Resort Insider – St Martin de Belleville, France

STORY BY
Vanessa Fisher
12th February 2017

St Martin de Belleville is a traditional ski resort located in the 3 Valleys, the world’s largest ski region. 

Rich in historic character and charm, it offers an atmospheric alternative to its neighbouring purpose-built resorts of Les Menuire and Val Thorens.  A new gondola makes accessing the 3 Valleys quick and easy from the old village.

Best café

Find the locals in the ‘P bar’, just behind the village church owned and run by British girl Lucy Chittenden.  They have live music every Thursday and Sunday evenings and the rest of the week, just cosy in with one of their popular cocktails – Espresso Martinis and Mosco Mules being the best sellers-relax by the log fire, open every day from 4pm.

What not to miss

Go mushing with the huskies along the river and through the woods, just half an hour but great fun. Also, make sure to pop in to the baroque and very beautiful 17th Century  chapel, The Notre Dame de la Vie built between 1635 and 1685, still one of the main pilgrimage sites in the Savoie.

Best Run

Skiers rave about Jerusalem, the main piste down to St Martin de Belleville but now it has got even better with the steeper section bypassed in a million euro+ investment programme this season and therefore even easier for a fast cruise back to base. Enjoy the rollers on this blue run (was a red run) on the way down and stunning views of the Belleville Valley.

Best for a Romantic Evening Meal

Recently awarded its third Michelin star, La Bouitte in St Marcel, a little hamlet close by St Martin, holds the title of highest 3* in the Alps and still maintains its traditional roots being run by the father and son duo René and Maxime Meilleur. Definitely a-blow- the –budget- book -in -advance type of evening but unforgettable.  Or  head to La Trantsa by snowshoe for their weekly ‘trantsa’ tastings, a Belleville speciality made from ‘serac’ skimmed milk, cheese and rye bread .

Unknown fact about St Martin de Belleville

It was only in the 1980s that St Martin de Belleville was linked to the 3 Vallees. Before this the village was just a sleepy little farming community which was only connected to electricity in the 1950s. It still retains its old charm but with the new gondola built in 2015 it really is a choice base to access the huge and modern 3 Vallees ski area.

Buy a Chalet there?

Fancy a bespoke six bed chalet? It can be yours! Chalets du Nants du Four , one of two new build chalets is currently available for 3,296 000 euros with ernalowporperty.com

www.st-martin-de-belleville.com

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