One of three resorts in the Belleville Valley, which is itself one of the world famous 3 Vallées (Three Valleys), Les Menuires has a reputation for offering the lowest prices in the area.
Located above the old Savoyard village of St Martin de Belleville and below Val Thorens (Europe’s highest purpose-built ski centre), Les Menuires has previously marketed itself as ‘The Smile of The Alps’ because of the semi-circular arc of its main building complex and its good sunshine record. It’s now known as ‘Friendly Menuires’, and is one of the 3 Valleys’ most popular spots for families, as well as for those on a budget.
If you are looking for a ski resort that offers a great experience for families, Les Menuires might be the perfect choice. Located in the French Alps, this resort is part of the Les 3 Vallées ski area, which has over 600 km of linked slopes and 186 lifts. Les Menuires is situated at 1,850 m, which means it has reliable snow conditions and a long ski season. The resort also has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with plenty of activities and facilities for children and adults. Here are some of the highlights of our stay at Les Menuires in January 2024.
Les Menuires has 160 km of slopes, with 12 green 🟢, 37 blue 🔵, 24 red 🔴, and 6 black ⚫️ runs. The slopes are well-maintained and diverse, with gentle slopes, steep slopes, and fun zones. The resort also has access to the whole Les 3 Vallées ski area, which means you can explore other resorts like Val Thorens, Courchevel, and Méribel.
One of the best experiences we had was the first tracks event, which allowed us to ski on the Point de La Masse before anyone else. We took the gondola up to the peak at 8 am, and enjoyed the fresh snow and the amazing views. We also had a delicious breakfast at Le 2800, which was included in our ticket price. This event takes place on Wednesdays, and is limited to 40 skiers, so make sure you book in advance.
Our favorite run was the red Fred Covili, which starts from the top of Point de La Masse and goes all the way down to the village. It was a long and exhilarating run, with some challenging sections and some smooth sections. It was also not very crowded, which made it even more enjoyable.
For beginners, Les Menuires is an excellent place to learn to ski, as it has a large children’s ski area, with ski schools, nurseries, and playgrounds. The resort also holds the ‘Famille Plus’ quality award, which means it offers a range of services and activities for families.
Les Menuires has a good choice of restaurants to suit every taste and budget, from traditional Savoyard cuisine to international dishes. You can find pizza, pasta, burgers, sushi, and curry, as well as cheese, meat, and fish specialties. Here are some of the places we tried:
1️⃣ Jack’s in the Alps: This is a bar and restaurant that has a chilled and casual vibe. The restaurant serves some fantastic food, with dishes like the bad boy burger, the chicken curry, and the fish and chips. The bar shows live sports on a big projector, and has a happy hour from 4 pm to 6 pm. Jack’s in the Alps is located in the La Croisette area, and is open from 12 pm to 11 pm.
2️⃣ Le De La Mont Chambre: This is a mountain restaurant that is located at the top of the connection into Val Thorens and Méribel from Les Menuires. It is perfect for a quick lunch, with dishes like sandwiches, salads, and pastries. The restaurant has a beautiful view of the mountains, and a sunny terrace. Le De La Mont Chambre is open from 9 am to 4 pm.
Les Menuires is not as lively as some of the other resorts in Les 3 Vallées, but it still has some nice bars and pubs to relax and have fun. Here are some of the places we visited:
1️⃣ Le Kube: This is a wine bar that turns into a music bar later in the night. Le Kube has a cozy and modern decor, with a fireplace and a terrace. The bar offers a selection of wines, cocktails, and beers, as well as snacks and tapas. Le Kube is located in the Reberty area, and is open from 4 pm to 2 am.
2️⃣ Le Challenge: This is a pub that often has live music and karaoke. Le Challenge has a friendly and festive atmosphere, with a pool table and a dart board. The pub offers a variety of drinks, including local beers and wines. Le Challenge is located in the La Croisette area, and is open from 4 pm to 2 am.
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The resort is divided in to ‘quarters’ – although there are more than four of them. The main facilities are in La Croisette, the original centre, and les Bruyeres. Above them are the accommodation complexes of Reberty 1850, Reberty 2000 and Brelin. Below them are les Fontanettes and Preyerand. Much of the building is extremely functional and the emphasis has traditionally been placed on slope-side convenience rather than architectural design sympathetic to the beauty of the surrounding mountainscape. However some of the older buildings that were especially criticised by some for their unattractiveness have now been demolished and the newer developments are more tasteful – with more exterior wood and sloping roofs and gables, and less concrete rectangles.
Another good point for many is the fact that Les Menuires is such nice family resort – definitely lacking in the fur-coated snobs which frequent some of the other resorts nearby. The slopes nearest to the resort are well placed for beginner and intermediate skiers, while advanced skiers can be whisked off to more challenging terrain in minutes on fast, modern lifts.
The resort has easy access to the 3 Valleys ski area, one of the worlds’ largest and most popular ski areas. Skiers of all ages and abilities will be sure to find highly enjoyable and entertaining skiing here, as well as a wide range of off-slope activities, unique gastronomy and friendly, mountain-loving staff.
Three Valleys / Trois Vallees
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