Nestled at the heart of the largest ski area in the world, Méribel is one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe. Thousands of Brits flock to the picturesque ski village each year, attracted by its combination of traditional chalet architecture, unparalleled skiing and lively après-ski scene. Méribel has been a popular ski resort among Brits ever since a Scotsman discovered this picturesque, mountain village in the 1930s. This cosmopolitan resort has facilities for the whole family from chic boutiques and chalet-style restaurants to ten-pin bowling and heli-skiing, while there is round-the-clock entertainment for the party crowd.
With its enviable location in the centre of the Trois Vallées near Courchevel and Val Thorens, Méribel connects into the world’s largest ski region with over 600km of ski slopes supported by 183 ski lifts and over 2,000 snow cannons. Nearby are the beautiful Lake Tuéda and the Vanoise National Park.
Connected by gondola to all six resorts of the Trois Vallées, Méribel offers excellent skiing for all levels and boasts stunning panoramic vistas over Mont Blanc. Home to several British ski schools including the renowned Oxygene, Méribel is an excellent ski area for beginners to learn and progress. Around the village, the Col de la Loze is the best area for beginners to practice and master their technique. For those looking to venture further afield, all of the villages in the Trois Vallées ski area are well connected with easy runs allowing novice skiers to explore the region with ease.
While Col de la Loze is ideal for beginners, other Méribel ski areas such as Mont de la Chambre, 3 Marches and Mont du Vallon offer extensive skiing for intermediate skiers. Advanced skiers will enjoy the Roc de Fer pistes, host to the women’s downhill ski races for the 1992 Winter Olympics and the 2013 Ski World Cup. You’ll glimpse a memorable view of Mont Blanc and the villages in the valley below on the way up by gondola to Tougnète.
Méribel suits early risers with sun-filled slopes before noon, while many pistes are in afternoon shade and can be icy. To avoid the lift-pass kiosk queues, you can buy your ski pass through Mark Warner in the UK prior to departure, ready for collection on arrival at your chalet hotel. Don’t miss Moon Park with its ramps and jumps for skiers of all abilities. Younger skiers are also catered for with Le P’tit Moon with its banked turns designed for skiers from 7 to 12 years and Acticross with its tunnels and slaloms for kids from 6 years. Pistes in Méribel are sometimes trickier than their colour coding suggests: some blue runs feel like reds and some red runs could be blacks.
A well-established ski resort, there is as much to do off the slopes in Méribel as there is on. From relaxing in luxurious spa facilities to paragliding above the mountain peaks, there is something to suit all tastes. There’s fun for the whole family at the Olympic Sports Centre housing a swimming pool, an ice-rink, ten-pin bowling and a climbing wall. Non-skiers can purchase a pedestrian lift pass to access mountain restaurants and feast on Alpine views. For a memorable experience take a tour of Méribel -Village forest on a dog sled with Traineau Evasion or go fishing for fario and rainbow trout in Lake Tuéda from June to October.
Adrenalin junkies can take their pick in Méribel from Heli-skiing to Icefall climbing and paragliding. Mountain guides are available for off-piste skiing and ski touring. Méribel even has a flying school where pilots can brush up their mountain flying skills, while tourists can check out the views on a scenic flight. Snow-shoe excursions and cross-country skiing provide the perfect way to explore Méribel’s Tuéda Nature Reserve and Altiport protected forest. There are 33km of cross-country tracks with blue and green tracks for beginners and red for confirmed nordic skiers.
If you’ve ever fancied zooming James Bond-style down the slopes, you should try out a snowmobile. Long-established Méribel company, Snow Biker rents snowmobiles for adults and kids from 4 years old. A more leisurely tour can be taken in a traditional horse sleigh, available from opposite the Piou Piou kindergarten at Châtelet Bridge in Méribel-Mottaret.
