Cross-Country Skiing (Ski de Fond) in Val Thorens
Val Thorens only has 4km of prepared cross country trails, but they accommodate both classic and skating styles and are perfect for beginners or those who just want to spend a few hours trying something a bit different. Further down the Valley between Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville there are 28km of marked pistes for cross country skiing. The best starting point is next to the very picturesque Plan de l’eau in Les Menuires and the tracks are all well marked out leading towards the lower villages along the valley ending in Châtelard.
Best of all, the cross country trails are free to use! You can pick up a guide book and trail map from the Tourist Office.
Once you have grasped the basics in Val Thorens head to the other parts of the 3 valleys for more of a range of cross country tracks with a total of 90km of trails are available in Meribel, Courchevel and La Tania. Both classic and skating forms of the sport are accommodated, usually side by side. The pistes are maintained each night and walkers are requested not to use the marked cross country trails across the three valleys.
Cross Country Skiing in Meribel
Meribel has 33km of prepared cross country trails in its valley. Situated in two different areas of Meribel one at the Lac de Tueda in Mottaret and the other around the Altiport area of Méribel.
With a variation of tracks ranging from green to red you can challenge yourself at ski de fond. Meribel Mottaret has slightly more gentle tracks. Take the Green marked trail which 3km long and is great for those just starting off and starts at the Plan Ravet car park or the Piou-Piou nursery school. Alternatively if you feel slightly more confident take the Blue marked trail, which is 5km and starts from the same place.
In Meribel itself you have access to a blue track, 5km long with an altitude climb of 110m, which takes you through the forest and starts at Restaurant Le Blanchot. Alternatively if you are well practised in Ski de Fond try the Red track which also starts at the Restaurant however it is 10km long and has an altitude climb of 230m. Both of these tracks offer exceptional views and mountain scenery.
Starting in Meribel you also have to option to take longer cross country tracks to Courchevel or La Tania. Again starting off at Restaurant Le Blanchot you can take this red marked track and either continue straight to make your way to Courchevel, 17km with a altitude climb of 150m, or take the left track to head to La Tania, 16km with a 230m climb.
The ESF offers private or group lessons in cross country skiing in both Meribel and Mottaret.
Cross Country Skiing in Courchevel
From Le Praz there are 3 loops. The Green is 2km and starts opposite the ski jump. The Red is 7km and the Black is 8.5km, both starting from the Tourist Office.
From Courchevel Village the Les Brigues / Chantery track runs through the forest is a red 5km piste.
From Courchevel Moriond the Boucle Bleue du Belvedere is 5km and starts next to the Granges draglift, providing an easy itinerary passing farmhouses and beautiful scenery along the way.
From Courchevel itself there are several options including the Col de la Loze loop an easy 2.5km blue piste and the Bouc Blanc itinerary, another slightly longer blue 5km piste. There is also the Courchevel / Meribel Altiport run which is a 17km red track and the Courchevel / La Tania run 15km red track, these are both harder then the blues so better for those who have built up confidence and are ready to tackle something more challenging.
View the Cross Country Skiing maps for the 3 Valleys to see all the routes.