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Meribel

Méribel Ski Resort is one of the four major ski resorts in the Les 3 Vallées Ski Area in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in France, the largest in the world with 350 connected slopes of 600 km (372 mi) in total and 155 ski lifts. The main feature of Méribel is its central location in this vast ski area, which gives a unique opportunity to enjoy the entire Les 3 Vallées. You can spend the day skiing from one place to another without taking any transportation except the ski lifts. The resort has 62 slopes (primarily easy and intermediate) and 42 ski lifts. The Méribel ski season is generally from mid-December to late April.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Location

Méribel Ski Resort is in the Savoy (Savoie) department of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France in the Tarentaise Valley in the Vanoise Massif of the Graian Alps of the Western Alps.

Tarentaise Valley is in the center of Les 3 Vallées Ski Area (the other two are Belleville and Saint-Bon valleys). The resort is well-connected with the other well-known Val Thorens, Les Menuires, and Courchevel resorts. So there are three valleys but four major resorts in total.

The Méribel altitude is between 1,100 m (3,608 ft) at Les Allues village base and 2,952 m (9,685 ft) at Mont du Vallon, its highest mountain, with a total altitude difference of 1,852 m (6,076 ft). Compared to Val Thorens, Méribel has steeper slopes but a lower elevation.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Other high peaks in the area you can see while skiing at Méribel include Mont du Borgne (3,153 m / 10,344 ft), Aiguille du Fruit (3,051 m / 10,009 ft), Dent de Burgin (2,739 m / 8,986 ft), Roc de Tougne (2,537 m / 8,323 ft ), Rocher de la Loze (2,526 m / 8,287 ft), and others.

The Vanoise Massif is also the namesake Vanoise National Park, created in 1963 as the first national park in France.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Getting to Méribel Ski Resort

Due to its central location within the French Alps, the entire Les 3 Vallées area is easily accessible by all possible ways of transportation.

Nearest Airports

There are four nearest airports to Méribel Ski Resort: Genèva Airport, Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport, Grenoble Airport, and Chambéry Airport.

Driving Directionsthese

Méribel is close to Lyon to the west and Geneva to the north. Let’s take the latter as a starting point: It takes around three hours to get to Méribel by car without a traffic jam. There might be a lot of traffic during weekends; in this case, it can take up to 4–5 hours.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Parking Lots

Two types of parking are available at Méribel: in covered and open areas. The open spaces are generally free, but covered parking starts at 89 euros per week.

Shuttle Services

One example is the Altibus company.

Public Transportation

There is a train from Geneva to the small town of Moutier, where you must take a bus or transfer to the ski resort. This option may be cheaper but takes one or two hours longer than a direct shuttle from Geneva Airport. Traveling from Geneva, you can also take a bus. Buses leave from the central city station or the airport. There are several service providers; a quick web search will pull up more information.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Getting Around

To get around Méribel, you can take the free bus called Meribus, which runs every 20 minutes during the day.

Season

The winter ski season in Méribel begins mid-December and generally lasts until the end of April. The official ski season in 2022–23 is from 10th December to 28th April. The resort boasts a long season due to a high elevation of almost 3,000 m (9,842 ft) and consistent, high-altitude snowfall. Plenty of ski slopes in the higher parts of the resort hold snow through the late spring.

Snow and Weather Conditions

Generally, there is a lot of snow between December and March. It might be windy and colder in December and January than in February, with fewer sunny days than in February and March. From a conditions perspective, the best time to go to Méribel is between the middle or end of February to early March when the days become longer and warmer, but there is still a lot of snow on the pistes to enjoy skiing. However, be aware that the French national ‘vacances’ occupies the entire month of February, and the slopes can get busy. While snow conditions are less reliable than in February and March, December, January, and April offer the best chance for quiet slopes.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Méribel Ski Resort Map

Les 3 Vallées is the world's largest ski area, comprised of three other ski resorts (Val Thorens, Les Menuires, and Courchevel). In addition, the area has three other smaller ski resorts: Saint Martin de Belleville, Brides les Bains, and Orelle.

Méribel Ski Resort is in the middle of Les 3 Vallées. It is a reasonably large resort with seven zones: Burgin, Cote Brune, Luge, Mont de la Challe, Pas du Lac, Plattieres, and Tougnete. There are also the ‘Fun Slopes’ at Méribel Village and Mottaret. Burgin is the largest of these areas, with 16 slopes and 14 ski lifts. It is followed by the Mont de la Challe, after which are Pas du Lac and Plattieres areas.

