Les Menuires: The gem of the Trois Vallées?
If you’re a ski or snowboarding enthusiast then you will inevitably heard of the infamous Les Trois Vallées, or Three Valleys that make up one of the world’s largest interconnected ski resorts. You will also have heard of the more famous ski resorts such as Courchevel, Val Thorens and Meribel, but these aren’t the only resorts offering exceptional skiing conditions, good après ski and stunning surroundings - the lesser known ski resort Les Menuires also packs plenty of punch.
Nestled between Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Val Thorens at an altitude of 1,850 meters, Les Menuires is a well-equipped ski resort that boasts over seventy runs that range from beginners to more advanced levels, as well as a thriving après ski and excellent amenities.
The perfect gateway to the Trois Vallées
What really gives it an edge is the accessibility it offers to explore the rest of the expansive Three Valleys. With 600 km of interconnecting slopes and an impressive 180 ski lifts that make it all possible, the Trois Vallées is an impressive place. However, some resorts make accessing the entire expanse of slopes easier than others and Les Menuires is one of them. With the Croissette ski lift from the centre of the village, visitors can access the entire Trois Vallées with fast lifts to Val Thorens and Meribel that lead to the rest of the Trois Vallées, as well as lifts up to the Ponte de La Masse at 2,804 metres.
Great skiing for newbies
Another plus for Les Menuires is that it’s an ideal place for novice or intermediate skiers and families. Direct from Les Menuires, visitors can ski or snowboard a plethora of nice, wide blues runs, as well as more challenging reds, blacks and off piste areas coming down from Ponte de La Masse. There’s even the option to ski straight from your door - making it a great place for those who aren’t feeling adventurous enough to tackle the whole valley in one trip!
Staying in style
Built in 1964, at first glance, Les Menuires may not look as pretty and picturesque as its neighbours with some questionable sixties architecture. However, there are newer developments that are more in line with the traditional Alpine style, but regardless, its positioning in the valley offers some truly magnificent views that will leave you in no doubt that it’s a treasure of the Trois Vallées. Despite being one of the smaller resorts, you’ll also find an abundance of stylish and luxury accommodation on offer; and as Les Menuires resort is run by the Compagnie des Alpes, you’ll find everything operated and finished to an incredibly high standard.
With skiing and accommodation taken care of, it’s time to focus our attention on what other hidden gems this unsuspecting French-Alpine Village has to offer. While Les Menuires is a family-friendly resort, having won aFamily Plus award from the French Tourist board, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s all early nights and hot chocolate! Everyone deserves a night out and Les Menuires will still deliver when it comes to après ski fun, whether you want a hearty meal, family entertainment, a bustling bar or an all-night party!
Watch the world go by
After a hard day on the slopes, the perfect place to kick back, relax and watch the world go by is the Croisette area in the centre of the village where there’s an array of bars with terraces to get your evening off to a great start in any one of them.
Food for thought
Naturally, enjoying a good meal out is part and parcel of a good holiday and in Les Menuires you’ll discover a good selection of eateries to suit all tastes. Tuck into some traditional French cuisine at L’etoile that not only services up mouth-watering French dishes it also delivers a mountain-side view for an authentic alpine experience. However, for a real treat, head to Restaurant K in the evening, where the delicious fine-dining menu can be washed down with some fabulous French wines.
The party scene in Les Menuires isn’t as lively as other resorts, but there is a good selection of bars and night spots to while away an evening if the mood takes you. The restaurant-bar combination at Le Kube provides a cosy atmosphere and some tasty cocktails or you can head up the piste to La Folie Douche with a vast dancefloor and open-air terraces, there’s often live bands and DJs playing and a vibrant mood, but be prepared to ski or take a ski bus back down the mountain at the end of the night!
If you are heading to Les Menuires with the kids, then a visit to the Rock ‘N’ Bob Snow Park is always going to be a winner. If you want a little rest and relaxation, head to the Espace Aqualudique in Les Bruyeres. The lower floor is an adult-only spa, but there’s a children’s ice-themed room, indoor swimming pools and whirlpools for everyone to enjoy!
Whether you're new to the slopes, or looking to expand your knowledge of the local area, putting Les Menuires on your travel itinerary is sure to provide a wealth of new experiences, and some pretty spectacular scenery too.