Meribel ski resort guide Ski area, apres-ski, things to See & do in Meribel
Méribel a world class all year round resort in the heart of Les 3 Vallées in the Tarentaise Valley - one of the largest inter-linked ski areas in the world with 600km of piste.
A weeks ski holiday in Méribel is probably enough for the novice skier with 140km of groomed runs on 8 black, 23 red, 32 blue and 10 green runs. There is also an Olympic run, 2 slalom stadiums and 2 great snowparks. With 15 high capacity gondola lifts and 17 chair lifts, the modern lift network keeps queues to a minimum.
With 85% of the ski area above 1800m and a third of the area covered by 728 snow cannons, snow is virtually guaranteed which is a big plus if you are going early or late season meaning the resorts runs will be open. There is nothing worse than having to queue up at end of the day to get the lift back down!
Meribel ski area guide
When touring Les 3 Vallees and navigating your way around 600km of pistes, the other ski resorts you'll likely visit include Courchevel, Val Thorens and Les Menuiries. For more information on all the ski resorts you can explore, see the 3 Valley piste map
|Key information (whole area)|
|Season||Dec - April|
|Apres ski||Sophisticated & Fun|
Méribel has some gentle slopes for beginners at the Altiport which is quiet and an ideal place to learn the basics. There are also beginner-friendly "Zen Zones" that are dotted around the slopes. These are for beginners, families and less confident skiers and separate from the main pistes.
There are literally so many blue and red pistes to choose from you'll be spoilt for choice. One of the best day trips is a ski over to the Maurienne Valley via Val Thorens but make sure you leave plenty of time to get back!!
It is rumoured that Méribel lacks steep terrain but luckily its only a rumour! If you are having difficulties finding challenging terrain then the toffee vodka must be taking its toll as there is an abundance of challenging runs throughout Les 3 Valles.
To start with, the bowl under the Olympic chairlift is generally good off-piste terrain but to get the best out of the area, we would recommend hiring a guide for the day. To be fair, Courchevel offers much steeper skiing than Méribel whilst the glacier at Val Thorens provide the vertical - the beauty of being based in Méribel though is that you have easy access to both.
There are about 33km in the Méribel valley. The main area is in the forest near Altiport and great for trying cross-country for the first time. There’s also a loop around Lake Tueda, in the nature reserve at Mottaret, and for the more experienced an itinéraire from Altiport to Courchevel.
Beginners are well catered for now as lots of the old drags having been upgraded to chairlifts - being dragged up a mountain by a T-bar isn't much fun! Méribel has worked hard on its terrain parks and the Moon Park is the latest and is the hub for the local boarders.
Things to see & do in Meribel
For those days where you simply dont want to put skis on or the weather conditions aren't that great, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to hand:
- Snow shoeing
- Dog sledding
- Ice climbing
- Ice skating on the Olympic rink
- In-door swimming pool with flumes
- Go-karting on ice
- Health club with squash, sauna, massage and beauty treatments
Méribel has a vibrant party scene with very lively bars, live bands and night clubs. But, for a drink or two before the night life kicks in and you are still in ski boots, head to the Rond Point - its a party atmosphere with live music on the sun terrace.
There are stacks of restaurants that serve a wide variety of cuisine ranging from hearty local specialities to fine gourmet dishes from Europe and around the world. There are also plenty of cafés and pizzerias.
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Our view on Meribel
A wonderful ski resort with as much on offer on the pistes as there are off it. A few suggestions...
When the light conditions are not so great and you cant see the approaching mogul, we tend to head towards the trees in La Tania - not only can you see where you are going but there are some great "rabbit" runs!!
With more than a 1000m vertical drop and consistently great snow conditions, the Combe du Vallon is one of the longest and most beautiful pistes in Méribel. From the summit you get a great panoramic view of the Vanoise National Park.
If you are staying in Méribel for more than a few weeks, we recommend you buy the 3 Vallées Liberty season pass. The advantage of this ski pass is that you don't have to queue up at the ticket offices and you only pay for the lifts you use - often with preferential rates. At the end of the day, the cost is debited from your bank and you can view your account online at any time.