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Val Thorens, France

Europe’s highest resort, with guaranteed good snow.

For the enthusiast looking for the best snow in the Alps, it’s difficult to beat Val Thorens – especially given that it’s also one of the least unpleasant purpose-built resorts. But we still prefer a cozier base elsewhere in the Three Valleys. That way, if a storm socks in, we can play in the woods around Méribel or Courchevel; if the sun is scorching, we have the option of setting off for Val Thorens. The formula doesn’t work the other way round.

What’s Great

  • Extensive local slopes to suit all standards, and good access to the rest of the vast Three Valleys
  • The highest resort in the Alps and one of the most snow sure, with north-facing slopes guaranteeing good snow for a long season, even off the glacier
  • Not as much of an eyesore as most high, purpose-built resorts
  • Compact village with direct slope access from most accommodation

What’s Not-So-Great

  • Can be bleak in bad weather – not a tree in sight
  • Parts of the village are much less attractive to walk through in the evening than to ski past in the day
  • Not much to do off the slopes
  • Some very busy slope intersections
  • Still some waiting lines – especially for the Cîme de Caron cable-car.
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Val Thorens

Mountain stats
Acres of ski 6000
Pistes 78
Snowmaking 40%
Terrain Parks 1
Slope Stats
Top Lifts 10,597ft
Vertical Drop 3,051ft
Bottom Lift 7,546ft
Slope Difficulty
Beginner 20%
Intermediate 50%
Advanced 30%