Méribel Resort Guide

Méribel Resort Guide

Based at the heart of the Three Valleys, Méribel is a popular resort, especially with British holidaymakers, and its easy to see why. With Courchevel, La Tania and Val Thorens only a lift or two away, Méribel makes the perfect base from which to explore all of the ski area. Then, once you’ve hung up your skis, there’s a lively après scene which will have you dancing in your ski boots before you can say sante!

Meribel has a large variety of pistes, boasting something for everyone, including two parks: the large and advanced DC park in Mottaret and the Moon Park in Méribel Centre. And with it’s situation on the mountain, it enjoys tons of sun.

Méribel consists of a number of different villages each with different charms. The central hub is known as Méribel Centre is a charming village that has luckily escaped the high-rise concrete buildings of other resorts due to strict building regulations. It is the largest village in the valley and is home to the main shopping and après scene.

Higher up is Méribel 1600 and Méribel-Mottaret. Mottaret is great if you’re looking for some great off piste access. Then slightly lower is Méribel Village, which is great if you’re looking for somewhere a bit quieter that still has all the access to the skiing. Les Allues is even further down the mountain and is where many locals reside. As it does have a gondola running up to Méribel Centre, it can be a good budget option.

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Resort Information

Méribel – The Stats

  • Altitude: 1450 – 2952
  • 150km of pistes across Méribel
  • Links to Courchevel 1650, 1850, La Tania and Val Thorens
  • 53 ski lifts across Méribel
  • 9 black ski runs
  • 23 red ski runs
  • 36 blue ski runs
  • 8 green ski runs

Méribel Piste Map

Meribel Piste Map

3 Valleys Piste Map

3 Valleys Piste Map

Click on the images for high res downloadable piste maps of Méribel and The Three Valleys.

Skiing in Meribel

Méribel is based at the heart of the  Three Valleys, the world’s largest ski area. There are 150km of pistes in Méribel alone and once you add in those in nearby Courchevel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires and St Martin you have over 600km of runs to ski. So bags of skiable terrain to help you burn off your lunch time tartiflette. And two impressive snow parks to boot. For those starting out in their freestyle careers there’s the Méribel Moon Park and then for some serious hot dogging heat up to the DC Park above Mottaret.

Méribel is ideal for those who like cruising the blues. The resort boasts 36 blue runs as well as 8 greens, 23 red and 9 blacks. So it offers for something for all levels of skier and boarder. And for the ultimate leg trembler try the ski from Mont Vallon without stopping. An amazing descent and incredible views!

For beginners and intermediates there’s the gentle slopes around the Altiport. And more advanced skiers or boarders can test their leg muscles on Mont Vallon, practise their skills in the two well equipped snow parks or explore the endless off piste.

Best Ski Runs in Méribel – our pick of the bunch

For Beginners:

Head to the Altiport

For Intermediates:

Take your pick! The mountain is your playground!

For Advanced:

Warm up on Combe Vallon from the top and then tackle some of the couloirs for some off piste action. Or venture further afield to Pointe de la Masse above Les Menuires, or the Courchevel Saulire couloirs.

A bit of History

Méribel has a huge British influence, and it all started from the beginning with Scotsman, Peter Lindsay.

Lindsay first set out to find a suitable resort in France in 1936. With help from French skier Emilie Allais, they found a spot just above the village of Les Allues. And within two years the first lift was built. But due to the war, after just one season, the project was put on hold for 6 years. During which time the area was occupied by the Germans and was a center for the Resistance.

But Lindsay returned after the war and was determined to make it great. The original chalets were situated at 1450m, near present day Mussillon. The area was actually renamed Méribel after a pasture area near the current Méribel Village because they thought Mussillon was too hard to pronounce. The name Méribel is said to derive from the Latin work ‘mirare’ meaning to look and ‘bel’ meaning beautiful.

To keep Méribel looking beautiful, Lindsay instated building codes that all buildings were to be created of local materials:slate, wood and stone, and be built with double pitched roofs. The building codes still exist today, and are largely the reason why Muriel has escaped the ugly developments of large concrete buildings elsewhere in the Alps.

It was a happening place in the 1950’s with chalet owner Brigitte Bardot spending her time here. There was only one nightclub then, the Shangri-la, which is current day O’Sullivans. During the 1960’s development really boomed and The Three Valleys were created, followed by the creation of Méribel-Mottaret in 1972.

Méribel Village Map

meribel-village-map

Meribel FAQ’s

How can I get to resort?

Fly

If you’re arriving by air then you’ll probably fly into either Grenoble, Lyon or Geneva. The following transfer companies offer airport transfers, either private or sometimes shared:

3 Valley Transfers

Snowbound Transfers to Meribel
Reliable airport transfers & ski resort transfers to Meribel

Sky2ski
A reasonably priced, efficient and friendly transfer service

Snowlinx
Premier private transfer solution!

