The Alpine Legends Ski Area – One Pass to Rule Them All
Have you ever thought to yourself “there just isn’t enough skiing in the 3 Valleys”? If you have then you will be please to know that there is now going to be a new mega pass. This new pass, called the Alpine Legends pass, will cover some of the worlds legendary and iconic ski resorts and areas. The 6 day ski ticket will allow you unlimited skiing in all of the 3 Valleys areas, Méribel, La Tania, Courchevel and Val Thorens which are all impressive ski areas in there own right. The pass will also include Les Arcs and La Plagne which form the amazing Paradiski and if that isn’t enough Val d’Isere and Tignes are both included, which combined makes 1325 km of pistes to explore.
The Alpine Legends lift pass is expected to cost around €340 which is only €51 more than a 3 Valleys pass, so that means you get an extra 725 km for less than the price of day pass.
How to get about
If you are considering buying an Alpine Legends Ski Pass you will need to think about how you are going to commute around the areas as they are not all linked by lifts and runs.
Car: Probably the easiest of all the options is to do a self drive holiday or hire a car either at the airport or in resort, then you can just drive yourself around from resort to resort each day. All resorts have car parks close to the slops and many have free parking if you are on a budget.
Bus: All these resorts are linked by a bus service of sorts. You can get from the Three Valleys to the Paradiski via a bus from Le Praz in Courchevel to Bozel at the bottom of the valley where you will have to change and catch a second bus to the small resort of Champagny that is linked to La Plagne. We have done this route many times and you can read our experience here. If you wanted to catch public transport to and from one of the resorts in the Espace Killy you will have to make your way down to Bourg St Maurice, which you can do via the funicular in Les Arcs. From Bourg St Maurice you can get on the daily service to Val d’Isere or Tignes and will cost about €18 for a one way trip, timetables can be found at www.altibus.com.
Ski: It is possible to ski from Tignes to Les Arcs, but this is a serious mountain route and you would need to take an experienced guide with you.
Where to stay: Naturally we recommend staying in one of our ski chalet in La Tania or Méribel and either would make a great base for exploring the Alpine Legends ski area. Take a look at what have to offer.
Our guide to why Méribel is the best resort in the 3 Valleys.
The resort of Méribel sits in the Tarentaise valley of the French Alps. It’s a vibrant ski resort with an international following, popular across the winter ski season as well as the more relaxing summer climbing and hiking months. But with two such illustrious neighbours as Courchevel to the east and Val Thorens to the west sharing the mighty Three Valleys ski area, we got to wondering what puts Méribel so far ahead of the competition! Well, we’ve made a list of exactly why Méribel beats Courchevel and Val Thorens.
Méribel takes pride of place in the centre of the Three Valleys and no other resort in the area offers such easy access to all corners of the ski area. With the Saulire gondola swinging rapidly up to its namesake peak for skiing over in Courchevel, and the Tougnete lift winging people swiftly up towards les Menuires and beyond, Méribel wins hands down in this category. You could argue that Méribel-Mottaret is the actual winner here, being closest to the true centre of the Three Valleys, but Mottaret is part of the Méribel Valley!
#2 Best après ski
Méribel’s après ski scene used to be good. Now it’s excellent. The Rond Point has been a favourite amongst seasonnaires and visitors for years and remains a wonderfully popular venue. As the Méribel Folie Douce grows in popularity it means we have two epic venues to choose from and puts Méribel firmly at the top of the après ski tree in the Three Valleys.
#3 Best beginners’ area
Anybody mastering their first turns on the snow, whether on skis, board or blades, needs to head to one of two spots in the Méribel valley that are dedicated to families and beginners. The first is the Altiport a long, rolling, green run that is simply ideal for learners and has trees on either side sheltering skiers from the elements. The other is the Yeti park located around Mottaret. It is comprised of a gentle blue run called Yooni and a green run named Himalaya. The Yeti park area discourages the more adventurous skier leaving you safe to enjoy the wide runs, obstacles and entertainment.
