Why Méribel is the queen of ski resorts
Heart of the Trois Vallées
Méribel is situated in the picture-postcard Bozel valley, part of the Tarentaise national park. It's right at the heart of the Three Valleys - the largest linked lift network on the planet, boasting 339 downhill skiing pistes stretching over 600 km, 163 ski lifts and over 2000 snow canons and Europe’s highest resort, Val Thorens. The area is ideal for all ski levels, with groomed runs catered to beginner (15%), intermediate (70%) and advanced (15%) skiers, plus a large range of off-piste opportunities too.
A station of beautiful villages
Méribel is comprised of a lively main village (Méribel Centre) and a number of well-connected surrounding satellites, including Méribel Village, Mottaret, Chandon, and our personal favourite, Les Allues. Whilst the snow can be superior in neighbouring Courchevel and Val Thorens, Méribel’s fast lifts can get you to the best slopes quickly. Unlike other purpose-built French resorts, Méribel is more traditional in style. The station was founded by Scottish Colonel Peter Lindsay, in 1938, who was one of many skiing Brits who were seeking a place to ski outside of Austria which was becoming increasingly fascist in the inter-war years. He had a vision to work with the local farming community to introduce skiing to the area, in a sensitive way. The result, over 80 years later, is a thriving picture-postcard setting in arguably the best ski area in the world.
Why choose Meribel Les Allues
Les Allues, just below the Méribel Centre, is the original medieval village where Peter Lindsay was based, and it has remained the "chef lieu" municipal centre with a large Marie, serving the Bozel Valley. It has the largest year-round population in the valley, with a 2000-strong permanent mixed Anglo-French community, making it the ideal destination for all mountain lovers, any time of the year. Les Allues has a number of amenities and facilities that are open in all seasons and a fascinating culture and history dating back to medieval times, set around St Martin's Church and the old village bread oven. There is a small museum by the church, open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, where you can learn more about the village's history and Peter Lindsay, Meribel's founding father. The village has a groceries shop (Sherpa) and a ski rental shop (Skimium), both open 7/7, and bars and restaurants which are open all year-round. The Olympe gondola lift whisks you from the village straight to Méribel Chaudanne, the meeting point for all connecting lifts up into Méribel as well as Courchevel and Val Thorens.
Rent a chalet to experience real village life
So it's clear that I'm a fan of Méribel and of Les Allues. Time to come clean - I was first introduced to Méribel aged in my 20's, in 2004, when I was living in nearby Geneva and decided to join some friends to give skiing a go for the first time. I instantly fell in love - with the skiing, the valley, and with Méribel itself. So it's true that I have some bias here, for which I make no apology! Like many others, I became an avid fan of the area, returning many times over the years. My love for this wonderful part of the world has deepened in recent times, and I am now the proud owner of a rustic traditional chalet in Les Allues. Undergoing painstaking and loving renovations to a 4* standard in 2020, the chalet is open for the 2020/21 season and vous seriez les bienvenus! Take a look around at www.la1150.com and you'd be my welcome guest if you'd like to stay.