decent off-piste to be found off the Niverolle red and Grand Rosiere black that takes you down to Mottaret via the Aigle red.

Between the Dent Burgin chairlift and the Loze chairlift there is easy pickings for novice off-piste skiers to try their hand in, particularly close to the Dent Burgin as the nearer you get to Loze the more avalanche prone the area becomes.

In good snow the whole area to the east of the Loze chair can provide superb off-piste through the forest to link up with the cross-country trails and Altiport below.

Tougnete

On the Tougnete side of the mountain the off-piste area around the Roc de Tougne is especially prone to avalanche and should only be considered with a guide. It is a shame, because the area has a nice mix of terrain.

Further along the west side of the valley, check out the bowl and face under the Olympic chair from where you can also follow several itineraries down through the trees to the mediaeval villages of Le Raffort and Les Allues. You need a bumper snowfall, however, and it is one of the most prone areas in the valley for avalanche.

The best off-piste from the top of the Olympic chairlift is off the back towards St Martin de Belleville. It is one of the classic off-piste itineraries in the valley, but one of the least used. It provides a good mix of terrain and endless routes to snake your way down.

Those who are unsure of their off-piste ability should consider the area beneath the Plan des Mains chairlift that leads to the bottom of Mont Vallon.

Mont du Vallon

Mont du Vallon has some steep off-piste both underneath the lift and dropping off the ridge towards the piste of Combe Vallon, a renowned red, as well as a classic itinerary off the back of the mountain which opens out to the left if you hike along the ridge line. There is also an excellent backcountry itinerary as you come out of the gondola on your left. There is a break in the mountain which you walk through to ski down to meet up with the Campagnol red.

One of the best descents in the valley can, paradoxically, only be accessed from the 3 Vallees 2 chairlift from Val Thorens. From here, go off the back and stay right before dropping down onto the very scenic red of Lac de la Chambre.

Be warned, the south-eastern area of the valley from the just beyond the Combe Vallon right around to the Grand Rosiere black is a nature reserve. This area is often patrolled by the pisteurs who take a dim view of skiers found in this area.

Cote Brune

The nearby Cote Brune is a good off-piste vehicle; follow the Venturon piste until it turns down the valley, keep left and as high as possible, from where it is a short walk behind the rocky summit to a natural gunbarrel and a steep powder face. For the best bumps in the valley stay directly under the Cote Brune chair.


Snow conditions in Meribel

Lack of snow is very rarely a problem in Méribel, with snowmaking machines increasingly used. Some of the runs that are west-facing tend to get slushy because of the afternoon sunshine; something to take into account if booking a late-season holiday. It is recommended to avoid the west side in the morning, because it gets unpleasantly frozen overnight.The 3 Valleys has a fantastic snow record due to it's high altitude. 85% of the area is over 1800m including 10 summits above 2500m and 6 glaciers. There are 2007 snow cannons across the ski area to increase coverage.


Accommodation in Meribel

There is a large variety of ski chalets available in Meribel, sleeping from 6 to 30, and even 120 people in a chalet hotel. If you are looking for a homely and friendly atmosphere for your ski holiday in Meribel, and chalet will be the perfect choice.There are several hotels located in Meribel, from affordable B&B style hotels to uber-luxury and all-inclusive Hotels.

Apartments in Meribel are a fantastic option for groups of friends or families looking for a more personal and flexible ski holiday. These accommodations have great access to the slopes and resort centre.


Family skiing in Meribel

Meribel is a beautiful resort and is the perfect backdrop for a winter wonderland-family ski holidays. There is so much for families to do off the slopes in Meribel, from ice skating to swimming to shopping to indoor climbing. Meribel is very convenient for families as the skiing is great, the village is large and the ski schools cater brilliantly for children and beginners.


