Meribel Ski Resort

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A snowy January morning in Meribel ski resort, France
A snowy January morning in Meribel ski resort, France
Meribel has everything a powder hound desires......
Meribel has everything a powder hound desires......
Fabulous Meribel ski resort freeride terrain around the 2704m 3 Marches
Fabulous Meribel ski resort freeride terrain around the 2704m 3 Marches
Known as piste tral skiers
Known as piste tral skiers' delight, Meribel is an off-piste freeride paradise too!
The Legends chairlift rises out of Meribel
The Legends chairlift rises out of Meribel's main centre at Chaudanne (cool moon too!)
A 3 Valleys ski resort, Meribel provides the best links to all other areas
A 3 Valleys ski resort, Meribel provides the best links to all other areas
The upper parts of Meribel Centre village are ski-in, ski-out
The upper parts of Meribel Centre village are ski-in, ski-out
Extensive Meribel freeride terrain along the ridge toward Mont de la Challe
Extensive Meribel freeride terrain along the ridge toward Mont de la Challe
Perfect Meribel freeride tpowder turns after lunch.....
Perfect Meribel freeride tpowder turns after lunch.....
Meribel
Meribel's highest lifted point, Mont Vallon, from the empty recliners at Paln des Mains
The Olmpic chair at Meribel opens up extensive off-piste descents along the ridge into Les Allues
The Olmpic chair at Meribel opens up extensive off-piste descents along the ridge into Les Allues
Powder on the new Daguet trail - a convenient off-piste exit to Raffort or Les Allues
Powder on the new Daguet trail - a convenient off-piste exit to Raffort or Les Allues
Meribel ski & snowboard terrain
Meribel ski & snowboard terrain
Picnic after an epic ski descent off 2952m Mont Vallon
Picnic after an epic ski descent off 2952m Mont Vallon
Meribel on & off-piste near Roc de Fer
Meribel on & off-piste near Roc de Fer
The fabled, but over-rated, couloiurs off Saulire are better on the Courchevel side!
The fabled, but over-rated, couloiurs off Saulire are better on the Courchevel side!
La Folie Douce at Meribel is always fun for an apres ski session
La Folie Douce at Meribel is always fun for an apres ski session
Meribel Mottaret village is the highest in the valley
Meribel Mottaret village is the highest in the valley
Meribel
Meribel's Plattieres gondola with Saulire+Mont Blanc background - classic French Alps
First tracks off the Olympic chair. Ski Meribel & the 3 Valleys
First tracks off the Olympic chair. Ski Meribel & the 3 Valleys

Meribel Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Meribel

Meribel4/53
Meribel4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Best Powder in Austria

3 Valleys Ski Resorts

3 Vallèes
Courchevel
Les-Menuires
St Martin de Belleville
Val Thorens

    Meribel Ski Trail Map
  • Meribel Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Meribel only
    1,100m – 2,952m (1,852m)

    3 Valleys
    1,100m – 3,230m (2,130m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5 - 7 metres
  • Lifts (41)
    13 Gondolas / cable cars
    17 Chairlifts

    3 Vallees - 166 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Early December to late April
    8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 650km (3 Vallèes)
    Longest run – 5km+
    Advanced - 11%
    Intermediate - 37%
    Beginner – 52%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Meribel only
    Adult - €54.50
    Child - €43.60
    Child u/5yr – Free

    3 Valleys ski area
    Adult - €64.50
    Child - €51.60
    Child u/5yr - Free
    Three Valleys Ski Trail Map
  • 3 Vallèes Ski Trail Map

Méribel Ski Resort France

The fabulous Meribel ski resort provided us with a powder ski experience that went way beyond our expectations. Nestled in the heart of Les Trois Vallées in France, Meribel provides the best access for exploration of the entire interlinked 3 Vallées resorts (which include Val Thorens & Courchevel). The Three Valleys provide a gigantic ski area with 600km of interlinked piste and Méribel ski resort has the prime location in the central valley. We were very pleasantly surprised with the powder skiing opportunities here & rate the area a 'must ski' bucket list location!

Meribel ski resort has a sensational array of on & off-piste ski terrain in its own right - otherwise the Brits wouldn’t flock there each winter! Big enough that one may not feel the need to explore beyond its boundaries, it’s a modern resort with abundant amenities yet has preserved its traditional ‘low-rise’ Savoyard style village. Méribel provides an odd combination of party central for UK skiers & snowboarders whilst also maintaining a family (& powder hounds) friendly side!

