Snow covered ski fields of Val Thorens

Val Thorens Ski Resort -Where the Season Starts Early and Ends Late

At an altitude of 2300 meters, Val Thorens ski resort France is considered to be the highest in Europe. Due to the altitude this purposely built ski in and ski out Ski Resort, pretty much guarantees snow as early as November (or earlier sometimes) and as late as May. Meaning it has one of the longest ski seasons in Europe. 

Val Thorens ski resort provides something for everyone looking to have a fun packed ski holiday in France. It is great for families, for beginners and advanced skiers who are looking to create those fresh lines off piste. Not to mention any avid skiers and boarders chasing that first bit of snow at the start and end of the season. 

View over the snow covered Alps and Val Thorens
Overlooking the Alps from the Cime Caron – Val Thorens Ski Resort France

Val Thorens Ski Resort 

Val Thorens ski resort forms part of the 3 Vallees (or also known as the 3 Valleys) in France and is considered to be one of the biggest ski areas in the world. The ski area covers over 600klms of slopes that are interlinked across 8 Ski resorts in the French Alps, with some of them being renowned like Courchevel and Meribel ski resorts. 

Having already been to the other two main resorts in the 3 Vallees before, it was only a question of time (and money) until I would get to experience Val Thorens Ski Resort and the all-important slopes and apres ski myself.

Fast forward a few years and I have now been twice to Val Thorens Ski Resort and it keeps getting better every time I go.

Val Thorens ski runs and village
Overlooking the main Ski area – Val Thorens Ski Resort

Ski Runs & Pass Areas

Val Thorens Passes

Ski passes are available for Val Thorens – Orelle Area, Belleville Valley Pass (Les Menuires, Val Thorens & Orelle) or for the 3 Vallees Area (Les Menuires, Saint Martin,  Meribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens, La Tania, Orelle, Brides Les Bains).

Like with Les Menuires Ski Resort, you can also get different types of group passes Duo (2people), Tribu (3 People & more) and Family Pass ( 2 adults + 2 children (5 to 17 years old)). Both children under 5 years and Seniors over 75 years can ski for free.

Make sure you have the right travel insurance for hitting the ski slopes in the Alps. Compare the best holiday insurance for FREE

Skiers taking the chairlift to the top of Val Thorens
Skiers taking the chairlift to the top of Val Thorens Ski Resort

Ski for FREE in other Ski Resorts around the world

As of the 2017 season, the ‘3 Vallées SEASON Skipass holders’ have gone into an agreement with other Ski Resorts around the world to offer free lift passes for up to 3 consecutive days in the following Ski Resorts:

  • Skiga Kogen (Japan)
  • Mount Buller (Australia) (Where I learned to ski :-))
  • La Parva & Valle Nevdo (Chili) &
  • Vail Resorts (USA)

For SEASON Skipass holders of the above resorts, they are entitled to 3 consecutive days in  one of the 3 Vallées resorts (Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens, Orelle).

If you are interested in discovering more of the 3 Vallees interlinked ski resorts Les Menuires Ski Resort is a great option. It is located next to Val Thorens Ski Resort and easy to ski to and from either ski resort.

Mel B on the freshly groomed run overlooking Val Thorens village
Craving the freshly groomed runs – Val Thorens Ski Resort

Overview of the Val Thorens Ski Resort Area

  • They are long and wide in most parts
  • 150kms of Ski Slopes
  • 83 (11 green / 34 blue / 29 red / 9 blacks )
  • Plenty of on and off-piste skiing, especially after a fresh dump of snow
  • Lots of places for kids to ski and there is also a familypark
  • Most places are ski-in and ski-out
  • 31 Ski Lifts
  • 18 Free Wi-Fi Zones (So you can share your trip to VT on Social Media)

  Read More – 6 Top Tips for Saving Money for a Ski Weekend

If it is a clear day and you are a confident skier, head up to one of the highest points Cime Caron (3200m) and take either the black or red slope back. The views are amazing all the way back to Val Thorens Ski Resort.

