When you think of the Three Valleys ski area, you may automatically think of the glamorous – and budget-busting – resorts of Méribel and Courchevel and consider yourself hopelessly priced out of the region. But fear not: Les Menuires is the cost-effective answer to enjoying a brilliant ski holiday in the Three Valleys. Chalets here cost a fraction of those in Méribel and Courchevel, and yet provide access to some of the best pistes in the area.
Where to Stay
Les Menuires is a purpose-built resort that has spread out since its core was constructed in the 1960s. At its centre is La Croisette, which doesn’t exactly emanate French alpine quaintness – it features a number of concrete tower blocks – but does offer a wealth of handy amenities, as well as a fast chairlift that whisks you straight onto prime slopes of the Three Valleys. Chalets of a reasonable price are easy to find in the various suburbs to the north of the centre, including Le Bettaix, and across the mountainside to the south, such as Les Bruyères.
The Chalets de Bruyères, right at the foot of the Bruyères gondola lift, comprise five linked chalets which each sleep 12 to 16 people. This is the perfect accommodation option for families looking to take advantage of a catered, ski-in, ski-out chalet with excellent links to local amenities; there is a ski school and a crèche next door, as well as a shuttle bus stop right outside. Offering a great location and great value-for-money, these catered chalets are a perfect base for exploring the Three Valleys. Chalets de Bettaix, on the other hand, are located in the picturesque surroundings of a quiet village just below the main resort centre. Although they occupy a more peaceful location away from the town, these chalets score highly on the accessibility scale: they are only 150 metres away from the piste and a new chair lift.
Where to Ski
The fantastic thing about Les Menuires is that even though the accommodation prices are so much lower than Courchevel and Méribel, you still get to enjoy some of the best skiing of the Three Valleys area right on your doorstep. The prime, sweeping blues and reds just beneath the Roc des Trois Marches to the east of the town are a pleasure for any ski enthusiast.
There is plenty of good skiing in the resort itself, meaning that a €188 family pass (two adults, two children) will ensure six days of superb skiing. Les Menuires is particularly suitable for kids: the Walibi Gliss ski area offers a range of exciting activities on the snow, including a beginners’ boarder cross, a slalom course and a ‘musical zone’, which is as fun as it sounds!
If you want free reign over the entire Three Valleys ski area, a six-day ski pass is still very reasonably priced for a family of four: €238.20 in total. This buys you access to an incredible 600km of slopes, which incorporate 318 marked downhill pistes.
Even if you don’t have a Rolex and a Range Rover, you can still enjoy the world-class skiing that the Three Valleys has to offer. Staying at Le Menuires is truly the most cost-effective way to explore the largest integrated ski area in the world!
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best Three Valleys chalets or ski chalets in Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.