Méribel has four main villages: Méribel Les Allues (1,100 m / 3,608 ft), Méribel Village (1,400 m / 4,593 ft), Méribel Center (1,450 m / 4,757 ft), and Méribel Mottaret (1,750 m / 5,741 ft). The central village is the aptly-named Méribel Center, with the highest number of lifts and access to the top of Saulire (2,738 m / 8,982 ft) — the main mountain of the resort. In addition to Saulire, skiers can access five other peaks throughout the area.

Méribel Center also gives you slope choices based on the weather and snow conditions. If it is too warm in the lower area (Méribel Center, Altiport), you can explore the Val Thorens and Orelle ski resorts. If it is too cold and windy, consider Courchevel to enjoy the more sheltered, gentle slopes. If the weather is terrible everywhere in the Méribel Center, there is an indoor ice skating rink and swimming pool just 5 minutes from the lifts.

If you spend a week in Méribel, I recommend exploring the Méribel Center-Altiport-Saulire area on the first day. There are different slopes from beginner to advanced. After a few hours of skiing or snowboarding, take a break in the restaurant where Rhodos 2 ski lift has a stop. You can sit outside having a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or a proper lunch with french fries, sausages, and other dishes.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Méribel Ski Lifts and Slopes

With 62 slopes and 42 ski lifts, Méribel Ski Resort comprises about ⅓ of Les 3 Vallées.

Beginners and Easy

Méribel offers 34 pistes for beginners: 8 true beginner (green) and 26 easy (blue), including the long Blanchot, which begins in the Altiport-Rhodos areas. When I started skiing, Blanchot was my favorite. Even if you are not confident enough to try the blue or red runs, the long green one is the way to go and enjoy skiing as a beginner.

Consider taking a private instructor or joining the group to learn skiing faster and to be sure that you are skiing in the safe area of the resort. The instructors not only teach you how to ski, but they also know about snow conditions and fresh pistes. You can hire a French or English-speaking instructor or join a group. In France, instructors go through highly rigorous training to obtain their credentials. As a result, it takes several years to finally pass the exam. There is no better country to hire an instructor for skiers looking to improve their technique.

As a beginner, you might also enjoy skiing at Courchevel for one day. Compared to Méribel’s slopes, Courchevel offers wide, mellow slopes with a lower vertical drop.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Intermediate

Méribel is known as a ski resort for intermediate skiers, and most of its slopes live up to this reputation; there are 26 blue and 28 red pistes.

Mont du Vallon, Méribel’s highest mountain, hosts the longest and most famous slope of Méribel (and the entire area), the Combe du Vallon. However, I recommend going up to Saulire (2,738 m / 8,982 ft), where you can combine several shorter runs. Take one of the red slopes down following the Blanchot and finish skiing on the blue slope Lapin in the forest.

Particularly in the morning, one of the best slopes is Pramint and Biolley from the Tourgenet mountain. You must take the cable car from Méribel Center (Tourgnete 1 and 2) and then enjoy the long way down to Saint Martin De Belleville. Usually, it is not as crowded as on other slopes.

If you’ve done Méribel and looking for an entirely intermediate ski day on some new slopes, I recommend going to Val Thorens. Bring warmer clothes and prepare for the wind, as it might be colder there. In my experience, it’s gotten quite cold in the cable cars as they have no wind protection. The slopes are great, and there is usually plenty of snow - even more than in Méribel.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Advanced (Expert)

There are just nine advanced / expert (black) slopes at Méribel. To explore the slopes, I recommend hiring an instructor. They know the area best and can make your skiing experience safer and more exciting.

So, let's summarise the information about the slopes, ski lifts, and various skiing-related features and services of the Méribel Ski Resort:

Slopes

  • Total slopes: 62 out of 339 at Les 3 Vallées
  • Slopes total length: 600 km (372 mi) at Les 3 Vallées
  • Types of slopes: beginner (green) — 8; easy (blue) — 26; difficult (red) — 28, very difficult (black) — 9
  • Popular slopes: Biche (blue), Lapin (blue), Chamois (red)

Ski lifts

  • Total lifts: 42 out of 160 in Les 3 Vallées
  • Types of lifts: 13 gondolas, 16 chairlifts, 4 magic carpets, and 7 poma lifts
  • Lifts operating hours: 9 am to 4 pm in general
  • Top station: Mont Vallon (2,952 m / 9,685 ft)
  • Base station: Les Allues (1,100 m / 3,608 ft)
  • Difference between stations (max vertical drop): 1,852 m (6,076 ft)

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Other features and services

  • Artificial snow: Yes
  • Night skiing: No
  • Cross-country ski trails: 33 km (21 mi)
  • Snowshoe trails: Yes
  • Snowboard park: Yes
  • Sled slopes: Yes
  • Snow tubing: Yes
  • Ice-skating field: Yes
  • Outdoor stores: Yes
  • Ski rentals and bootfitting: Yes
  • Ski school: Yes
  • Ski guide and ski tours: Yes
  • Kindergarten: Yes

Méribel Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

Méribel has 33 km (21 mi) of cross-country skiing trails. You can choose courses of various lengths and levels of difficulty. There are six routes: two green slopes, two blue, and one red slope, and a liaison track to access La Tania and Courchevel. All trails are prepared for both classic and skating styles.

