Val Thorens is all about the snow

Outdoor fun in Val Thorens

Towering above Europe’s finest skiing resorts, at 2300m Val Thorens is the highest resort on the continent.  A plethora of recent awards confirms Val Thorens’s position as the leading French and international ski resort.

On the slopes

Val Thorens is one of the few resorts able to offer snow from November to May (171 skiing days) and it has something for everyone – off-piste powder to corduroy groomed piste; gentle green slopes to boarder cross runs; wildlife walks to airbeds in the snowpark.

Ski & Snowboard

The beginner’s area has been organised to provide a dedicated 40ha area with easy access to green and blue runs.  Equipped with three, roofed “magic carpets”, the beginner’s zone is a fun area to learn in.  Youngsters have their own enclosed area on the edge of the slopes and ESF (l’Ecole du Ski Français) also organises daily child-care facilities.  New “Easy Rider” labels mark areas where you can learn and have fun in safety.

The Familypark has jib modules with easy fun jumps for beginners.  For the more experienced the Snowpark provides a busy, varied and creative area with over 20 modules (rails, boxes, jibs) for all levels.

Intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders can be carried as high as 3200m to a variety of glacier slopes, black runs or an enticing off-piste experience.  There are slopes on the four points of the compass, north-facing for the warm days or south-facing for the cold days.  Our experience is that they provide plenty of interest for a week, even into April.  High mileage carvers may extend their ski pass to access the rest of “Les 3 Vallées” ski area (600km of piste).  Two lifts will to take you to Méribel and Les Menuires.

Ski Flux

The lifts can move over 66,000 people/hr, but 80% of the skiers are on 20% of the runs. To minimise queues “Ski Flux” provides real-time information on how busy the slopes are. Data is collected by 10 sensors on the runs and presented where runs intersect. In the Grand Fond area four giant screens provide information on snow-levels, geo-localised weather reports and itinerary tips.

Cross-country & walking

Cross-country skiing opportunities on prepared tracks are limited in Val Thorens.  There are cross-country tracks between Les Menuires and St-Martin that are nice.  A free shuttle bus will bring you back up the hill.  There are growing numbers of fit souls skinning up the mountain on ski-touring expeditions.  For a taster there is a marked circuit next to the village.  Skin up the 1.5km circuit and ski down Plein Sud.

Walkers have a few trails and may use 13 of the lifts.  There are organised walks for views and wildlife spotting.  Or take a walk towards Les Menuires one afternoon to let your legs recover.

Other activities

Looking for something else?  Try the 6km toboggan run, a downhill run on a mountain-bike (once the skiers have left for the evening), a ski-tour at sunset, ice-climbing on a frozen waterfall or ice-diving in Lac du Lou.  For spectacular views try the highest zip-wire in Europe or, with a lower adrenalin level, a girocopter flight.

I have not mentioned everything, and the list grows each year.  If there is any activity you would like to do please ask and I will let you know who provides it in Val Thorens.

Off the slopes

It is not all about the skiing.  The village caters for rest and relaxation too, for example bowling, shopping, concerts and cinema outings.  Or enjoy a spa and massage to assist recovery.  The Sports Centre contains a leisure pool, sauna, gym and soft play area (perfect for the children). 

There are many bars and restaurants (from fast-food to Michelin-starred chefs) to choose from and even a couple of nightclubs for later on.  Not all the clubbing is off the slopes or later on.  La Folie Douce is an open-air club on the slopes that we often see bouncing from mid-afternoon.  If you prefer to stay in, several supermarkets and boulangeries give you the option to buy and prepare your own fresh food.

In the summer time

It is not quite all about the snow, from mid July to September Val Thorens comes back to life. Quite the opposite of a beach holiday:

Outdoors in nature

Choose from:


In case it snows (even in July) there is always the sports and leisure centre. Or explore the local culture and heritage in the valley by visiting a local farm, water mill and/or churches.  Or join an arts and crafts course.

More details

We can help with details and contacts for booking ski passes, equipment, lessons, etc. - CLICK HERE

For more information on the layout of Val Thorens - CLICK HERE

To download a map of Val Thorens - CLICK HERE (.pdf).


Activity images on this page with kind permission of Val Thorens Tourist Office.

Ski area – in numbers

Val Thorens - Orelle: 150km piste,
99% between 2000m and 3230m
Les 3 Vallées: over 600km,
the biggest ski area in the world, 400km2
Number of slopes: 83
black red blue green
9 29 34 11
Slope classification:
beginners intermediate experienced
20% 50% 30%
2 free Easy Rider zones
Ski lifts: 29
Capacity: over 66,000 people per hour
cable car funitels gondola lifts
1 4 4
fast chairlifts equipped with double boarding chairlifts
13 4 2
drag-lifts rope tow magic carpets
1 1 3
Snow cannons: 453, covering 40% of the ski area
snowpark familypark 6km toboggan run
ski-cross boarder-cross very high zip-wire
snow mountain-biking run ice-climbing ice-driving course
Pedestrians: 4 paths 13 ski-lifts