The ski resort of Val Thorens was founded 50 years ago. The first real ski season took place in 1972. This resort, which nobody wanted at the beginning, is today one of the most important in France and in Europe. It represents 39% of the 3 Valleys ski area.
Val Thorens, a 3rd generation resort
Val Thorens is one of the integrated resorts, known as third generation. The resort was created with two objectives in mind: to respond to the growing demand for winter tourism and to the government’s Snow Plan of the time. In concrete terms, the project was born in 1968. The resort was created in 1971 and it was in 1972 that the first real ski season took place. The Val Thorens resort was designed so that holidaymakers could leave their accommodation and put on their skis almost instantly.
A resort that no one cared about
At the beginning, nobody wanted the resort of Val Thorens. It was considered too far away, too risky and too cold. However, the first buildings were eventually erected, making Val Thorens not only the highest resort in Europe, but also one of the most popular. In 2013, it received its first “World’s Best Resort” award and will be awarded 6 more times afterwards. 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Val Thorens.
The ski area
The ski slopes of Val Thorens, which cover 150 km, are part of the 3 Valleys ski area. It is the largest in the world, with over 600 km of pistes. With its state-of-the-art lifts and quality snow, Val Thorens is a popular destination for French and foreigners alike. The slopes can also be accessed from Orelle. In a few figures, Val Thorens is :
- 31 ski lifts
- 88 runs, 11 green, 39 blue, 30 red and 8 black
- 99% of the ski area is above 2000 metres
- 1 beginners’ area with 4 free access carpets and 4 lifts that can be used with the Minipass EasyRider
Val Thorens – Les 3 Vallées
Winter sports are not necessarily just about downhill skiing. Val Thorens has understood this and has tried to expand its offer over the years. During your stay in this Tarentaise resort, you can try ice diving, ice driving, paragliding and canoeing. And if you have always dreamed of going for a ride in a snow groomer, you can do it in Val Thorens. During two hours, you will learn more about the maintenance and the grooming of the slopes, as well as the safety rules and the triggering of avalanches.
Top rated hotels
Depending on your budget, we have selected three accommodations in and around Val Thorens that offer excellent value for money. They have received very good reviews from guests.
Hotel Pashmina Le Refuge
Hotel Pashmina Le Refuge is located in the ski area of Val Thorens. You can end your day of skiing with a visit to the wellness centre and spa. The hotel has 2 restaurants, including Les Explorateurs, which has a Michelin star.From 448€ per night.
Hotel Marielle is located in the heart of Val Thorens. As soon as you leave the hotel, you will be able to put on your skis. Some of the rooms have balconies and a great view of the mountains.From 297€ per night.
Ho36 Les Menuires
The ho36 youth hostel is located in Les Menuires. It offers direct access to the slopes and easy access to Val Thorens. You can also store your ski equipment in a dedicated room.From 146€ per night.
The most beautiful chalets
For an unforgettable holiday in the mountains, we offer two chalets for rent. All of them have received excellent reviews from our guests.
Le Selaou 34
The Sealou 34 is a chalet located 200 metres from the ski lifts. It has a beautiful view of the mountain. The fireplace will warm you up in the evening with a fondue or other culinary speciality.From 715€ per night.
Le Chalet Val Thorens
The Chalet Val Thorens is a 6-room apartment. It can accommodate up to 11 people and is located 300 metres from the French Ski School and the slopes. The south-facing apartment has a balcony and views of the surrounding mountains.From 553€ per night.
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Attractive ski packages
Different packages are offered to skiers. They allow you to discover the Val Thorens area and more widely the 3 Valleys. We suggest you to discover some good deals:
- The Saturday Promo – Val Thorens. It allows you to have your adult day pass for 54,40€ instead of 61€.
- The Saturday Promo – 3 Vallées. You will get your adult day pass for 54,40€ instead of 68€.
Promotions may also be available on the Grand Premiere weekend and at the end of the season. Now that you have this information, all you have to do is book your ski holiday.
Since winter holidays in the mountains do not only rhyme with alpine skiing, we suggest you to discover three walking and snowshoeing trails in Val Thorens.
The Marine trail
The Marine trail can be done from the Cosmojet Chalet or from the top of the Cascades chairlift. Throughout the walk, you will enjoy a panoramic view of the Val Thorens resort.
- Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes round trip or 1 hour 15 minutes if you take the chairlift on the way up
- Level of difficulty: easy
- Length: 5 kilometres
The 2 lakes trail
To reach the 2 lakes trail, head towards the Chalet du Cosmojet. Once you reach the chalet, follow the signs. All along the way, you will have a view of the resort.
- Walking time: 1.5 hours round trip
- Level of difficulty: medium
- Length: 2.1 kilometres
The Moutière trail
The departure for the Moutière trail is from the Chalet du Cosmojet. Follow the path of the 2 lakes to the plateau, from where you will reach the hillside reservoirs. To reach the Moutière, you must follow the Linotte trail.
- Time: 4 hours round trip
- Level of difficulty: difficult
- Length: 6.1 kilometres
Ideas for activities in summer
Val Thorens is a resort which also lives in summer. The activities have been greatly developed over the last few years, in order to respond to the growing popularity of the 4-season mountains. Amongst all the activities available, you can try archery,climbing, canyoning or even glacier trekking and mountain biking.
Val Thorens – Tourist Office
Access and public transport
Several means of transport will allow you to reach the resort of Val Thorens. By car, first of all. You just have to remember to book your parking space before your stay. Don’t forget that from November 1st, you will have to drive with snow tyres or have adapted equipment in your vehicle. Another option is public transport. You can fly to Chambéry, Lyon or Geneva, or take the train to Moûtiers. Shuttles are then available to help you reach Val Thorens.
Video presentation of Val Thorens
Val Thorens – Tourist office
Other resorts close to Val Thorens
Other ski resorts are located close to Val Thorens. They are located in the 3 Valleys area. Among them, we find Courchevel and Méribel, where the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships will take place, as well as Brides-les-Bains.