View of chalets at Les Menuires ski resort with snow-covered mountainside, 3 Valleys, French Alps.

Les Menuires

Les 3 Vallées, Savoie, French Alps

In the Vallée des Belleville, just south of Moûtiers. The road up the mountain is a long and winding one but significantly less so than for those continuing onwards to Val Thorens.

Capable lifts haul skiers smoothly to drop in on Méribel, which in turn offers rapid access to Courchevel.

There’s the worthwhile option of dropping in on nearby Saint-Martin de Belleville, or heading considerably higher in and around Val Thorens.

Group of skiers above mountain restaurant with snowy background.

The Ski Area

  • Lies at the heart of the world’s largest ski area.
  • Easy access to linked areas.

The 3 Vallées are billed as The World’s Largest Ski Area, and we’re not about to disagree. Neither will you; unless you’re in for the season, there’s little danger of skiing it all out – but you can have a whole lot of fun trying.

The local Les Menuires/Saint-Martin lift-pass offers plenty of varied terrain, but since the whole point of skiing here is to have access to the whole Three Valleys area, you’ll probably regret not going for the full lift-pass.

That said, skiing in this sector is not without its own rewards. You’ll find the gentler terrain on the side of the valley which borders Méribel, along with some long runs over towards Saint Martin de Belleville (the Red/Blue-graded Jérusalem being a particular favourite). There’s also a good-sized Fun Park beside the Sunny Express chairlift.

Across the valley things are a little steeper below the Pointe de la Masse (2804m), although apart from a couple of Blacks there’s nothing to intimidate most intermediates. And the views from the top of the gondola lift alone make this an essential visit.

Resort Information

Altitude : 1400m - 2850m
Les Menuires
Pistes Total:
160 km
12 Green
40 Blue
22 Red
8 Black
Ski Resort Lifts : 33
7 Magic Carpets
5 Draglifts
13 Chairlifts
3 Cabriolet
8 Gondolas
Trois Vallées
Pistes Total:
600 km
48 Green
135 Blue
119 Red
33 Black
Ski Domain Lifts: 166
38 Chairlifts
1 Funitel
33 Gondolas
2 Cable Cars

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Skier passing recent chalet-style village development at Les Menuires.

The Ski Village

  • The high-rise image of Les Menuires has been softened by more recent developments.
  • A great family destination, there's plenty of ski-in ski-out options.

You’ll make worthwhile savings on accommodation and dining out by choosing to base yourself here in Les Menuires, rather than in Méribel or Courchevel – and you get to share exactly the same vast ski area. True, there was a time not so long ago when the high-rise image of the developments around La Croisette, Brelin and Preyerand was something of a handicap, but recent years the Les Bruyères and Reberty areas have softened things with a more traditional, Savoyard chalet feel.

This more authentic mountain vibe has since spread to La Sapinière, Reberty 2000, Les Balcons des Bruyères, Les Hameaux des Marmottes and Les Airelles. Result: Les Menuires is now a nice place to be, and has some very stylish services, too.

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm

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Family of skiers, Les Menuires ©Gilles Lansard

Why go skiing in Les Menuires ?

Skiing from this side of the Trois Vallées will suit those looking for worthwhile savings, without the need to commute to and from the ski area; it’s all right there on your doorstep. What you won’t find, though, are sheltered, tree-lined pistes, but this might not be an issue for you.

We’d say that it’s a logical choice for keen skiers who want speedy access to Val Thorens (but in a less exposed setting) or families and mixed-ability groups who value the range of facilities, which include a large Fun Park. And those who just can’t leave their social network (or business) connectivity behind will appreciate the multiple (payable) WiFi zones around the resort areas.

Voted Best Family Resort 2015 by the Word Snow Awards, Les Menuires certainly went down well with our guest writer Paddy Daly and his young family who stayed in a catered chalet at Reberty. Read the Discover Les Menuires feature.

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Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery

Snowboarding

One snowpark and five fun zones including Pixel Areas and Roc n' Bob sledging run.
1 Snowparks
1 Snowboarder Cross


Handiski...