Après-ski, restaurants and activities in Meribel

Après ski in Méribel is excellent, boasting many different bars places of entertainment. Try the Rond-Point (‘Ronnie’) at apres for live bands between 5-7pm and the large sun terrace. Jack’s bar is located at the bottom of the piste with great après, other bars include: Evolution Bar, La Taverne and Doron Le Pub.There is a lovely variety of restaurants in Méribel, ranging from casual pizza and pasta places, to ambitious French and Savoyard cuisine.

Other activities in resort include:

  • Ice skating
  • Indoor climbing
  • Cinema
  • Bowling
  • Spas
  • Gym / Fitness centre
  • Aqaugym
  • Swimming pool
  • Show shoeing
  • Horse sleigh
  • Snowmobiling

Transportation - Get In

Meribel, in France, is best accessed via train from Paris which goes direct to near-by Moutiers Salins where a short bus or taxi ride will take you to Meribel centre and surrounding areas. Eurostar offers direct services from London and Ashford on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings to Moutiers, returning on Saturday (morning or evening).

Other ways of getting to Meribel include flying to Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble or Chambery and transferring via bus or taxi. It is possible to drive to Meribel, but this is probably not the best way as traffic around the Alps can be awful and the mountain roads are rather hard to negotiate.

There is a direct coach service from London, stopping at a few other places in England which can give 8 days skiing, a very favourable low-cost option for the budget traveller.

The Olympe cable car links Meribel to Brides les Bains at the foot of the Alps, via Les Allués. The ride takes 26 minutes in small 6 seater cabins.

Transportation - Get Around

Meribel is a large resort by Alps standards but the best way to explore Meribel centre is by walking. If you are staying in surrounding villages, a bus service operates 7 days a week.

Accommodation & Hotels


Located 50 metres from Méribel Ski Station, Hotel Allodis features views of the 3 Valley mountain range, indoor swimming pool, hammam and fitness centre. Moûtiers is just a 35-minute drive away.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
  • HOTEL ALLODIS SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 91. Guests highly recommend it because of its food, location and rooms.


Hotel Les Arolles is a ski-in-ski-out hotel located in Meribel-Mottaret, a resort town in the 3 Valleys. It offers a heated swimming pool, free Wi-Fi in public areas, sauna and a large sun terrace.Some of the rooms have a private balcony offering mountain views.Guests can enjoy traditional and local specialities at Les Arolles' 2 restaurants.The Hotel Les Arolles provides on-site ski rental.The hotel is 25 kilometres from the TGV station in Moutiers-Salins.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Winter sports facilities are close
    • Friendly service
    • Nice building
    • Great reception
  • HOTEL LES AROLLES SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 91, this hotel is one of the top 10% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and rooms.


Stop at Hotel Alpen Ruitor to discover the wonders of Meribel. Offering a variety of facilities and services, the hotel provides all you need for a good night's sleep. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, valet parking are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Designed for comfort, selected guestrooms offer television LCD/plasma screen, slippers, internet access – wireless (complimentary), heating, desk to ensure a restful night. Entertain the hotel's recreational facilities, including sauna, skiing, spa, massage, steamroom. Hotel Alpen Ruitor combines warm hospitality with a lovely ambiance to make your stay in Meribel unforgettable.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great menu
    • Friendly service
    • Winter sports facilities are close
    • Friendly atmosphere
  • HÔTEL ALPEN RUITOR SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 90, this hotel is one of the top 1% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and food.


This hotel with mountain views in the centre of the 3 Valleys Ski Resort offers its guests free access to its wellness centre. It has 24-hour reception and a lounge bar with a fireplace and wide selection of wines.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • This is a wonderful boutique hotel, as guests say.
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Rooms could be larger
    • Great view
    • Impressive bathroom
  • HOTEL LE SAVOY SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 88, this hotel is one of the top 20% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and breakfast.


The comfortable 4-star hotel Hotel Le Tremplin is set in Meribel. It boasts a convenient location within walking distance from the historic city center. 

This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 98. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and amenities.

