Known as the Coeur des Trois Vallees (heart of the Three Valleys), Meribel is nestled in the centre of the world’s largest ski area and is a perfect base to explore everything this huge ski domain has to offer including the neighbouring resorts of Courchevel, Val Thorens, La Tania, Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville.
With an enormous ski area, a wealth of catered chalets, lovely hotels, a wide range of restaurants and a lively pub scene Meribel is a wildly popular ski holiday destination.
Families, couples and groups of friends large groups of friends will all find something to love about Meribel!
One of the most popular destinations in the French Alps, Meribel played a big part in the 1992 Albertville Olympics and is known as a world-class ski destination with access to over 180 ski lifts and 335 pistes offering over 600km of marked runs.
A favourite amongst British skiers, Meribel was created in 1938 by British Colonel Peter Lindsay who first visited the traditional mountain town Les Allues in 1936 whilst looking for an alternative to the Austrian and German resorts that were popular at the time. Nevertheless, Meribel has retained a picturesque French-mountain charm with lovely traditional wood-clad chalets and hotels.
A nice little video guide to Meribel by our friends at PowderWhite.
Meribel in Numbers:
Top lift: 2952m
Resort Altitude: 1450m
Bottom Lift: 1100m
Length of Pistes: 600km (3 Valleys)
Green Runs: 51
Blue Runs: 132
Red Runs: 106
Black Runs: 32
Beginner Areas: 18
The ski area Meribel is home to several different villages including:
Meribel-Centre (1500m) which is the main hub where you’ll find the most shops and restaurants, the Tourist Office, the post office and La Chaudanne – the main snowfront area with most of the major lifts.
Meribel-Mottaret (1750m) is a purpose-built resort within a purpose-built resort, as such it’s smaller and quieter than Meribel-Centre but almost all the accommodation is ski-in, ski-out.
Meribel-Village (1400m) Meribel Village ski lessons are a little more difficult to come by than lessons starting from Meribel Centre or Mottaret, but if you can’t find group lessons starting here don’t worry, Meribel’s free shuttle-bus service is fantastic, covering all villages from about 7:30am until midnight!
Meribel Restaurants and Nightlife
Boasting both the Rond-Point and La Folie Douce on the slopes Meribel is a powerhouse at apres-ski, but don’t discount pubs in the village like La Taverne – they’ve often got good crowds, live music and lower prices than their slopeside equivalents!
We love Aux Petits Oignons for a (somewhat) more relaxed apres-ski drink or a nice casual French dinner. If you’re a traditional French mountain meal with big chunks of meat and loads of melted cheese you can’t beat La Fromagerie, while Tsaretta Spice is a great escape from the norm with more exotic flavours from Asia.
At night head down to O’Sullivan’s where you can dance almost until the lifts start running again in the next morning!
Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding in Meribel
A fast and modern lift system provides quick and easy access to the top of all the major ski areas and is a true paradise for intermediates.
As the beginner’s area is located up the Rhodos lift even first-time skiers will need a Meribel lift pass from the first day of their lessons, but the wide green runs of the Altiport area are a great place to build your confidence. At most ski schools in Meribel children can learn to ski from 4 years old.
Intermediates have plenty to choose from in Meribel from pistes that are perfect for learning how to carve on skis, to steeper areas to get the blood pumping. The Col de la Loze area above the Altiport has some lovely, scenic blue runs. While you won’t find much in Meribel to stack up to the steepness of ski resorts like Val d’Isere, areas like Saulire and Plattieres are home to some very tasty red runs.
If you’re comfortable getting around on blue slopes it’s worth looking into getting a 3 Valley’s pass and making the most of this huge ski area which includes Courchevel and Val Thorens as well as smaller gems like La Tania, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires and Orelle. You can check out all the different options and prices for Meribel and 3 Valleys lift passes here.
The best way to make the most of your skiing holiday in any resort is to ski with someone who knows it intimately – with the local knowledge of the right ski guide Meribel’s best kept secrets will be at your fingertips!
Meribel Piste Map