Les Trois Vallées (the Three Valleys) is one of the most famous ski areas in Europe and the largest one in France. It includes 600 km of interconnected ski runs, and 118 km of cross-country ski runs.
The ski area is not far from the border with Italy and is located near the enchanting Vanoise National Park. Therefore, the landscapes surrounding the slopes are truly breathtaking.
What makes Les Trois Vallées particularly popular is also the abundance of facilities in its main destinations; Courchevel, Méribel, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville and Val Thorens.
Although the mountain villages may all look the same, each of these ski resorts has its own peculiarities.
Courchevel is one of the most famous winter sports resorts in France and Europe. It was created in 1946 and in 1992 it hosted some competitions of the Winter Olympics.
There are 5 villages which names indicate their altitude; Saint-Bon-Tarentaise 1100, Le Praz or Courchevel 1300, Courchevel 1650 (Moriond) and Courchevel 1850. The latter is the one that made the area popular, especially among VIPs. This is is why Courchevel is called ‘the snowy Monte Carlo‘ or ‘the ski slope of millionaires’. This type of tourism has led to the opening of 5-star hotels, upscale restaurants and luxury shops.
The ski resort includes 120 slopes for a total of 150 kilometers, 90 km of cross-country ski trails and 62 cable cars of various types. The slopes are located between 1,300 and 2,738 meters of altitude.
Méribel is another popular destination for skiers.
The highest point reachable with its ski lifts is Mont Vallon (2,952 m).
The Méribel ski resort is located on the border with the aforementioned Vanoise National Park and includes ski runs for alpine skiing and cross-country skiing.
Moreover, there is a small airport nearby.
If you want to learn more, here is an article entirely dedicated to Méribel.
Les Menuires ski resort was founded in 1964 and it is at about 1,850 meters a.s.l.
It has 39 ski lifts and 62 trails.
Saint-Martin-de-Belleville was the first town in the valley to be reached by road and to be equipped with ski lifts for alpine skiing.
The valley is very beautiful, with wild places where a great variety of wild animals live undisturbed.
The Val Thorens ski resort was opened on Christmas 1971 and is located at 2,300 meters a.s.l.
It is particularly popular because, in addition to the countless slopes, it also has an ice car circuit, a snow park and the longest toboggan run in France; 6 km, with an altitude difference of 700 m, with the starting point at 3000 meters above sea level.