Val Thorens Ski Resort Guide

Boasting the title of the highest altitude ski resort in Europe, Val Thorens is also situated at the end of the Three Valleys ski area, providing both snow-sure conditions and access to the world’s largest ski area. With Méribel, Les Menuires and St Martin all within easy reach, and Courchevel little over an hour’s ski away, you won’t be stuck for pistes to explore and adventure.

Val Thorens is a bustling resort that is perfect for both families and friends alike. The variety of pistes are suited to all levels of skiers and boarders, which is perfect for progressing your riding. And it doesn’t stop there. Val Thorens also boasts a variety of alternative activities including a mountain-top zip line and evening yurt experience.

Val Thoren’s high altitude allows it to stay open longer than many other resorts in the area, from November – May. And they keep the party going all season long with a number of events held in resort including Festi Val Tho in March and Jazz à Val Thorens in April.

Ready to have the perfect day in Val Thorens?

Val Thorens also holds the title for a number of awards including:

  • Best European Resort 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Most Improved European Resort 2013
  • World & France Best Ski Resort 2013 & 2014
  • France Best Ski Resort 2015

Find the lesson that suits you best in our Val Thorens Ski School.

Val Thorens Resort Information

Val Thorens Key Facts

  • Highest ski resort in Europe at 2300m
  • Part of the Belleville Valley along with Les Menuires and St Martin
  • Part of the Three Valleys with easy links to Courchevel and Méribel
  • Within the Val Thorens ski pass area, you can venture into Orelle (in the fourth Maurienne Valley)
  • 150km of pistes in the Val Thorens & Orelle area
  • 600km of pistes in the Three Valleys
  • 11 green runs
  • 29 blue runs
  • Open from the end of November to the beginning of May each year

Val Thorens Piste Map

Val Thorens Piste Map

3 Valleys Piste Map

3 Valleys Piste Map

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

Recent Val Thorens Blog Posts

Skiing in Val Thorens

Best ski runs in Val Thorens – our pick of the bunch

Val Thornes is part of the Three Valleys, the world’s largest ski area. There are 150km of pistes just in Val Thorens, and once you add in those in nearby CourchevelMéribel, Les Menuires and St Martin you have over 600km of runs to ski. You won’t be stuck for new areas to ski in Val Thorens. And if freestyle is more your gig, you’ll have to check out the Snowpark. It’s got a number of rails, boxes, and jumps as well as an airbag to practice your aerial moves!

Val Thorens is great for beginners and lower-intermediates as it has 40 blue and green runs to choose from. But along with peaks above 3,000, you can also find some super steep runs accompanied by stunning views.

For Beginners:

  • Beginners Areas – Head to the Rond Point de Pistes to find your ski legs on a small slope. Then, you can move onto the magic carpet runs of  Musaraigne and Campagnols.
  • Traversée des Deux Lacs – A perfect first green run to head to once you’ve moved on from magic carpets.

For Intermediates:

  • Dalles – Cruise this lovely wide blue piste and enjoy the stunning views whilst you practice your turns. A perfect starter run to find your ski legs again at the start of your holiday.
  • Christine – This run takes you up almost 3000m to the foot of the glacier, which again, offers fabulous views of Val Thorens.

For Advanced:

  • Cime de Caron – With 2 blacks & 1 red coming down this, it’s a great place to head for some challenging runs.
  • Combe Rosael, Col de l’Audzin & Combe de Caron – Three other great runs near Cime de Caron.

Val Thorens Restaurants

Val Thorens boasts all types of food from delicious quick meals to Michelin starred dining experiences.

There’s a wide range of restaurants for all budgets and tastes in Val Thorens. Here are a few spots we love.

Best Cheap Eats

  • Wok Ski – Amazing and affordable rice or noodle boxes on the mountain, offering something different than your typical cheese dishes. Situated amongst the glaciers, inside the Chalet du Thorens, they’ve tons of deck chairs for you to devour your Asian in the sunshine.
  • Folie’s To Go – La Folie Douce for great sweet & savoury snacks to eat while you boogie!
  • Val Burger Pizza – Does what it says on the tin. Take away burgers, pizzas, chips & crepes served from 10 AM until 2:30 AM.

