Guide To Skiing in Val Thorens
Val Thorens is Europe’s highest ski resort and is popular with skiers of all abilities. This guide provides everything you need to know when planning a trip there.
If you’re planning a ski holiday then Val Thorens is certainly a good choice.
Taking the top spot, quite literally, as Europe’s highest ski resort, a Val Thorens ski holiday has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a family trip to the slopes, a romantic snow-filled weekend or a thrill-seeking skiing adventure.
Read on to find out everything there is to know about Val Thorens ski resort to help you plan your perfect skiing holiday.
Where is Val Thorens
Val Thorens is one of the famous “Three Valleys” and is located in the Savoie area of the northern French Alps.
Situated in the Tarentaise Valley, of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the resort is just under 3 hours from Chambery airport and around 3 hours 30 minutes from Geneva airport.
The town of Val Thorens is packed full of ski accommodation, pubs and restaurants, all with the impressive backdrop of dramatic white mountains as far as the eye can see.
The Val Thorens ski resort is the highest in Europe, sitting at 2300m, which means it benefits from the best snowfall across all of the European ski resorts.
Its altitude means Val Thorens can practically guarantee just as excellent a snowfall at Easter as it can at Christmas.
Val Thorens is part of the famous Three Valleys which means those with an all encompassing pass can experience the joys of resorts such as Courchevel and Meribel too.
Val Thorens ski resort is part of the largest lift-linked ski area in the world and the ski area offers 150 km of slopes to enjoy, including 78 pistes that are made up of 11 green, 29 blue, 30 red and 8 black slopes.
The Val Thorens Ski Resort
The Val Thorens ski resort is great for all abilities and ages, but it’s worth noting that the vast altitude isn’t for everyone.
Not only is it the highest ski resort in Europe, it’s also one of the most convenient, with slopes running above, below, beside and even right through the village.
The village itself is purpose built but it still oozes apres ski vibes thanks to the sheer number of cosy bars and restaurants to sip a beverage and warm up in after a day on the slopes.
There’s a wide range of luxury accommodation available including 5-star hotels, whilst its dedicated resources for both young and older skiers have earnt it a “Famille Plus” label.
If you fancy a day off from the slopes or have a few skiing novices in your group then there is plenty to do that doesn’t involve skis including Europe’s highest zipline and Europe’s longest toboggan run.
Val Thorens was the second place in France to be home to 10 Michelin star restaurants, so once you’ve worked up an appetite you can treat yourself to some fine dining.
For those looking for something a little less fancy, Val Thorens has around 60 different restaurants to choose from, meaning there’s sure to be something to tickle all taste buds.
Val Thorens - Ski Areas
Thanks to the installation of the largest cable car in the world (at the time) in the eighties, Val Thorens became the world’s leading ski resort. Many would argue that’s a title it can still hold today.
The Val Thorens valley is made up of three separate villages, Les Menuires, Val Thorens and Saint Martin De Belleville. Thanks to its high altitude, you’re guaranteed great snowfall whatever time of the year you embark on a Val Thorens ski holiday.
Val Thorens has ski areas for all abilities but those with experience on the slopes should seek out Jerusalem, a long, wide run that although recently downgraded from a red to a blue, is often named as one of the best ski runs in the world.
Pointe de La Masse benefits from the very best of the morning sun and amongst the areas many runs are three black slopes, Dame Blanche, Lac Noir and Rocher Noir, perfect for experienced skiers looking for a thrill.
There’s plenty of off-piste terrain throughout Val Thorens and if the weather permits, the glaciers in the area are worth exploring for those with the skillset to do so.
If you’ve still got some energy left as the end of the day nears then take the Funitel Peclet gondola up to the glacier for some breathtaking views. The Lac Blanc and Les Vires slopes are the best ways to get back down, both of which are extremely wide allowing you to avoid fellow skiers on the way.
The Three Valleys
Thanks to the fact that the Val Thorens ski resort is part of the famous Three Valleys, you’ll have more than enough snowy slopes to explore during your visit.
The Three Valleys consists of eight ski resorts: Courchevel, Meribel, La Tania, Orelle, Brides-les-Baines, Les Menuires, St Martin de Belleville and Val Thorens.
The whopping 319 runs within the resorts more than cover every skiing ability and there’s everything from beginner slopes to some of the top ten best ski slopes in the world.
Advanced and intermediate skiers should head to Meribel where you can find “Face”, used for the Olympic Women’s downhill run in 1992 and the GoPro Couloir black run that’s narrow and steep and has no escape routes, making it a slope for experts only.
Orelle is actually the fourth valley within the Three Valleys, confusing yes, but also full of brilliant slopes for all abilities.
Orelle has 11 green and 33 blue slopes meaning even skiing novices can benefit from a trip here, whilst the red run Coraia has some of the best views of the whole area thanks to the fact it’s the Three Valley’s highest slope.
Skiing in Val Thorens - By Ability
Val Thorens ski areas have something for everyone, whether it’s your first or fortieth trip to the slopes.
Skiing In Val Thorens for Beginners
For beginners looking to learn and improve their ski skills, a Val Thorens ski holiday is perfect.
Learners have access to 11 green runs and 29 blue ones in the Val Thorens area alone.
The extensive valley is connected with various gentle pistes perfect for beginners meaning almost the whole of the ski area is accessible to skiers of every level.
The valley also has five dedicated beginner zones which means newbies on the slopes aren’t stuck doing the same slopes again and again and instead get to experience just as much variety as more experienced skiers.
Skiing In Val Thorens for Intermediate Skiers
Intermediate skiers will have the time of their lives in Val Thorens with a variety of slopes perfect to safely push you to your limits.
Jerusalem makes a perfect first foray into powder slopes whilst Combe de Rosael is seriously steep and takes you to the breathtaking “fourth valley”…just don’t attempt this one if it’s icy.
Allamande is a red run that takes you from the top of Three Marches right down to the resort of Les Menuires. This winding run has plenty of twists and turns for an enjoyable yet testing experience.
Skiing In Val Thorens for Advanced Skiers
Seasoned skiers have plenty of choice in Val Thorens with the resort’s array of black slopes the perfect place to show off advanced skills.
At the top of the Cime Caron lift you’ll find Combe de Caron, a black run that runs all the way back to Val Thorens whilst Col de l’Audzin may be a red run but it’s not be sniffed at by skiing pros looking for an enjoyable yet still tricky slope.
The Point de La Masse is of course home to various black slopes, making this area perfect for advanced skiers who are looking for a day of white knuckle trips down the mountains.
Transfers to Val Thorens from Geneva airport take around 3 hours 30 minutes, with the route giving you plenty of breathtaking views and snowy alpine scenes to enjoy.
Our expert alpine drivers put safety first, meaning you can sit back and relax following your flight as you get ready to hit the slopes (or the bar) upon arrival.
Whilst the resort itself is perfect for families, those travelling with smaller children will need to consider the transfer time when choosing their ski resort.
Guide to Skiing in Val Thorens
Val Thorens is Europe’s highest ski resort and arguably, one of its best too.
With an array of slopes for all ages and skill levels, as well as access to the wider resorts that form part of the Three Valleys, no matter how long you stay you’ll be guaranteed a varied and thrilling experience.
Skiers of all levels can enjoy a Val Thorens ski holiday and here at Alpine Fleet we provide comfortable and cost effective transfers from Geneva Airport to the resort, with our stops covering every area of the resort.