At 2,300 metres, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe. It boasts prime access to the linked Les Trois Vallées ski area, a vast landscape that includes 600 kilometres of piste, making it the largest linked ski area in the world. From the tiny mountain village of Val Thorens, skiers can test their skills (and their nerves) at Pointe du Bouchet (3,420 metres high), or Cime de Caron, at 3,195 metres. If you’re an adrenaline junkie and heights are no problem, Val Thorens might be just the place for you. Though most well-known for its superior skiing, there are a number of ways you can reach great heights at this Alpine resort.
Cime de Caron Cable Car
At the time of its opening in 1982, the Cime de Caron cable car was the largest cable car in the world, capable of carrying 150 passengers over a vertical incline of 900 metres. When you’re on the cable car travelling up to the summit of Cime de Caron, take a moment (or several) to appreciate the panoramic view of over one thousand Alpine peaks in France, Italy and Switzerland. See if you can spot Mont Blanc through the clouds!
If you’d rather not be hemmed in by walls, try out the zip line to feel the icy mountain air on your face! The line is 1,300 metres long and begins at an altitude of 3,230 metres. As you whiz along, you’re sure to get stunning views of Les Trois Vallées and the surrounding peaks. The one minute and 45-second journey is sure to be one you’ll never forget.
If cable cars and zip lining just won’t satisfy your craving for adrenaline, you might opt for paragliding. Experience the rush that comes from launching yourself off of some of the highest summits in the area and gliding down to meet the snow on skis. Feeling nervous? You’ll be accompanied by a qualified instructor. Still looking for more? Try out the paramotor, a motorised paraglider that will let you climb in altitude and spend even more time in the sky!
How to Get to Val Thorens
If you’re coming by air, the nearest major airport is in Geneva, Switzerland. You can pre-arrange an airport transfer to Val Thorens from Geneva Airport to start your winter adventure as soon as possible. Shuttle Direct can accommodate you, your family and all of your ski gear in a private or shared transfer.
If you’d prefer a scenic drive through the Alps, it’s approximately a twelve-hour journey to Val Thorens from London. The mountain roads can be treacherous and slippery in winter, so you might consider bringing along snow chains for your tyres, in case you get caught in a storm.
Where to Stay
Alp’hotel – Only a twenty-minute drive from Val Thorens, the one star Alp’hotel is nestled in the village of Saint-Martin de Belleville in the Savoie region. Outfitted in rustic, traditional mountain decor, Alp’hotel is a snug place to retire to after a long day out in the cold. Its candle-filled restaurant and balconies decorated with string lights make this little chalet a cheery, cosy place for your ski holiday.
Langley Hôtel Tango – Located only five minutes from two of the ski lifts, the Langley Hôtel Tango is a convenient and contemporary chalet-style hotel. Each room has its own balcony with a stunning view of the surrounding mountains. The hotel is decorated in a comfortable yet modern style, with painted forest designs, dark wood furnishings and sculptured deer poking their heads out from the walls. Enjoy a meal and a chat with other skiers at the restaurant’s long, family-style tables, or cosy up to the fire with a glass of wine from the bar.
Altapura – This plush 5 star hotel in Val Thorens is like a modernised chalet with its sleek wood-panelled walls, large French windows, exposed beams and snow-white feather beds. Any of Altapura’s three restaurants is an excellent choice for a hearty après-ski repast. With equipment hire on site, Altapura is an ideal, luxurious ski base from which to explore Val Thorens.