Val Thorens

At 2300m there’s no need to worry about a lack of snow in Europe’s highest resort. Val Thorens is the uppermost resort of the vast world-renowned Three Valleys ski area, with links to more slopes than you could ever hope to ski in a week. And while it may not be the prettiest of resorts it is pretty much guaranteed snow.

 

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Val Thorens
©Office du tourisme de Val Thorens

Val Thorens lies at the top of one of the valleys, above Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville. The immediate ski area is more suited to beginner and intermediate skiing, but advanced or expert skiers have the whole of the Three Valleys at their ski tips. It's also next to the "fourth valley", at the bottom of which you can uncover the hidden gem that is Orelle.

When the weather's bad, head over to Méribel or Courchevel where you can enjoy skiing among trees, which can really help in poor visibility.

Off the piste

As a purpose-built resort Val Thorens doesn't offer much daytime entertainment for non skiers, although there is a free concert in the church every week, a leisure centre and some good local markets.

Après

Val Thorens attracts a younger crowd and has some brilliant bars and clubs. The new Folie Douche on the mountain is where all the action kicks off, or for something quieter try the Rhum Box.

Eating

There's a good range of eateries in Val Thorens with options for most tastes and budgets. The Michelin starred Residence Oxalys is a top pick, while for something more modest you can head to a restaurant like La Chaumière.

Bars and clubs

Val Thorens is surprisingly lively for a high altitude resort. A British favourite is the Frog and Roast Beef at the top of the resort, and another popular choice is the Underground nightclub which runs into the early hours of the morning.

Sleeping

There are several good hotels in Val Thorens but chalets and apartments are the preferred accommodation choice. The Hotel Fitz Roy is the town's only 4 star hotel and the imaginatively named Hotel Val Thorens is a popular choice too.

Best avoided

When the weather closes in on Val Thorens you don't want to be on the upper slopes. It's extremely exposed and bleak so head down towards Les Menuires and St Martin where there are more trees to give shelter.