A ski holiday in Les Menuires gives you access the huge ski region that is the Three Valleys, yet at a more affordable price than if you were to stay in one of the more expensive areas such as Meribel, Courchevel or even Val Thorens. Les Menuires is sometimes looked upon as the poor relation to the other three main resorts but this could not be further from the truth. Situated in the same valley as Val Thorens (the Belleville Valley) Les Menuires is a resort in its own right with its own ski area as well as plenty to do to keep you entertained. Skiing holidays in Les Menuires give you, your family, or your group a chance to try out a multitude of no ski activities such as snow biking and tobogganing whilst also offer you some of the world's best skiing. With the local pass that covers Les Menuires and the neighboring resort of St Martin de Belleville you get access to 160km of piste yet if you opt for the full 3 Valleys pass then you will get access to an incredible 600km of piste.
As well as offering you the chance to ski in such a vast region a ski holiday in Les Menuires will also offer you the added bonus of snow security. It has a resort height of 1850m (the same as Val d'Isere) and it has a great snow record. You also have extremely easy access to Val Thorens and the surrounding glaciers. On top of the great snow record, Les Menuires also has the added bonus of being a purpose-built resort which means that no matter where you are staying you will nearly always have easy access to skiing rather than having to walk for ages or get a ski bus. The downside to this is that it was built in the sixties and the architecture is not the most desirable. However, the lack of traditional alpine style is more than made up for by the functionality.
In recent years there are been a drive to renew the architecture and if you are looking for traditional wood-clad chalets then Reberty (one of the 3 main areas that make up the resort)t is full of them. It still has a purpose-built feel to it but it is still pretty and the direct access to the Les Menuires skiing from nearly all of the chalets will win you over in no time. Reberty is the highest of the areas in Les Menuires followed by Croisette (the main center of the resort) and Preyerand which is the lower part. There is a free bus that links all of the areas of the resort. You will find accommodation spread between them all, so if you are looking for self catered ski apartments, catered ski chalets, or half board ski holets, then you should be able to find something which fits the bill for your upcoming ski holiday to Les Menuires.
Click to enlarge
* Locations are for guidance use only.
There is great skiing to be had by all in Les Menuires. Most of the skiing is above the tree line but if it tree skiing that you are after then you can easily head over to Meribel and La Tania. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced skier there is something for everyone. The local valley with its 160km of piste has plenty of runs to suite any beginners whilst intermediate and advanced skiers will want to explore the rest of the ski region.
There is some great beginners skiing in Les Menuires as it has a dedicated area that has been created especially to cater for their needs. Les Menuires have take inspiration from the American way of doing things in creating this “beginners village” which is a sectioned offer area and is reserved for beginners only. On top of this, the resort has 6 ski lifts which can be used for free by beginners and they also offers a special beginners lift pass which is is offered at a reduced rate and gives you access to 11 of the key lifts in Les Menuires. This is ideal for those who have developed their skills over the first few days of their Les Menuires ski holiday and then want to step up a gear towards the end of the week.
Intermediate skiers will no doubt enjoy a fantastic week's skiing holiday in Les Menuires. The local area alone contains a vast amount of skiing with plenty of blue and red runs to keep you busy. Just going for the local pass will save you a bit of money but it is also worth considering looking at the Belleville Valley lift pass which will also give you access to Val Thorens and a combined terrain of 300km of piste. If you are an intermediate skier who has never skied in the 3 Valleys before then this lift pass will probably give you enough skiing to keep you busy and again it will save you a bit of money. However, you if you are a bit more adventurous and don't mind the extra price then you will probably still want to purchase the full Trois Vallees area lift pass. With this you can access the whole of the Meribel and Courchevel valleys and the options for intermediate skiing are almost endless.
Some of the most advanced skiing in the Three Valleys is to be found in Les Menuires and the place to head is undoubtedly La Pointe de la Masse where you will find steep red runs and treacherous black runs. Pistes such as Lac Noir, Dame Blanche, and Rocher Noir will definitely test your skiing abilities to the maximum. On the other side of the resort, you will find the Mont De La Chamber where again you will find some challenging reds and blacks which decent down into Les Menuires. Once you have skied all that there is so be found in Les Menuires it will be time to venture further afield and on into the rest of the 3 Valleys. The decent down from Mont-Vallon into Meribel is a good 1450m of vertical drop and is a must-do run for any advanced skier when skiing in Les Menuires and having opted for the full 3 Valleys lift pass.
The Three Valleys as a whole has some amazing off-piste and some of this is made up of the off-piste skiing in Les Menuires. As with those looking for the advanced slopes the best place in Les Menuires for off-piste is La Pointe de la Masse. The off-piste route which end up at Lac de Lou is definitely one to look out for when you get perfect conditions on a powder day.
There is plenty of on and off-piste action for you whilst on your snowboarding in Les Menuires. The Acticross and the BK park offer a great environment to practice old and new tricks alike. The Acticross is a newer and longer verion of the boardercross with some fun bumps and a great rail zone whilst the BK park has two runs through that can be taken. There is a blue run with 2 jumps and 4 rails and there is a red run with 1 jump and 4 rails. As well as the Acticross and the BK park that is in Les Menuires you also have access to 2 snow parks in Meribel as well as the Val Thorens and the Courchevel snow parks.
Less is more when it comes to apres-ski in Les Menuires. There is not an abundance of apres-ski venues but the ones that they do have get pretty busy. If your main motivation behind booking your holiday is the amount of apres-ski on offer then don't put Les Menuires at the top of your list but if you are looking for a resort with access to great skiing and with a nice bit of apres-ski on offer at the end of the day then Les Menuires is well worth thinking about.
Crazy Bar is probably the busiest venue for apres ski in Les Menuires. It gets really busy between 4 pm and 6 pm and they have some great apres-ski drink promotions. Another popular bar for apres ski is Bar Pub le Challenge. It is located in the la Croissette and easy to access straight from the slopes. They regularly have live bands playing which is always guaranteed to attract a crowd after a day on the slopes.
For those looking for a party that goes on later into the night try checking out Le Liberty. Situated in Les Bruyeres it is a popular post apres ski venue which plays cheesy Euro Pop into the night. Another popular choice is 'Le New Pop' which is the main nightclub on offer in the centre of Les Menuires. It is located in the Croissette and is open until the early hours.