Every day leading into the new ski season, we will be highlighting ski resorts from around the world! Today we start with Les Menuires ski resort in France. A popular destination with avid British skiers and snowboards with so much on offer. Whilst your here make sure you check out our fantastic Les Menuires ski resort guide full of useful information to help you make the perfect choice for your next ski holiday! If you are eager to get away make sure you check out of Holiday Offers where you will find some of the best holidays available across the Alps and beyond!
One of the French Alps’ big and busy purpose-built ski resorts, Les Menuires is found in between Val St Martin de Belleville and Val Thorens. A good middle of the range location, it offers great access to the 3 Vallées, with lots for families to come and enjoy both on and off the slopes.
Let’s Talk Skiing in Les Menuires
The Les Menuires piste map has most definitely been underrated in previous times. With over 160km of sunny slopes for visitors to enjoy, skiers of all levels with find something to excite them. The best of the Les Menuires piste is certainly in the Vallée des Belleville. Beginners will find their dedicated nursery slopes in the central Croisette area. Here you’ll find La Violette, which is a fab place once you’ve found your confidence for more of a challenge, quickly followed by the cruisey blues to the south.
Intermediates are probably the luckiest here for their dedicated slopes. There are some great spacious blues that reach from 3 Marches and Col de la Chambre; heading towards the Val Thorens. It’s well worth a run on the Jerusalem piste to the beautiful village of Saint Martin de Belleville. Not to mention some great descents on the Bouquetin and Vallon for some stunning views.
Expert skiers won’t be disappointed here either. Head straight for Pointe de la Masse with its 1000m of speedy vertical drops. And if you’re really looking for a challenge, tick off all of the 3 Vallées challenges. You’ve got Courchevel’s Suisse groomer, Thorens, and not forgetting the infamous Grand Couloir to create some real memories. Looking for mileage under your belt? Head for Orelle and its Combe Rosael run, or Combe de Caron.
The Resort of Les Menuires
Living up to its previous name of ‘The Smile of the Alps’ due to the shape of its semi-circle main complex and its reputation for great sunshine, Les Menuires is a resort that really suits families. So much so that it’s now known as ‘Friendly Menuires’; a name that definitely fits. You’ll find all of the staff and businesses very welcoming here. Slightly more than half of visitors are French, followed by the Brits.
It’s definitely not the picture-postcard view that you might find at other more traditional resorts, due to the 1960s blocks, however there has been a lot of local reinvestment to bring the resort to a more aesthetically pleasing sight. Another great benefit of Les Menuires is that it’s a lot more affordable than other resorts, and you’ll find superb family accommodation and services too – particularly in Reberty and Bruyères too.
Staying in Les Menuires
When you’re considering Les Menuires ski accommodation, there’s a lot of great value options to choose from. There are lots of family apartments and good value studios which are great for those on a budget – be aware that these will be of the ‘no frills’ type. Prices here are particularly good, you can even choose to stay at the 60-pitch motorhome campsite which offers a great deal at €11 per night.
If you’re planning on something a little better, have a look at the Les Clarines by CGH Residences and Spas, they have some attractive apartments that also benefit from an indoor pool. And if you head for Les Bruyères and Reberty, you’ll find the newer chalets here. If you’re looking for Les Menuires hotels, there are some higher class and contemporary style options to choose from including the new Chalet 2000 which has five gorgeous luxury apartments.
Les Menuires Snow Conditions
For Les Menuires weather, you won’t be disappointed. It’s definitely a snowsure resort, with 418 snow cannons to keep the pistes fresh. You’re looking at an average of 3.32 snow days per week with an average of 25.6cm of snow per week. One thing to be aware of is that due to many of the main slopes being south-facing, in can get pretty slushy towards the end of the season. And this adds to the avalanche risk, so if you’re going off piste in Les Menuires, it’s definitely worth checking with an experienced guide prior to setting out.
Les Menuires Resort Life
Now although Les Menuires may not be up there in the top 10 for its looks, it has much going for it as a family ski resort. It attracts a variety of nationalities and has a lot of organised events to enjoy in addition to its services and facilities. We like the fact that it’s not pretentious and offers an all-round good value destination. In fact, it’s often rated as the 3 Vallées’ best-value holiday location. You’ll be able to make use of your Les Menuires lift pass on the fast modern lifts that are available.
There’s lots for off-piste lovers, particularly in the Vallon du Lou and heading towards St Martin de Belleville. For non-skiers in Les Menuires, there’s lots on offer too. You’ll find a good selection of shops here, plus the Les Menuires restaurants and bars are great – and at good value prices.
What’s Good About Les Menuires?
We especially like Les Menuires as a good family base for a value for money ski holiday. With loads of slope-side accommodation to choose from, Les Menuires has also been well thought of, with road traffic well separated. You’ll definitely enjoy the speedy and mostly queue-free access to the huge 3 Vallées areas; no matter what level of skier you are.
But most definitely, one of the key benefits of Les Menuires is its much more affordable price tag in comparison with the other 3 Vallées resorts.
The SnowResort Verdict
Les Menuires is definitely a resort with a traditional French atmosphere. With lots of ski in/ski out accommodation, it’s without a doubt much more wallet-friendly; particularly when compared with the other 3 Vallées big names. You’ll find the locals really friendly and it’s a great location if you’re looking for a gentle and relaxed vibe.
It’s worth bearing in mind that it isn’t the prettiest of locations, including its indoor shopping centres found in the centre of Les Menuires. Due to its popularity, you’ll also find that some of the slopes can get pretty crowded.
If you like the sound of Les Menuires do not forget to check out our fantastic Val Gardena ski resort guide! If you fancy making France your next ski destination then also check out our La Plagne & Les 2 Alpes resort guides.