  • Accessible buses and a taxi with access for handicapped passengers
  • 50% discount for the disabled person and their companion for Les Menuires/Saint Martin de Belleville ski passes (conditions apply).
  • Adapted accommodation - call the Tourist Office for personal advice and recommendations.
  • Accessible public toilets in the resort centre at La Croisette, next to the tourist office.
  • Specialist instructors and range of equipment (provided by ESF)

icon-smileyYes please...

  • 3 Vallées ski experience is justifiably world-famous.
  • Terrain for just about every level, even on the highest slopes, from raw novices to demanding experts.
  • Easy access to linked areas.
  • Guaranteed skiing with 51% of the ski area covered by snow-making and all slopes above 1800m altitude.
  • Still a more affordable option than some of its higher-profile neighbours.
  • It’s not only the under 5s who get a free ski pass - the whole family skis at the children’s rate with a Family Pass.
  • Two leisure and wellness centres plus 10 spa areas open to all.
  • A family-friendly resort, Les Menuires has been awarded the Famille Plus label and has the largest children's ski creche in France welcoming babies from 3 months old.

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • This much skiing doesn’t come cheap - but do you really want to miss out on skiing legendary terrain available with the full 3V lift-pass?
  • Rubbing shoulers with modern chalet-style buildings, the architecture from the 1970's may not be to everyone's taste. However, the resort’s historic ‘Brelin’ cruise-liner style building on La Croisette was awarded the ‘Patrimoine du XXe Siècle’ (20th Century Heritage) label in 2003, whilst its contemporary clock tower won the first ever Prix d’Architecture Métallique (Prize for Metallic Architecture) in 2000.

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • Explore the excellent terrain nearby, including fine runs down to the charming Saint-Martin de Belleville, a great lunchtime destination.
  • Visit outside of school holidays for uncrowded pistes and fewer queues, especially if you want to explore the whole of the 3 Valleys.

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Practical Information

Tried and testedChalet-Hotel Kaya

Reberty 2000
73440 Les Menuires

Skier entering mountain hotel restaurant with chalets at Les Menuires.

Enjoying a slope side position in the Reberty sector of the village, Hotel Kaya offers contemporary elegance with spacious rooms and suites sleeping up to 4 people. There’s a wonderful pool and ‘spa bio’ - massage and care treatments using organic products (suitable for children from 7 years).
The Hotel has its own restaurant ‘Le K’ serving a delicious and beautifully presented menu of traditional savoyard flavours with modern flair. We enjoyed a light lunch of grilled chicken and Tomme de Savoie salad, Omble Chevalier (mountain lake fish), followed by Moelleux au chocolat.

Enquiries and bookings:
Ski Collection
023 9289 0960
reservations@skicollection.co.uk


Belambra Club Les Bruyères

At the foot of the slopes and in the heart of the resort, this new all-inclusive residence by Belambra Club de Vacances includes: buffet meals, kids’ club for children (ages 3-5) all season long, and for ags 6-17 during the French school holidays, family-friendly après-ski at the end of the day, luggage store, personal ski lockers, panoramic terrace-solarium and direct access to the slopes.

Info and booking: reservation@lesmenuires.com or +33(0)4 79 00 79 79


PowderNShine Catered Chalets

A selection of ski-in, ski-out chalets located at 2000m in the traditional, piste-side Reberty Village above Les Menuires, giving fast and direct access to the vast 3 Valleys ski area. Powder N Shine chalets offer gourmet food, exceptional service and sumptuous accommodation. Read about a typical family stay in a chalet located in Reberty village in our feature Family Ski Resort

See details of the chalets in Les Menuires or +44 (0)207 164 6356 (UK) for info.