 

Chicly styled with slate and untreated wood, the hotel spa reflects the local architecture, and offers rejuvenating treatments and relaxing massages. The hotel swimming pool features hydromassage seats and an aquatic course, and is surrounded by glass, offering breathtaking views of the surroundings. Guestrooms at Le Kaila Hotel are luxuriously decorated with taupe and chocolate tones, creating a cozy chic feel, and some bathrooms feature jacuzzi baths and hammams. At the hotel restaurant, Chef Laurent Azoulay creates authentic local cuisine using seasonal products. The Hotel’s luxury ski shop proposes the newest ski equipments and brands, and guests enjoy its private access to the slopes.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
  • LE KAÏLA SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 88. Guests highly recommend it because of its service.


Hotel Mont Vallon is located in the heart of the Three Valleys Domain, 5 km from the centre of the village of Méribel and 200 metres from Plattieres 1 Ski Lift. A cable-car railway stop can be found directly in front of the hotel and provides direct access to Val Thorens in 30-minutes. Guests have free access to the fitness centre, the heated indoor pool and the sauna, and free WiFi is provided throughout.With a flat-screen TV and a minibar, each guest room features a view of the mountains and a traditional decoration. En suite bathrooms include bathrobes and slippers, and some rooms have a private balcony.Gourmet cuisine is served in Le Chalet restaurant, and Savoyard specialities are prepared in Le Schuss, the hotel's brasserie. You can relax beside the fireplace in the bar lounge.A cable railway stop can be found directly in front of the hotel, which provides direct access in 30 minutes to Val Thorens. Moutiers Train Station is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Free public shuttle services provide access to the centre of Meribel.Please note that for the evening of December 31 there is an additional fee of EUR 110 to EUR 155, depending on the restaurant selected.Offering a terrace and ski-to-door access, Hotel Mont Vallon is located in Méribel in the Rhône-Alps Region. The hotel has a sauna and hammam, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant.All rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain rooms include a seating area for your convenience. All rooms have a private bathroom equipped with a bath. For your comfort, you will find bath robes, slippers and free toiletries. Private parking is available at the hotel.There is free shuttle service at the property.This hotel has ski storage space and ski equipment hire is available. You can play squash at the hotel. Aigle ski lift is 200 metres from Hotel Mont Vallon, while Plattieres 1 Ski Lift is 200 metres from the property.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great desserts & fruits
    • Friendly service
    • Professional service
    • Hotel could use some updating
  • HOTEL MONT VALLON SUMMARY
    • This hotel has a very good TrustScore of 84. Guests recommend it because of its service, location and breakfast.


Property Location: Located in Les Allues (Meribel-Mottaret), Madame Vacances Hotel Le Mottaret is minutes from Chalets and Arolles. This ski hotel is within close proximity of Pas du Lac 1 and Combes.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 42 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and flat-screen televisions. Satellite programming and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Private bathrooms with showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include phones, and cribs/infant beds (complimentary) can be requested.

Amenities: Enjoy the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features a spa tub and a sauna. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, ski storage, and a fireplace in the lobby.

Dining: You can enjoy a meal at a restaurant serving the guests of Madame Vacances Hotel Le Mottaret, or find a snack in a coffee shop/café. Relax with a refreshing drink at one of the 2 bars/lounges.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include multilingual staff and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this hotel for budget travelers.
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great desserts & fruits
    • Rooms in need of an update
    • Friendly service
    • Menu is not great
  • MADAME VACANCES HÔTEL LE MOTTARET*** SUMMARY
    • With a good TrustScore of 76, guests choose this hotel because of its service and location. However, some guests complain about the food and comfort.

Ski Area

Most of the Meribel skiing area is above the tree-line and well connected. Whether some of the red runs should be graded blue and vice versa is debatable but this does not detract from the skiing in the slightest.

The Meribel valley is orientated north to south so the good news is that you can ski in the sun all day. Start your day on the west side somewhere between Roc de Fer and Mont de la Chambre before working your way round to finish off on the sun-kissed slopes of the Saulire peak. All of which will give you countless opportunities to drop into the other valleys. Most of the skiing area is above the treeline and is well connected by over 150 km of pistes.


