Meribel Ski Resort

A snowy January morning in Meribel ski resort, France
Meribel has everything a powder hound desires......
Fabulous Meribel ski resort freeride terrain around the 2704m 3 Marches
Known as piste tral skiers' delight, Meribel is an off-piste freeride paradise too!
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
The upper parts of Meribel Centre village are ski-in, ski-out
Extensive Meribel freeride terrain along the ridge toward Mont de la Challe
Perfect Meribel freeride tpowder turns after lunch.....
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
Powder on the new Daguet trail - a convenient off-piste exit to Raffort or Les Allues
Meribel ski & snowboard terrain
Picnic after an epic ski descent off 2952m Mont Vallon
Meribel on & off-piste near Roc de Fer
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
Meribel Mottaret village is the highest in the valley
Meribel's Plattieres gondola with Saulire+Mont Blanc background - classic French Alps
First tracks off the Olympic chair. Ski Meribel & the 3 Valleys

Meribel Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Meribel

Meribel4/52
Meribel4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
European Ski & Snowboard Safari Tours
Wagner Custome Skis

3 Valleys Ski Resorts

Courchevel
Val Thorens

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

    3 Valleys
    1,100 – 3,230 (2,130m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5 - 6 metres
  • Lifts (41)
    14 Gondolas / cable cars
    16 Chairlifts

    3 Valleys - 180 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Early December to late April
    8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 600km (3 Valleys)
    Longest run – 5km+
    Advanced - 11%
    Intermediate - 37%
    Beginner – 52%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 19/20
    Meribel only
    Adult - €42.40 to 53
    Child - €34 to 42.50
    Child u/5yr – Free

    3 Valleys ski area
    Adult - €50.40 to 63
    Child - €40.30 to 50.40
    Child u/5yr - Free
    Three Valleys Ski Trail Map
  • 3 Valleys 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 Valleys 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.

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. Meribel France 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;
  • Perfect for intermediate skiers & snowboarders who love to cruise on well-groomed greens, blues & reds;
  • Also perfect for off-piste freeriders seeking adventure and powder on its 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 activities & amenities;
  • Competitive lift pass price for the amount of lifts & 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 very 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 very dated gondolas require replacement throughout Meribel.

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.

Ski & Snowboard Terrain

Meribel resort itself is very large with around 150km of pistes ranging from 1,100 to 2,952m elevation (1,852m vertical). The runs are typically wide & well maintained. Meribel skiing and snowboarding (and Les Trois Vallees) is ideal for intermediates who love to cruise for km upon km to get to the next pit stop. Skiable descents of up to 1500m 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 pitchy, over half of the piste terrain is rated 'easy' or 'very easy'.

For advanced riders, the on-piste is limited, but off-piste & freeride terrain is surprisingly abundant & a helluva lot of fun. Experts will find super-steep terrain with a little effort, particularly if you have a guide. 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. The newish gondola up to the 2.952m Mont Vallon accesses wide open freeride terrain in gorgeous alpine surrounds but mind the sharks (rocks) on the sunny aspects.

Purchasing a 3 Vallees lift pass opens up around 600km of pistes & includes the high-altitude glaciers of Val Thorens ski resort. See the 3 Valleys ski trail map here.

Snow & Weather

Meribel receives about 5m of snow each season. To make up for any natural snow deficiencies, Meribel ski resort has a phenomenal number of snow cannons (in excess of 700!) 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, 1:20hr), 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 who offer 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 where there are regular buses to Meribel via Brides les Bains.

Search & book train tickets to Moutiers here.

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!

Meribel has loads of luxurious chalets & apartment that are fully catered, and many have 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.

At the top of the resort, Meribel Mottaret is a purpose-built ski village at an altitude of 1750m. Ski-in ski-out accommodation is the norm as is an associated high price tag for a night’s lodging.

Méribel Centre is the largest of the villages & more charming than Mottaret. At 1450m elevation is replete with picture book chalets. The absence of high-rise buildings has caused the village to sprawl out somewhat, so a shuttle bus may be required to get to the ski lifts.

Only slightly lower than Meribel Centre, the original Meribel Village is at 1400m elevation. It is small comparative to all the other villages & perfect for those wanting a peaceful ski holiday experience. The village is connected to Meribel Centre by gondola & has its own return ski trail.

The traditional village of Les Allues at 1100m elevation is the lowest connected by piste trail to the Meribel ski resort. The gondola from the valley has a station on the outskirts of town connecting Les Allues to Meribel Village & Meribel Centre.

Away from the resort villages & in the valley at 600m elevation Brides les Bains has a wide range of hotels & 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 ski trail to it, so a gondola lift download is required at the end of the day.

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

The town of Moutiers makes a good (& cheap) base to explore the region & makes day trips to Meribel. Some handy hotels are located just near the train station.

Rentals, Lessons, Guiding & Facilities

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

Ski rentals are available from our partners in Meribel Village, Meribel Centre & Meribel Mottaret. Search & book Meribel ski or snowboard rentals here.

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. See our Meribel Ski Lessons & Guiding page for more information.

If you need a new ski outfit comprising modern jacket, pants, gloves & googles, Meribel is one of the French ski resorts served by a ski clothing rental company. Order online & your ski outfit is delivered direct to your accommodation at the resort.

[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 2230 to 0500hr) is classily 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 Three Valleys’ (i.e. Courchevel & Val Thorens), not far away are Praolgnan 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 Meribel in january 2020 & absolutely loved - it did snow & abundant freshies were harvested. More information is coming soon. Stay tuned for more of our photos & insights.

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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.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,209
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Meribel here
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