Linked in with Courchevel and Val Thorens, lying in the Les Allues Valley, Méribel forms part of Les Trois Vallées, one of the most popular ski areas in the world. With 600km of linked pistes, it is possible to ski The Three Valleys in a day without taking your skis off, whether you are an experienced skier or at an intermediate stage. Méribel lies at the heart of this most beautiful mountain region and is easily accessible from Geneva airport (2 hours flying time) and Grenoble airport. The town has a traditional Alpine charm that is hard to beat with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere which has attracted visitors of every age for over 70 years.
The development of the village has been carefully monitored, offering attractive chalet-type architecture and a good selection of prestigious apartments, some with panoramic views over the ski slopes and the woodlands beyond. Apart from the lively town centre, Méribel is divided into different ‘quartiers’: Mussillon, quietly residential; Belvédère, a chic upmarket district; Altiport, a peaceful forested area; Le Plateau, the Rond-Point, Morel and Altitude 1600 are all located further up the hill and can be reached by bus. Good quality shops and café/bars are plentiful and much of the accommodation offers ski in/ski out facilities. There are several excellent restaurants ranging from Michelin stars to simple traditional fare – depending on one’s budget and appetite. Roughly 4km from Méribel is the village of Mottaret which is a slightly quieter place to stay. Developed during the 1970s, it is more modern than Méribel with excellent residences and an ideal location from which to discover the delights of the Trois Vallées ski slopes.
Méribel is the largest village within Les Trois Vallées and has an enviable choice of aprés ski bars and restaurants. Visitors wanting a quiet life after a day on the slopes might find the temptations of the aprés ski nightlife an energetic alternative ! (The Taverne, Le Pub, Jack’s and Le Poste are a good starting point.) There is also an attractive selection of shops apart from ski/boarder wear including designer brands such as Prada and Dolce & Gabbana and a market is held twice a week in the town centre (Tuesdays and Fridays). The ski lift system is constantly being upgraded with 19 chairlifts as well as 15 gondola-type lifts. The Saulire Express gondola can take up to 2,400 people an hour from the town centre to the Saulire peak in 12 minutes. Les Allues is a very traditional village which is served by the Olympe gondola lift which whisks people up to the Chaudanne where there are several restaurants, a supermarket and ski hire shop – there is also a public bus service which takes about 15-20 minutes. The height of some of the neighbouring peaks, with Méribel at nearly 300m, means that good snow conditions can be almost guaranteed throughout the season, and therefore the ski season can be extended well into the Spring.
During the summer months of July and August, Méribel has a wide range of outdoor pursuits including mountain biking, golf and a choice of children’s activities which is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to a winter sporting holiday. The Olympic Centre is open daily with a 25m indoor swimming pool, children’s pool, fitness centre, climbing walls, spa and an indoor ice-rink for all round entertainment. There are also many scenic walks around Méribel and several mountain trails which can be enjoyed all through the year with guide assistance if required.
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