Ski Touring Under The Stars

For anyone who fancies giving ski touring a go but has never dared take the first step, Les Menuires have created the Étoilée. A relaxed evening session (272m vertical climb) takes you up to Refuge du Lac du Lou. Participants set off from the ESF ski school at Les Bruyères or La Croisette at 1,760m for a climb up to 2,030m. You'll enjoy pre-dinner drinks on arrival followed by a hearty mountain meal. A groomed run takes you back down again. Price from €35 per person - access possible without a ski pass. Safety kit (AVD, shovel and probe) is provided, touring equipment extra.

For details contact ESF Les Menuires +33(0)4 79 00 61 43 or esf-lesmenuires.fr


Electric Snow Scooter

The all-terrain electric scooter (twin-engine, fat tyres, hydraulic brakes, suspension) is back in Les Menuires for adventures on the trails around the Plan de l’Eau – as a family, with friends or solo. It’s only available to try at three resorts in the whole of France. Price: €55 per person per 90-minute accompanied session (includes pass, scooter, helmet and protection). From age 14 and older. Groups of 2 to 5 people.

Scooters are available from 2 stores on La Croisette. Contact: Ski Top stores and Dress Code on La Croisette +33(0)6 31 09 30 58


Speed Mountain Luge

Situated next to Les Bruyères gondola, this fun luge has about 10 challenges for taboggonists on the way down. Control points give you an idea of how fast you are going: as prudent as a snail, fast like a hare. Open to children from 3 years old sharing a toboggan with an adult, Speed Mountain is a real family activity. Price for one run 7€.


Tried and testedLa Bouitte

73440 Saint Martin de Belleville
Tel: +33 (0)4 79 08 96 77

Michelin star cuisine at La Bouitte restaurant, St Martin de Bellville

La Bouitte is an exceptional savoyard chalet. René Meilleur established a Savoyard restaurant there in 1976. Twenty years later, he was joined by his son, Maxime, whereupon the chefs evolved their craft and achieved their second Michelin star in 2008.
A visit to La Bouitte is a memorable experience, where guests discover many different dishes prepared according to the season with astounding artistry and concentration of flavours. The average cost for a meal at La Bouitte is around €150.
La Bouitte also offers charming guest accommodation with spa.


Tried and testedRestaurant Le Cocon des Neiges

73440 Les Menuires
Tel :+33(0)4 79 08 78 21

Open all day, it has a large sunny terrace and is easily accessible on foot and is situated at the foot of Les Bruyères gondola lift. Inside, it’s furnished in contemporary style with a large bar and tables overlooking the slopes or the valley. It serves lunches and evening meals (typical midday plat du jour around €15).


Advanced Booking Savings


Alpinresorts.com Ski rental

Save precious skiing time when you book your ski equipment online with Alpinresorts.com

After a quick and easy reservation everything will be waiting for you when you get to your destination.

You get to choose the shop and there’s a BEST-PRICE GUARANTEE.

Make BIG savings by booking online today!

Getting there

Follow the A430 to Albertville, then Moûtiers. Take the D117 for 27km to Les Menuires.

Late arrivals on Saturday nights can visit the Information chalet at the entrance to the village where help will be at hand to guide you to your accommodation. Tel: +33 (0)4 79 00 69 04.
There’s also a left luggage facility (€2) and showers at the Sports Centre (0800 - 2030 Saturdays)

By air
The nearest airport is Chambery Savoie Mont-Blanc (100km).Jet2.comoffers low cost flights to the French Alps from 7 UK airports.

For bus connections see www.mobisavoie.fr (in English) to book your journey in advance. An adult return from Chambery airport costs €50.
Alpes Savoie Tours offers more individual service with vehicles from 4 to 53 seats - see www.alpes-savoie-tours.com

By train
It couldn’t be easier - there are trains travelling from London direct to Moûtiers every Saturday.
High-speed TGV services run daily from Paris.

Book your TGV fast train from Paris or Eurostar’s ski train direct to the French Alps with OUI.sncf

Transfers
Visit Ski-Lifts for the best range of ski transfer destinations from airports and main rail stations.

