Ski & Snowboard

 

MERIBEL

Ski & Snowboard Resort Review

Meribel, FRANCE is located in the heart of Les 3 Vallees with Courchevel on one side and Val Thorens on the other. The stunning Meribel Valley boasts outstanding on and off piste skiing and snowboarding powder filled terrain.

Meribel Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain

The skiing and snowboarding terrain in the Meribel Valley is magnificent with steep powder filled pistes, tight chutes and natural gullies, fast mogul runs, 150 kilometres of long linking groomed trails and beginner runs. The Valley is serviced by a fast and efficient lift system.

Meribel is part of Les 3 Vallees the largest interlinked resorts in the world with 600 kilometres of endless marked trails plus unlimited off piste terrain. You could ski or snowboard Les 3 Vallees terrain for weeks and not cover it all. For information on Les 3 Vallees click here

Ski passes can be purchased for just the Meribel Valley or for the entire Les 3 Vallees area. In 2009 morning mini ski passes were introduced enabling guests to ski or snowboard in the Meribel Valley and Les 3 Vallees from lift opening to 12.30pm only. Meribel and Les 3 Vallees has Hands Free ski passes which automatically enable lift access without staff manually checking passes ensuring less crowd congestion.

meribel ski picture

Meribel halfpipe photo JM Gouédard

Advanced Skiing and Snowboarding at Meribel

Almost every peak in the Meribel Valley in every direction offers countless challenges for advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Go to the top of Mont Du Vallon for awe inspiring views of Les 3 Vallees before picking your off piste path down into the Meribel Valley. From here skiers and snowboarders can zig zag up and down the entire Valley.

The right hand side of the Meribel Valley generally has better deep powder off piste skiing and snowboarding as it receives less direct sun than the left side. The left side has some very fast steep trails on either side of the Pas Du Lac Gondola.

A massive mogul course set to challenge even the best bumps riders is on the left had side of the Roc de Tougne lift.

After a good snowfall catch the Loze Chairlift from Altiport to access the long Boulevard de la Loze trail. After some fast groomed runs head off piste into the exciting surrounding terrain filled with natural kickers rollers and mini windlips.

In bad weather conditions the upper sections of the Valley can suffer from white outs forcing skiers and snowboarders down into the lower sections. Head for the treed area and natural obstacles around the Combes Chairlift.

Intermediate Skiing and Snowboarding at Meribel

Intermediates have access to many long groomed linking trails throughout the Meribel Valley with the trails rising quite steeply from the Villages.

For a long morning run catch the Tougnete Gondola from Meribel to the top station before skiing or snowboarding down the fast Faon trail leading to the halfway station. From there keep going back down to Meribel or head across to the Meribel Mottaret terrain.

The Tougnete 1 Gondola recently had a facelift; the high speed gondola now has 54 new cabins moving 1,500 passengers per hour decreasing congestion in peak periods.

From Meribel Mottaret the Combes Chairlift and the Plattieres Gondola access intermediate level open powder terrain leading down into the trees, in good snow conditions it is fantastic fun.

Intermediates will love exploring the 600 kilometres of trails and terrain throughout Les 3 Vallees. Courchevel and Val Thorens generally have easier intermediate terrain than in the Meribel Valley. Recently the Tougnete 2 Gondola was replaced with a high speed chairlift carrying 3,300 passengers an hour. The new chairlift enables easier access to Les 3 Vallees as it eliminates the need to remove skis or snowboards when leaving the Meribel Valley.

Beginner Skiing and Snowboarding at Meribel

Meribel has recently created Zen Zones for beginner skiers and snowboarders. The zones are separate from the main trails so beginners can learn without distractions.

The main beginner skiing and snowboarding area in the Meribel Valley is at Altiport. From Meribel take the Rhodos Gondola to access the wide open gently sloping runs under the Altiport Chairlift.

Some of the runs wind down through the trees back to Meribel. They get steeper as they get closer to Meribel so only confident beginners should attempt them. Those not so confident take the Rhodos Gondola back down to Meribel.

The neighbouring linked resort of Courchevel offers more wide gentle beginner terrain. To access the Courchevel Valley catch the Loze Chairlift from Altiport.

The Meribel Ski and Snowboard Schools have over 400 professional bilingual instructors with group, private and day long lessons for all levels of ability and age group.

Freestyle and off piste powder lessons are also available with guides showing hidden powder stashes whilst giving you some handy powder skiing and snowboarding tips along the way.

First Tracks Skiing and Snowboarding at Meribel

Every Thursday morning at 8am skiers and snowboarders have the opportunity to make first tracks on the slopes in the Meribel Valley. Reserve a spot the night before to get out early with the ski patrol. After a light breakfast at the top of the Valley cruise down the newly groomed untouched trails.

Meribel Terrain Park and Halfpipe

Meribel has two main terrain parks; the Plattieres Snowpark and the Moon Park.
The Plattieres Snowpark in Meribel Mottaret was the first park ever built in Les 3 Vallees in 1995. It has two halfpipes a boardercross course and various jumps, rails, tabletops and kickers.

The Moon Park in Meribel has another two halfpipes a competition level halfpipe and a beginner one. The park has wooden jumps, rails and tabletops of various sizes suitable for all freerider levels.

Le P’tit Moon was opened in the 2007 winter season. It is an intermediate style children’s boardercross course for ages 7 to 12.


Other Activities at Meribel

Outdoor activities to enjoy at Meribel include ice skating on the Olympic skating rink, snow shoeing, dog sled rides, snowmobiling, winter walking trails, paragliding and scenic flights.

