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Today we are going to take you onto the ski slopes of Meribel for the perfect ski day with our partner ski school, New Generation Ski and Snowboard School.

Meribel is a fantastic resort in the heart of the Three Valleys, France. Its location is ideal as it’s in the middle of a vast ski area with prestigious resorts like Courchevel and Val Thorens. It also neighbours quaint villages like St Martin de Belleville, and the family friendly resort of La Tania.

The terrain is endless, and you’ll never have time to explore it all in one week. Meribel is a party pleaser of a resort for large groups, as it caters to first-time skiers, advanced skiers, non-skiers, and everyone in between!

Let’s Go

A perfect ski day in Meribel would start with blue skies, fresh snow and coffee. If you’re staying in Meribel Centre, there are multiple places to grab breakfast and a coffee.  La Taverne is right opposite the tourist office on the corner, which serves English breakfast and great coffee. There is also a bakery across the road if you want to ‘grab and go’.

Our ski and snowboard lessons start in Meribel Centre, on the snowfront called the Chaudanne. Our ski school meeting point is just beside Tougnette 1 bubble, so first, we need to pick up our guests around 9am.

Where are we Heading First?

Depending on our guests, we might take the Legends chairlift up and do a warm-up on Eterlou – a consistent, well-groomed red run suitable for more intermediate skiers. It’s a favourite of ours due to its aspect. The snow is always good as it’s in the shade for longer.

If we have beginners, we’ll head up Rhodos and make our way to the Altiport, where the terrain is gentle. It’s the ideal place to learn as there’s plenty of space and it’s away from the crowds.

If we’re skiing with kids, we’ll start the day at the Altiport, where there are many significant areas for kids. The piste des animaux is an interactive experience where kids can high-five animations whilst skiing, slide over boxes and ring bells above their heads. There are also cut-out shapes for them to ski through and areas where they can stop for a break and play in the Inuits area.

For more experienced skiers, we’d take the Tougnette up and check out which pistes look too good to miss, depending on the conditions.

Best Ski Slopes Before a Mid Morning Break

We’d ski over to Mont Vallon at the top of Meribel Mottaret for more advanced intermediates. The views over the Glacier de Bourge and Glacier de Gebrolaz from the top are stunning and are a fantastic photo opportunity. Combe du Vallon and Campagnol are the two red runs that stream back down to the bottom of the lift. On a fresh snow day, there are some fantastic natural features on the sides of the runs to play and dip in and out of the runs.

For those more experienced, Alouette over towards Cote Brune is an understated red run to add to your list. It’s at the top of Bouqetin chairlift and is another run that gets missed. Making it ideal for practising turns away from the crowds of Meribel Centre.

Options for your Morning Coffee Stop

If you’ve got cash to splash and want a dash of rum in your coffee, then Maya Altitude is the place for you. With a Porsche in a glass box outside and a DJ on the deck, it’s a trendy place to enjoy your hot chocolate. Technically, it’s more in St Martin de Belleville than Meribel, but we had to mention it as the interiors are vibrant, and there’s nowhere else like it.

Castors is an excellent restaurant for a warm drink for skiing with your family. Their hot chocolates come with a mountain of whipped cream and sprinkles to keep the kids energised! It’s also beside our meeting point, so it’s ideal for a snack before or after a ski lesson.

For beginners or intermediate skiers exploring the Altiport area, the Rhododendrons restaurant at the top of the Altiport chairlift is perfect for taking refuge. They have a self-serve style lunch and a big terrace that gets sun all afternoon.

If you decide to explore Alouette, the Bouche L’Oreille is one of our favourite places. Get there by taking the bouquetin chairlift up. Technically, it’s Les Menuires, but it’s a fantastic place for a coffee and a sweet treat. Their crepes and waffles are delicious!

Now Time for a Ski Adventure

If you’re up for an adventure and an advanced skier, you can have a brilliant time down the Villages red run, which you can take from the top of Olympic chair. First, take Daquet (also a red run), which flows onto Villages, meandering through some lower villages and ending in Les Allues. From there, you can take the free bus back to the resort. We love this run as it’s lesser known, meaning fewer people and more fun! But it’s only good for a week with fresh snow. So keep this one in mind, depending on the weather.

