Meribel has some of the best skiing in the world
For keen ski hounds who dislike tacky purpose-built resorts, Méribel is difficult to surpass. It is slap bang in the middle of the Trois Vallees ski domain, the biggest inter-linked winter sports area in the world, with over 600 kilometres of fantastic skiing and snowboarding, as well as endless off-piste possibilities. Lovers of famous resorts like Courchevel and Val-Thorens used to turn their noses at Méribel's local slopes, but since the opening of extra ski areas in Mont Vallon and the top of the valley a few years ago, Méribel fortunes have turned around. Couchevel, Val Thorens, les Menuires, St Martin, and La Tania are now all directly linked to Meribel and to each other.
The village has grown rapidly in recent years and now spreads widely over the mountainside, stretching in different directions up the mountain from Méribel Village at 1400 metres and up to the top of Méribel Mottaret at 1800 metres. It is also very popular with British visitors, many of whom own chalets here, resulting in English being more commonly heard than French on the slopes and in the bars. The resort remains decidedly upscale and it's not cheap, but regular visitors love it here and wouldn't be seen anywhere else.
For beginners, Méribel offers a great range of nursery slopes and cruisy tree-lines runs and for intermediates a vast paradise of endless kilometres. Try out the red runs around the Mont de Challe area or for a long continuous run, try the 5 kilometre extravaganza down to Combe du Vallon. Expert skiers will be spoilt for choice and their powder heaven consists of steep blacks, mogul fields as well as off-piste adventures and glacier skiing. They can also try the high altitude adventure at La Face or the pistes around Val Thorens.
Snowboarders will feel at home in Méribel, with its two major snow parks. The one at Plattieres has recently been refurbished and now also includes a completely enclosed area where beginners can develop their technique without feeling intimidated. There are 17 acres, two half-pipes plus jumps, whoops and banks over a length of 1219 metres. The Moon Park in Méribel has a 182 metre vertical drop, one competition standard half pipe, another for learners and a 1005 metre long border crossing and of course for cracking free-riding there is lots of off-piste on offer.
So, with an array of charming alpine chalets located within the best skiing in the world, Meribel is a perfect place to base yourself for some action packed fun on the piste and with bucket loads of cafes, bars and good eateries to tickle everyone's fancy, your next ski holiday here will certainly be memorable. Courchevel may be more chic and Val Thorens may have better snow but with Méribel it's all about location, location, location.
|Altitude of resort:||1450 metres|
|Top elevation:||2950 metres|
|Largest vertical drop:||1500 metres|
|Total length of slopes:||150 kilometres|
|Longest run:||3.6 kilometres|
|Cross country trails:||67 kilometers|
|Number of lifts:||49|