Cheap flights to the Alps

Compare and book flights on BudgetAir.co.uk
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Airport Transfers

Ski-Lifts offer the widest range of airport transfers to ski resorts in France, from economy shared transfers for budget-conscious travellers, right through to luxury limousines. They also offer coach transfers for larger groups.

Insight: Les Menuires

Skiers around mountain restaurant

Insight: Les Menuires

Fresh snow has fallen overnight in the Belleville valley, evidence of which we see during the steady climb from Chambéry during late December. After passing Saint Martin de Belleville, looking as pretty as ever, we turn towards Les Menuires. Our hotel is on the far side of the village in the Les Bruyères area, and our apartment offers us interesting overviews of goings-on around the modern gondola lift.

…at the top station we ski over to join the Mont de la Chambre chairlift for a haul up to 2850m. From here we could drop straight over into neighbouring Méribel…

Close-up view of wood carving 'Le Bouquetin' above Les Menuires

Le Bouquetin, a 3.5m-high mountain goat in larch by wood sculptor Marc Georgeault.


Wide view from piste of skier and snowboarder above Les Menuires

Les Menuires might be in the heart of the 3 Valleys but there is distance to be skied on its doorstep.

Cruising from Les Menuires

Next morning, despite the fact that the location is as close to ski-in/ski-out as it gets around here, we decide to head down to another lift, for a haul up to the Pointe de la Masse (2804m) on the opposite side of the valley. As we’d hoped, the early morning conditions here are just perfect, with few signs of ice to unsettle our skis.

Just 100m or so along the Red-graded Fred Covili piste we pass Le Bouquetin, a 3.5m-high mountain goat in larch by wood sculptor Marc Georgeault. Here the piste divides, offering another Red-graded alternative (Crêtes, which feeds onto the Lac Noir Black) but we continue onwards to join the network of Blues spreading out from the lifts lower down. Ahead of us we can see the whole of the upper valley, revealing for the first time Les Menuires’ surprisingly sheltered location. By now the gradient has eased slightly, and our final drop back to our starting-point is a gentle cruise.

More than enough

Now we head over to the Roc des Trois-Marches gondola to see how conditions are shaping up on the opposite side of the valley. On the ride up it’s looking promising, so at the top station we ski over to join the Mont de la Chambre chairlift for a haul up to 2850m. From here we could drop straight over into neighbouring Méribel, but having done that last season we decide instead to get better acquainted with Les Menuires’s own terrain.

There are any number of routes back down to the village, most of them Red- or Blue-graded, and if you were staying for a week or so you could do worse than spending a morning skiing right here without ever quite repeating yourself. Sadly, we don’t have that luxury, so we work our way slowly and deliberately over towards the Bruyères area, above which we stop for lunch at the Chalet Hotel Kaya. It turns out to be an inspired choice, with a satisfyingly varied menu and a large sun-deck overlooking the pistes.


High view of snow-covered valley with mountain restaurant, ski apartments and skiers at Les Menuires

Convenient ski-in ski-out accommodation with valley views.


Skiers on last run of the day, with setting sun at Les Menuires

Squeezing in one last run before the lifts close.

Freestyle energy

We emerge from our meal feeling far too relaxed to power up the energy levels for awhile, so we’re more than happy to join the other skiers taking it easy on the gentler terrain on this side of the ski area. But not everyone feels the same, judging by the steady flow of freestyle skiers keen to develop their tricks over in the snowpark. You can’t help but be impressed by the confidence and flair of the new generation of skiers and boarders who are changing the outside world’s perception of mountain activities, but our self-preservation instincts override any temptation we might secretly harbour about joining them.

In any case, we’re elated enough by the sheer magic of skiing our last runs of the day, as the sun slips below the nearby peaks and hints at the kind of sunset which counteracts the gathering chill of evening.

After a great day’s skiing from Les Menuires we head back to the hotel in a reflective mood and prepare to enjoy an evening meal at the legendary (two) Michelin-starred La Bouitte Chalet Restaurant, over in Saint Martin de Belleville. Which is another story…MountainPassions heart icon