Skiers in wide Val Thorens ski runs
Spring Skiing on the slopes in Val Thorens

Zip line (La Tyrolienne)

I am not going to lie, my heart was pumping when I stepped onto the ledge of the zipline known as ‘The La Tyrolienne’. They say that the sensation is to be similar to an Eagle, hence the half man half eagle on the ticket. The Zipline is 1300m in length and the flight will take you 1 minute 30 seconds to complete, depending on your speed. 

You start at an altitude higher than 3200m (10498ft) from the top of the Bouchet chairlift in Orelle, then you zipline over the Glacier du Bouchet at speeds up to 100kms an hour (like an eagle). Finishing at the top of the Funitel de Thorens in Val Thorens which is 3000 (9842ft). 

The Ia Tyrolienne zipline can be stopped in case of high winds or bad snow conditions.

Taking your Skis/Snowboard on the Tyrolienne zipline

If you are skiing or snowboarding to the la Tyrolienne zipline, your gear will be strapped into a harness, with a section on your back. If you have a backpack, then that goes on the front of you. Once adjusted and comfortable you head outside to the takeoff point of the Zipline. There you will be in a sitting position ready for takeoff.

Taking off on the zipline
Taking off on the zipline ( The Tyrolienne) –  Orelle Sk Resort 

The la Tyrolienne zipline experience

The la Tyrolienne zipline was a very adrenalating, experience, once I took off it just got faster and faster, and then there was a slight drop. I quickly shut my eyes and then opened them again to take in the views, when l looked down everyone underneath me looked like ants.

When you watch the clip, you can even see me shaking my head saying l don’t want to go. It didn’t help that l am the first person of the day to do it because they had a break in the fog. However, I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Here are some good suggestions for day backpacks for skiing or snowboardingall are reasonably priced.

     

Additional Information about La Tyrolienne

  • Open hours 10am and 4.45pm
  • Duration – 1min 30sec’s of pure excitement
  • Price– 52 € Per Adult
  • You purchase the tickets on site at the top of the Bouchet – Orelle chair lift.
  • Age Requirement – 8 to 88
  • Weight Requirement – Minimum 40 kg / maximum 120 kg
  • Max Height – 250 m
  • Start and End Point– Top of the Bouchet chairlift in the Orelle resort (3230m) and finishes at the top of the Thorens Funitel (3000m)
  • Helmet – If you don’t have a helmet, one will be provided for you.

Ride down the Luge the Longest Toboggan Run in Europe

Looking for something to do off the slope that is exciting, then how about the Luge Toboggan run? A 6km (3.7 miles). It is considered to be the longest toboggan run in Europe. With all the twists and bends down the purposely built run, this activity is not only for the kids but for the adults too.

Where the Luge starts and finishes

The Luge toboggan is located at the foot of the Peclet glacier at an altitude of 3000mts. The Luge starts at the top of the Peclet Cable Car and finished in the centre of Val Thorens Ski Resort. Your ticket includes catching the chairlift up to the starting point of the toboggan, as well as your sledge. All you need to do is turn up with warm waterproof clothes.

Tip 

  • It is free for children between the age of 5 and 10 and under 1.25 m tall, riding with an adult (above 18).
Adult and child tobogganing on the snow
Luge – T.LOUBERE OT Val Thorens Photo Provided by Val Thorens Tourism

Do the Luge toboggan in the evening 

How about doing the Luge toboggan in the evening, so it doesn’t affect your skiing or snowboarding time. The toboggan run is open during the evenings from Monday to Friday at 4.45pm until 6pm.

Be aware that booking is mandatory and tickets will have to be purchased on the day and your toboggan will need to be picked up from the ticket office. Also, you will have to pick up your Toboggan before 5pm, otherwise, you cannot do the run.

Additional Information about the Luge

  • Opening Hours–  Mon to Fri from 12:15 am to 4:00 pm (Day)
    • Sat to Sun from 10 am to 4 pm
    • Mon to Fri from 4: 00 pm to 6:00 pm (Evening)
  • Duration – 45 Minutes
  • Price– Day 15.50 € Per Person (Day) and 23.50€ Per Person (Evening)
  • What to bring – Helmets and gloves are COMPULSORY for everyone.
  • Minimum Age – 5 and Above
  • Start Point– Access is via the Péclet funitel.

