Val Thorens travel guide

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Visit Val Thorens (Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, France)

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Val Thorens is a ski resort in the French Alps: the closest major towns are Chambery to the north-west and Grenoble to the west of here.

The resort at Val Thorens receives more than 300 000 visitors each year, making it one of the busiest ski resorts in the world.

Explore Val Thorens

The resort is purpose built, developed largely during the 1970's, and is at the high altitude of 2300 metres. Val Thorens promotes itself as being 'the highest ski resort in Europe', with skiing taking place at up to 3200 metres altitude.

As a result the ski season is longer here than in many, lower altitude, resorts and typically lasts from November until the middle of May. The high altitude also means the resort has easy access to impressive ski slopes which surround the resort and is among some of the very finest scenery in the Alps.

resort of Val Thorens

In general the easier ski runs are very close to the village in Val Thorens and the more challenging slopes a little further.

The altitude and the surrounding slopes mean there are ample and varied ski opportunities for those of all levels and capabilities, and is suitable for both families and for more experienced skiers. You are already spoiled for choice here by the mountains and glaciers that surround Val Thorens with more than 75 different designated ski runs, while the Trois Vallées region as a whole has more than 600 kilometres of ski runs available.

Numerous off-piste opportunities are also accessed from Val Thorens. As well as skiing you will find many other related activities such as a six kilometre luge run (the longest in France) and an area for children and numerous others such as night-time excursions and mountain biking on the snow. One of the most unusual is the chance to have lessons in car driving on ice!


In common with some other ski resorts, Val Thorens has established itself as an attractive destination by focussing on buildings in the local architecture and chalet style and the resort is very good at giving you the feeling of being in a true Alpine village (even if some of the apartment blocks are rather larger and less 'chalet style' than you might hope).

The town has lots of shops, boutiques, bars and more than 50 restaurants, many accessed directly on your skis, and suitable for all budgets along with spas, discos and other places to relax. Val Thorens is also largely pedestrianised - great for enjoyment and the environment, but you will need to pay for the 24 hour parking. As you would expect of a major resort facilities for après-ski and nighttime entertainment are also extensive.

There are also free buses between the villages that make up the resort: Val Thorens, Saint Martin and des Menuires.

mountains above Val Thorens

Like most of the major ski resorts, Val Thorens is also open in July and August for those who prefer summer activities in the mountains such as hiking, cycling, climbing and mountain biking or fishing, rafting, tennis, archery...

Enthusiastic cyclists might like to arrive by bike using the route from Moutiers that the Tour de France followed in 1994. During the 36 kilometres of cycling you will gain nearly 1900 metres in altitude with gradients up to 9%. I didn't say it would be easy!

Attrations nearby

Val Thorens is in the 'Three valleys' ski region towards the west of the Vanoise National Parc. The Three Valleys region, with Meribel and Courchevel, is the largest Alpine Ski region in Europe, so if you need a change from Val Thorens there are plenty more opportunities close to hand.

You can find more travel ideas in the Savoie guide and the Rhone-Alpes guide.

See also: 

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Courchevel, ski resort in the 'Three Valleys region', is also popular with summer mountain visitors

Courchevel guide


Part of the extensive 'Trois Vallées' ski region, Meribel is extremely popular and has many activities available

Meribel guide
Vanoise National Park

Vanoise National Park

The stunning mountain scenery in the Vanoise National Park ensure its year around popularity with outdoor enthusiasts

Vanoise National Park guide


The low-rise buildings and traditional materials help preseve the charm of the ski resort of Valmorel

Valmorel guide


The picturesque mountain village of Nevache is well placed to explore the scenic Vallée de la Clarée

Nevache guide


The ski resort of Tignes is made up of several smaller, interconnected villges

Tignes guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Savoie

Address: Val Thorens, Moûtiers, Albertville, Rhone-Alpes, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.2981, longitude 6.58

Plan your visit to Val Thorens, Savoie

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne: recommended detour (18 km)
  • Aiguilles d'Arves: site of natural beauty (27 km)
  • Col de la Croix-de-Fer: site of natural beauty (30 km)
  • Jardin alpin du Lautaret: remarkable garden (34 km)
  • La Grave: most beautiful village (35 km)
  • Vallee de la Claree: grand site of france (37 km)
  • Bonneval: most beautiful village (37 km)
  • Col de l'Iseran: site of natural beauty (38 km)
  • La Meije: site of natural beauty (39 km)
  • Albertville: town of art and history (44 km)
  • Briancon: secteur sauvegarde (44 km)
  • Briancon fortifications (Vauban fortifications): heritage site (44 km)

The French version of this page is at Val Thorens (Francais)