Much more than a back-door into the Trois Vallées
Saint Martin de Belleville punches above its weight. A charming unspoilt Alpine village, that is connected efficiently into the vast 3 Valleys ski area. Well endowed with good restaurants, it was gastronomic resort of the year in 2016. The famous La Bouitte, just up the road, was the first 3-star restaurant in Savoie. Accommodation can be found in a choice of slope-side or nearby apartments and chalets. St. Martin’s own ski area is limited to a few easy but pleasant runs, and connecting to Les Menuires and over to Méribel is easy and recommended. Val Thorens and Courchevel are both comfortably within range for day excursions.
Property in St. Martin de Belleville
Such a large well joined-up and snow-sure ski area is a huge benefit for property owners, these are the key criteria for property owners in our view. Apartments and chalets are clustered in and around the village, planning is strictly in the local vernacular, older farm buildings have been renovated and new developments are in keeping.
Since the chairlift connections into the 3 Vallées were upgraded for the 2020-21 ski season, property prices in St. Martin have caught up with the rest of the ski region. St. Martin de Belleville is comparable to Méribel Village as a worthy alternative proposition to ownership in the 3 Valleys, both have a pleasant low-key village ambiance with the facilities you need and easy access to the pistes. Property prices in both are similar, although these days there is usually more for sale in St. Martin due development, redevelopment and expansion of the village. Well located high quality new chalets are now selling in the €17-18,000/m2 range. Apartments and renovated chalet values are between €10- and 15,000/m2 depending on size and location.
Villages nearby, such as Villarabout and St. Marcel have been popular for anyone looking to renovate historic stone buildings and barns. You can be in a bucolic mountain or village environment, yet within 10-15 minutes drive to the ski lifts of St. Martin or Les Menuires.
A guide to Saint Martin de Belleville
Saint Martin de Belleville in the Belleville Valley is a lived-in, unspoiled village with an old church in the central square and buildings of wood and stone, a few miles down the valley from Les Menuires. Full of rustic charm and character, Saint Martin de Belleville offers quick and easy access to the 3 Valleys but is secluded and tucked away from the commercialisation of the rest of the ski area. Staying here offers a radically different experience from neighbouring Trois Vallées resorts. There’s a good range of accommodation in Saint Martin de Belleville, with a fine choice of chalets and apartments to rent.
Saint Martin de Belleville ski area
St Martin is one of the best-connected resorts in the 3 Valleys. The eight-person gondola whisks skiers up to mid-station from where a 6-person Express chairlift will complete the journey to the top of the mountain providing access to the Méribel pistes, Les Menuires and Val Thorens all within easy reach, and the full extent of the magnificent Trois Vallées ski network. Beginners will be fine on the resort’s nursery slope while intermediates are spoilt with St Martin de Belleville’s legendary piste, Jerusalem. Some highly regarded wide-open off-piste terrain can be found on the upper slopes of the valley.
The village is at an altitude of 1450m and since many of the slopes are south facing, just in case, there are plenty of snow cannons on the lower slopes, ensuring skiers can return to the village on skis until the end of the season.
28km of cross-country skiing is available locally.
Après ski in Saint Martin de Belleville
It is a quiet affair compared to its neighbours, but still offers some great spots for après ski drinks. Some of these are located slope side so actually get quite buzzy at the end of the ski day. The Piano bar, which is tucked behind the church in the centre of the village, has live music on two evenings each week and is a popular spot.
Eating Out in Saint Martin de Belleville
Despite its size, St Martin still a lot to offer when it comes to cuisine, winning ‘Best Gastronomic Resort of the Year in the 2016 World Snow Awards. It has four restaurants listed in the Michelin guide. La Bouitte, which is nearby in St Marcel with 3 Michelin stars, needs no introduction. A nice touch, they provide a pick-up/drop-off service for visiting skiers for lunch. La Ferme Auberge Le Chantacouocu is also a farm serving their own produce, a unique experience that is not to be missed. The Eterlous and the Dahlia are both great spots for lunch or dinner.
Le Bouche à Oreille is owned by René and Maxime Meilleur of La Bouitte – but comes at a much lower price range. It is in a gorgeous setting at the top of the Roc de Trois Marches 2 and Granges chair-lifts, and has a delightful sun terrace.
Summer in Saint Martin de Belleville
Saint Martin de Belleville is composed of 22 hamlets along the valley and offers a real dose of Savoie charm. The surrounding area has a particularly rich natural and architectural heritage, with an abundance of flora and fauna.
The activities and things to do are endless with mountain biking and road cycling, yoga, in-chalet massages, tree top walkways, via ferrata, swimming pools and spa complexes, cable cars and chair lifts to take you up mountains for walks and lunches. For hiking, the valley has 50 marked pedestrian paths for walkers to choose from, a total of 250km leading through forests and high pastures up to the mountain peaks.
For the mountain-biking community there are trails all over the resort which offer a huge variety of choices for mountain bikers heading to the Alps in summer. Further up the valley you can ride at an altitude of around 2500 metres with routes leading down into Les Menuires and all the way back to Saint Martin de Belleville.
For more details on Mountain Biking in St Martin de Belleville, check out our blog: Where to go Mountain Biking in the Alps