More affordable than its Three Valleys neighbours, Les Menuires is a favourite with French skiers, who love it for its unfussy ambience and abundance of slope-side accommodation
If you are not fussed about being in the most picturesque resort in the Trois Vallées, then Les Menuires can make a good base for exploring this huge ski area.
It's close to neighbouring Meribel and Val Thorens and has easy access to an impressive amount of intermediate-friendly ski terrain.
What's more, it has a range of non-ski activities that will keep children amused at all times of day.
Les Menuires is made up of several developments, with much of the accommodation self-catering apartments - some brash 1960s and 70s monolithic apartment blocks, others newer and more handsome wood-and-stone chalet-style buildings.
The main hub of the resort is horseshoe-shaped La Croisette, with its underground shopping mall and slope access via gondola and fast chairlift.
Across the mountainside is Les Bruyères, and further up is chalet-dense Reberty.
Les Menuires is home to some of the best intermediate runs in the Trois Vallées, and it is well positioned too.
Using fast lifts, you can reach Val Thorens on one side or head towards Méribel and the rest of the huge 600km ski area.
Directly above Les Menuires are undulating red and blue runs off the 2,850m Col de La Chambre that flow back into the resort.
There are good beginner zones too, although the sunny aspect of some of these means that late into the season these can suffer on warmer days.
The chalets in Reberty, where access to the slopes is just metres away, are a strong attraction of the resort for families.
The resort has a multitude of exciting activities for children. There's a new free tobogganing area on the Croisette with an igloo, tunnel, slide and snowball zone.
Children can also try a special "Igloo Experience" - with ski instructors leading them on a night-time expedition: 15 minutes of snowshoeing with a head torch to reach base camp, igloo building rewarded with hot chocolate.
Plus there are two big swimming locations: La Croisette sports centre and Les Bruyères Aquafun centre.
The resort is championing Fat Biking as an exciting non-ski alternative to try, with a programme that includes two 4km descents with a qualified guide.
After the slopes, head off to the La Croisette Sports Centre where there's a choice of 15 water-based activities, relaxing, fun and sports: Zumba classes, stretching, oriental dance, aqua-gym and squash etc.
At the spa there are face treatments, scrubs, wraps, hydro massage bed, jet spa and massages. The resort also offers paragliding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.
Well-loved Le Grand Lac is a restaurant with huge sun terrace and panoramic views, located at the bottom of the Granges chair between Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville, specialising in Savoyard dishes.
Another local favourite is L'Alpage, a cosy chalet-style restaurant with Savoyard ambience and hearty dishes.
In Reberty itself, try the comfortable restaurant at hotel L'Ours Blanc, which is renowned for its delicious pizzas.
Apres ski and nightlife
Les Menuires doesn't have the throbbing nightlife of Val Thorens, but there's enough here to satisfy many holidaymakers.
The Les Bruyeres area has Le Chouette bar, while In La Croisette the Bar Pub - Le Challenge and Bar Le Tilbury are popular, while The Crazy bar is the place to go straight after the slopes close.
Late night, try Le New Pop, or for more Euro-centric partying, Le Leeberty has DJs playing late.
The majority of the accommodation in Les Menuires is self-catering apartments, but there are hotels and chalets too.
Both Les Clarines and Le Hameau de La Sapinière are residences with easy access to the slopes, while up in Reberty, Les Alpages de Reberty offers slope-side convenience.
Four-star Hotel Kaya is smart and modern with a lovely spa, while Ours Blanc is more chalet style. In Reberty, you'll find catered chalets located close to the pistes.
From Moutiers station
- By bus: around 45 minutes; Adult 12€, Youth (U26) 9.50€ (www.altibus.com)
- By taxi: around 35 minutes; about 90€ for an 8-seater taxi.