If your legs feel good and you’re up for a challenge before lunch, we recommend Bartavelle, a black run from the top of Roc de Tougne. It’s a long moguls run, which will have your thighs burning! We find it quite addictive, as you get a bit better each time you do it. So, keep practising, and you’ll find your flow.

Recommendations for Lunch

After all that skiing, it must be time for lunch. If you took on the challenge of the bumpy black run Bartavelle, you’re in luck, as there is a restaurant at the bottom of the bumps called Chalet Tonia. It’s a cute, cosy chalet serving traditional Savoyard-style food at 2100m altitude. It has a bar open for drinks to warm you up, snacks for anyone on the go and a restaurant with seasonal and homemade recipes. We enjoy lunch on the sunny terrace or by the fireplace and red plaid curtains inside.

If you’re looking for a special lunch closer to Meribel Centre that is also suitable for non-skiers, we recommend the Clos Bernard. It’s truly a magical place, which you can walk or ski to in the woods. If you’re walking, it’s just 10 minutes from the Altiport (and if you don’t fancy walking, the horse and carriage can pick you up and whisk you off along the snowy track to lunch).

To ski there, take the start of the Piste des Animaux (from the Loze Express chairlift) and follow the marked signs for Clos Bernard. The path through the woods is suitable for all levels. You can also ski out and descend to Meribel village. Check out the Clos Bernard menu.

The Clos Bernard has a cauldron of vin chaud over a firepit by the entrance and an open kitchen with various traditional Savoyard dishes to devour. It’s where you feel truly in the middle of nowhere, and you can relax and enjoy the charming atmosphere in the middle of the woods.

Taking it Easy After Lunch

We enjoy some long, winding blue runs in the afternoons. One of our favourite blue runs in Meribel is Ours, which begins at the bottom of Mont Vallon and brings you back into Meribel-Mottaret. From the base, if you head up on the Platieres bubble, you can explore the other blue runs in the area, such as Sitelle, Martre and Jn’bee, a fun run like a mini-bordercross. Super fun for both adults and kids!

Another firm favourite piste in the Meribel Valley is Lac de la Chambre, a blue run down from the top of the Cote Brune chairlift. It meanders down the valley and feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere — a truly wild experience.

Time for Some Après Ski?

Meribel is famous for its après ski. Particularly La Folie Douce, an open-air nightclub on the mountain sitting at 2100m altitude. It has a colossal DJ booth overlooking the enormous deck with large tables you can dance on in your ski boots. Tunes are blasting, smoke machines are pumping, and dancers are doing acrobats beside you as you enjoy a drink. If you look up, you’ll see champagne on pulleys going out over the crowd to the VIP area and paragliders swooping down over the terrace. It is a truly unforgettable experience – not to be missed. Add this to your notes ASAP.

After la Folie Douce, you can ski down to the Rond Point, back towards Meribel Centre. Or you can down load on the Sauliere Express. We recommend downloading if you’ve had too many drinks, as the piste can be carnage! The Rond Point is another bar with a large terrace with DJs performing regularly. They sell jugs of beer, and it gets lively, so if you like to party, we’d recommend stopping at the Rond Point (French for roundabout) around 4pm!

Other bars to mention that put on live music are LDV (Lodge du Village) in Meribel Village and O’Sullivan (Sullys for short), which is more of a club for those who like to party late into the night (or morning!).

Suppose you’ve just finished a ski lesson with us and found yourself back at the Chaudanne where you started. Walk across the snow front toward the town and pop into Jacks for a drink. They usually have a great afternoon atmosphere, with live music to enjoy as you laugh about the day’s adventures. Jack’s is also a good stop for breakfast and coffee before you hit the slopes first thing in the morning.

Ready for your Prefect Ski Day?

Why not come and explore Meribel with us. We hope this guide has given you a better idea of what you can expect from a ski holiday to Meribel. If you’re looking for ski or snowboard lessons for your trip then New Generation Ski School is Luxury Chalet Book’s ski school partner.

Luxury Chalet Book’s in-house concierge team will be delighted to assist you with booking either group ski lessons or a private instructor for your next chalet holiday in Meribel.

Images courtesy of:

© OT Meribel (Lead & Clos Bernard)

© New Generation Ski and Snowboard School

© Luxury Chalet Book

Luxury Chalets in Meribel

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