Méribel has many attractions, but for skiers it could be argued that it’s the best located ski resort in the world – smack bang in the middle of the planet’s largest ski area, the 3 Vallées, meaning you’re closer to very part of this vast 600km ski domain than from any other resort village on the circuit.
What’s even better is that decades of fine tuning run layout around this huge area means its designed so that experienced skiers can travel around it on red and black slopes but crucially beginners can explore it on blue and green slopes, so no one is left lout and everyone can maximise the opportunities.
For Regular Skiers
With almost half of its pistes ranked green or blue, skiing in les 3 Vallées is well within the reach of intermediate skiers in Méribel. Skiers of all abilities can reach the extremities of the world’s biggest ski area without difficulties quickly and smoothly on easy runs in all directions and find fast, comfortable lifts to whisk you back up the slopes at the end of each run.
To hop over to the Courchevel valley to your left as you look up to the mountain above you, there are two possibilities: either via Col de la Loze and then the Anémones blue run, or via Saulire Express 2 or Pas du Lac 2 lifts and then down the blue Lac Creux piste.
Or to reach the Belleville valley, to the right as you look up, go up to Col de la Chambre and down Pluviomètre to Val Thorens or les Menuires; the return will be on the blue Lac de la Chambre run reached by 3 Vallées or Mont de la Chambre gondola lifts. To get to Les Ménuires or Saint-Martin, all the 3 Vallées links lead to blue runs. To return, take Saint-Martin Express and then Faon or Choucas runs.
It may seem a little odd to go straight to the world’s biggest ski area for your first ever time on skis or a snowboard, but why not? The 3 Vallées team were all beginners once and have the resources and space to create some of the best nursery slopes on the planet, as well as lots of expert ski instructors ready to teach you the basics.
The Family Cool area is a great place to practice in peace, away from faster skiers. You can be relaxed and ski at your own pace on easy green and blue slopes, enjoying the beautiful setting.
For Experienced Skiers
Beyond the great choice of red and black graded terrain, including several world-famous descents, Méribel offers amazing off-piste skiing, with mountain guide or ski instructors ready to lead you to the best terrain, depending on your skills and preference as well as the conditions on the day you ski or snowboard with them.
There’s a new black run for winter 22-23, L’Ibex (Méribel regulars will remember this as following the route of the former black piste under the old Plattières 3 gondola). It is one of the resort’s “Vertical Experience” pistes where you can challenge yourself on a steep couloir which has, of course, been avalanche-controlled. Accessed from the new Bouquetin chairlift, it’s a steep and completely natural slope which is 600 metres long with a 300 metre drop.
The growing popularity of ski touring is, as you’d expect, well catered for in Méribel. For your first ski touring ascents, Le Roc is a new introductory ski touring trail for ski tourers. This uphill slope at the top of the Chalets gondola lift, is a relatively easy 2km walk with skins under your touring skis over 370 metres of vertical towards the Chalet du Lac. When you reach the top you can get a snack in the chalet and enjoy the views before heading down.