Méribel Les Allues is a skiing resort. It is situated at a stunning 1400 meters above sea level. It has become a place loved by people and a base for snow sports. It was the home of the 1992 Winter Olympics, and up until 2011, it was the home of Altitude Festival. The area that Méribel is situated in, the Trois Valleés has a whopping 180 lifts, 335 runs over 600 kilometres and over 130 km of cross-country tracks. Which speaks somewhat of both its popularity and it’s the ability to provide for its many visitors.
Méribel is known (more than a little) for the gorgeous skiing. But, even non-skiers can head to one of the stunning resorts, like neve chalet, and have a fantastic time.
If you simply want to mix up some skiing with some other fun activities, then this list is for you!
If you’ve watched Gilmore Girls, some Sex And The City, or pretty much any winter based romance movie you’ll likely have seen beautiful horse-drawn carriages. Well, combine that romantic notion will a sleigh and you have something a little bit more magic. It’s a slow and gentle walk so you can take in the sights, sounds and feel like a member of royalty. You’ll discover the stunning Tueda lake and prices vary between €55 - €95 or so.
Imagine getting the ultimate in luxury, and after a day of skiing and horse-drawn sleighs, it’s time for some pampering. Most chalets come with huge jacuzzis, but you can find spa dotted around the area. So it might be a morning shoulder massage, and an afternoon facial, followed by an evening of hot chocolate in front of the fire for you.
If you are a bit of a thrill seeker, then the chances are these two option are going to be right up your street. You can take a tour of the alps from Méribel’s own airfield. You would be taking to the skies from the Altiport, and then enjoy some stunning views from the 3 Valleys. If you would prefer a more extended trip, then you can head out towards Les Arcs and take in the breathtaking views of Le Mont Blanc. The flights are super affordable and won’t be something you forget in a hurry. You’ll be paying from €90 per person depending.
Adrenaline junkies or those will a need to explore will love speeding around the mountains on a high-powered snowmobile. Once you have had enough of two-legged action, it might just be time to head to wheels. You can pick up a one-hour outing, that starts at Le Hameau in Morraret and then follows a stunning off-piste track. You can have a standard tour, which is more about discovering the area and getting to take it in. Or you can have the slightly more extreme, adrenaline pumping one. Prices start from around €120 per driver, and the cool thing is you can take passengers for €20 each.
The 1992 Olympic games left an impact here. Méribel's multi-sports centre is pretty kitted out for indoor activities that suit pretty much anyone. You could opt to try out the indoor climbing, have a game of bowling (and of course go for that strike!), go for a long swim, skate or even watch an ice-hockey match. They also have a gym which is pretty well equipped and also runs classes. If working out is your thing, then you’ll love the aqua-bikes and paddle boarding.
Winter walking is one way to really get a feel for the place. If you are up for a bit of a challenge, there is a 25 km stretch of winter walking trails which links up different villages. The trails are very well kept so you won’t be getting into ay dangerous situations and very well signposted. Of course, as with any walk, you’re going to need a very sturdy pair of walking boots to enjoy this one fully. If you want something comfortable and beautiful, then the circular path that goes around Lac Tueda is ideal for you. You will encounter jagged peaks and a frozen lake, and if you get hungry, which of course who wouldn't, then le Restaurant du lac de Tueda will be able to fix you right up.
Just try to remember you are better off booking all activities for as early in the day as possible, so you get the most of the sun.
If you love walking, but want a little more of a challenge, then snowshoes are the thing for you! While the walking trails are gorgeous, they are generally pretty safe, and you won’t get to discovery anything ‘new’. If you pop on a pair of snowshoes and hire a guide, you’ll be wandering through the trees in no time at all. Your guide will be able to tell you some of the histories of the area, the different flora, fauna and wildlife. They’ll be able to take you to those quiet places, that just feels magical. However, it is worth noting that it is pretty intensive on the legs and will be a pretty serious workout!
If you want to experience the utter silence and tranquillity of your surrounds, then you might like to check out a refuge. They are typically pretty high up the mountain, and if you’re planning on exploring, you’ll undoubtedly need a torch. There is one refuge which offers very simple accommodation, Refuge du Plan, which is situated in a nature reserve. There is a slightly more luxurious one, Refuge du Christ, which can be found above Les Allues. They are both ensconced in rich landscapes and are ideal for people who just want a day or two of tranquillity.
Méribel is not just for people who love to ski. It’s for sight-seeing-world-travelling lovers of fresh air, winter sun, crisp snow and an appetite for adventure and new experiences. Of course, the problem is that once you have been, it’s the only place you’ll ever want to go!