#4 Best nightlife
Whilst it’s true that Courchevel Moriond and Val Thorens have good nightlife, neither of them can compete with the proximity of great bars to be found in Méribel town centre such as Jack’s Bar, famous for its live music and comedy and Barometer to name a few. And when they close, O’ Sullivans down the road is on hand to welcome revellers into the wee small hours. Val Thorens’ Malaysia nightclub offers strong competition but the overall winner has to be Méribel!
This is really a two horse race between Courchevel and Méribel – Val Thorens doesn’t get a look in here. Courchevel 1850 is pretty enough, and so are Moriond and le Praz, but none of them match the lovely Savoyard wood and stone to be found across Méribel, and charming, traditional villages in the Méribel valley such as Les Allues complete the picture.
#6 Best range of accommodation quality/price
Courchevel dominates the luxury market and Val Thorens is often a great resort choice for the budget conscious, especially in the last minute market, but none of them offer such a spectacular range of catered ski chalets, hotels and apartments from basic 2* properties all the way up to top-end 6* opulence. Again, Méribel trumps the competition.
#7 Best ski schools
This category is open to debate, because many of Méribel’s best ski schools also operate in Courchevel and some in Val Thorens as well. But the fact remains that Méribel offers some of the finest tuition of any resort in Europe, with classes, courses and clinics for every pursuit and every level imaginable. Alongside the established ESF are some great independent schools such as Magic in Motion, Marmalade and Parallel Lines.
With the same range of basic burger joints as you’ll find in Val Thorens and the same quality (although perhaps not quantity) of Michelin starred restaurants as Courchevel, Méribel really is a foodie’s paradise. The resort offers cuisine to suit all tastes and budgets, from fine dinning in Le Blanchot over in the Altiport area to amazing pizza in La Refuge, located in the centre of town. Although prices can be high, the quality of the restaurants in Méribel means value for money is very good.
#10 Best off piste
This is another contentious point as both Courchevel and Val Thorens boast spectacular off piste in the right conditions. But with so many lines to choose from running down from the Saulire peak into Méribel Mottaret as well as the open powder fields to be found on Mont Vallon, to name but two, Méribel is the best part of the Three Valleys to find yourself in when the skies have opened and fresh powder has fallen.
Of course this is all hugely subjective and Courchevel and Val Thorens have just as many die-hard fans as Méribel does, and with good reason. One of the most wonderful things about the Three Valleys is the range and variety of the resorts, pistes and amenities found therein. That said, Méribel is still the best…!
*nb: In this article ski can be substituted for snowboard in most instances and as the ski v’s snowboard things is getting old we are just using the word ski because a). there are more skiers, and b). ski is a shorter word than snowboard. Any real ski geek may want to dispute this, please do so in the comments below.
Can you remember every ski holiday you have ever been on?
A true ski geek can remember more than if they just had a good time. They should be able to remember the exact dates, who went on holiday with them, which ski resort they went to, the flight times, the exchange rate at the time and the chalets hosts name.
Do you own your own skis?
Most experienced skiers will at the very least have their own boots, which is sensible and comfortable. But the true ski nerd will have their own pair of skis, preferably two, a set for normal conditions and a wide pair for powder days. They must also own a pair of ski poles.
Can you pack everything into your ski bag?
A proud ski geek should be able to proudly inform you that they can pack all they need for a ski holiday into their ski bag, thus making a saving on excess luggage. For extra kudos they should have a story about being told off by an airline for this, with the story concluding “anyway they let me on and they said don’t do it next time”.
Do you have a second “budget” ski holiday every year?
The best ski geeks will take a second ski holiday every year. However, this trip must be so cheap that it doesn’t sound any fun. The holiday must include some of the following; a coach trip from the UK with three or more stops: hostel style accommodation; two hour commute to the slopes each day; no free wine; other ski geeks; no eating out; hitch-hiking; homemade fondu; booking every aspect online separately.
Can you name every run in resort?