Mid Range

  • La Marine – An unexpected nautical-themed restaurant with a beautiful terrace, wonderful food from a large menu. They only take bookings on a daily basis so be sure to decide early if you are going to dine at 2500m. There’s a more formal restaurant as well as a self-service Bistro with meals around the 15€ mark.
  • Chalet des 2 Ours – A lovely mountain restaurant for traditional Savoyard fayre at 2300m. Their menu ranges from 15-20€ for mains.
  • Chez Pepe Nicholas – Also known as ‘The Farm’ this place serves cheese and milk from their animals that you can meet! Friendly staff, a gorgeous terrace, beautiful views, and quirky décor, it also has fabulous local food – quite simple but elegantly done.

Fine Dining

  • Jean Sulpice Restaurant – Although pricey, this 2* Michelin restaurant might be the best meal of your life. Order the 7-course tasting menu to try a bit of everything.
  • L’Épicurien – A more conspicuous 1* Michelin restaurant is tucked away on Rue du Soleil. Lovely fresh ingredients, friendly staff and food to die for.
  • L’Oxlays – This fabulous little Michelin 2* restaurant is ideal for a cosy indoor lunch on a snowy, cold day, or dine al fresco with a view to die for. This delightful family-run restaurant serves fabulous food at reasonable (for the quality!) prices and with less of a fanfare.

Val Thorens Après & Nightlife

Val Thorens offers a happening après and nightlife scene for the party-goers in your group.

  • Bar 360 – If you are looking for slopeside après, we’d recommend dancing in your boots at Bar 360 situated just above the entrance of the Moraine & Portette chairlifts. It’s a great spot for funky music, there’s a huge terrace & also a choice of four restaurants.
  • La Folie Douce – The infamous mountain-top après spot is located just under Les Pionniers & Plein Sud lifts – you’ll hear it before you see it! Think DJs, dancers, singers, saxophones, and champagne showers!
  • Café Snesko – For live music every day from 17.30, Café Snesko has become THE best après bar in town! Small, lively, great staff…
  • The Frog & Roast Beef – The highest & best British run pub in the Alps! It offers some great live music and pub grub.
  • Saloon Bar – Another favourite renowned for its party atmosphere. Need we say more?
  • Le Malaysia – If you want to party through the wee hours, Malaysia is the place to go. It’s a huge nightclub with a discreet entrance in a little chalet hut near Maison Blanche in Place Caron. It’s free to enter & opens until 5am if you can keep going!
  • Klub Summit Nightclub & Bar – Pop over to this club which earns the title of the highest nightclub in Europe on Place de Péclet & has a really international vibe.

A bit of history

Val Thorens was created some 45 years ago in 1971 with just three draglifts. The terrain was recognized as perfect for ensuring many of the pistes are north or north-west facing which means the snow conditions are excellent for the full season starting in November & ending in May each year. In the early years, summer skiing took place on the glaciers, but as a result of global warming the last ‘summer lift’ was removed in 2003.

The resort itself faces south so you can enjoy après ski on one of the many terraces. The first restaurant ‘Le Gloulou’ was at the site of Panda Bar & Restaurant in the early ’70s and since then Val Thorens has become a popular resort for foodies with over 60 restaurants, including some more unusual gourmet advertures…from the 2 Michelin starred Jean Sulpice Restaurant, the 1 starred L’Épicurien to dinner in a yurt at Chalet de la Marine.

Val Thorens Village Map

val-thorens-village-map

Val Thorens FAQ’s

How can I get to resort?

Fly

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

3 Valley Transfers

Snowbound Transfers to Val Thorens

Cool Runnings

Sky2ski

Snowlinx

Snow White Transfers

Ski Lifts

AlpyBus

There are buses from the airport but you will need to change at Moutiers If you are travelling as part of a large group it may be cheaper to share a taxi transfer. Check Bensbus or Altibus for more details.

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

Drive

The Channel Tunnel & ferries both become options for self-drivers. It’s about a 10hr drive once in France to reach Val Thorens. The benefits of driving are the ability to travel at your own pace & with as much luggage as you like! You’ll also have the option of an extra day skiing during a week’s holiday. Factor in the road tolls which can be quite pricey on the motorways.

Train

Eurostar offers overnight trains direct from London St Pancras to Moutiers (37km or about 50mins by car from Val Thorens, 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, there are no extra charges for ski carriage! You just need to be able to carry all your gear!

