Flanked by neighbouring resorts of Courchevel on one side and Val Thorens on the other, Méribel ski resort is the central location in the world's largest ski area, Les 3 Vallées/Three Valleys ski area, and is one of the most successful. Its admirable policy of restricting the architectural design to maintain the traditional wood-clad, stone-tiled, chalet-style typical of this region, has resulted in Méribel being one of the more attractive resorts of its size in the French Alps.
While being a ski area with something for everyone, including beginner skiers, Méribel is a paradise for intermediates. The choice of skiing here is huge, with 150km of trails in the Méribel ski area alone and more than four times that in the wider 3 Vallées domain. The vast scale of the ski area gives an incredible feeling of space and freedom and the sense of skiing forever, dipping between majestic peaks and pine forests.
Here are our top reasons why you should join the thousands of visitors who flock to Meribel - and its satellite Meribel Mottaret - for their ski holidays each winter season.
Where is Méribel?
Meribel is located in the Tarentaise valley in the Northern French Alps, and is easily accessible via road, rail and air. The four nearest airports are Chambery (1hr 20mins), Grenoble (2hrs), Lyon (2hrs) and Geneva (2hrs 15mins).
The nearest train station to Méribel is Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains, a 25mins transfer away.
By road, Meribel is about a 9hr drive from Calais. If you plan to stay in the resort in winter, keep in mind that between 1 November and 31 March, it is mandatory to be equipped with snow tires or at least chains / socks in the car.
Why should you ski Méribel?
Superb skiing, flexible accommodation, entertaining après ski and a wealth of other winter-sports opportunities - Meribel offers many reasons to pick this resort for your winter holiday. With nearly 40,000 tourist beds, it is one of the most popular French ski resorts, and a perennial favourite with British visitors who will invariably get their apres kicks at the world-famous La Folie Douce or Le Rond-Point (Ronnies) which is a Méribel institution. So many thousands of skiers can't be wrong - so why not join the exodus from the UK to the slopes of Meribel this winter.
- Great, high altitude skiing in Méribel
- Méribel is your gateway to Les 3 Vallées
- A fantastic destination for foodies
- Méribel is a charming mountain town with ski-in ski-out accommodation
- Experience the beauty of the Tueda Nature Reserve
- Méribel's unbeatable après-ski fun
- What's new in Méribel for the 2023-24 season?
Great, high altitude skiing in Méribel
Due to its high altitude, its size and its multiple exposures, Les 3 Vallées ski area guarantees a high quality snow cover throughout the winter. Although Meribel-Village sits at 1,450m, 85% of the ski area is above 1,800m, with the high point being the summit of Mont Vallon at 2.952m.
With such a vast amount of terrain to explore, it's no surprise that Méribel and the 3 Valleys have some great off-piste to play in, topped by Mt Vallon. Hire a guide or sign up for ski school off-piste days to ensure you get the most out of the freeride terrain.
An amphitheatre of ridges and peaks sweeps round from above the Western side of the resort and curls around the head of the valley above Mottaret to run all the way above the Eastern flanks of Méribel; slope users are therefore able to follow the sun and best snow conditions around the valley throughout the day.
Although Meribel has a reputation of being great for intermediate skiers, advanced skiers will appreciate the legendary Les Bosses black, while The Women's Olympic Downhill run is not to be sniffed at either, nor the powder or tree skiing.
Méribel is your gateway to Les 3 Vallées
Les 3 Vallées is not only the world's largest ski areas - it's undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. It offers skiers and snowboarders a wide selection of experiences at every level, from beginner to expert, with 600 km of ski slopes, more than 300 marked runs, 28 fun runs and 160 ski lifts. Meribel is one of 7 famous 3 Vallées ski resorts, and the most privileged when it comes to location. Sitting at the heart of the ski domain, in the central valley, it offers the best access to the entire 3 Vallées, enabling you to more easily take advantage of the variety of skiing available.
Progressive novices don't really need to leave the local Meribel ski area, but most visitors are attracted by the roaming opportunities to clock up the miles in the wider 3 Vallées domain: there are half-a-dozen inter-valley link points on the Eastern ridges, linking into the Belleville Valley towards Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Reberty and Val Thorens; to the West there are a couple of cross-ridge link points into the St-Bons Valley, location for the internationally renowned ski resorts of Courchevel and La Tania.
A six-day 3 Vallées Ski Pass costs from £280.