For most people a simple “I will meet you at the bottom of that run yesterday next to the bar we like” is all we need to arrange to meet up. For the ski nerd you must you use the piste name as well as give a recommended route and call each lift by name.
Have you ever been on a ski holiday on your own?
If you love skiing so much that you are prepared to leave your loved ones at home so that you can ski all day where you want and apres as late as you want, not get first lifts if you don’t want, drink as much at lunch as you want, then…. errm…. why don’t we all ski alone?
Do you have a collection of lift passes?
Most ski geeks will have at least one electronic lift pass in their wallet at all times. They will also have a collection of passes from all past ski trips. Attached to their ski trousers must be at least one day ticket from a snow dome or obscure ski resort. The older skier must also be able to produce a photo id ski pass from the good old days.
Is your facebook/twitter profile a picture of you skiing?
All true ski nerds live ski all year round on their social media pages. That is until they get married, then they will change their profile to a photo of them getting married, this will last a week then it will be back to a picture of them in hat and goggles, or of them getting some air, or a snow covered mountain range.
Have you ever had an argument about which is the best ski resort?
This is similar to an argument about which football team is better, the only difference here is that they will be using examples of black runs as opposed to formation strategy.
Here is a little update on the snow and weather conditions out here in the 3 Valleys. Over the last week we have had a mixture of snow and sunshine with snow even down to resort level in La Tania.
We started of with a few centimetres of snow on Saturday night which was followed by sunny spells up until Wednesday afternoon, then overnight there was another few centimetres of snow. This was followed by snow on Friday morning which gave way to sunshine in the afternoon and into Saturday, it was even cold enough on Saturday morning that the snow cannons where working down in La Tania.
The weather for the week ahead is promising with heavy snowfall on Sunday night at around 1700m and above which is forecasted to become lighter but continue for most of Monday and even Tuesday morning, then the sun is set to return for a couple of days before more snow at the end of the week!
The forecast is looking like it could be a snowy end to the season so even if your not out until the last week there should still be plenty of snow for everyone out here on a ski holiday enjoy.
It has been another sunny week here in the 3 Valleys. Up until Saturday 21st March when the weather took a slight change with cloud rolling in and snow arriving at about 1800 meters and above, unfortunately it came down as rain further down in resort.
The snow higher up has stayed well but below about 1700 meters has been a bit slushy and thin in places especially on the south and west facing slopes, there is still plenty of good skiing on pistes higher up the mountain.
This is the week that Meribel hits the big time – Not that we arn’t saying that Meribel isn’t a big time resort. it frequently appears in top 10 ski resort list and if it doesent one of its sister resorts in the Three Valleys does. Anyhow as I was saying, this is the week that the Alpine World Cup comes to Meribel. Not only that it is this this seasons final.
When is it on?
It starts on Wednesday the 18th of March but there is practising going on from the 16th. Highlights will be the Downhill starting at 9.30 on Wednesday the 18th and the Slalom over the weekend. Take a look at the full scheduled below.
Who is racing?
If you follow Alpine racing avidly then you will recognise all of the names as these are the top 25 point scorers from this winter season. It is the Female 25 that has the big recognisable names in Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Tina Maze.
Is it on Ski sunday?
Sadly Ski Sunday has ended for the winter. We did hope that there would be a Meribel special due to Meribel being such a hot spot for British skiers and snowboarders. My twitter stalking suggests that the presenters arn’t in resort either.
How can I watch it?
If you are in resort you can get a great view if the race climax down at the Chaudanne in the centre of Meribel of try and get a spot along side the race course. Or if you are at home in the UK then the event will be streamed live here http://livetv.sx/en/competitions/?c_407.
What else is on?
Lots! Every day there is a concert or ceremony to watch. Also you are in the 3 Valleys so go skiing in the worlds biggest and best ski area! There is also some pretty decent Apres Ski to enjouy, with most bars having some Alpine World Cup theme going on. And if that is not enough why not try and compleate our Alpine World Cup bingo card.
Winning Post – Jonny L Vacca – The more time you spend on lifts in 3vallees the better the run down! I find if I spend a lot of time getting lifts to the very peak I can have a 30 minute run down to the bottom with varying pistes and challenges!
