Val Thorens in one of the ski resorts that makes up La Vallee de Belleville which also includes Les Menuires and Saint Martin de Belleville. The Vallee de Belleville is part of the vast Three Valleys ski area which is the largest ski area in the world, boasting around 600km of pistes and 200 lifts.
The slopes cover a massive area, ranging from a height of 3230m to 1450m. As 99% of Val Thorens’ runs are based above 2000m, great snow conditions are pretty much guaranteed throughout the season making it one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe.
Val Thorens & Les Menuires combined have in the region of 66 lifts, giving access to 300km of pistes. The pistes are made up of 14% green, 27% blue, 38% red and 11% black runs (see the piste maps).
The Glacier de la Pointe Renod is the summit of the Three Valleys and boasts spectacular views from the top of the Bouchet lift. This area also tends to be a peaceful spot as it is situated in a remote part of resort, away from the majority of the traffic and the surrounding runs require a certain amount of skill. The bottom of the glacier is where you will find the famous Combe de Rosael black run. It is often a good place to aim for first thing in the morning for some fresh snow.
Another favourite spot first thing is to head to the Pointe de La Masse. The area gets the best of the morning sun and there are a number of long runs down from its summit. This part of resort also features a number of steep slopes and three challenging blacks, Lac Noir, Dame Blanche and Rocher Noir. However, if you are just looking to cruise along in the sunshine, there are some long windy blues from the top of either Masse 1 or Rocher Noir lifts.
If you want to take it easy and not push yourself too hard, the blue runs down from Val Thorens, cairn and boulevard cumin, are nice and gentle allowing you to enjoy the ride whilst taking in the breath-taking scenery.
The areas on the east side of the valley which have lifts granting access to Meribel are best avoided first thing in the morning and between 15:00 and 16:00. During this time both those lifts and slopes will be jam-packed with skiers and boarders traversing between the three valleys. It is best to hit these pistes between 11:00 and 15:00. Favourite runs on this side are Jerusalem a long wide red run, the Plein Sud blue that leads into the heart of Val Thorens, and Petits Creux which takes you into Les Menuires.
Towards the end of the day take the Funitel Peclet gondola up to the glacier to take advantage of the last of the sun’s rays. If you are comfortable with black runs, you can continue right to the top via the Glacier chairlift. The top of the gondola is another spot where you will see fantastic views of the whole valley and snow covered mountains stretching out into the distance. From here the Lac Blanc and Les Vires pistes are extremely wide allowing you to easily avoid other skiers and pick up some speed.
For freestyle boarders and skiers the snow-park in the plateau sector of Val Thorens is probably the best spot in the three valleys to practice your tricks. It has a series of different size kickers, tables, rails and boxes suitable for all levels from beginner to the expert.