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By the time the last lift closes, the bars in and around Méribel are full with rosy faced skiers enjoying a well-earned après ski drink. On the mountain, the Folie Douce bar pumps out an electric beat across the mountain from 3pm while revellers dance on tables, lapping up the atmosphere. You’ll find it just below the mid-station of the Saulire Express. For pre-dinner drinks, there are a number of bars in Méribel where you can enjoy traditional French wines in a cosy, mountain setting.
The strong British influence in the town means that the nightlife also has a distinctive British feel with traditional English pubs and lively club nights. Méribel certainly lives up to its name as the British home of après-ski in the French Alps. As well as the popular Folie Douce, there are a number of bars offering lively après ski parties.
A classic place to end your day on the slopes with a drink is on the main Doron piste at Le Rond Point, known as The Ronnie, where toffee vodka is the order of the day and night. At the bottom of the piste, Jack’s Bar offers live entertainment with performances from musicians and comedians throughout the week, while neighbouring Evolution Bar & Café will tempt you with its Bad Boy burgers. Night owls flock to Dick’s Tea Bar after 11pm.
Méribel has a selection of bars and restaurants which cater for a range of palettes and price ranges. Think cosy, wood-panelled, traditional chalet restaurants with wooden tables and bench seating all over Méribel serving local cuisine, crêpes and pizzas. Rich, cheese-based dishes such as raclette, fondue and tartiflette make up the traditional Savoyard menu.
Raclette lovers should head to La Fromagerie, while Le Grain de Sel is popular with foodies for its gastronomic fare such as snails and foie gras. For lunches or snacks during the day, there are a number of mountain restaurants serving up a host of alpine delights to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
The jewel in the crown of the Trois Vallées, Méribel’s main attraction, along with its charming architecture, is its central location within the largest ski area in the world, the Trois Vallées. With over 600km of pistes to explore and exquisite views over Mont Blanc and the rest of the Alps, Méribel is the ideal base for those looking to explore this internationally renowned play-ground. Connected to the other seven resorts in the area by easier blue runs, the resort has plenty to offer skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
For the best view in the station, head to Roc de Fer where you will find magnificent 360 degrees views of a large part of the Trois Vallées with Mont Blanc standing dominantly in the distance. There are plenty of beginners areas around Méribel where novice skiers can practice their turns and technique. Méribel-Mottaret in particular has added a new area especially designed for beginners where you will find two ‘zen zones’ to practice as well as runs like the Little Himalaya, solely for beginners. The resort is also home to 33 km of cross country ski trails in it’s valley located around Lac de Tueda in Mottaret and the Altiport area.
Further afield in the rest of the Trois Vallées you are spoiled for choice with some of the best runs in the Alps. Over 85 per cent of the pistes in the area are located above 800m however, if your trip falls at the start or end of the season when the snow is scarcer, head to Val Thorens, which owns the title of the highest ski resort in Europe and has plenty of snow-sure runs all season long. At the other end of the ski area, Brides les Baines is the lowest of the villages in the Trois Vallées. The old spa town is connected to Méribel via a gondola.
Find out more on our experiences page with information from beginners skiing to off-piste areas and everything in between.
The two Mark Warner resorts in the area are situated in prime locations. Chalet Hotel Tarentaise is located right on the side of the piste in Méribel Mottaret, at the summit of the Méribel valley. Ski in and ski out, the beauty of staying in Mottaret is the easy, immediate access you have to the slopes. Just a short distance from Méribel main town which is further down the valley, staying in Mottaret offers visitors the opportunity to ski directly to and from your accommodation as well as providing quick access to the 600 km of pistes in the Trois Vallées.
Keep yourself close to the action at the beautiful Chalet Loden located in Méribel town. With breath-taking views over the valley and the picturesque village, Chalet Loden is located in a prime location close to major ski lifts as well as the town centre where you will find all of the towns including ski schools, bars and restaurants. Perfect for enjoying with family and friends, the chalet can host up to 12 guests and provides guests with luxurious extras such as a resident chef to create mouth-watering meals including afternoon tea and a fully equipped games room.