Tougnete

There are two main resort villages, Meribel and Meribel-Mottaret, which also serve as the two major skiing hubs. Meribel-Mottaret is more ski-in ski-out whereas Meribel stretches up and along the valley with the Chaudanne lift station at its root. From the Chaudanne, ride up to Tougnete (2,434m) on the west side for access to some superb red runs spreading north towards the fast quads of Roc de Fer and the Ladies' Olympic downhill.

Off the back are deserted flanks of off-piste and a couple of classic reds leading down to St Martin de Belleville. Heading right from the lift leads you to the steep slopes of the Roc de Tougne drag. You can also drop down into Meribel-Mottaret from here but a better option for that on a sunny morning is taking the Plan de l'Homme six-seater chair - it is so much quicker although the run into Mottaret is flat so boarders take note.


Saulire

On the other side of the valley the Saulire gondola takes you to the summit (2,738m) and the link into the Courchevel valley. Most of the skiing on the Meribel side is wide motorways. Georges Mauduit, the old downhill, has been regraded from black to red but still has a wonderfully steep shoulder to blow the cobwebs away. Steeper yet blander runs lead down to Meribel-Mottaret and the others on the Meribel side grade out towards the tree-lined nursery slopes of Altiport.


Plattieres

The Pas du Lac gondola runs from Meribel-Mottaret also to the top of Saulire. The other major lift out of Mottaret is Plattieres, a three-stage gondola that opens up the southern part of the valley and tops out on the summit of 3 Marches (2,704m).

The first two stages take you straight up the middle of the valley and over a terrain park. Underneath the final dog leg right is the steep and jagged Bouquetin black, often closed but a real pulse quickener in good conditions. The top is an ideal drop-off point into Les Menuires and is home to some zippy reds. Both the second and third stages allow access to the Cote Brune chair (which links to Val Thorens and has a great off-piste bumps beneath it) and down towards the base of Mont du Vallon. Stay on for the third stage then drop-off the edge of the path on the Alouette piste for a more challenging way down.

The views from the top of Mont du Vallon (2,950m), the emblematic mountain and southern sentinel of Meribel, stretch right down the valley and also encompass the Tueda National Park and the frozen beauty of Lac de Tueda.

Ski Lifts & Pass


LIFT SYSTEM

NameTypePersons per hourYear of constructionManufacturer
Table VerteChairlift fixed 4 places12501981Poma
Burgin 1Gondola 6 places17001982Poma
Burgin 2Gondola 6 places17001982Poma
Plattieres 2Gondola 6 places22001983Poma
Plattieres 1Gondola 6 places22001984Poma
Plattieres 3Gondola 6 places22001984Poma
ArollesChairlift fixed 4 places18001985Skirail
Rocher de la LozeChairlift fixed 4 places15001988Poma
Mont-VallonGondola 12 places34001988Poma
RhodosGondola 12 places20251989Von Roll
Mures RougesChairlift detachable 4 places18001989Poma
Roc de FerChairlift fixed 4 places14601990Poma
Olympe 1Gondola 6 places9201990Poma
Olympe 2Gondola 6 places9201990Poma
Olympe 3Gondola 6 places9201990Poma
Olympic ExpressChairlift detachable 4 places15001990Poma
MorelChairlift fixed 3 places7001991Poma
Côtes BruneChairlift detachable 4 places20701991Poma
CombesChairlift detachable 4 places24001994Doppelmayr
Pas du Lac 1Gondola 8 places30001997Poma
Pas du Lac 2Gondola 8 places30001997Poma
AdretChairlift detachable 6 places24001998Poma
Dent de BurginChairlift detachable 6 places24002000Poma
AltiportChairlift detachable 8 places34002000Poma
Plan des MainsChairlift detachable 6 places30002002Leitner
Plan de l'HommeChairlift detachable 6 places30002004Poma
ChâteletChairlift detachable 6 places22002006Poma
ChaletsGondola pulsed 6 places5222007Poma
Tougnète 2Chairlift detachable 6 places covered36002007Poma
Tougnète 1Gondola 6 places15002008Poma
GolfChairlift detachable 4 places15002009Poma
AltiportButton lift continuous5002009Poma
DoronConveyor belt covered 2010Poma
Les LoupiotsConveyor belt  Poma
ForetRope tow  Poma
CombeButton lift detachable  Poma
CotesButton lift detachable  Poma
EscargotButton lift continuous 2005Poma
ArpassonButton lift continuous 2006Poma
Roc de Tougne 1 & 2Button lift detachable  Poma
AigleButton lift detachable  Poma
SitelleButton lift detachable  Poma
StadeButton lift continuous  Poma


