(1300m - 3200m)
Meribel is one of the true mega resorts and part of the world famous Three Valleys (a linked skiing area consisting of 600 kms of interconnected slopes), all keen skiers must visit Meribel at least once in their lifetime. Linked to Courchevel and Val Thorens (world class resorts as well) nothing comes close to the sheer amount of skiing on offer here. Also unlike many other French resorts such Tignes and La Plagne, Meribel is easy on the eye and not dominated by 1960’s architecture, which many find so off putting.
- Extensive area
Resort at a glance
|Ski Range||1300m - 3200m|
Meribel and its satellite village of Meribel Mottaret give immediate access to a huge variety of slopes, but whilst suitable for all abilities, they are perfect for intermediate skiers.
From the village of Meribel slopes on either side of the valley can be reached easily. For beginners the two stage Rhodos gondola accesses some great beginner terrain with a beginners' ski area and several long green runs. Once at Rhodos beginners will want to stick to the lifts in the Altiport area until they feel ready to progress on to some easy blues also located in this area. Those looking for more intermediate terrain can access the slopes of Saulire by taking the Saulire 1 gondola from Meribel, then picking up the Saulire Express gondola. Here there are some wonderful long red runs that lead back down to Meribel and into neighbouring Meribel Mottaret. The top of Saulire is also where the link to Courchevel is made, and should be utilised by those wanting to rack up the miles on their holiday. For those not ready to tackle red runs there are green and blues leading down from the top of the Saulire 1 gondola.
From the outskirts of Meribel the other side of the valley can be accessed. The Olympic chair provides access to the Face run, a tough and challenging run that expert skiers will enjoy. The Tougnete 1 and 2 gondolas give access to some wonderful long blue runs that lead back down to Meribel. From the Tougnete area there are also long blue and red runs that lead down into neighbouring Meribel Motteret. From down in the village the Combes and Table Verte chairlifts serve the Tougnete area. At the foot of this area in the village of Meribel Motteret is a gondola served small beginners area. At the top of the Tougnete area the neighbouring resorts of St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires in the next valley can be accessed, both well worth a visit.
From Meribel Mottaret the Plattieres 3 stage gondola opens up some great long red runs. Not to be missed are the tough red runs down from the Mont du Vallon and the runs served by the Cote Brun chair at Mont de la Chambre. At Mont de la Chambre the link to Val Thorens is also made. Finally the Saulire area as mentioned earlier can also be accessed directly from Meribel Mottaret via the Pas du Lac two stage gondola.
Meribel is a favourite with the Brits and has fantastic nightlife to keep you entertained, there is so much going on, everyone will find something to suit their taste and pocket. Many of the bars are British owned and there are plenty of options for happy hour, live music and sports.
Notable bars include the Rond Point - it’s a lively, packed bar with a great atmosphere and said to be one of the wildest apres ski bars in Meribel, there is live music every day, plenty of dancing on tables and of course the famous toffee vodka.
Jack’s Bar is great if you are a sporting fan - it has several huge screens and shows international sport, it also has pool tables and live music. British run Le Pub is also great for sports - it shows live Premiership football on Saturdays and has live music every day. Next to Le Pub is Scott’s Bar - again British run, it’s always busy, has a great vibe but a more relaxed atmosphere with cocktails on offer, it also serves tasty pub snacks such as nachos, burgers, and fries to name a few.
There are a couple of nightclubs too - Dick’s Tea Bar which is British run and quite expensive and the Loft which is a more informal. Dick’s Tea Bar has a great reputation and attracts the dance music crowd, whereas the Loft, being French run, has more of a Euro disco style.
For something a little quieter, then The Taverne is worth a visit - it has great happy hour prices and live music, The Barometer is relaxed and more stylish and sophisticated, with a range of wines to sample along with the famed Mutzig lager.
Then for something more traditional why not visit Le Poste de Secours - an upmarket cosy, French bar with local ales, champagne, cocktails, whiskies and many more, do be aware that it can be expensive.
Meribel has a huge variety of places to eat out, there is something to suit every taste and budget from traditional Savoyard, to pizza and pasta including everything in between.
For haute cuisine, Le Grand Coeur hotel has an excellent restaurant serving traditional French specialities - they have an a la carte menu or if you are feeling hungry - a seven course set menu! Blanchot is also very good, serving regional dishes - both traditional and with a modern twist. Le Plantin serves fine cuisine, a mix of traditional Savoyard specialities along with more modern dishes.
For raclette and fondue then don’t miss the Fromagerie, Galette, or Cro-Magnon. Chez Kiki also serves fondue along with having a reputation for great steaks cooked over an open fire, La Kouisena is cosy and rustic, again with open fire cooking.
For something simpler then try the Lodge du Village which is British run, it offers good value food such as pizzas and pasta in a relaxed atmosphere, there is also a Pizza Express here if you are hankering for home comforts. La Taverne has a mix of bar favourites - burgers, pies and international food.
Meribel has many other attractions if you are not skiing or boarding. There is The Olympic Centre which has bowling, a pool, spa and fitness area along with a huge ice rink which offers ice driving and hosts ice hockey matches.
There are the normal alpine activities such as dogsledding, tobogganing, skidooing, snowshoe walking, paragliding and snow biking. There is also glacier walking if you are brave enough and helicopter trips too. Heli skiing, whilst not allowed in France, is available through some of the ski schools who arrange flights over Italy or Switzerland, but it is expensive.
For something a little different then why not try piste basher driving - groom the slopes your own way! Or you may prefer something quieter like a horse drawn sleigh ride or even the cinema. Whatever you fancy doing you can be sure that Meribel will have something to keep you occupied.
There are three main ski schools in Méribel, but plenty of smaller ones too. There is of course the local French ski school - the ESF which offers tuition in skiing and boarding to both adults and children. Group lessons start from €140 for 5 half days, private lessons start from €87 for an hour and a half. They normally meet at La Chaudanne, but do check this on booking.
Magic Academy is a British run school and was formed when Ski Academy and Magic in Motion merged, they offer lessons to adults and children for all abilities. Group lessons start from €170 for 12 hours tuition over 5 days and they also give you video feedback too, private lessons start from €160 for 2 hours depending on the time of season. Their meeting point is La Chaudanne - at the bottom of the "Rhodos" gondolas in the centre of Meribel.
New Generation are also British run and have small class sizes, they again teach children and adults, both skiing and boarding. Group lessons start from €189 for 2 hours per day for 5 days, private lessons start from €165 for 2 hours tuition. Their meeting point is at the bottom of the Tougnette bubble near the lift pass office.
Where to stay in Meribel, France
Chalet Hotel Les Grangettes
Perfectly located in the atmospheric heart of Meribel and just across the road from the main ski lifts, this hotel offers a comfortable stay with a Savoyard style dining room.