Coach

If you are looking to travel on a showstring & have time for a longer journey there are some excellent value coach transfers from the UK to Val Thorens. Try Ski Bus UK and Snow Express for luxury coach trips from London to Moutiers

For those with a coach stopping in Moutiers, you can book one of the regular public bus shuttles up to Val Thorens resort here.

Where can I stay in resort?

Here’s a list of some of our favourite tour operators in Val Thorens:

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

Kaluma Travel
Luxury, tailor made holidays with excellent standard of service, gourmet food friendly and professional staff

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

Simply Your Holidays
Agent who will search for good quality, affordable holidays for you, your family and your friends.

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

Where can I get my skis and snowboard equipment?

We’ve partnered with Ski Set to give you an exclusive discount off your rental kit. Book your ski and snowboard equipment here.

How can I get around Val Thorens?

There is a free resort shuttle running between 8am & 20pm with three different circuits. The most popular circuits ‘Circuit de la Boucle’ and ‘Circuit du Soleil’ provide around 3 services an hour.

Alternatively, there are several local taxi options (a full list is available through the Val Thorens tourist office).  Try Allo 73 Taxi +33 (0)6 59 81 04 25.

Where can I park in Val Thorens?

Street parking is forbidden except for short periods at the weekend to allow for easier loading & unloading of luggage.  We would recommend booking your parking space with VALTHOPARC before arrival.  The office is open 24 hours a day so arrival at night will not be a problem.

There are 5 parking areas, with free day parking at P4 (before you get to the entrance to the resort).  From P4 there is a pedestrian friendly lift ‘Cairn’ from the lift station across the bridge from the car park to connect you to Val Thorens resort itself.

What is the snow like? Val Thorens webcams

These can be accessed on the Val Thorens website.

Where can I find more information about Val Thorens?

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:

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

ValThorensGuide
An independent guide to Val Thorens.

Val Thorens Tourist Website
The official site for Val Thorens.

What shopping is available?

Food Shopping

  • La Cime Gourmande in Galerie Péclet is a great bakery offering delicious breakfast & lunchtime take away food.
  • Sucré-Salé bakery in Résidence Le Montana Valbel is a firm favourite with the New Generation instructors.
  • Coopérative Laitière in Place de l’Eglise sells locally produced speciality Savoyard cheeses including Beaufort.
  • Supérette Sherpa Les Balcons in Quartier Des Balcons Chalet 1 is a mini market with freshly baked pastries available from 7.30am.
  • Supérette 8 À Huit in Résidence Pierre & Vacances Les Temples Du Soleil on Rue Du Soleil opens daily from 7.30am selling fresh bread & newspapers along with the usual mini market products.
  • Sherpa Supermarche (Galerie Péclet), Supermarché Spar Caron (Galerie Caron), Supermarket Du Chamois (next to Chamois d’Or on Rue du Soleil) & Carrefour Montagne Caron (Rue Caron) are all well stocked mini markets in Val Thorens.

Clothing Shops

  • There’s a street market on Place Péclet every Tuesday and Thursday, in the winter season selling local cheeses and meats, honey and wine as well as a selection of winter suitable clothing.
  • Hibiscus clothing boutique for women in Galerie de Péclet has a good selection of clothing.
  • DC Store in the Galerie Caron offers a selection of urban street wear from the American brand.
  • Millet Expert Shop in Galerie Caron in the centre of the resort stocks a good range of technical equipment.
  • The North Face Store in Galerie Caron sells a range of ski clothing & accessories.
  • Superdry in Place de Péclet sells a selection of the collection from the contemporary urban wear brand.

What services are available in Val Thorens?

Val Thorens Tourist Office is located in the Maison de Val Thorens building on Place de Caron with friendly international staff.

La Poste post office is located in the Maison de Val Thorens building (closed on Sundays)

Aurel Coiffure hairdressers is located in Galerie Péclet.

Garage Gapihan is a petrol station & mini market just after the entrance to the resort past the Club Med building.

Cabinet Dentaire dentist in Les Eterlous building opposite Le Fitz Roy Hotel.

