Les Menuires Ski Resort Guide
Founded in 1964, Les Menuires was unfortunately decked out with high-rise apartment blocks which were popular amongst French architects at the time. Les Menuires was certainly not alone in having its natural mountain beauty somewhat spoilt, but it did fare particularly badly it has to be said. Luckily in recent years the town has matured more sympathetically and efforts have been made to claim back the natural landscape. Older buildings in the centre of the resort have been renovated inside and re-clad on the outside, whilst the suburbs of the town have been developed in a much prettier chalet style.
That being said, Les Menuires is a fantastic base for a holiday in the amazing and enormous Three Valleys (or Trois Vallees) ski area. The purpose-built resort benefits from a prime location in the centre of the interconnected pistes with fantastic connections to the wider area which encompasses Val Thorens, St Martin de Belleville, Meribel & Courchevel. Added to this is a friendly, family-orientated village atmosphere, easy ski lift access and a great range of beginner slopes immediately surrounding the town. The much maligned tower blocks also provide a large range of self-catering apartments which keeps prices to a much more reasonable level than in the majority of other Three Valleys resorts.
Les Menuires is made up of a resort centre in La Croisette along with several smaller satellite villages or suburbs including Reberty and Les Bruyeres. All are connected well by piste and free bus. There are some good facilities including two swimming pools, and the resort restaurants double as mountainside food stops which keeps costs down during the day. The apres-ski and nightlife isn’t particularly lively – but if that is what you are after then there is always neighbouring Val Thorens which has a party atmosphere all night long.
Skiing in Les Menuires
Ski and snowboard holidays in Les Menuires are predominantly going to be about exploring the huge Three Valleys are that surrounds you. From Les Menuires skiers have an amazing base right in the centre of 600km of pistes of varying difficulty. Fast lifts go right from the resort towards Val Thorens on one side and Meribel on the other – and from here the whole area is easily accessible.
However, for the less intrepid skier, Les Menuires itself actually has some of the best pistes in the entire Three Valleys immediately surrounding it. The fast and wide blue and red pistes surrounding the village are best suited to intermediates, but with plenty of runs that are often uncrowded it is a great place for beginners to build their confidence as well.
Recent investment around the town is trying to appeal to more families and as such the quality of on-piste facilities for children has also been improved drastically. There are five different free lifts around the town for those starting out, and the quality of ski schools is excellent. A sledge run, plus beginner-level dual slalom and skicross courses will also be a welcome distraction for families with young children.