Val Thorens: A Friendly Spot in Trois Vallées

Ski Resort Stats

Top elevation 3,220 m

Base elevation 1,850 m

Runs: 68

12% beginner

37% easy

40% intermediate

12% difficult

Lift system 31 (Capacity 60,680 per hour)

Traveling is fun and has many benefits for anyone. Studies support that recreational activities can relieve stress and helps boost and restore one’s enthusiasm to get back to daily routines.

Summer and winter are always the best seasons of the year, where you can enjoy many outdoor activities and adventures. Either you look for the world-class beaches to get the most of the sun’s bright light and have some skin tanning. Or perhaps, you plan for another quintessential winter holiday in Europe’s best ski spots. Either you fly to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, or France.

In France at 2,300m and considered the highest ski town in Europe, Val Thorensstands with pride and incomparable beauty. It is one of the Trois Vallées ski areas along with Courchevel, Méribel, and Les Menuires. Its lofty altitude means that its doorstep slopes have guaranteed snow cover from November to May.

The ski resort is in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie, French Alps. It nestled in the commune of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville in the Savoiedépartement.

The resort is truly spectacular because it is positioned at the Belleville Valley’s head, surrounded by a horseshoe of dramatic peaks. On a fine day, this offers a world-class winter panorama that is truly picturesque and beautiful. So, don’t forget to bring your camera and take some souvenir photos of your adventure at Val Thorens!

The terrain is friendly to all skiers- from beginners to experts. There is a vast and endless network across the well-known Méribel and Courchevel valleys at Val Thorens and into the neighboring fourth valley, the Maurienne.

Val Thorens was once a summer pasture before it was transformed into a purpose-built ski area. In 1967 when Les Menuires development started and the access road was extended up to Val Thorens, the resort’s development in Val also started. The first three drag lifts were installed in 1971, together with the first ski school opening.

Despite its struggle in its earlier years due to lack of architectural guidelines, new renovated developments must now meet much stricter design guidelines, and traditional materials are sought. Today, after almost 50 years since it was founded, Val Thorens is one of the most successful Alps’ resorts.


The winter season starts from mid-November to early May. Since the resort has a high altitude, it often receives a large volume of snow. Pointe du Bouchet (3220 m) and Cime de Caron (3200 m) are the highest peaks skiable.

The resort has good snow quality because several slopes face north and north-west, which means that the slopes are not as sunny. This primarily attracts a crowd more interested in skiing than “terracing.”

However, the resort faces south, and visitors enjoy sitting outside in the sunshine after they finish skiing. Val Thorens has 68 marked runs and several terrain parks. The main snow park hosts a stage of the national SFR Slopestyle Tour, and the FIS Skier X World Cup often visits the ski cross arena.

Winner Skier X event at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Jean-Fred Chapuis, hails from Val Thorens, and the ski cross track was named after him.

The first-ever ski school in the resort was set up by Jean Beranger, former coach of the French women’s ski team. He became mayor and president of the tourist office, and one slope in Val Thorens is named after him.

Val Thorens is crowded with international guests, almost 70% are foreign visitors, and it is considered the most visited ski resort in France.

The first skating rink in the resort!

2020 welcomes everyone at Val Thorens to experience its first skating rink called La Patinoire, located in Place Péclet. Young and old can come and discover the joy of skating on the 400m2 ice rink made from entirely natural ice! La Patinoire offers music and a light show on a small chalet – a cozy spot to enjoy pancakes and hot chocolate with family and friends.

Lift System

The resort’s 31 lifts include magic carpets, draglifts, chairlifts, gondolas, a cable car, and funitels. There are 4 funitels; the Bouquetin, Péclet, Grand Fond, and Thorens. SETAM, lift company, developed a funitel concept in Val Thorens. It is a hanging gondola from twin cables, and its key feature is its wind resistance. The PécletFunitel, which was the first in Europe, was built in 1990.