Travel Spotlight

Val Thorens: An Adventure Destination in the French Alps

Part of Les Trois Vallées, which also includes Méribel and Courchevel, the French Alps’s Val Thorens is known for its incredibly varied terrain and vibrant social scene. Built and developed for skiing in the 1970s, Val Thorens—which, perched at nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, is Europe’s highest ski resort—has several lifts and trails that run right through it, making it perfect for ski bums who want to spend all day on the slopes. While Val Thorens does not yet offer a five-star hotel experience, it is ideal for travelers who want excellent terrain, reliable snow and a much more cost-efficient French Alps trip.

Because of its high altitude, Val Thorens receives reliable snowfall and typically has a longer ski season than most destinations. With that, however, comes the disadvantages of being at a high altitude, like low-hanging clouds (which make for poor visibility) and a lack of trees, so the skiing is less picturesque than at other resorts. (It is recommended to ski here with an instructor; contact Indagare to book a guide). But the destination is phenomenal for avid skiers, who will be impressed by the quality of the snow and the huge amount of accessible terrain, which is suitable for all levels of skiers.

Related: Alpine Skiing Guide

While Val Thorens lacks the picturesque charm of, say, Lech, it is known for its après-ski scene and lively nightlife. For post-skiing drinks, favorite après spots include La Folie Douce (piste Plein Sud), 360 Bar (Rue du Soleil) and Frog and Roastbeef (Rue de Gebroulaz). The dining scene is equally well-developed; the Michelin-starred Les Explorateurs by Josselin Jeanblanc (Place du Slalom) is the top pick for foodies, whereas Les Enfants Terribles (Rue du Bouchet), Le Diamant Noir (Rue de Gebroulaz), La Maison Blanche (Rue de Caron) and La Pause (Place Péclet) are suitable for more casual affairs. After dinner, visitors flock to Malaysia (Rue de Caron), the biggest nightclub in the Alps.

Val Thorens has long offered an affordable Alps experience, with well-priced hotels like Altapura (, Koh-i-Nor (, Le Fitz Roy ( and Hotel Pashmina ( For the most upscale experience, La Bouitte, a charming, 15-room hotel that boasts a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, sits 20 minutes outside of Val Thorens. Guests of this property also have access to Saint Martin, a smaller mountain nearby.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a vacation to Val Thorens. Our specialists can book you at the hotel that is right for you and plan great meals and activities.

Published onDecember 14, 2017

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