Purpose built to house journalists at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics, this attractive new centre is particular popular with British package-tour operators. Fully lift-linked in to the Trois Vallees. Architectural style designed in keeping with the natural surroundings.
The 3 Valleys are big, very big …the biggest ski area in the world in fact with 600km of runs.
You’ll never ski it all in a week, but before you even start you need to decide where to stay, and there days there’s quite a choice.
The most famous resorts are Courchevel, Meribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens of course, but each of these is divided in to several districts and it’s now increasingly popular to stay in one of the traditional villages at the base of the area like Le Praz in Courchevel, Bridges les Bains below Meribel or St Martin.
But one of the newer choices in the area, the British-favourite ski area of La Tania, is a smaller (and famously more affordable) area built to house media for the 19992 Winter Olympics and located mid-way between Courchevel and Meribel.
La Tania ticks all the boxes for convenience and functionality. This is a ski-in, ski-out resort with a gondola service at the base of the resort to quickly get you up into the action.
The resort itself consists of 8 self-catering apartment blocks of various sizes, two hotels, a chalet style hotel and a large amount of traditional chalets set in the woods above the resort. There are also plans for more development within the area surrounding the resort.
La Tania is a very family orientated resort. It is traffic free and has great facilities for children and beginners. There are four ski hire shops, a tourist office and a new crèche facility as well as independent child care available. There are several ski schools based in the resort, and there is a kids lift and fun area within a short walk.
This is predominantly an English visitors resort, approx. 90% of all visitors are from the UK. I would say that the majority of the visitors are families with children of all ages.
It’s not a good choice if you’re looking for a great range of shops and facilities however, as there are just a few small shops and take-away food outlets, including a super market and pizza take away, plus six bars, the liveliest of which is the pub le ski lodge, and eight restaurants – one with a Michelin star. There were live bands in a couple of the pubs a few nights a week but the party scene was quite low key.
But the bigger neighbouring resorts are a short hop away and have a huge selection of all of these. There is a free mini bus service that runs about every hour to shuttle you between the resorts.
That said there is quite a wide selection of activities available for non-skiers (some actually in neighbouring resorts but accessed from La Tania). These included, snow-shoe walks, skidoo rides, horse riding, paragliding, indoor climbing, ice skating, 10-pin bowling, ice driving and dog-sledding.
The 3 Valleys is massive with more than 320 runs, covering a combined 600km and served by nearly 170 lifts, with 2000m of skiable vertical. Phew.
From la Tania you are well positioned just two lift rides away from either Méribel or Courchevel 1850. You have a choice of very easy green, easy blue or intermediate red runs back down to La Tania from the top gondola station, complete with snow-making cover.
Another great plus for La Tania was that you had the option to just buy a local valley pass, which in itself provided ample skiing, or you could get a 3 valley pass if you were a more advanced skier and really wanted to explore the full area. So this was a better value for money way of skiing the 3 valleys rather than staying in Meribel or Courchevel which are a lot more expensive. Also, with the 3 Valley pass you could ski all day in the sun whilst moving around the mountain, and avoid any bad weather and wind that might be coming in.
The scenery and mountain itself are stunning, especially when you find an angle with Mont Blanc as the backdrop. The slopes were very well maintained and groomed, and there was a good mix of levels of runs to suit all skiers, including blue, green and black into the resort (when snow coverage permitted on the black run).
Three Valleys / Trois Vallees