Snow White Transfers
A reliable, professional service offering private and shared transfers to Courchevel, Meribel, and Val Thorens.

There are buses from the airport but you will need to change at Moutiers and they’re not cheap so if there is a few of you it often cheaper to share a transfer.

The train is the cheapest option from the airports but again this will involve several changes and the trains are somewhat infrequent.

Drive

It’s about a 9hr drive once in France to reach Courchevel. The benefits of driving are no luggage restrictions and the option of an extra day skiing during a week’s holiday but the tolls can be quite pricey on the motorways so something to consider.

Train

The Eurostar offers overnight trains direct from London St Pancras to Moutiers (about 25mins from Méribel, at the foot of the mountain). If you don’t mind overnight travel, and can sleep on trains (or are willing to forego sleep) then this can be one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to reach the Alps. Plus, no extra charge for ski carriage. You just need to be able to carry all your gear!

Where can I stay in resort?

Here are some of our favourite tour operators in Méribel:

Powder White
Chalet holidays ‘tailor made for you’.

Alpine Elements
Catered ski chalets at sensible prices in La Tania and Meribel

VIP
Luxury catered chalets

Skiworld
A number of chalets and hotels in 1550, 1650 and 1850. They always have a great team working for them.

Ski Basics
A catered skiing holiday in Méribel with Ski Basics delivers more for less.

Ski Weekends
Weekend trips to Brides les Bains

Silver Ski
Top Quality Catered Chalet Holidays

Highlife
3 chalets in Meribel – all fitted with ‘detox facilities’ including log fires, hot tubs and saunas!

Purple Ski
Purple Ski is a family run company which has been successfully operating catered chalet holidays for nearly 30 years.

Alpine Action
Quality apartments and chalets in Méribel. They have outdoor hot tubs!

Alpine Infusion
Luxury chalet holidays; have your own chef, driver and host

Ski Beat
Chalet holidays for all

Ski Olympic
One of the friendliest chalet / hotels companies around.

Meriski
The chalet specialists in Méribel

Delicious Mountain
Stuart and Louise offer luxury chalet holidays in Meribel.  Chalet La Chouette sleeps up to 14 adults in luxury.

Alp Leisure
Luxury ski chalets in Méribel & Courchevel.

Ski Hame
Catered chalet holidays

Alpine Charms
Lots of chalets and apartments

Flexiski
Flexiski offer tailor made holidays across the Alps.

Alpine Ethos
Quality catered and self-catering ski holiday chalets in Meribel

Belvedere Properties
Luxurious Alpine Chalets set in the heart of Meribel

Chalet Bartavelle
Chalet Bartavelle is a gourmet catered ski chalet in the small hamlet of Le Cruet, close to Méribel, in the heart of the Three Valleys

Fish & Pips
Comfortable, well located catered chalets and apartments with delicious food and top service. F&P also offer self catered holidays with those extra touches.

goskimeribel
Chalet Chandon is an extremely comfortable chalet well located in the small hamlet of Meribel-Chandon, just below Meribel centre.

Méribel Apartments
Apartment specialists in Méribel

Meribelbrides.com
A selection of privately-owned spacious apartments in the pretty spa town of Brides les Bains, connected to Méribel by high-speed gondola.

Meribel-Chalets-Apartments
Privately owned Meribel self catered & catered apartments & chalets from the Meribel chalet and apartment rental specialists.

Méribel Self-catering
Self-catering apartments in Meribel Village

Méribelskichalets
4 great value chalets near the Meribel slopes

Scott Dunn
Holidays without compromise. Chalets at the ‘higher’ end of the market.

Ski Blanc
Great value ski holidays in quality catered chalets.  A small friendly company offering a personal service in Méribel, France

Sovereign Ski
Sovereign Ski provide luxury, catered chalets for skiiers in the Three Valleys

Summit Chalets
Holiday Ski Chalets and Holiday Ski Apartments to rent in Meribel at the Heart of the 3 Valleys, France. Self Catered, Self Catered Plus, Semi Catered or Fully Catered.

Savoie Holidays
Independent British chalet holiday company offering catered and self catered ski chalet holidays in the French Alps.

As well as some of the agents with whom you can book stays in Meribel:

Alpine Answers
Ski Holidays – from weekend to luxury chalets

Alpenglow Ski
A specialist chalet agent with a wide range of catered chalets to suit all budgets.

Alpine Guru
A wide range of Ski Holidays and chalets

Altitude Holidays
Small, flexible, owner run company.

Camel Snow
A unique and personal service, going the extra mile to ensure your bespoke ski holiday is perfect.