Pros & Cons of Meribel Ski Resort

Pros

  • High altitude ski area with extensive north-aspected terrain and skiable verticals of over 1500m in one run.
  • Perfect for intermediate skiers & snowboarders who love to cruise on well-groomed greens, blues & reds.
  • Also perfect for off-piste freeriders seeking adventure & powder on the 3 Vallees best & most diverse terrain.
  • Centrally located with the region's best access to the vast Trois Vallées ski area, though you’d be very hard pressed to cover the 600km of piste during your Meribel ski holiday, particularly if there is powder.
  • Modern resort with plenty of non-ski activities & amenities.
  • Competitive lift pass price in relation to number of lifts, trails & quality of terrain.
  • Budget lodging options down valley in Brides les Bains connected by gondola to the main resort.
  • Family friendly and good English-speaking ski schools.

Cons

  • Limited advanced on-piste trails.
  • Whilst not in the same league as extortionary Courchevel, playing at Meribel can at times be overpriced.
  • Meribel is immensely popular and sometimes super-busy. Midweek in January we found it a delight with zero waiting, but forewarned is forearmed, be prepared for lift lines during holiday periods.
  • Some dated gondolas require replacement, but that just quibbling, we still rate the lifts 5/5.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Meribel has a large portion of English-speaking businesses & visitors so this may not be the place to visit if you’re looking to experience French mountain culture at its most authentic.
  • Hordes of UK visitors go to the many British owned bars, which makes for a vibrant, sometimes raucous, always drunken, nightlife.

Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Meribel resort itself is exceptionally large with around 150km of pistes ranging from 1,100m to 2,952m elevation (1,852m skiable vertical). The runs are typically wide & well maintained. Meribel skiing & snowboarding (& Les Trois Vallees) is ideal for intermediates who love to cruise for kilometre upon kilometre to get to the next pit stop. Skiable descents of up to 1,500m vertical are possible.

See the Meribel ski trail map here.

Meribel is also excellent for beginners. Although some of the green runs may be a little too pitchy for absolute novices, over half of the on-piste terrain is rated 'easy' or 'very easy'.

For advanced riders, the on-piste is limited, but off-piste & freeride terrain is sensational, abundant & a helluva lot of fun. Meribel has the best freeride terrain in the 3 Vallees. Experts will find super-steep terrain with little effort, particularly if you have a guide, but easy enough if you don't. The couloirs from Saulire that head into Courchevel will keep one alert........ & alarmed due to the high volume of those wanting to say they skied them. Avoid them and explore the awesome terrain on the opposite side of the resort from Roc de Fer to 3 Marches or in the other direction to the Col de la Loze. Additionally, the new(ish) gondola up the 2,952m Mont Vallon accesses wide open freeride terrain in gorgeous alpine surrounds that is big enough to form its own ski resort! Mind the sharks (rocks) on the sunny aspects.

Meribel's ski lifts are rapidly approaching 'thoroughly modern' status. A few older style gondolas are the major remnants of the past & even they are being replaced. The most recent to go was the funky Plattières 3 gondola which served some ripping freerdie terrain & connected to Les Menuires up at 3 Marches. It has been replaced by a 6-er high-speed chair called Bouquetin for season 2020/21.

Lift Passes

Two main lift pass options exist at Meribel. A local lift pass for Meribel only & is valid on all the lifts (incl. the Brides les Bains gondola) within the Meribel valley. For an extra €10/day/pass, a 3 Vallees lift ticket opens up around 600km of pistes & includes Courchevel, Les Menuires, St Martin de Belleville & Val Thorens.

See the 3 Valleys ski trail map here.

Snow & Weather

Meribel receives about 5 to 7m of snow each season. The high altitude plus deeply shaded, north-aspected valley ensure the lowest possible temperatures & best possible quality snow. Powder days off-piste at Mèribel are fabulous! To make up for any natural snow deficiencies, there is a phenomenal amount of snow-making equipment to pump out lots of the white frozen stuff onto the pistes.

Where is Méribel France?

Méribel ski resort is situated in the Tarentaise valley of the French Alps, 17km south of the town of Moûtiers and 178km by road south of Geneva Switzerland. Meribel is part of the huge Les Trois Vallées ski area.

The closest gateway airport is Chambéry (CMF) (95km, 1⅓hr), although flights are from limited origins & generally, only on weekends. Geneva (GVA) (2hr transfer) and Lyon (LYS) (2 hr) are the most useful airport options for international visitors. There are numerous companies offering private or shared airport transfers to the resort.

