Meribel offers some of the best skiing in the French Alps and is a premiere village of the Les 3 Vallées. The resort was the proud host of the 2023 Ski World Championships and made renovations to benefit guests during the competition and with the future of the resort in mind. They replaced the previous tunnel on the Roc de Fer sector to one that is longer and wider, so competitors have their own route away from crowds. Guests will still be able to ski all the legendary terrain in that sector as well as take in the fantastic views of the French Alps.
Meribel features loads of lodging, hotels and modern accommodations, all while preserving the charm of a French mountain village. When you aren’t skiing, try their signature après experience at the 6,561 feet altitude La Folie Douce—the bar provides an unforgettable party complete with live performances from singers and musicians, club-like atmosphere and plenty of food and drinks to celebrate the end of a memorable day on the mountain.
If you’re in search of activities once the lifts stop running, you can try dog sledding, snowshoeing, nighttime sledging, ice skating and more. The nightlife in Meribel is also astounding in case the description of La Folie Douce didn’t give that away, with plenty of live music, fine dining and clubbing to be found depending on what you’re in the mood for.
in ski-in, ski-out Chalet Alya for a luxurious and private stay while being only minutes from the center of the village.
by flying into Geneva or Lyon International airports, both only a two-hour drive away.
over 55 miles of cross-country skiing trails in the Altiport forest surrounded by tall pine trees.
yourself to a moment to recharge with essential oil, Shiatsu or even outdoor massages for embracing the alpine scenery while diving into relaxation.
at a top elevation of 9,685 feet at Meribel and while exploring the 400+ miles of terrain you’ll have access to in Les 3 Vallées.
family nights at the Parc Olympique ice rink for broom ball contests and ice games or at the 6-lane bowling alley for some friendly competition.
Savoyard specialties at one of the many gourmet restaurants, with unique creations from fresh ingredients by their residing chefs.
a boost in adrenaline with a paraglider flight for breathtaking views above Les 3 Vallées.
The best-known parts of the terrain at Meribel are from the areas where iconic ski competitions were held. There’s La Face, an Olympic downhill run that held the women’s events from the 1992 Albertville Games, a steep black run that stretches out allowing you to let your skis run. There’s also the Roc de Fer, the site of the 2015 World Cup Finals and the 2023 FIS World Ski Championships. This run is nearly 2.5 km long and is iconic for changes in pace, cambered sections and a steep wall at the very end. Expert skiers will be thrilled to face the challenging terrain, but for newer skiers and families there are also dedicated areas for beginners.
Kids especially will appreciate the themed runs in Meribel, Mottaret and Altiport, running into characters in Yeti Park or on the Animal or Frozen Trail while practicing their turns. The resort suggests planning out your terrain for the day by following the sun—starting on one side of the valley, breaking for lunch and then switching to the other. You’ll find fresh snow until early afternoon on the west-facing Col de la Loze, La Saulire and Pas du Lac runs which are shaded throughout the morning.
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Longest RunCombe du Vallon
Meribel is an excellent destination for beginners, with plenty of gentle slopes to learn and practice on. The resort has several dedicated areas for novice skiers, such as the Altiport and the Rond-Point des Pistes. The Altiport has wide, slow-paced slopes that are perfect for beginners to gain confidence on. Meanwhile, the Rond-Point des Pistes has a range of easy runs, including the green Lapin piste, which is an ideal starting point for new skiers.
The resort is globally known for excellent skiing conditions in the heart of the French Alps and its high altitude which ensures fresh snow for most of the season. Meribel has several dedicated areas for beginners, including the Altiport and the Rond-Point des Pistes, and a range of runs for intermediate and advanced skiers. The village is also famous for its lively après-ski scene, which offers a range of dining and entertainment options for visitors.
The resort has numerous bars, nightclubs and restaurants to choose from, with some venues hosting live music and DJs. Meribel's après-ski scene is so popular that it has even been described as the "Ibiza of the Alps." With its exceptional skiing opportunities, stunning mountain scenery, and vibrant après-ski scene, Meribel is a favorite winter holiday destination among skiers and non-skiers alike.
Meribel Tourism mentions a few months throughout the ski season they recommend as being best to visit. The first is mid-late December if you’re looking for a destination holiday towards the beginning of the season. Next up is February if you’re trying to experience some mid-season snow, and lastly April when they typically have the most availability, despite European and American holidays falling that month.
Of course, you also get the climates that coincide with these months, visit in December for the most winter wonderland-esque experience, or opt for February and April for more sunshine and spring temperatures. Ski.com’s Mountain Travel Experts can help you create a memorable vacation and decide when to visit.
Meribel and Courchevel both offer excellent skiing and environments off the mountain; all it comes down to is what you’re looking for. To begin with, they’re on opposite sides of Saulire Peak with Courchevel facing the north and in the shadow of the mountain, preserving quality snow conditions throughout the season. Meribel soaks up more sunshine than Courchevel, and at a lower altitude it can have more variable snow conditions, particularly in the early and late season.
Between the two, Meribel has a more laid-back vibe, like what you’d expect for a standard ski town. Courchevel on the other hand specializes in everything luxury, like encouraged champagne toasts during après hours. Our team at Ski.com will walk you through both resorts, since one is not necessarily better than the other, just perhaps a better fit for what you’re looking for.
Overpriced and terrible foodGreat location if the property but way too overpriced, especially for the size of the rooms you get. Dinners are overpriced too and very low quality and not a good selection
Ski vacationCharming town with amazing skiing, conditions were awesome. Mountain was one of the best we have skied. We will definitely go back.
Huge Terrain and Some of the Best Nighlife in the Alps!Good
Meribel is located between Val Thorens and Courchevel, putting it at the heart of Les Trois Vallees, the largest ski area in the world. Naturally, this provides the area with direct access to more terrain than most mortals could ski in a lifetime and unbelievable views from just about any point within its boundaries.
Whereas Val Thorens seems to focus a bit more on the skiing alone and Courchevel puts emphasis on high-end lodging and fine dining, Meribel is focused on the younger generation and is the nightlife epicenter of the area. As we moved around the resort it seemed we there was always a party or concert within arms reach, even while on the slopes (i.e. la Folie Douce). This area features every kind of nighttime entertainment and manages to spread it out so you are never far from the party.
Before I scare off anyone that values their sleep I should mention that the village does spread out both up the slopes and away from the village's core, providing a number of lodging options that sit outside of earshot of the aforementioned entertainment options. It also includes a plenty of family-friendly dining options and activities. The final thing worth noting is the area also features a number of chalets at far lower rates than are available in neighboring Courchevel and a great option for families and groups looking to all stay together at a more reasonable rate. I personally was very surprised by the size of these homes, along with their amenities and beautiful modern French country décor. These homes feature full kitchens (and private chef options) and do sit far enough outside of the core that guests can completely ignore the village area if so desired.
All in all, I would characterize Meribel primarily as the young person's access point to the largest and widest variety of terrain in the French Alps. It can work for families and couples though Val Thorens or Courchevel are generally going to be safer choices.