LIFT TICKETS

DAYCHILD
(5-13)
ADULT
(13-65)
SENIOR
(65-75)
Weekday€41.70€52.00€46.80
Weekend€41.70€52.00€46.80
Half Day€34.90€43.50€39.10
2-day pass€81.90€102.00€91.80
6-day pass€200.00€249.00€224.10

Activities & Things to do

Meribel offers some of the best Alpine Skiing in the Alps and other resorts such as Courchevel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens can be accessed via the extensive lift network.

In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, other Meribel activities include cross country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, horse sleigh rides, snowshoeing, snow biking, hot air ballooning and paragliding. And the Olympic Centre, which was built for the 1992 Winter Olympics, has a swimming pool, water slide, climbing wall, and indoor ice skating rink.

Restaurants & Nightlife


Meribel Apres-Ski, Bars & Restaurants

Meribel offers a wide range of restaurant options from traditional Savoyard to the ubiquitous pizza.

Due to Meribel's extensive chalet accommodation, the main town centre can be dead from post skiing until at least 10.30pm. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday tend to be chalet staff night off so restaurants are extremely busy and definitely need to be booked in advance.

The title of best restaurant in town is strongly contested but Chez Kiki in Morel has been at the top for so long it is surely ranks in the top three. A huge grill chars steaks to perfection, ably aided by Kiki himself. Savoyard specialities are also available, but the restaurant clearly is no place for vegetarians. Chez Kiki has edged in to the extremely pricey bracket, but it is just still worth the blowout.

Aux Petits Oignons, also in Morel, is not as good as the Enfants Terribles that it replaced, but the food is still hearty, tasty and is served in a delightful little dining room. The Charolais beef rivals Kiki's.

In Meribel proper, Le Taverne, downstairs from the bar, is always underrated. The wine list is solid, and the chef does the Savoyard classics well. The duck is superb.

Down near the Chaudanne, the Kouisena is a traditional Savoyard restaurant. It is a rustic setting, without being too kitsch and the food is well prepared. Decent wine list.

For cheese lovers, the Fromagerie, also in Meribel centre is perfect for raclettes and fondues. The cheese board, unsurprisingly is vast. You can buy cheese to take away as well.

In Les Allues, the hotel La Croix Jean Claude has a good restaurant but the best in the village is Tsaretta. The decor is rustic Alps and the menu is broad. They have their own pizza oven, offer basic British dishes such as fish and chips, but also serve seafood. The restaurant offers a minibus back up to Meribel.

Other stand alone restaurants worth considering slightly out of Meribel centre are the Blanchot and the Grain de Sel. The Blanchot up by the Altiport offers a varied menu which is far removed from the pasta and pizza restaurants that dominate the landscape in central resort; think warm macaroon with foie gras served with prunes and Armagnac.

Meribel's hotels house some of the best restaurants in resort. The Allodis, the Hotel Grand Coeur, L'Helios, Hotel Yeti and the Hotel Adray Telebar lead the way, while the likes of the Hotel Marie Blanche, Merilys and Oree du Bois also offer good dining.