There are two different areas in the valley for cross-country skiing: one at the Lac de Tueda in Méribel Mottaret and another one in the Altiport area.

  • Méribel Mottaret has two trails: the green one of 3 km (1.8 mi) and the blue one of 5 km (3 mi). They both start at the Plan Ravet car park or the Piou-Piou nursery school.
  • In the Altiport area, there are three trails. All of them have a starting point at Restaurant ‘Le Blanchot.’ There is one short green trail and a 5 km (3.1 mi) blue trail with an altitude climb of 110 m (360 ft). For experienced skiers, there is a red trail of 10 km (6 mi) with an altitude climb of 230 m (754 ft).

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

There are also two much longer cross-country ski slopes between the resorts: one from Méribel to Courchevel (17 km / 10 mi) with an altitude climb of 150 m (500 ft) or another to La Tania (16 km / 9 mi) with a 230 m (755 ft) climb.

Both of them also have a starting point at Le Blanchot. You can take a free ‘Meribus’ bus to return from Courchevel or La Tania.

Snowshoeing is also a great way to explore the Méribel mountains and national parks without putting skis on. There are two major areas:

  • Lac Tueda — a nature reserve that is a short distance from Méribel Mottaret
  • Les Cotilles — between Méribel Village and La Tania

In particular, there are two long paths for a full day of fun in these areas: Vallon du Fruit — Refuge du Saut and Le Villard, and Méribel Les Allues — Col de la Lune.

Méribel Ski Touring

If you want to try backcountry skiing or are already an experienced ski touring fan, Méribel has many options.

  • For beginners, a trail starts at the Altiport and finishes at the Chalet du Lac. It is 2 km (0.6 mi) long with a 370 m (1,200 ft) climb, and you can use the chalet for a well-deserved break. Afterward, you will descend on the Blanchot piste.
  • For experienced skiers, there is a trail to discover Glacier de Gébroulaz. Take the lifts from Méribel to Val Thorens and start your journey to the Col de Gébroulaz and then down to Lake Tueda, with or without passing over the Glacier du Borgne.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Another route in Méribel Mottaret also sets off from the Hameau, arriving on the Plateau des Combes near a high-altitude restaurant. Book a private or group ski tour to explore more remote trails and paths.

Ski Pass and Discounts

The great thing about Méribel is that you can buy one ski pass to ski through the Les 3 Vallées area. For example, 6-Day 3 Vallées ski pass costs €288, and a season pass costs €695. If you are just starting, you can buy a cheaper ski pass only for the Méribel area.

Discounts are available for three and more people and families. Passes are also available for people who would like only to take lifts without skiing. The ski pass only for Nordic skiing areas costs just €8.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Tourist Information

If you need more information while skiing in Méribel, visit the local tourist office:

Méribel Tourist Information

27 Pl. Maurice Front, 73550, Les Allues, France

+33479086001

info@Méribel.net

Dining

There are different restaurants in the Méribel area. If you prefer to stay on the mountain, there is a self-service restaurant near the Rhodos 2 lift stop. In the Altiport area, there is a restaurant called Le Blanchot where you can order many different dishes during lunchtime.

I recommend booking a place in the restaurant for dinner, as you might not have a walk-in table during the high season. A charming restaurant called Aux Petits Oignons is a bit farther away from the center, offering local dishes and prices slightly lower than in the central area.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Méribel Accommodation

​​Like any large resort, you can choose from many options in Méribel. The most convenient is Méribel Center, as the main lifts and cable cars are within walking distance, and you can start your day right in the skiing boots. It is also convenient in the evening as you have many options for restaurants, bars, or other activities such as ice skating.

If you decide to stay in Méribel Les Allues, you only need to consider the time you need to get to the main resort area and get back. As there is a free bus service running every 20 minutes, it is still relatively convenient (and cheaper). Also, consider staying in the center with kids as it takes less time to get to the skiing area to get to your hotel.

In Méribel, you can stay in hotels or apartments with private kitchens and a few bedrooms. If you prefer to cook at home, the apartments are a better option, and if you stay with friends or family, you can rent a spacious flat at a lower price than a hotel room. I advise you to book in advance in September to have a better choice and value for money options.

