Worldwide Ski ResortsFranceLes Menuires

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Overview

The resort village of Les Menuires is the cheapest of the Trois Vallees locations in the French Alps. It has until recently been — perhaps unfairly — known as one of the ugliest Alpine locations, due to some horrific architecture that was added to the town centre in the 1960s. Recently however, a more enlightened planning regime has made significant improvements to the appearance of this bargain resort.

The town has some excellent bars and restaurants and shopping facilities are rather good. Accommodation is plentiful and varied, with many hotels boasting true doorstep skiing facilities. There are some very pleasant catered chalets for hire and a number of comfortable medium grade hotels. Self catering apartments abound, although be careful in your choice as while the prices can be lower than average, can the standard of equipment and facilities.

Profile

The resort stands at 1850m and provides convenient access to the entire Trois Vallees domaine consisting of 600km of pistes served by a total of 197 lifts and even the local slopes between Les Menuires and neighbouring St Martin offer 160km of runs and 41 lifts. Because of the region’s exceptional height and the orientation of the majority of slopes, the area is very snow sure and has 1500 snow cannons just to be certain.

The Trois Vallees is a dream come true for all categories of skier and snowboarder, with sufficient slopes to keep even the most avaricious piste hound happy for week after week. Add the huge off piste opportunities and the spectacular scenery and you have what is arguably the best all round ski region in Europe. Beginners will enjoy the local, wide nursery slopes, although the progression runs often get very crowded in high season. All the ski schools are ESF run. Snowboarders have a choice of enormous free riding areas as well as a local terrain park and a half pipe. Cross country skiers get the worst of the deal with only 28km of local trails.

Mountain Information

The local slopes are almost all above the tree line and consist of mainly wide open pistes that lead to links with Méribel (and on to Courchevel) and Val Thorens in the next valleys. Some good tree lined runs can be found over towards St Martin. Advanced skiers will find the best local runs at the top of La Masse and the Vallon du Lou over towards Val Thoren.

Intermediates will find plenty to do on the local slopes and over at Val Thorens where most runs are blue and red. The more adventurous can also try their skill on La Masse. There is a good choice of restaurants all over the mountains, although many people find it just as convenient to return to one of the villages for lunch.

Apres Ski

This is a resort designed for the serious skier and boarder and there is little to do here off the slopes other than to visit one of the numerous bars and clubs. There is generally plenty of fun to be had with many of the venues offering live music and other attractions. The atmosphere tends to be lively without getting out of hand. There are a number of reasonable discos and the Taverne Bar is reportedly very good.

Resort Information • Les Menuires

Resort Height Resort Height 1815m
Top Station Top Station 2850m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1172m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 1450m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 18
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 19
High Capacity High Capacity 8
Opening Dates Opening Dates Nov - May
Rating Expert Rating Expert 8
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 8
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 7
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 6
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 8