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 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 benefits everyone, whether they are beginners learning how to turn, intermediates appreciating crisp firm pistes, or experts seeking out well preserved powder stashes.

The sheer extent of the ski area 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 which make up the mysterious "Fourth Valley".

But that is just the start of the skiiing available. Two lifts away from the centre of Val Thorens is the Col de la Chambre, from where you can ski all the way down to Meribel, 1400m below, although you will probably want to stop because you're passing by some of that valley's best skiing. And it only takes two more lifts to reach Courchevel.

Generally Val Thorens is also a pleasant place to stay in. It’s not exactly pretty but it is compact and stylish, largely traffic-free and has some nice bars, restaurants and buildings. It’s also surprisingly sunny: its slopes might be mostly North-facing but the village itself mostly faces South and West. And for skiers it’s very convenient. Almost all the accommodation is ski-in/ski-out.

The only problems are in poor weather; there are no trees to offer any relief from flat light, and a North-facing ridge above Val Thorens is not a fun place to be in a blizzard. When a storm blows in, the top lifts are just too high and too exposed and 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.

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

  • 22nd Sunny 10° 4° Clear skies New Snow 5cm
  • 23rd Sunny 7° 1° Clear skies New Snow 5cm
  • 24th Sunny 7° 2° Clear skies New Snow 5cm
  • 25th Sunny 9° 7° Clear skies New Snow 5cm
  • 26th Sunny 12° 6° Clear skies New Snow 5cm
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