Tip

  • Only children over 10 years old and over 1.25 m tall are allowed to use a sled on their own.
  • Another fun option for the family is Family Ice Driving
Ice driving in go karts - Val Thorens Ski Resort
Kart sur Glace – C.Cattin OT Val Thorens  – Photo Provided by Val Thorens Tourism

Accommodation in Val Thorens

With over 260million invested in diversifying the accommodation in Val Thorens Ski Resort over the last 6 years, there is definitely no shortage of different types of accommodation. You can even stay in an Igloo pod with a Finnish hot tub at one of the 5 Star hotels.

The best bit is that because it is a purposely built Ski Resort most of the accommodation is ski-in ski-out, which is definitely a bonus.

Alberta Hotel

Alberta Hotel is a stylish modern ski-in and ski-out hotel, situated right on the main ski slope, near Val Thorens slalom stadium. The hotel has definitely taken advantage of the views with both the bar and restaurant overlooking the ski slopes. It was nice looking at the slopes, while enjoying my continental breakfast.

Best Ski-in and Ski-out places inFrance

Most of the main chairlifts, cable chairs are only 100mts -200mts away from the hotel. All you need to do is go out the ski-locker room allocated at the bottom of the Alberta Hotel and ski down.

Our modern room was cosy with a balcony and direct views of the Val Thorens ski slope. It actually felt like we were on the ski slope from the bed, we were that close. I forgot a couple of times to close the blinds when I was getting changed and remember that the skiers outside could see. I did love waking up with the views of the ski slopes and the ice wall that was in the distance.

The room also had good Free-Wifi that worked really well, power outlets and a small desk, this is always a bonus when travelling.


Booking.com

Skiing back to your hotel

I think the best way back to the hotel is to take the easy blur run Bleuets. However, you will need to pick up a bit of speed at the end, so you can ski straight up to the hotel ski-locker room door. 

Accommondation in Val Thorens Ski Resort France Skiing

How to get to Val Thorens from Geneva

Closest Airport

The closest international airports to Val Thorens Ski Resort are Chambery, Lyon,  Geneva and Grenoble. The best way to get to Val Thorens are either via bus, car or transfer, as there are no direct trains. Beware that Geneva Airport has three arrivals areas, two on the Swiss side and one on the French side.

How about these suggestions for ski boot bags that you should be able to use as carry on for your flight. 

⇒ If you like to get a FREE, easy and fast comparison of flights, then try out Skyscanner’s flight comparison site.

320x50

Catching the Bus from Geneva airport

My husband took the local ski bus Altibus which takes around 3 and a half hrs (including the stopover to change) from Geneva Aiport. You can get this bus from both Chambery and Lyon airport as well.

If you do take the Altibus for your return on a Saturday or Sunday, you will need to confirm your return ticket 48 hours in advance via phone or at the ticket counter located in Val Thorens Ski Resort bus station.

Transfer and car hire

Beware it is really expensive to organise private transfer to Val Thorens Ski Resort when you are not in a group. If you have booked a package deal check to make sure the company have organised a transfer for you.

If you are comfortable driving in Europe and the snow, look at hiring a car and splitting the costs. You can get a FREE, easy and fast comparison of hiring a car, then try out Skyscanner’s car comparison site. 

La Folie Douce – Val Thorens Ski Resort

Top Tips for Val Thorens Ski Resort

  • Check out the new blue slope that has been added to the Plein Sud sector, called La Corniche. This would be great for a group of mixed levels or families. It is also a great way to get back from the other resorts in the 3 Vallees.
  • Experience the very lively La Folie Douce at the end of the day at least once. Even if you are not into Apres ski, you can stand outside and take in the atmosphere to see.
  • Check with the airline that you are travelling with because some of them allow you to check your skis on the plane for free.
  • If you can, try to get up for the first lift of the morning and ski on the glaciers. The view is amazing and the runs down are great especially when the snow is fresh. Best spots at the Cime Caron, Col De Rosael or the Col De Thorens
  • Head over to Visit the other resorts  Les Menuires Ski Resort which can do if you have a Belleville Valley Pass or 3 Vallees ski pass.
  • You can never have too much Snow Gear

Melbtravel posing on top of ski run

Is Val Thorens worth taking a ski holiday too?

