Meribel4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Meribel Ski Resort France
Meribel Ski Resort France
Meribel is part of Les Trois Vallées
Meribel is part of Les Trois Vallées
Meribel is characterised by low-rise chalets
Meribel is characterised by low-rise chalets
The piste are well maintained
The piste are well maintained
Enjoying the views
Enjoying the views
The lift system is outstanding
The lift system is outstanding

Meribel

Meribel Ski Resort France

Meribel ski resort is nestled in the heart of Les Trois Vallées of France, providing very easy access to explore the other interlinked 3 Valleys resorts which include Val Thorens and Courchevel. The Three Valleys provide a gigantic ski area with 600km of interlinked piste (328 marked runs) and Méribel ski resort has the prime location in the central valley.

In its own right, Meribel ski resort has many pluses otherwise the Brits wouldn’t flock there each winter! It’s a modern resort with abundant amenities, yet it has preserved its traditional Savoyard style village with low-rise chalet architecture. Meribel France is also party central for UK skiers and snowboarders whilst also being rather family friendly.

The Powderhounds will be reviewing Meribal in the the 2017/18 season.

Méribel Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Meribel Resort itself is very large with 41 lifts, 64 marked runs that form about 150km of piste from 1,100 to 2,952m elevation (1,852m vertical), and 2 terrain parks. The runs are typically wide and 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 1300m vertical are possible.

Meribel is 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'. Bump runs are available for advanced riders (if you’re into bumps!) and whilst experts may lament the lack of steep terrain, there are challenging steeps to be found, particularly if you have a guide. Couloirs that head into Courchevel such as the Death Couloir, (such a catchy name!) will keep one alert........ and alarmed!

Purchasing a 3 Vallees lift pass opens up around 600km of pistes on around 328 trails and includes the high altitude glaciers of Val Thorens ski resort.

Meribel Snow

Meribel receives about 5m of snow each season. To make up for the natural snow, Meribel ski resort has a phenomenal number of snow cannons (in excess of 700!) to pump out lots of snow onto the piste.

Where is Meribel France?

Méribel ski resort is situated in the French Alps, 17km south of the town of Moutiers and 178km by road south of Geneva Switzerland. Meribel is part of the huge Les Trois Vallées ski area. Other high profile ski areas including Val d'Isère and Tignes and Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne & Peisey-Vallandry) are nearby. Smaller resorts better suited to the Powderhound close to Meribel include Sainte Foy and La Rosiere.

The closest gateway airport is Chambéry (95km, 1:20 hours), although along with Grenoble (2:15 hours) these airports are not serviced by many flights. Geneva (2 hour transfer) and Lyon (2 hours) are the most popular airport options, and there are numerous companies who offer private or shared airport transfers to the resort. The other travel option is to catch a train to Moutiers (17km away), from where there are regular buses to Meribel.

Meribel Accommodation

Meribel Resort has multiple villages hpwever Meribel Centre and Meribel-Mottaret are the main larger. Meribel Centre is charming with picture book chalets. In the absence of high rise buildings the village has sprawled out somewhat, so many of the chalets require a shuttle bus to get to the lifts. Meribel-Mottaret is purpose built, at a higher altitude and with more ski-in ski-out accommodation options. The village of Brides Les Bains down in the valley is connected to the Meribal ski resort by gondola and is another accommodation option.

Meribel has loads of luxurious chalets 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.

There are two main options to search for Meribel accommodation:

  1. If you just need accommodation you can search for all Meribel accommodation options here.
  2. You can look at Meribel ski packages that include accommodation and options for lift tickets etc.

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.

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. 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 get rather boisterous!

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. And the Olympic Centre, which was built for the 1992 Winter Olympics, has a swimming pool, water slide, climbing wall, and indoor ice skating rink.

Summary of Pros and Cons of a Meribel Ski Holiday

Pros

  • Perfect for intermediate skiers and snowboarders who love to cruise on well groomed reds and blues.
  • Meribel is a large resort and additional cruising is easily accessed across the vast Trois Vallées ski system considering the central location of Meribel. You’d be very hard pressed to cover the 600km of piste during your Meribel ski holiday.
  • The lift system is outstanding with many of the lifts being modern and efficient, so it’s easy to clock up km.
  • Modern resort with plenty of amenities.
  • Family friendly and good English speaking ski schools.

Cons

  • Whilst not as swish as Courchevel, playing at Meribel can be overpriced and at times extortionate.
  • Meribel is very popular and sometimes it’s super busy and lift queues can be a problem. Due to the crowds, moguls develop quickly and Powderhounds will have to search really hard to find fresh untracked powder.
  • Main village centres can get noisy at night.

Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective

  • Meribel has a large portion of English speaking businesses and visitors so this may not the place to visit if you’re looking to experience French mountain culture at its best.
  • Hordes of UK visitors go to Le Pub and other British owned bars, which makes for a very vibrant, sometimes raucous, nightlife.
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    Meribel Trail & Piste Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,100 – 2,952 (1,852)
    3 Valleys: 1100 - 3230 (2130)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5 - 6 metres
  • Lifts (41)
    14 Gondolas / cable cars
    16 Chairlifts
    3 Valleys - 166 lifts
  • Ski Hours
    Early December to mid April
    8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 64
    Longest run – 5km+
    Advanced - 11%
    Intermediate - 37%
    Beginner – 52%
    3 Valleys - 328 pistes (600km)
  • Lift Prices (Day Ticket 16/17)
    Meribel ski resort only
    Adult - €51
    Child - €41.40
    3 Valleys ski area
    Adult - €60
    Child - €48.60
    Child under 5 years - Free
 

    3 Vallees Trail & Piste Map
  • 3 Valleys Trail & Piste Map