Chelsea Taylor – Always have a hip flask!
Joe SirDrinksalot Walbyoff – Have a couple (or more) of drinks in pub le ski lodge down in La Tania!!
Ed Dalgleish – Mountain burger.
Sophie Milne – challenge yourself to the black mogel field just above the la follie douce, 8 mins, no one on the group falls that means a cheeky beer and boogie! If someone fails back up the chair! Great way to challenge yourselves! Val T!
Bradley Michael Wigglesworth – Don’t miss the last lift from Les Menuires to Val Thorens, did it 2 days on the trot!!!
Tony Smith – Having just come back from the 3 valleys yesterday, I’d say my top tip is get out there and enjoy yourself, if there’s someone in your group that wants to stay at the hotel bar then let them, get out on the first lift ski/board hard and go up on the last lift, make the most of it, there’s so much to see and you’ll be on your way home before you know it, but most importantly have some fun that’s what it’s all about.
Hello and welcome to another snow report. What can I say apart from it has been a truly stunning week out here in the 3 Valleys with wall to wall sunshine for the last 7 days. The weather was very warm for the most of the week which made the slopes a bit slushy in the afternoons, then towards the end of the week temperatures dropped a bit to leave some great skiing conditions.
Looking forward into the next week the weather is set to stay a bit colder than it has been and the possibility of some snow on Tuesday and again towards the end of the week. This week brings us the ski World Cup in Meribel with top skiers from all over the world coming to compete, so get yourself to the World Cup run and check out how the pros do it and maybe even pick up some tips to improve your own down hill skiing!
We are nearing the end of the season but the slopes are holding up well and with the forecast of some more snow on the way it looks like we could be in for some more great skiing out here in Meribel and La Tania.
3 Valleys Snow Report 8th March 2015 The weather in Meribel has been a mixed bag this week. We started off with snow all the way down to resort which then turned to rain but snow still fell at mid station and above. Tuesday brought us a bluebird day which was followed with more snow on Wednesday, the rest of the week was blue skies and great skiing! The pistes are still in great condition especially in the Courchevel valley. This week we are expecting sunshine all week which should make for good piste skiing. It is starting to warm up a bit here in the 3 Valleys so we expect the best skiing to be in the morning and in to lunch time. The lower slopes might be starting to turn to spring snow in the afternoons so could get a little heavy on the legs on the way back to resort level, La Tania we are looking at you. We still expect for it to be another great week of skiing in the 3 Valleys, just don’t forget to bring your sunglasses and sun tan cream. There are literally only a couple of spaces left in our chalets for the week starting 14/3/2015 so don’t miss out and book today!
It has been a great week here in the 3 valleys, it started on Saturday afternoon with heavy snow that proceeded to fall into the night. Sunday started with about 20cm of fresh snow in resort the snow returned again Monday night and most of Tuesday, we were skiing knee deep in snow on the pistes at the top of Courchevel. Wednesday the sun came out and this must have been the best day skiing of the season so far, the sun continued on Thursday then on Friday the snow returned!
The snow conditions out here in the 3 valleys are awesome at the moment and there is more snow to come. The forecast for the week ahead is looking good Saturday is due to be sunny so is good for transfer day, then snow returning on Sunday afternoon though to Monday night and coming back in on Wednesday night! It’s looking like it’s going to be a great March for skiing so take advantage of some great late offers at Alpine Action.
We have been speaking to Paul, a local French young man who manages La Taiga(in our humble opinion the best bar/restaurant in La Tania :). He has been living and working here for many years so his knowledge of the weather and mountains is second to none! He told us that the season is running a month late in weather terms, so that means we should be in for a great April as well as March! If he’s right the skiing conditions should be really good all the way until the end of the season.
The season of powder days and goggle tanned faces is truly upon us – there is no better time to come out to the 3 valleys, so pick up the phone or get on line and book one of the last remaining spaces we have left in our chalets in Meribel.