Personally, I think Val Thorens Ski Resort is worth going to on a ski holiday and l would go back again. It is an amazing place, good for both families and groups and super easy to get around.

Being the highest resort, there is plenty of snow even late into the season. When the weather gets a little unpredictable at that attitude, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. 

Next time, I would go for a week, as I found it a long way to go for a few days. This is not a problem because there are a lot of areas to ski on and off the piste, especially with the chairlift linking Les Menuires Ski Resort. Not to mention it is already part of one of the biggest ski areas in Europe at 600klms.

Panoramic view over Val Thorens

Other French Ski Resorts

If you are interested in discovering other Ski Resorts in France, feel free to read my following ski articles. All are great options for a  French ski holiday with either family or friends.

La Clusaz Ski Resort Annecy is only 30mins away

Val d’Isère Ski Resort Famous for apres ski and fine dining 

Les Gets – Within an hour transfer from Geneva airport

Chatel – You can ski between France and Switzerland as it is on the border

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Please make sure to have your Face Mask and Hand Sanitiser where required before travelling. #Travelsafe 

Thank you for reading this article about Val Thorens Ski Resort France. I hope it helped you to decide on things to do while on your ski holiday to Val Thorens.

Have you been to Val Thorens Ski Resort France or the 3 Vallees area before? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

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Val Thorens France Pinterest

If you want to take a break from your Adventures or are staying in Geneva for the day before or after your trip. Then there is plenty to do.

Disclaimer: Even though I was there as a guest of the Val Thorens tourist officeAll views are my own and based on my own experience.


“This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you if you click on one of the product links, we may earn a commission.”  For further details, you can view our Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions or contact me directly. 

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63 thoughts on “Val Thorens Ski Resort -Where the Season Starts Early and Ends Late

  1. Suze - Luxury Columnist says:

    I’ve been to Val Thorens years ago but would love to return as you’re almost guaranteed snow with it being so high up. Thanks for this useful guide!

  2. Abby Salter says:

    I love skiing but I have never been to Val Thorens. Looks stunning in your pictures. Great post

    • melbtravel says:

      I love Portes du soleil region, I have been many times. You are very lucky to have worked it during the season. If we are ever in the same ski resort we will definitely have to met and have some apresski 🙂

  3. Shy B says:

    I’m a boarder and have been looking for somewhere to go this season with a mate. I definitely going to look into this resort. Cheers S

  4. Kara says:

    Definitely worth a visit. We went years ago and stayed in Meribel but easy access to the 3 vallees. Would love to go again . Your post has brought back some great memories.

    • melbtravel says:

      I have stayed in Meribel once before as well and I enjoyed it but it rained a couple of days, so we could not ski. I would definitely love to go back and visit these areas. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Jurga - Full Suitcase says:

    We’ve been looking at Val Thorens several times because of the snow certainty. What puts us off a bit is how busy it gets there during school holidays. If it wasn’t for that, France would be my first choice when it comes to skiing because it’s so easy to find good hotels directly on the slopes and the runs are usually nice and wide too.

    • melbtravel says:

      I was there during the Easter period and it was not too bad but I don’t know how it would be during the school holidays. Maybe it will be a little different now that they have opened up to another resort.

  6. travel4lifeblog says:

    Very nice article! Val Thorens rocks! I (Cécile) was born in the Alps and love this place! Your article is really informative and full of beautiful pictures! Well done 🙂 You made us want to be there right now! You are right, booking in advance is essential over there! Have you ever been to Annecy? It’s less than 2 hours drive from VT. It’s my hometown! We recently wrote an article about Annecy, feel free to check out our blog! If you end up going one day, let us know! Keep up the great work! Well done!!!!!
    Patrick and Cecile

    • melbtravel says:

      Glad you like my post and wow I would have loved to have grown up in the Alps. Funny you mention Annecy, it has been on my list for a while now as it looks stunning. I skied in La Clusaz last year near there and wanted to go over then but instead I just skied the whole time. I am definitely going to check your post out and I know who I am coming to when I need tips for Annecy 🙂

    • melbtravel says:

      A lot of people go there to just use the spas and relax. The lifts are not that far from the ground and you don’t notice too much apart from being on the gondola.