Search & book all airport transfers to Meribel ski resort here.

The other travel option is to catch a train to Moûtiers from either London, Paris, Geneva, Annecy, or Lyon. At the station, regular buses to Meribel go via Brides les Bains on the T4 line.

Search & book train tickets to Moutiers here. Buy bus tickets at Moutiers from the bus driver.

Driving to Meribel is easy enough but note that traffic can be hideous from Friday night to Sunday evening beyond Albertville. Day trippers are best to park in Brides les Bains and take the Olympe gondola to the resort (25min). On the way back it is possible to ski all the way down to Les Allues village before jumping on the gondola for the last section back to Brides les Bains. Parking in Brides les Bains is below the town near the Thermal Spa, just follow the signs.

Meribel Accommodation

The Méribel ski resort has multiple villages connected by lifts & pistes. Like its neighbour Courchevel or the nearby La Plagne & Les Arcs, the village names are similar & prone to cause confusion about where one is staying. From top to bottom the five main villages are Meribel Mottaret, Meribel Centre, Meribel Village, Les Allues & Brides les Bains – easy!

See the Meribel valley map here.

Meribel has loads of luxurious chalets & apartments that are both self-catering or fully catered, including many with in-house babysitting and other services. There are also various Meribel hotels, although these are not as prolific as the chalets.

Search & book all Meribel ski accommodation here.

Away from the resort villages & in the valley at 600m elevation is Brides les Bains. It has a wide range of hotels & self-contained apartments plus a ski lift link up to Meribel via Les Allures making for a versatile, affordable base from which to explore the entire region. Note that Brides-les-Bains has no return ski trail, so a gondola lift download is required at the end of the day. The journey up to Meribel Centre in the gondola takes 25min.

Search & book all Brides-les-Bains ski accommodation here.

The town of Moutiers makes a good (& cheap) base to explore the region & make day trips to Meribel. Some handy hotels are located just near the train station. Travel times to the resort are around 45min by bus or car. Buses leave from the train station.

For detailed information on the best places to stay in the resort, see our Meribel Accommodation Info page.

Ski Rentals, Lessons, Guiding & Services

Despite the well-preserved chalets & historic look of the villages, Meribel is a modern resort with all the required amenities & facilities. There are plenty of ski rental shops, retail ski shops, and a choice of English-speaking ski & snowboard schools.

Ski rentals are available from our partners in Meribel Village, Meribel Centre & Meribel Mottaret. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Meribel Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

A brain-snapping array of ski guides ply their craft in the Meribel ski resort & adjoining valleys. A good mountain guide can make all the difference to an off-piste powder day in an unfamiliar ski resort. For more information & oprions, ee our Meribel Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

 [AdListings Filter="Meribel Ski Rentals Clothing"]

Restaurants & Nightlife

Considering the size of the resort, there aren’t as many restaurants and bars as you’d expect; probably due to the abundance of accommodation that has evening meals included or self-catering apartments. And whilst après-ski drinking can fire-up, the bars are often dull during dinner time before they get going again late in the evening. The nightlife can then get rather boisterous! The entry to the late opening Les Saint Pères Mythic Club Meribel (open 10.30pm to 5.00am) is all class, located right next to the bowling alley in the Olympic centre - classic!

Activities

In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, other Meribel activities include cross country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, horse sleigh rides, snowshoeing, snow biking, hot air ballooning and paragliding. At the Olympic Centre, built for the 1992 Winter Olympics, a swimming pool, water slide, climbing wall, bowling and indoor ice-skating rink are available to visitors.

Nearby Ski Resorts

In addition to the 3 Vallees resorts, not far away are Pralognan la Vanoise & La Plagne (from Champagny), plus via Bourg St Maurice are La Rosiere, Sainte Foy, Les Arcs, Tignes plus Val d'Isere. Enough choice for several lifetimes of ski holidays!

Review

The Powderhounds visited Méribel in January 2020 & absolutely loved it. It did snow & abundant freshies were harvested. We were surprised to find the 3 Vallees best off-piste freeride terrain at Meribel. Read the review via the links in the left column (or top of page if on a mobile).

See how Meribel compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are currently skiing.

Tours in or near Meribel

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Tarentaise Powder Ski Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski some of the most famous ski areas of the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 7 people
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 3,230
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Meribel here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Tarentaise Valley Star Ski Tour
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
3 - 4 Days | 3 - 4 Nights | 3 - 4 Skiing Days | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski some of the most famous ski areas of the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 4 people on a 3-day tour
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 1,712
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Meribel here
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