In 2007 the Parc Olympic in the Meribel Village had a facelift. Now as well as the existing ice skating rink the Parc has a swimming pool, climbing wall, Turkish baths, saunas, a bowling alley and a nightclub.

Meribel also has a cinema and many massage and beauty treatments available.

The Meribel Villages

Meribel has four separate villages at different altitude levels. The Villages are; Meribel Mottaret, Meribel, Meribel Village and Les Allues.

Meribel Mottaret located at 1,800 meters is a small ski in ski out village.

The main central town of Meribel located at 1,600 meters has the main bulk of accommodation, shops, restaurants and nightlife.

The small Meribel Village located at 1,400 meters is an older style quiet village.

The peaceful village of Les Allues located at 1,100 meters was the original Meribel Village. It now has a gondola linking it to Meribel Mottaret.

Meribel Shopping

The Meribel Town is packed full of ski and snowboard equipment and rental shops, fashion boutiques and gift and souvenir shops. The town has eyewear shops, newsagencies, pharmacies, jewellers, homeware stores, children’s clothing boutiques, book shops and beauty salons.

Meribel has top quality grocery markets, butchers, patisseries (bakeries), delicatessens and cheese shops.

Meribel Restaurants

The majority of restaurants in the town of Meribel serve beautiful French cuisine with local speciality dishes.

Cheese lovers must go to La Fromagerie Chez Fromton located below the cheese shop, the fondues and raclette are excellent.

For fine dining go to the elegant main dining room in Le Grand Coeur Hotel serving regional specialty meat and fish dishes. They are well known for their enormous cellar full of European wines.

The popular La Galette Restaurant serves sweet and savoury crepes and gourmet pizzas.
Be sure not to bypass the exceptional bakeries selling sweet and savoury delights like quiches, tarts, baguettes and melt in your mouth croissants.


Meribel Nightlife

Meribel has a really festive nightlife with crowded bars, pubs and nightclubs all remaining open until the early hours of the morning.

Le Pub is the most popular pub in the town of Meribel. Everyday it has an après ski happy hour with bands performing regularly and live screenings of English football (soccer) matches.

Both Dick’s Tea Bar and Le Loft nightclub are packed to the rafters every night with well known DJs playing both old classics and funky new music.

For something a little quieter go to the stylish Barometer bar for après ski cocktails and excellent wines by the glass.

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Your Meribel Ski & Snowboard Resort Reviews

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Ellie Conrads, UK. THANK YOU MERIBEL.....My girlfriends and I spent a week in Meribel this year and have decided to make it a ritual! We had an absolutely fabulous time! Skiing and boarding all day (well after 11-am!) then partying all night with the locals and some unnamed others! (what happens on a girl's trip stays on a girl's trip!!!) We stayed in Meribel (Mottaret is a bit quiet for us, but the ski in ski out will appeal one day) at a lovely apartment it was tiny but still quite lovely just up the road from the tourist office. At night we spent most of our time either at Dicks Tea Bar or Le Loft, both were equally as fun as each other. Dicks had more of our country men but it was very fulfilling creating international relations at Le Loft!!!!! Rond Point was also fabulous for the apres ski start on the way back to the village. Skiing wise we stuck mainly to the Meribel Valley in the mornings then headed over to Chourchevel in the afternoons. I love the groomed pistes that go forever, some are so long and really well interlinked, there's nothing worse than having to traverse back and forth to get from one place to another. Also a great thing is that the maps are easy to read and the pistes have good signs, we found that one of us generally had a clue where we were. and if we didn't there was always a sexy instructor or patroller to flag down and ask!!! A downfall I've had in the past is that the skiing in the Meribel valley gets really over crowded during the school holidays, and in busy times I would head to Les Menuires and Val Thorens. It takes quite a while to get to Val Thorens, it is a long way from Meribel however you will be rewarded with uncrowded pistes. Well the girls will be back to Meribel next year SO LOOK OUT FOR US!!!!

B Cobb, Australia. I recently took my family to Meribel and throughly enjoyed every moment of the experience. Our apartment was a bit shabby and a bit of a squeeze but my wife still produced delicious meals every night. Aaahhh the food was tops, every morning I would go to the bakery and buy warm croissants and baguettes, and they actually tasted real! - in Sydney there would not be a croissant that would come even close to the Les Fee Verte bakery. I originally chose to stay at Meribel mainly because it was slightly cheaper than Chourchevel but having been to Chourchevel I'm happy that I chose Meribel it seemed snobby and didn't have the amenities and shops that Meribel does. With 3 children under the age of 11 the ski school was our savour! The instructors were so good with the kids and there english was better than mine, My wife and I would ski out of the Meribel Valley every morning to the upper areas of Chourchevel before having lunch on the mountain, yes some days we paid way too much and others we struck it lucky at only having to pay around $30, it was still worth it though! The afternoons were spent in the Meribel Valley on the lower slopes with the kids, they loved it, the Pas-du-Lac 1 gondola a particular favourite! I must mention the overall beauty of the area, my wife took literally hundreds of photos of the scenic views and they don't even begin to do it justice! Meribel was also appealing off the skis, we went ice skating as a family, swimming and even snow shoeing! Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and I would rather not ski in Australia for a couple of years in order to save the money to return for a few weeks every couple of years.

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Statistics

Elevation
 
ft
m
summit
9,678
2,950
Base
4,757
1,450
Average Snowfall
Lifts
53
Trails - view map
74
150 km
Terrain %
advanced
25
intermediate
40
beginner
35
Halfpipe
2
Terrain Park
2
Resort Website

 

 

 

 

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