Directline-Skiing
A ski holiday search engine A ski holiday search engine

Exceptional Ski
Bespoke ski holidays in Courchevel and Meribel since 2005.

Firefly Collection
Firefly Collection offers a cherry-picked selection of the finest luxury ski chalets, together with expert, impartial advice and a complimentary concierge service.

Flexiski
Flexiski offer tailor made holidays across the Alps.

If You Ski
Ski Holidays, chalet holidays, snow reports and more.

Carrier
Luxury tour operator

Independent Mountain
Catered and Self Catered Chalets & Apartments in the French Alps

Kuoni
The winter and summer holiday specialists

Luxury Chalet Book
The Luxury Chalet book specialises in offering the most luxurious chalets in the finest ski resorts in Europe.

Move Mountains Limited
Hand picked ski holidays

Much Better Adventures
Active holidays direct from Independent Operators

My Chalet Finder
A website specialising in self catering chalets and apartments across the world’s top ski resorts.

Oxford Ski Company
Luxury ski breaks

Powder Beds
Ski accommodation specialists

Scott Travel
Independant ski holiday specialists

Ski Boutique
Independent luxury ski holiday specialists

Ski Europe
Ski Holidays for everyone – from chalets to apartments

Ski Independence
Travel agent specialising in Ski vacations

Skiline
Ski Holiday Company – run by skiers for skiers

Ski Solutions
Luxury ski resort travel and accommodation

Skiing Holidays
Skiing holiday deals and expert advice

SNO
Ski deals and cheap holidays with the biggest tour operators in Meribel.

Snowfinders
An up and coming ski agency who will find you exactly what you want! Best prices, best advice.

The Luxury Ski Company
Luxury ski holidays in the finest catered chalets & apartments throughout the Alps

How can I get around Meribel?

Meribus is a free bus service, no need for a lift pass even! There are 3 main lines running between Meribel Centre and Les Allues & Meribel Village (line A), Plateau & Altiport (line B) and Mottaret (line D). Timetables available in the New Gen shop or the Tourist Office. The bus runs 7 days a week, 7am to Midnight.

The main drop off points in Meribel are at: La Chaudanne (close to our meeting point) and Centre (close to our shop, the Tourist Office and other useful shops)

Where can I get my skis and snowboard equipment?

Here are some of the options for ski hire in resort:

Slide Candy
A mobile ski hire company who will come to your chalet.

Sports Boutique
The first ever ski shop in Meribel. Ideally located at the centre of Meribel, next to the tourist office and near our shop.

Or, if you’re thinking of buying your own ski boots (a worthy investment for comfort and perfomance!) or are having issues with existing boots, that might need some tweaks:

The Boot Lab
Boot fitting specialists in Meribel and Courchevel. Pop in for a free assessment with their specialist boot fitters. Each boot comes with a comfort guarantee.

What is the snow like? Meribel webcams

These can be found on the official Méribel site.

Where can I find more information about Meribel?

If you’re looking for more information about resort including where to eat, what’s on during your stay and general hints and tips then try one of the following websites:

Merinet
A helpful site with regular event listings of what’s going on in resort, snow reports and more.

Meribel Tourist Office
The official site for Meribel

What shopping is available?

Food Shopping

  • Spar Supermarket – Just as you come into Méribel is a decent sized Spar supermarket on the lefthand side.
  • Casino Supermarket – Located in the centre is a Casino, which is a bit smaller than the Spar.
  • Bakery – There is a bakery right in the main square.
  • Butcher – Further down Route de Centre is a local butcher.
  • Cheese and meat shop – A nice artisanal cheese and meat shop located near the pharmacy on Route de la Montée.

Clothing and Ski Shops

  • Sport Boutique – For designer names and high end ski gear, Sport Boutique is the go-to shop.
  • Intersport and Sport 1600 – Both great ski shops for any type of ski gear you could need.
  • Avalon and Oxygene – Two snowboard shops, one near Jack’s bar and one near Casino supermarket.
  • Togshop – A trendy ski shop targeted at freeskiers is further away from the centre on the road up from La Chaudanne.

What services are available in Méribel?

Doctors – There is a doctor’s office located in the Olympic Centre, where Dr. Schamasch works. He speaks English and the office is usually open from 9am – 6pm.

Pharmacy – Located just down Route de la Montée, to the left of La Barometer restaurant is a full pharmacy.

Post office – Right next to the Tourist Office in the center of town is a post office. They also offer currency exchange.

Banks – Two main banks are in the centre of town. Bank Populaire is located just across from La Taverne in the center, and future down the road is Credit Agricole.

What non-skiing activities are there in Méribel?

Whether you’re a non-skier, or have one in your party, or you’re looking for something to do when the weather draws in, Méribel offers plenty of non-skiing activities to keep you entertained.

