If you want a piece of the world-beating Three Valleys ski action, but can’t stretch to pricey Courchevel and Méribel, Les Menuires is for you. Down the valley from the super high altitude Val Thorens, Les Menuires is still pretty lofty at 1850m, with pistes on three sides.
There’s ski-in, ski-out accommodation, the centre is compact and convenient, and the lifts are fast and very well placed for getting onto the excellent snow as fast as possible. The resort, together with St Martin-de-Belleville just down the valley, has 160km of its own piste area – varied, snowy, convenient, with something for everyone. Quiet, untracked La Masse on the far side of the valley is a must. But even so, don’t stick to the home slopes. Les Menuires is a base to explore from. Ready? Go!
A bit of a lunar landscape, Les Menuires is just above the treeline and dominated by unlovely 1960s megablocks – apartments above, shops below. Newer waves of development have softened the blow by going for the trad chalet style, but this isn’t the resort for those who need a chocolate-box vista. Look up instead – the mountain scenary is spectacular with sumptuous views of and from the prestigious summits all around. There’s a lot of good-value Savoyard food around, plenty of active and family-friendly things to do in resort, and did we mention the easy access to six hundred kilometers of piste?