A fantastic destination for foodies
Discover an exceptional culinary experience in Méribel. Immerse yourself in a diversity of flavours and atmospheres... Despite the fact that the vast majority of Méribel's guests are hosted in catered accommodation, the number of eateries - from humble bistros to gourmet restaurants - is excellent, with nearly 50 restaurants, pizzerias and brasseries, and covers a wide range of budgets and tastes.
For something special, try L’Ekrin, Méribel’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, or head to Le Cèpe for a unique menu and spectacular views. On the slopes, Le Ruitor offers some wonderful Savoyard specialties.
Méribel is a charming mountain town with ski-in ski-out accommodation
With its splendid wooden chalets, perfectly integrated into the natural landscapes of the Alps, the resort has retained an intimate and warm atmosphere. Méribel today has grown far beyond the original village, and now several villages and hamlets come under the Méribel umbrella. Each has its own character and all offer easy access to the ski area. And for a totally ski-in ski-out stay from your accommodation, opt for Belvedere at the top of Meribel centre, or the unmissable Méribel-Mottaret.
Méribel offers a wide variety of accommodation. Whether you’re looking for a cosy chalet for a romantic getaway, a spacious flat for a family holiday, or a luxury hotel with all the amenities, Méribel will be able to offer you the accommodation that meets your expectations and needs.
Experience the beauty of the Tueda Nature Reserve
In Méribel, the Tuéda Nature Reserve was created in 1990 for the protection of the Swiss Pine and Black Grouse. Situated at Les Allues, at the west border of the Vanoise national park, the reserve of Tueda expands from Tueda lake to Gebroulaz glaciar, including the Refuge du Saut. Lots of different activities take place there: cross-country skiing, skiing on the Ours run, hiking along the footpaths and marked snowshoeing itineraries, including those leading to Le Saut mountain refuge.
One delightful winter walk is the Winter Trail 'Plan de Tueda Nature reserve'. Starting from the Châtelet bus stop or the tourist office, this is a very easy walk around Lac de Tueda. The Arolla pine trees here form one of the most beautiful pine forests in the Alps.
Méribel's unbeatable après-ski fun
Méribel has some of the liveliest après in the Alps. Many visitors will get their kicks at the world-famous La Folie Douce or Le Rond-Point (Ronnies). There are also great other activities to try, such as ice skating, horse riding, tobogganing, sleigh rides and the Olympic Centre pool complex.
What's new in Méribel for the 2023-24 season?
EasyJet has just announced four new routes on sale now from the UK to France and Switzerland, better connecting Brits to the Alps this winter. The brand new routes include a flight from London Stansted to Geneva in Switzerland, a key airport for accessing Méribel and Les 3 Vallées from the UK. Flying into Geneva, visitors have the option to rent a car, take a bus or private transfer to Méribel with a journey time of roughly 2 hours 15 minutes.
New Eurostar Snow will transport skiers from London to the French alps this winter: Eurostar has recently made tickets available for their winter rail services, which will operate between London St Pancras International and various destinations in the Alps from December to February. The Eurostar Snow will transport skiers from London to locations such as Moûtiers, Aime-la-Plagne and Bourg-Saint-Maurice, all of which are in close proximity to over 16 major ski resorts including Méribel, Courchevel, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Tignes and Val d’Isère.
New 'masterclass' experiences
This winter, a new coaching programme at the ESF will launch, managed by British ski instructor David Lindsay, son of Peter Lindsay, the founding father of Méribel itself. This specialised, intensive and personalised English coaching programme, spread over four half-days and one full day, will elevate your skiing abilities to new heights. Tailored for adult skiers ranging from intermediate to advanced levels, the programme accommodates both experts and improvers, through advanced techniques, video analysis and specialised exercises across diverse terrains.
New Bump 'n' Jump Zone
Méribel's Elements Park has been transformed into the Bump'N'Jump zone. This new zone is full of thrilling jumps, bumps and boxes split across three separate fun runs. The Bumpy Run invites skiers to hurtle down a series of small bumps and modulated snow waves, the Funny Run features a series of easy modules, whilst the Speedy Run is a boarder cross lined with with banked turns, jumps and other obstacles.
In the heart of Méribel centre, the brand-new stylish and elegant Falcon residence will open in December 2023. Comprising 32 apartments and three chalets for 4-13 people, the residence will also offer a host of hotel services, including a wellness area, ski room, reception/concierge service, breakfast delivery and shuttle service.
For more information about this fantastic resort, go to meribel.net