Centre Médico-Sportif on Place Caron is considered to be the main medical centre in Val Thorens & they deal with most injuries & illnesses, referring only the more serious to the hospital in Moutiers. The centre is open from 9am-18pm daily with a doctor on call outside these hours.   Phone +33 (0)4 79 00 00 37.

Centre Medical on Rue du Soleil provides general medical consultations.  The opening hours are 9am-noon and 15pm-18pm.  Phone +33 (0)4 79 00 74 39.

Optic 2300 opticians on Rue de Caron or Extrême Vision opticians in Galerie Caron can assist with most optical needs.

Gendarmerie police station is located on Place des Arolles next to the central bus station.

Pharmacie Des 3 Vallées in Galerie Péclet is a large pharmacy shop selling toiletries.

Tabac Presse Caron in Galerie Caron & Tabac Souvenirs in Galerie Péclet are two popular newsagencies.

There are 6 banks in Val Thorens; Banque De Savoie in
Galerie Péclet, La Banque Postale in Maison de Val Thorens, Crédit Agricole des Savoie
on Rue Caron, Euronet – Distributeur Automatique De Billets
in Le Cheval Blanc building near the Montana complex on Rue Du Soleil, Cic Lyonnaise De Banque
in Place De l’Eglise, Banque Populaire Des Alpes
in Eskival.

Dry cleaners Blanchisserie Des Cimes & Loc’linge on Rue de Gébroulaz provide a laundry service.

Laverie Automatique in Maison de Val Thorens & Lav Thorens in Residence L’Arcelle are the two self service launderettes in Val Thorens.

Ostéopathe D.O Pillot Amélie
(Place de la Fontaine) & Cabinet D’ostéopathie (Eterlous
building) both provide osteopathic treatments.

Cabinet de Kinésithérapie
(Rue du Soleil), Kinésithérapeute
(Le Grand Cairn Appartement A23) & Cabinet D’ostéopathie et de Kinésithérapie
(Centre Médical on Place Caron) all offer physiotherapy treatment.

How about non-skiing activities?

Highest cinema in Europe, Le Lac Blanc Cinema on Grande Rue, Two showings per day, one at 5.30 pm and the other at 9 pm. On bad weather days, an extra show is added at 2.30 pm.

Bowling De Val Thorens (near tourist office, Place de L’Arche), with 8 lanes & bumpers available for children.  There is also a games room with billiard, pool and snooker tables as well as video games, table football and air hockey.

Sledging on the 6km long run (longest in France) which is accessible from the Funitel Peclet and starts at the bottom of the Glacier de Peclet. The run is open everyday from 10:00 to 15:00 and on every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.

Centre Sportif De Val Thorens in Galerie Caron has the following indoor facilities for children; swimming pools, bouncy castles, trampolines, soft play ball pits, tennis, football, volley ball, squash courts, ping-pong tables, badminton courts, basket ball courts

There are plenty of trails to keep keen walkers entertained, a detailed trail map is available for free at the Tourist Office.  The team can also recommend trails further down the Belleville Valley (accessible using the valley shuttle bus service).

Guided snowmobile tours at 17.30pm every evening with Val Tho Motoneige.

Classic & Jazz music concerts take place in the church every Tuesday at 18.30pm (free entry).

How about childcare?

If you’re looking for childcare service in La Tania we recommend the following companies:

Alpine Childcare
Links families with local nannies and babysitters working in ski resorts around the Alps.

A baby-sitters list is available from the tourist office. If you’re looking for equipment rentals, Bébés Et Kids Locationin l’Eskival provide a number of options.

Le Club des Piou Piou is a non-ski nursery that accepts children from 18 months to 5 years old. The Club is run by ESF & the centre is approved by the DDASS and the Departmental for Youth and Sport. Toilet facilities, play areas and a restaurant are available on site for children.

What lift pass will I need for the lessons?

Beginners will not need a lift pass for day 1 as there is a free beginner area at the foot of the pistes. Your instructor will tell you when you need to buy a lift pass.

All other groups will need a Val Thorens – Orelle valley lift pass for your lessons. There is such vast range of terrain on our doorstep in Val Thorens, so we normally don’t go into the Three Valleys in our groups although higher level skiers might want to explore outside of lessons. Day upgrades can be bought for this purpose.

Check out what our Val Thorens Ski School has on offer