About the surrounding area
Val Thorens is a purpose built resort created over 40 years ago, the original idea thought up by Pierre Schnebelen. The resort began it's first season in December 1971 wtih just three draglifts. The resort gradually developed over the next 10 years, the biggest development in putting Val Thorens on the map being the installation of the Cime Caron lift in 1981. Val Thorens has now been working with Tour Operators for the past 20 years and is growing from strength to strength. Jean Sulpice at the Oxalys restaurant received his first Michelin Star in 2004 and since then the level of restaurants and hotels that have opened up has seen an increase in quality and standards extending the level on offer. Val Thorens is now well known as a lively resort, popular with everyone from student trips to families and couples. There are less catered Chalets in Val Thorens - the majority of accommodation is in hotels or self-catered apartments.
Val Thorens is continually developing with new hotels emerging each season. There is a wide variety of accommodation on offer from a fantastic youth hostel in the bottom of the resort to five star hotels in the centre. Shops and services are spread out throughout Val Thorens with the main indoor shopping centre in the middle of the resort where the sports centre is also located. Parking is restricted now to the official car parks of which there are five at different points throughout Val Thorens.
Val Thorens has a huge amount of restaurants to choose from with everything from Michelin star restaurants along with traditional local cuisine to pizza or take away. Face West offers a nice variety for families and provides a great service located right in the centre of the resort. You can opt for eating at a mountain restaurant in the evening, you just have to walk there first! Steak Club has a really refreshing interior for a mountain restaurant and is located next to the main are of bars for post meal entertainment.
Also see: Restaurants in Val Thorens, France
Being the highest resort in Europe, Val Thorens offers some of the most stunning views in the Three Valleys. At the top of the Cime Caron lift you are offered a fantastic 360 degree panoramic viewing platform with views over to Italy. The Orelle Valley, often known as the fourth valley, also offers great views with the highest altitude point at 3230m. As the third resort in the Belleville area you also have views right down the valley of Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville.
Things to Do nearby
Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe and offers an extended season than most other resorts - being open nearly two months longer, from the last week in November until the first week in May. Being part of the Three Valleys, Val Thorens gives you access to the largest ski area in the world with 600km of piste. In Val Thorens itself there are snow parks, ski cross and big air bags, the quality so good that world events are often held here. Away from the slopes you can relax in the sports centre with swimming pool and spa or if you are feeling energetic there is a fitness area. You also have 15 other spas to choose from in Val Thorens. Back on the snow there are numerous activities including snowmobile outings, paragliding and if you are brave enough you can take part in ice diving. Val Thorens has many claims to fame and boasts; the longest toboggan run in the world at 6km with a 700m vertical drop from an altitude of 3,00m; the highest zip wire in the world taking a descent from 3200m; and the highest ice racing track in Europe. Once the snow melts, in the summer months the pistes turn into walking tracks with the lifts open for walking and mountain biking and graded routes for both in July and August. You can also play squash, badminton, tennis, basketball and table tennis with a varied weekly events programme for both adults and children.
Also see: Things To Do in Val Thorens, France
From the main Val Thorens centre you can head up the 3 Vallees and Bouqetin lifts to then access the the other resorts of the Three Valleys. In Val Thorens itselft at the top of the Peclet lift you have the toboggan run and some great long runs which lead to the bottom of the Val Thorens. Via the Boulevard de Cumin track you can ski directly to the La Masse area of Les Menuires. Either via Cime Caron or Grand Fond you can explore the great pistes of Orelle.
Also see: Ski Areas in Val Thorens, France
Val Thorens has a really varied nightlife with everything on offer from on the piste apres ski venues such as La Folie Douce and Bar 360 to live jazz music or classical concerts in the church. Children's apres is not overlooked in Val Thorens with a weekly events programme with activities and entertainment. The main area of bars is located at the top of the resort including Snesko, Rhum Box and Snow Cafe. The main nightclub is Malaysia open until around 4am. If you want alternative entertainment there is also a large bowling complex and cinema.
Also see: Bars in Val Thorens, France