There’s the Olympic Centre in the centre of resort with a large swimming pool with a slide, as well as a bowling alley, climbing wall and ice skating rink. Or you could book an excursion such as dog sledding, a hot air balloon ride or try your hand at parapenting to take in the view.

Or if you fancy something a little more athletic, and ground-based, why not try your hand at cross-country skiing? Or alternatively, Simply Savoie offer Guided snowshoe walks around Courchevel. Get off-the-beaten-track and discover the “real mountains” with Mark Tennent.

Any recommendations for places to eat?

No trip to Méribel would be complete without enjoying the local Savoyard fayre. After year’s of testing and trialing all the local eateries here are our pick of the bunch:

Best Cheap Eats

Mottaret Snack Bar serves huge and tasty burgers with lashings of melted raclette cheese in crusty french bread.

The Rond Point, or The Ronnie, as it’s more commonly known, has a snack bar on the terrace with reasonably priced food.

If you’re looking for a quick bite, get some takeout pizza from Pizza Emporter, just next to the Spar supermarket.

Mid Range

La Taverne in the centre of Méribel serves delicious freshly prepared evening menus featuring international cuisine alongside Savoyarde classics.

Or for lunch on the piste stop by the aforementioned Rond Point restaurant. They serve hearty fresh food to refuel you, whether heading back onto the slopes or onto their terrace for some of the best après ski and live music in the 3 Valleys.

Evolution Bar and Restaurant’s varied menu has something for everyone. Watch out for the live music and themed menus every Saturday night in the winter.

L’igloo is just what the name states – an igloo inside! Furry seats and quirky decor, this place is a fun night out with reasonably priced pizzas, pasta and meat dishes.

La Barometer located just in the center of town has a small but good menu with thinks such as steak sandwiches, Chinese duck pancakes and spare ribs.

If your keen for some Savoyard fare, do not pass up La Refuge. Delicious food for a reasonable price with an umber of savoyard dishes.

Fine Dining

Aux Petits Oignons has a long standing reputation for their excellent menu and friendly ambience with a log fire or sunny terrace depending on the weather! They have a reasonably priced 3 course lunch menu, but are a bit more high end in the evenings.

Chez Kiki is another Savoyard favourite in town for tartiflette or fondue, they also have a large variety of grilled steaks.

Or check out the new Le Clos Bernard tucked into the forest near the Altiport. You can ski up to this place for a lunch break on the terrace or inside. They have an open flame grill in the center of the restaurant so you get to watch your steak being flamed up!

Or, if you’d rather eat in, but don’t fancy cooking then check out Chalet Kitchen and their food delivery service, delivered to your chalet or apartment.

What is the après and nightlife like?

Méribel is well known for it’s lively après scene and nightlife, with tons of young holidaymakers showing up for a good time.

If you’re looking for some flashy après on the mountain, La Folie Douce parties all afternoon until the pistes close. With dancers, singers and a DJ putting on a show each afternoon, expect table top dancing, champagne showers, wild costumes and pricey drinks. Definitely worth it seeing what it’s all about! Afterwards you can ski right on down to the infamous Ronnie, The Rond Point, which is a spot not to be missed. With a massive terrace and live music on the regular, the beer flows freely here and you definitely feel the atmosphere.

Just near the bottom of the Chaudanne you will find Meribar. Bands, booze, and a nice terrace – it’s a good spot to grab a drink before you make your way back to your chalet. Also near the Chaudanne is Jack’s Bar who have après music on Monday – Friday. Along with a good happy hour, 2 for 1 cocktails in the evening, theme nights, and a pool table – it’s a fun spot.

Right in the centre of town is hot spot La Taverne, affectionately known as La Tav, has a south facing terrace for the sunny afternoons. Along with live music, pub grub and reasonably priced drinks, this perfect location pub gets busy. Doron Pub is also in the centre of town and has ski in ski out ability. It’s good spot to catch your favourite sports game.

O’Sullivan’s, the former Dick’s T-Bar, is the one true nightclub in town that parties late into the night. From 22:00 – 4:oo this underground club and lounge has free entry until midnight.

If you’re heading a bit further afield, Lodge du Village (LDV) in Meribel Village is a great spot for some afternoon beers in the sun or partying late into the night with bands on many nights of the week.

How about childcare?

We recommend two companies who provide childcare options in Méribel:

T4 Nannies
T4 offer a private nanny service in Val d’Isere, Tignes, Meribel, Courchevel, La Tania, La Plagne and La Rosiere. They hand pick nannies who share the belief that undivided attention, fun and getting involved are the key ingredients to a happy family holiday.

SnowBugs Child Care and Private Nanny Service
SnowBugs Nannies offer a high quality, friendly, trustworthy and professional private Nanny service in La Tania, entertaining your little ones in the comfort of your own accommodation during your winter holiday.

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