H2G2 - Skiing - Ski resort - France - Savoie - Les 3 Vallées

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Les 3 Vallées are situated in the southeast of France, to the east of Lyon, near Albertville and the Swiss Border. It consists of 3 valleys: Vallée de Courchevel, Vallée de Méribel and Vallée de Belleville which are really one big ski resort. The main towns in the Vallée de Belleville are Val Thorens (highest elevation), Les Menuires and Saint Martin de Belleville (lowest elevation).

Les Menuires (in Le Vallée de Belleville)
(visited in february 2001)
This town has got excellent ski facilities for the more experienced skier. The beginner hasn't got many choices. There are no grade 1 ski slopes (1 = very easy, 2 = easy, 3 = difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = itinary skiing, 6 = cross-country skiing). And the levels are more difficult then in Austria. But if you are the athletic kind you will manage. Be sure to take your hypergalactic insurance card with you.

There are many skilifts starting from Les Menuires. And they take you everywhere. Be carefull though, because getting in and out of a skilift isn't that easy. Skilifts in Les Menuires are open from approxametly 9:00am - 5:00pm. Always check what time they close. Especially if you have to take one to get back to your chalet.

The town consists of chalets, hotels and concrete appartmentblocks in every price range. It isn't picturesque. Allthough there are a lot of tourists there isn't really an apres-ski night life. Bring your own wine. Although there are a few bars spread around the village.

There are many snowboarders and you can also take snowboard lessons. There is a nice snowboard-piste.

When the skilifts are closed due to the wind and / or snow you can go swimming in a small open air swimming pool with water at 29 degrees centigrade. It is situated in the commercial centre of Les Menuires.

Saint Martin De Belleville (in Le Vallée de Belleville)
(brief visit in february 2001)
It is situated nearest to the valley. So the chance of bad snow or a no show of snow is bigger. There are about two skilifts. This village looks like an older village with not that much highrise buildings. It seems to have a more attractive center with terraces and bars then Les Menuires. It is ideal for a stop halfway during an afternoon of skiing down le Vallée de Belleville.

Meribel Mottaret (in Le Vallée de Méribel)
(brief visit in february 2001)
It seems like a nice village. It has a nice centre with enough apres ski facilities.

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