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Méribel, France

Great ski-in, ski-out base for the wonderful Three Valleys.

For keen slope-bashers who dislike tacky purpose-built resorts, Méribel is difficult to beat. It is slap in the middle of the Three Valleys – the biggest inter-linked winter sports area in the world. With 200 lifts and 600 km of slopes, and endless off-slope possibilities, it is difficult to be bored in a fortnight here. Fans of Courchevel and Val-Thorens sniff at Méribel’s local slopes, but since Mont Vallon and the top of the valley were opened up some years ago, Méribel can stand comparison on most counts.

Méribel is built entirely in tasteful chalet-style, with wood siding everywhere. And the center is very pleasant with raised walkways by the shops above the one-way road. The village has grown rapidly in recent years and now spreads widely over the mountainside. It is very popular with British visitors, many of whom own chalets here. And English can be more commonly heard than French on the slopes and in the bars. It remains decidedly upscale and it’s not cheap. But regular visitors love it and wouldn’t be seen anywhere else.

What’s Great

  • In the center of the biggest linked slope network in the world – ideal for intermediates who love covering the miles, but plenty for experts, too
  • Modern, constantly improved lift system means little waiting and rapid access to all slopes
  • Good slope grooming and snowmaking
  • Village purpose-built in pleasing chalet-style architecture

What’s Not-So-Great

  • Main village spread out, straggling along a long, winding road, with much of the accommodation well away from the slopes
  • Expensive
  • Méribel-Mottaret satellite is rather lifeless
  • Not the place to go for any sensation of being a traveler in France
  • Not the best snow in the Three Valleys, and trails can get crowded


Mountain stats
Acres of ski 1,337
Pistes 74
Snowmaking 22%
Halfpipes 2
Terrain Parks 1
X-Country 18,6ml
Slope Stats
Top Lifts 9,678ft
Vertical Drop 4,921ft
Bottom Lift 4,757ft
Slope Difficulty
Beginner 60%
Intermediate 28%
Advanced 12%