Méribel - in the heart of the largest ski area in the world
In the heart of the 3 Vallées and renowned for excellent access to the expanse of the ski network, yet Méribel’s own ski area would be the envy of many. Over the hill trips to Courchevel, Val Thorens, and St Martin for lunch, are all options to explore the diversity of the domain. Méribel is a polished all-rounder – experts, intermediates and beginners are well catered for; there is some very good off-piste. A full range of accommodation is on offer, notably a wide selection of chalet and apartment rentals, there are après-ski and restaurant choices for all.
What about ski chalet and apartments for sale and to rent in Méribel?
Such a large well joined-up and snow-sure ski area is a huge benefit for property owners, these are key criteria in our view. Méribel’s property sector is rather spread out. Some new 2 and 3 bedroom developments in the centre suit those who like convenience, chalets to the rich and famous are above the centre, some with piste access. The hamlets offer seclusion and better value, at the expense of convenience. Méribel Village is a desirable compromise. Méribel les Allues is significantly less expensive, although you may have to take the lift down if the snow is patchy.
A guide to Méribel
Méribel sits in the middle of the famous 3 Vallées ski area, nowhere else is there a ski area as big, as varied and as well-connected. Founded by British skier Peter Lindsay in 1938, it is now one of Europe’s safest bets for a great ski holiday with a combination of extensive slopes, superb location and attractive architecture.
Méribel is primarily a chalet resort with more of this type of accommodation on offer here than in any other resort in the Alps. Unlike other purpose-built French resorts, Méribel is more traditional in style. Whilst its satellite villages are less lively, the main village is always bustling, inviting a loyal fan-base back year after year. Buses connect Méribel’s different areas efficiently.
Méribel ski area
Méribel sits in the middle of the vast 3 Vallées area, the largest properly-interlinked ski area in the world – and one of the best. Access to Méribel’s neighbouring resorts and the giant ski area as a whole are impressively slick. Energetic and experienced piste skiers who can use Méribel as a launchpad to access Courchevel and the Belleville valley (home of Val Thorens, Les Menuires and Saint Martin de Belleville) will get the most from it. Especially if they’re also looking for the kind of late-afternoon après-ski action that Le Rond-Point or La Folie Douce can provide.
Méribel has several “zones débutants” for beginners (and second-week skiers): and the one above the Méribel itself, under the Altiport chair-lift, is by far the best. For intermediates, one of the best areas to target is the Blaireau piste, off the top of the Tougnette chair, above Méribel Centre. Advanced skiers will also gravitate towards the top of Courchevel next door, to ski blacks such as Suisses and M, and – if they’re feeling really salty – the Grand Couloir, one of two chutes off the ridge of the La Croix des Verdons which are marked as pistes and protected against avalanches.
Après ski in Méribel
Méribel has a lively après scene starting just after lunch with La Folie Douce at the mid-station of La Saulire. Méribel après ski offers a varied and lively nightlife with loud pubs and popular nightclubs open until the early hours.
Bars in the resort centre and around the Rond Point are usually packed with partygoers. Later the action kicks off in the likes of Jack’s, popular both in the afternoon and the evening, due to it being located near the Chaudanne. The Doron Pub has a slightly relaxed atmosphere early on with extreme skiing DVDs and pool tables. O’Sullivans located just outside Méribel’s town centre is where you go if you want to party into the early hours of the morning.
Eating out in Méribel
Méribel has a wide range of restaurants to suit most tastes. Traditional Savoyard dishes are to be found in most. With so many visitors staying in chalets, restaurants only get significantly busy on the staff nights off, so book well in advance.
Close to the town centre, Pizzeria L’Igloo is a good option for tasty, reasonably priced pizzas, burgers and pasta. Or if staying in Mottaret, try the family-run Pizzeria du Mottaret. La Grange restaurant offers a brasserie-style menu plus a fantastic array of seafood. If meat is your game, look no further than Chez Kiki in Morel. La Fromagerie in the centre is a cheese shop, downstairs is the restaurant – we leave the rest to your imagination. The Allodis Hotel in le Belvédère and the Grand Coeur Hotel in Méribel centre are two of the best gourmet restaurants.
Summer in Méribel
Méribel may be best known for its alpine ski and snowboarding holidays, but Méribel in the summer has just as much to offer. The technically challenging 18-hole golf course also has amazing views up and down the valley. The roads around Méribel are the setting for some of the most gruelling sections of the Tour de France but they can be tackled by enthusiasts as well as the pros. Méribel is a mecca for mountain biking too, with varying terrain and fantastic views it is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts, with the whole of the 3 Vallées mountain area to explore.
There are a huge variety of walking and hiking trails on offer in the Méribel valley so that there is something for everyone of all ages and abilities. The Vanoise National Park has a wide variety of wildlife and flora.
Other Destinations in the French Alps: Chamonix, Megève, Sainte Foy, La Rosière, Morzine, Les Gets, Courchevel, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val d’Isère, Pays de Mont Blanc, Valmorel