Sortie_hors-piste-Caron_Lou - T.Loubere OT Val Thorens - 14

Val Thorens: ski hotspot and place-to-be in winter!

No one believed in a ski resort at 2300 meters above sea level until a French real estate developer made it happen. Almost 50 years later, Val Thorens is where France's ski season begins and ends...

2 December 2021

It is thanks to a visionary who recognized the exceptional potential of the place that Val Thorens, or "Val Tho" as it is also known, came into being at all almost 50 years ago: Pierre Schnebelen, a real estate developer, enthusiastically launched a project that was considered almost utopian at the time: the construction of the highest ski resort in Europe. Today, the lifts in Val Thorens run longer than in almost any other resort. Snow is definitely guaranteed from November to the beginning of May, and in a setting that could not be more breathtaking. The resort lies in the middle of an impressive valley basin dominated by six glaciers and eight three-thousand-metre peaks. From the top station of the Cime de Caron, you can look out over countless French, Italian and Swiss mountain peaks surrounding the 3200-metre-high summit before setting off on one of the well-prepared pistes leading towards Orelle or back to "Val Tho".

Tradition instead of functionality

There are no overcrowded buses in Val Thorens, after all, the ski slopes only end at the front doors of the hotels, chalets and apartments. When the resort was built in the early 70s, everything was done to make life as easy as possible for skiers: Parking garages were built, shopping arcades were created for bad weather days, and accommodations were placed next to the lifts. For some years now, there has been a change in thinking: instead of functionality, Alpine cosiness is the order of the day. New buildings have to be constructed in chalet style. What also speaks for the ski region is the wide range of offers for all levels. In addition to a good off-piste offer, there is a snow park including a boardercross course, a 900-meter-long mogul slope and the longest toboggan run in France. In addition, you can also put on your ice skates here recently: A 400 square metre ice rink, "La Patinoire", has recently opened on Place Péclet.

Best of Val Thores: Hotel tips

Hotel Marielle

Hideaway for aesthetes in need of relaxation

Design lovers will immediately be enchanted here: the modern interior design, noticeably inspired by mid-century elegance and a penchant for colours, symmetry and soft lines, invites you to linger. The stylish rooms accommodate two to four guests, making them ideal for holidays with family or friends. The sumptuous hotel bar is also ideal for long evenings in good company, best enjoyed over delicious drinks. A panorama sauna, a steam bath and an extensive range of massages provide moments of relaxation. Double room from € 258,-.

Hotel Marielle****,
Rue du Soleil 327, 73440 Val Thorens, France
T: +33 458 24 00 80

©Fabrice Rambert

Hotel Pashmina

Colourful-luxurious ambience with Special Experience

A colourful mix of colours, shapes and styles gives this cosy five-star hotel its own identity. Dinner at the in-house restaurant "Les Explorateurs" (more info on the right) proves that great masters are at work here. The spa area is equipped with an indoor pool, whirlpool and hammam including mountain views, as well as a gym. Highlight: If you wish, you can spend a night in the hotel's own igloo pod with a view of the starry sky - without TV and WLAN, of course. Double room from € 730,-.

Hotel Pashmina*****,
Place du Slalom, 73440 Val Thorens, France
T: +33 479 000 999

©Gérard Cottet


Scandinavian flair in the French Alps

This light-filled hotel boasts Nordic design, three fantastic restaurants, an entertainment area for children and a cocoon-like atmosphere. In addition to the usual amenities, the spa offers a hammam and a rejuvenating Ice Space. Concierge services are on hand for off-piste leisure planning - and if work does call while on holiday, guests have access to a meeting room and business area. Double room from € 266.

Rue du Bouchet, 73440 Val Thorens, France
T: +33 4 80 36 80 36

©Pascal Tournaire, Tristan Shu

Gourmet highlights

Chalet de la Marine

High up at 2500 metres above sea level, this restaurant overlooking the Belleville Valley combines pleasures for the eyes and the palate. Whether by the fireplace in the chalet or on the terrace with the snow-capped mountains in the background - scallops, oysters and truffles create unforgettable gourmet moments of the French kind.

©Thibaut Loubere

Les Explorateurs

Housed in the luxury hotel "Pashmina", this restaurant where chef Josselin Jeanblanc - awarded a Michelin star - sends guests on a journey of discovery full of emotion. The delicacies he creates, including Japanese Wagyu beef with green lentils on oxtail juice, are at least as unusual as the interior.


Good to Know

Perfect for ...

Beginners and pros, freestylers and party lovers - Val Thorens has the biggest nightclub in the Alps. But also families feel well taken care of in Val Thorens, after all the offer of winter activities is huge.

Route network and lifts

Val Thorens has 32 lifts and a total of 150 kilometres of slopes, including eight black, 30 red, 29 blue and eleven green runs. The higher the altitude, the more difficult the slopes.

Duration of the ski season

Snow is guaranteed from November to May - Val Thorens is the ski resort where the skiing fun in France begins and ends.

Event Tip

During the "Ski & Boarderweek", which takes place in December, more than 15,000 riders celebrate the start of the snowboard season at pro contests, concerts and parties and test the new models.


cooperative laitiere

Cheese lovers should make a point of visiting the award-winning local dairy cooperative. Beaufort cheese, a local speciality, is made here under the strictest of conditions.

©Guare Sak/Shutterstock

Gallery Caron

The Caron shopping centre in the centre of Val Thorens has everything you need for a winter holiday: Ski equipment, elegant and functional winter fashion and souvenirs for those at home.


Ski and snowboard rental

At "Oh Shop Skimium" there is a huge selection of equipment for freeriders, freestylers, short skiers and snowboarders. The latest models of all popular brands are available for rental and are perfectly maintained before each new rental.


This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Winter 2021/22.

Scroll to Top