Guide to Skiing in Meribel
In the heart of the 3 Valleys, Meribel is a fantastic ski resort for all types and levels of skiers and snowboarders.
Established in the late 1930s, Méribel sits in the middle of the renowned Les 3 Vallées ski area. With extensive slopes and attractive chalet-style architecture, it is no wonder that Méribel has become one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe.
The Ski Area
With slopes between 1,300m and 3,230m in altitude along with excellent snowmaking facilities, exceptional skiing is pretty much guaranteed throughout the winter in Méribel. Linked to Les 3 Vallées ski area, there is an incredible 600 km of skiing at your disposal whilst the local slopes still offer an impressive 150 km. The main lift bases are located below Méribel Centre, at the satellite village of Mottaret up the valley and at the micro-satellite of Méribel Village on the road to La Tania. From Méribel centre, on the west-facing side of the valley, the slopes spread from Col de la Loze to Saulire. Across the valley, the slopes spread beneath five high-points on the ridge which lead to St-Martin-de-Belleville and Les Menuires. At the head of the valley, a chairlift towards Val Thorens takes you to the north-facing slopes of Mont de la Chambre whilst a gondola transports you to the highest point of the valley, Mont du Vallon at 2,952m. Access to all these areas including the 3 Vallées is impressively quick and easy. It takes just 12 minutes to reach the Saulire peak at 2,700m from the centre of Méribel and only nine minutes from Mottaret to 3 Marches at 2,704m.
Best For Beginners
Méribel has some great starting points for beginners, although these can be difficult to reach depending on where you are staying. Being within walking distance of the nursery slopes, Motterat is most convenient for beginners. Nursery slopes can also be found at Rond Point. Those in the lower part of the resort should head to the gentle green slopes around the Altiport. The Blanchot piste here, which runs over the golf course, is part of a ZEN zone reserved for beginners. Tree-lined, the snow is usually in good condition and you won’t be intimidated by speedier skiers whizzing down. Once you have gained confidence on the green runs, there are plenty of easy blues to progress to. You can also easily explore further afield on delightful blue runs into Belleville valley and over the Col de la Loze into Courchevel. Children will love the range of themed slopes in Méribel. Discover the Arctic and Inuit Village, seek full-sized dragons along the Itai Dragon trail and learn about animal tracks and forest animals on the Animal Piste.
Best For Intermediates
With an abundance of blue and red runs, Méribel is a wonderful playground for intermediate skiers. Follow the sun from the Tougnète side in the morning to the Saulire side in the afternoon. Mont Vallon is a must for stunning views and for more experienced intermediate skiers, the Women’s Downhill course created for the 1992 Winter Olympics is a popular choice. Easier routes include the Pic Noir descent from Col de la Loze, the Blaireau piste at the top of the Tougnète gondola and the long Lac de la Chambre piste from Val Thorens.
Best For Experts
With world-class terrain on and off-piste, advanced skiers are well-catered for in Méribel. With over 30 black runs dotted around the ski area, there are plenty of challenges to take on, including the Grand-Rosière from Saulire and the GoPro Couloir beneath the Saulire gondola. For a leg burner, try the red Maudit piste where you can ski from the top all the way back to the resort base. The moguled runs of Les Bosses and Bartavelle are on the list to tackle as are the black runs over in Courchevel such as Suisses, M and the Grand Couloir. There is plenty of good off-piste terrain close to the lifts and all around the valley. Recommended routes include the area around the black Tetras run, the descents from Roc de Fer at the north end of the valley, runs from Tougnète and Mont de la Chambre and of course, from the top of Mont Vallon.
Best for Boarders & Freestylers
With fantastic freeride opportunities and two terrain parks, Méribel is a mecca for boarders and freestylers. The main park, Snowpark DC Area 43, is located above Mottaret and served by the Chatelet chair-lift. Acting as an introduction to freestyle is a Rookies area with large boxes, small jumps and a mini half-pipe. For extreme freestylers, the Pro Zone features rails, big kickers and a competition-standard half pipe. A boardercross course is also located here. Aimed at families and beginners, the Element Park at mid-mountain includes soft impact boxes and rails, an introductory boardercross course and a fun slope.
For more information about the resort take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Meribel.