Val Thorens Ski Resort

Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe and often has some of the best snow in the continent. It’s also a convenient gateway into the rest of the Three Valleys, the largest lift-linked ski area in the world.

Sitting pretty at the head of the Belleville Valley, at 2300m Val Thorens, or 'VT', is the highest ski resort in Europe and many of its lifts ascend to over 3000m. For skiers and boarders this means there is often good skiing here even in a poor season, and good snow helps everyone, whether they are beginners learning how to turn, intermediates appreciating crisp firm pistes, or experts looking for well preserved powder.

The sheer extent of the 3 Vallees is also breathtaking. The Belleville valley alone contains three connected ski-resorts (Val Thorens, Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville), 8 peaks above 3000m, over 70 ski lifts and over 300km of pistes. Rather illogically, it also contains more than one valley, because it includes the slopes between Val Thorens and Orelle - the mysterious "Fourth Valley". But that is just the start of the skiing available. Two lifts away from the centre of VT is the Col de la Chambre, from where you can ski all the way down to Meribel, 1400m below, passing by some of that valley's best skiing. And it only takes two more lifts to reach Courchevel.

And Val Thorens is more than just a base station. The resort is not exactly pretty - it's too modern for that - but it's compact, largely traffic-free, and has some good bars and restaurants and a wide choice of ski schools. It’s also surprisingly sunny: its slopes face North but the village mostly faces South and West. And it’s very convenient: almost all VT's accommodation is ski-in/ski-out, and the resort is relatively easy to get to.

The only problems are in poor weather; there are no trees nearby and a North-facing ridge above Val Thorens is no place to be in a blizzard. When a storm blows in, the top lifts often have to close. But you would be very unlucky if this happens frequently during your stay. A more common experience is to step out of a lift at around 3000m, and gaze across the mountain tops, taking in one of the most beautiful views in the Alps.

Hiring Skis & Boards in Val Thorens

There are plenty of ski rental outlets to choose from, but the shops tend not to compete on price (at least not for walk-in customers), so if you want a discount, you're better off booking in advance. SKISET has five outlets in Val Thorens, so one should be close to your accommodation, and will discount rental prices by up to 50% if you book online here. also works with several ski hire shops in the resort and can secure discounts of up to 60% if you book online here.

Val Thorens Pros and Cons

+ High altitude and snow-sure
+ Good variety of local slopes
+ Easy access to the huge 3 Valleys area
+ Convenient ski-in, ski-out resort

- Bleak and cold in bad weather
- Lacks charm and authenticity
- Crowded if the other 3 Valleys are short of snow.

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Val Thorens Rating

  • Ski Area star rating
  • Snowsure star rating
  • Advanced star rating
  • Intermediates star rating
  • Beginners star rating
  • Ski Lift System star rating
  • Lift Queues star rating
  • Scenery star rating
  • Resort Charm star rating
  • Apres Ski star rating
  • Non-Skiers star rating
  • Getting There star rating

Val Thorens Statistics

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionThe Three Valleys
  • Base2,300 metres
  • Peak3,230 metres
  • Vertical930 metres
  • Beginner20 %
  • Intermediate50 %
  • Advanced30 %
  • Total Lifts15 
  • Cable Cars
  • Funicular
  • Gondolas
  • Surface Lifts
  • Riders per hour57,230 

5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

  • 26th Sunny 23° 14° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 27th Sunny 23° 14° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 28th Sunny 22° 12° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 29th Sunny 21° 11° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 30th Sunny 20° 11° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm

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