  7. Charles McCool says:

    I am not a skier, have only done it one time (in Santa Fe), but Val Thorens looks absolutely gorgeous. If nothing else, I would sit by a roaring fireplace with my hot chocolate and enjoy those amazing views.

  8. Annika says:

    I am not a ski person but ironically enough I am working on a post with the best ski areas for a big platform and now this – I may have to rethink my aversion to being cold I think. Looks absolutely stunning!

    • melbtravel says:

      I love skiing a lot and I have skied all over the world especially in Europe. That is great about your post, you must let me know when it is up as I would love to read it and your recommendations. I might get some ideas to where to go this season.

  9. Maria says:

    Although I’m a Summer person and nothing into Skying or snowboarding, I love the white mountains and the alpine landscape. Your post is great both for the beautiful photos and the useful information.

  10. Emily says:

    I’ve skied in the 3 Valleys twice – we stayed in Mottaret just a bit higher up from Meribel. Great skiing both times but agree that a weekend is not long enough. There’s plenty spread over the resorts to keep skiers of all levels happy for a week. Lovely pictures and great information 🙂

    • melbtravel says:

      I don’t remember Mottaret but I am definitely going to look it up. I stayed in Meribel once for New Years Eve and it rained most of the time so we could not ski. I really wanted to head over to Val Thorens then but never had that chance. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Parnashree Devi says:

    Such a gorgeous location. Almost like a dream place to enjoy a vacation in the snow. I loved the Val Thorens resort. I am definitely keeping this on my list. Loved the post.

  12. Jitaditya says:

    A very exciting prospect. I have never been able to learn skiing but this seems like a good place to start that.

  13. Leah says:

    I grew up skiing in the U.S., but skiing abroad has always been a dream of mine! Great tips 🙂 Hopefully I will be able to go here one day!

    • melbtravel says:

      I skied for the first time this year in America at Mammonth mountain and it was so different to skiing in Europe. Glad I done it though and I can’t wait to go back.

  14. Kari (Happy Coconuts Travel Blog) says:

    I absolutely love France!! I have never been to this area though and would love to explore. My husband would love a vacation like this. I always think of France and picture the Mediterranean but it’s nice to be reminded it can be a good winter sport destination too. The biggest ski area in Europe? Amazing!

    • melbtravel says:

      Me to especially there cheese and wine in France. The best bit with skiing in France is that you can ski all day and break for cheese and wine and not for guilty for having it. Yes it is the biggest but that is because there is other resorts that join up the area.

  15. Aleks F. says:

    Wow, it looks absolutely breathtaking there! Definitely will have to add it to our list once we take our travels to Europe. Looks like you had a fantastic time!

  16. Rashmi and Chalukya says:

    We were in Geneva for more than a year but never got a chance to explore Val Thorens probably because we have never tried skiing. The village of Val Thorens looks gorgeous we could have definitely visited for those wonderful views of alps and the pretty quaint village.

    • melbtravel says:

      You lived in Geneva that is great, I love Switzerland. You don’t have to be a skier to go to Val Thorens, there is lots of spas there and things to do. If you ever come back over, definitely should get yourself up the mountain. Thanks for the comment

  17. Faith says:

    Canadian but can’t ski and truth be told don’t want to ski, would love to hang around the ski lodge though imbibing all that mulled wine and hot toddies. It’s the absolute wonder of the views that gets me, so extraordinarily beautiful and humbling.

  18. Jimmy and Tina says:

    oh yes, good to know since so close for me now! I left my ski’s back in US but will have to retrieve on my next visit! Love skiing!

    • melbtravel says:

      When I first moved to London, I left my ski’s back in Australia and then realised how easy it is to ski anywhere in Europe. Definitely recommend it and the other resorts in the area.

  19. Jan Michael says:

    I love skiing and this place looks like a great place to do it. i would definitely enjoy skiing here with my wife.

    • melbtravel says:

      I love skiing to and I can’t wait till the season starts in a couple of weeks. This is a great resort and I think it is great for anyone wanting to ski.

  20. Pingback: The perfect start to the ski season Val d’Isere France

  21. Swati says:

    I am scared of Skiing but may be someday I will definitely give a try. The place looks straight out of a page from a magazine. Can’t wait to visit France this year 🙂

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