Méribel Ski Resort, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Nearby Towns and Cities

If you want to explore other towns near Méribel, I recommend Annecy on the way to/from Geneva. It is an alpine town surrounded by mountains on the lake of the same name. Annecy is also known as 'The Venice of the Alps' because it has some channels and is one of France's most picturesque towns.

Annecy, lake, France

mountain lifts
Status Type Name
Opening Hours
waiting
Chalets
08:45-19:30
08:45-19:30
Status
opened
Opening hours
08:45-19:30
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 672 m - 1 780 m
waiting
Olympe 2
08:30-17:30
08:30-17:30
Status
opened
Opening hours
08:30-17:30
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
610 m - 1 108 m
waiting
Olympe 2
08:40-17:30
08:40-17:30
Status
opened
Opening hours
08:40-17:30
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 108 m - 1 320 m
Adret
09:00-16:55
09:00-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 588 m - 2 189 m
close
Aigle
08:45-17:15
08:45-17:15
Status
closed
Opening hours
08:45-17:15
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 681 m - 1 811 m
Altiport
09:10-16:45
09:10-16:45
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:10-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 722 m - 1 991 m
Altiport
09:00-16:55
09:00-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 720 m - 1 803 m
Arolles
09:10-16:55
09:10-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:10-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 768 m - 1 791 m
close
Arpasson
09:05-16:45
09:05-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:05-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 810 m - 2 010 m
close
Bouquetin
09:15-16:55
09:15-16:55
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:15-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
2 401 m - 2 693 m
Caves
09:05-16:45
09:05-16:45
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:05-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 960 m - 2 022 m
Châtelet
09:10-16:45
09:10-16:45
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:10-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
2 045 m - 2 407 m
Cherferie
09:05-16:55
09:05-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:05-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 953 m - 2 261 m
Combes
09:00-17:10
09:00-17:10
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-17:10
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 686 m - 2 165 m
Côte Brune
09:20-16:40
09:20-16:40
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:20-16:40
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
2 301 m - 2 841 m
close
Côtes
09:00-17:10
09:00-17:10
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:10
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 659 m - 1 718 m
Dent Burgin
09:05-17:00
09:05-17:00
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:05-17:00
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 874 m - 2 315 m
Doron
08:45-17:15
08:45-17:15
Status
planned
Opening hours
08:45-17:15
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 688 m - 1 715 m
Fontany
09:00-16:55
09:00-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 720 m - 1 725 m
Golf
09:00-16:55
09:00-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 419 m - 1 716 m
Legends
09:00-16:50
09:00-16:50
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:50
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 440 m - 2 013 m
Loze Express
09:05-17:00
09:05-17:00
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:05-17:00
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 815 m - 2 301 m
Mont Vallon
09:25-16:30
09:25-16:30
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:25-16:30
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
2 116 m - 2 914 m
Morel
08:55-16:45
08:55-16:45
Status
planned
Opening hours
08:55-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 539 m - 1 735 m
Mures Rouges
09:25-16:45
09:25-16:45
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:25-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 903 m - 2 121 m
Olympe 3
08:50-17:30
08:50-17:30
Status
planned
Opening hours
08:50-17:30
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 320 m - 1 440 m
Olympic
09:05-16:40
09:05-16:40
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:05-16:40
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 793 m - 2 288 m
Pas du Lac 1
09:00-16:45
09:00-16:45
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 688 m - 2 213 m
Pas du Lac 2
09:15-16:55
09:15-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:15-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
2 213 m - 2 683 m
Plan des Mains
09:20-16:50
09:20-16:50
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:20-16:50
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
2 118 m - 2 412 m
Plattieres
09:00-16:55
09:00-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 690 m - 2 426 m
Rhodos 1
09:00-17:15
09:00-17:15
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-17:15
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 440 m - 1 703 m
Rhodos 2
09:05-17:15
09:05-17:15
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:05-17:15
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 703 m - 1 907 m
Roc de Tougne
09:10-16:55
09:10-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:10-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
2 142 m - 2 530 m
Saulire Express 1
09:00-16:45
09:00-16:45
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 440 m - 2 066 m
Saulire Express 2
09:10-16:50
09:10-16:50
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:10-16:50
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
2 066 m - 2 708 m
close
Stade
09:05-16:45
09:05-16:45
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:05-16:45
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 440 m - 1 440 m
Table verte
09:10-17:10
09:10-17:10
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:10-17:10
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 758 m - 1 773 m
Tougnète 1
09:00-16:55
09:00-16:55
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:00-16:55
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 440 m - 1 913 m
TSD6 Tougnète 2
09:05-17:00
09:05-17:00
Status
planned
Opening hours
09:05-17:00
Schedule period
4.13.2024 - 4.20.2024
Start - End
1 922 m - 2 412 m
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