Attractive purpose-built resort in the Tarentaise
Voted 'Best Family Ski Resort' at the 2014 World Snow Awards, Valmorel is an attractive purpose-built family friendly resort in the Tarentaise Valley. Built in the 1970s, the layout is well-suited for a ski resort, the centre is car-free, almost everywhere is ski-in/ski-out, and the architecture is traditional alpine style. Valmorel is the hub of ‘Le Grand Domaine’ ski area, which extends over 165km of pistes to some smaller hamlets such as Longchamp and St. François. The ski area is ideal for intermediates, and a good place to start for beginners. Small children are well looked after with gentle nursery slopes and play areas. There are some black runs and ‘snowcross’ parks to entertain the more advanced skier. Valmorel has a good range of restaurants, 14 in the resort, and some lively après-ski bars at the foot of the slopes. A 275 room 4* Club Med above the village opened in 2012, and a new MGM 40 apartment facility was completed in 2018. Visitors to Valmorel benefit from proximity to Chambéry airport and 2 hours from Geneva.
What about property for sale in Valmorel?
Most properties are apartments, new projects are available in the resort including some standalone new chalets under construction. Resales can be another option for property buyers. In the context of the ski property market, prices are extremely reasonable in Valmorel, especially given most are close to or right next to the pistes and ski lifts.
A guide to Valmorel
Valmorel is the first ski resort you reach in the Tarentaise valley. It first opened only in 1976, but its design is in keeping with traditional architectural style with attractive low-rise wooden buildings and sloping slate roofs. The village, with a relaxed, family-oriented atmosphere, is divided into various hamlets with Le Bourg at the centre. Most accommodation is close to the lifts, the ski area has been just as well designed as the village with runs to the doorstep of many of the accommodation options.
The nearest airports to Valmorel are Chambery, Grenoble and Annecy. Chambery is the closest, just one hours drive away
Valmorel ski area
Le Grand Domaine ski area offers 311km of skiing, with 90 ski lifts over 167 marked pistes including the ski resorts of Doucy-Combelouvière and nearby St François Longchamp.
Novices have six areas, including two just for children. The resort operates a large separated beginner space with plenty of easy runs to progress on to. For intermediates, 75 easy to moderate runs go as far as the neighbouring resort of St Francois Longchamp, for lunch perhaps.
The ski area has some fabulous long runs such, with two at 4km long and the most difficult run is the ‘Riondet’, which is 3km in length. The Mottet piste often challenging. Less know are the extensive off-piste opportunities – the Vallée de la Lauzière is now more accessible by the new Celliers gondola. It is a base for many ski touring itineraries. It’s also possible to ski off piste with a guide to the Belleville Valley at the base of the 3 Valleys.
Valmorel has several cross-country ski areas and 43 km of sunny trails to choose from.
Après ski in Valmorel
Valmorel has about a dozen bars although the après ski scene is normally quite quiet. Le Café Alpin at the bottom of the pistes is a popular option. The bar at the Hôtel du Bourg has pool tables and an open fireplace. Le Ski Roc has more of a wine bar feel. The Sound Pub & Club stays open till 5am.
Eating out in Valmorel
There are five places to eat on the mountain and for the evening 18 restaurants among the hamlets. Most are in the village centre or at the base of the slopes range. The range of dining options varies from the traditional Savoyard to international cuisine. Ski Roc in Le Bourg is one of the best and busiest restaurants in the village. Le Petit Prince is upmarket French restaurant. Le Marmite and Le Plancher des Vaches are also recommended.
Summer in Valmorel
Valmorel is situated near the Beaufortain, the Lauzière and the Vanoise mountains, so an ideal location for walking holidays. Hikers are spoiled for choice, with challenging piste hikes as well as easy waterfall walks, perfect for those with young children.
During the summer season there are a wide range of activities for all ages such as rock climbing, walking, hiking, paragliding, a swimming pool, mountain biking, tennis, archery, rafting, all set in beautiful scenery. The Magic Adventure park has 31 ziplines and a 30m pendulum jump, great fun for all ages.
Mountain bikers can discover a variety of routes, from exhilarating mountain downhills to cross-country trails and flat riverside rides over 185km of itineraries with downhill, enduro and cross-country marked runs. Road cyclists will immediately recognise the area, with the local Col de la Madeleine being one of the Tour de France’s toughest climbs.
• Other destinations in the French Alps •
Chamonix, Megève, Sainte Foy, La Rosière, Morzine, Les Gets, Courchevel, Méribel, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val d’Isère, Pays de Mont Blanc