At the cheaper end, Meribel offers decent dining. There are a little too many pasta and pizza places, and Brits are well served by an outpost of Pizza Express above Dick's Tea Bar.

The best restaurants at the cheaper end for traditional Savoyard food are the Galette, La Grange and Refuge, which among the raclettes and hot stones arguably serves better pizzas than Pizza Express. Evolution is a stylish dark wood bar/restaurant serving gastro pub food while Cactus Cafe and Barometer serve burgers and other bar food.

In Mottaret Le Grenier serves good, no-nonsense French fare at reasonable prices and the cellar restaurant of Au Temps Perdu comes highly recommended. The Pizzeria Mottaret offers a variety of first rate pizza and pasta dishes.

For fine dining the Chalet in the Hotel Mont Vallon and the Table du Mottaret in the Hotel AlpenRuitor are worth the trip up the mountain for those staying in Meribel.

Although Meribel's bars stay open until 1pm, Meribel does not boast the most raucous nightlife in the Alps. It has two nightclubs, the fiercely British Dick's Tea Bar and the fiercely French Le Loft. Both are well patronised and stay open late. Le Privilege is the only nightclub in Mottaret.

As far as drinking is concerned, the English run bars of Barometer, Pub, Cactus Cafe, Jacks Bar and Le Taverne Bar are all there for the British market. They all serve a mean line in shots, have pitchers of beer, provide special offers and screen live sport. Barometer would be the smartest of them all. Jacks Bar put on a 'toss the boss' evening, generally on Sundays, where you roll the dice against the barman. You roll higher and you get your drinks free. The bar also has bands at night.

For those looking for something different, the Bar A Vins has a huge wine list, many by the glass. It is a tiny establishment with a strong French flavour and sells delicious little plates of food to go with your wine. We estimate you can get no more than 30 people in there. A similar establishment is 50-50, which is situated halfway from the Chaudanne and Meribel centre.

Evolution, down by the Chuadanne, serves cocktails. For the best cocktails in Meribel, however, head to Le Poste in the centre of Meribel adjacent to the post office. In early evening it is a sophisticated bar that would not look too out of place in any of Europe's major capital cities. Live music such as Cuban guitarists strum, but go deeper into the night and the place because a hive of Euro pop carnage. It can be as raucous as Dick's Tea Bar on many evenings and sets you up perfectly should you want to progress to that venue.

Elsewhere in the resort, up in Morel, both Chez Kiki and Aux Petits Oignons have good bars in which to have a quiet drink, while most of the hotels have their own bars that are open to non-guests.

In Mottaret, Le Rasro gets pretty loud later on in the night, while in Meribel Village the Lodge du Village, run by Brits, offers the best apres ski with bands performing several times a week. Le Zig Zag brings a taste of Austrian Jagartee to the proceedings. For those in Les Allues Tsaretta showcases a big night out on Sundays, and serves the strong larger Mutzig.


Meribel Apres Ski

Many of Meribel's vibrant bars and clubs are English-run and rather expensive although this is more down to exchange rates than profiteering.

Meribel's apres ski is pretty subdued when compared to Austria, or virtually any other big league French resort. The first place to head for is Le Rond Point. The sun terrace is the place to be seen and is pretty full for most of the day. On most days there is a live band from about 5pm, and the whole place shuts at 8pm.

The Cactus Cafe at the Chuadanne does good special offers while nearby Jacks Bar also have bands on a regular basis. In Meribel itself, Le Taverne has a happy hour and serves cheap pitchers of beer from 5-7pm.


Meribel Mountain Restaurants

Meribel has a wide selection of mountain restaurants. As there is a wealth of competition throughout the Three Valleys the standards are pretty high. In Meribel itself, the options are pretty solid, but unspectacular, but as you go further up the mountain, the food, and sun terraces, become much better.

Meribel's lunch options in the centre of the village are solid, if unspectacular, but if you stay up the mountain things get a lot more exciting. We go through the best in the valley.

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