Val Thorens has a resort height of 2300m above sea level. It is the highest ski resort in Europe and as a result you are pretty much guaranteed snow when booking a skiing holiday here.
Located within the 3 Valleys (Trois Vallees), from Val Thorens you can access roughly 600km of piste throughout the region, with the purchase of a full area lift pass.
The other main resorts that you can access via the lift pass are Les Menuires, Meribel and Courchevel. Even the keenest of skiers will struggle to cover all of this terrain during the course of a week long ski holiday. People often book return visits to Val Thorens (or the Three Valleys as a whole) year after year, and every time they go back they find something new to explore.
As a resort Val Thorens is modern, designed with function in mind. It’s a purpose built ski resort and consequently nearly all of the accommodation has easy ski access or is ski in ski out.
It may not be the prettiest resort but the functionality more than makes up for this. The majority of the accommodation has been built in large blocks.
The advantage of this is that you typically have immediate easy access to great facilities and the vast majority of the chalets on offer have access to wellness areas with pools, saunas, or steam rooms.
The modern feel of the resort was enhanced recently when Val Thorens became the first resort in the world to introduce free piste side wi-fi access, available at specific locations around the resort; namely, the Moraine and 3 Vallees’ chair lift stations, the Cime Caron and Bouquetin cable car stations, the Cairn and Caron gondola stations, the Peclet Funitel station and the Pleid Sud.
Given the resort height and the glacier access of Val Thorens it’s a very popular destination for both early and late season ski holidays.
It has a great snow record and the snow tends to arrive earlier and last longer into the seasons than in many other European resorts. Val Thorens ski holidays are particularly popular during the Christmas and Easter school holidays and you’ll find that the hotels, chalets, and apartments that Val Thorens has to offer start to get booked up long before those in other, comparable resorts.
In recent years Val Thorens has gained a bit of a reputation as being a very lively resort with plenty of night life and apres ski. While this is true, the functionality of the resort and the easy ski access still makes it a great destination to visit with your family.
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There’re plenty of gentle runs that you can access easily from the resort centre and there are even more red and black runs for those experienced skiers out there to test themselves on.
There’s actually roughly 150km of piste to be skied just with the local area of Val Thorens. However, many of you will be taking a ski holiday in Val Thorens simply due to the almost endless skiing opportunities to be found around the various resorts of the Three Valleys.
Beginning skiers are very well catered for in Val Thorens. It’s easy enough to access the nursery slopes without having to ride any unnecessary lifts.
The easy slopes that winding through the centre of the resort are ideal for learning to ski on and there’s access to a free drag lift and four magic carpet lifts - so as absolute beginners you will not have to fork out for a full week’s lift pass.
You can learn the basics over the course of the first few days on the free lifts and slopes, and then once you’ve increased in confidence you can purchase a lift ticket and venture further afield.
As an intermediate skier there is probably enough skiing to last you a week purely within the local area of Val Thorens.
However, it’s more than likely that you’ll want to purchase a full area lift pass in order to experience the skiing on offer in the world famous resorts of Meribel and Courchevel. There’s an abundance of blue and red runs to keep even the most adventurous of intermediate skiers happy.
The runs up on the Peclet Glacier and the piste which make their way down from Val Thorens to Les Menuires are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
The sheer volume of pistes is what makes Val Thorens so beloved of advanced skiers. Even if you were to spend the first two or three days of your holidays skiing every inch of piste in the Val Thorens valley you’d still have three other vast ski resorts to explore afterwards.
On top of that, there is countless options for off piste skiing as well as numerous steep and challenging back runs and mogul fields to be found.
Make time for the famous run down from Cime de Caron with a decent from nearly 3200m. It’s a must for any experienced skiers during their time in Val Thorens.
If you’re a group of snowboarders or a skier who’ll be travelling with them, you’ll be happy to know that a snowboarding holiday in Val Thorens boasts everything you could want.
In recent years Val Thorens has become very popular with snowboarders due the growing reputation of its well-maintained snow park and the laid back atmosphere of the resort.
As well as that, you’ll also find two 'boarder crosses' and of course there are various other snow parks in the neighbouring resorts.
Boarders will also love the long winding blue runs that are such a feature of the Trois Vallees area because they’re great for cruising down on a snowboard, or for jibbing and practising your tricks.
There’s no tree skiing in Val Thorens itself as the resort is located above the tree line but if it’s tree skiing you’re after, all you need to do is head to the lower resorts of Les Menuires and Meribel.
Tree skiing aside, there’s some amazing off piste skiing on offer in Val Thorens. Given the resort height of 2300m and a maximum skiing height of 3230m, Val Thorens deserves its reputation as one of the best resorts in Europe for powder snow.
If you’re lucky enough to encounter the perfect snow conditions while in Val Thorens, you have to check out the impressive Vallon du Lou. It’s extreme off piste skiing at its very best!
In recent years, Val Thorens has earned a reputation for a lively apres ski scene and it definitely lives up to its reputation.
This is partly due to the opening of a 'La Folie Douce' franchise, providing a great spot to stop on the side of the piste for a few drinks and a dance.
You can count on the party carrying on until the lifts are closing and bank on the champagne flowing and plenty of dancing on the tables.
However, the apres ski in Val Thorens isn’t just about one venue. You have plenty of other bars and clubs to sample including the Frog and Roast Beef which really feels like a traditional English pub.
If you want to carry on the party into the early hours of the morning, your best port of call is Malaysia, reputedly the biggest night club anywhere in the Alps!
If you’re looking for something a bit different than the typical apres ski activities, why not try renting a skidoo and a guide? Once the lifts are closed you can explore the mountains and valleys to experience the Alps from a completely different perspective.
The views over the village and the rest of the mountains are spectacular, especially at sunset. Val Thorens also has a leisure centre with a swimming pool as well as squash courts and tennis courts just in case you still have some energy left after a long day on the slopes.
The six kilometre toboggan run around the foot of Peclet glacier has to be experienced, even for seasoned skiers who feel they’ve already seen it all. Ice diving is also available, and the Turkish-style hammam, the sauna, and the sports centre – with swimming pool – are all highly attractive ways to spend your downtime.
Or, if you’d rather stay active, there’s tennis, squash, and snow showing all to be done – and even a bowling alley if that’s your thing.