© Refuge de la Traye
© Gemma Hunt
© Meribel Air Show
Activities in Meribel
Discover the top Meribel activities
The main draw for people coming to Meribel in winter is, of course, skiing and snowboarding in the vast Meribel & Three Valleys area. However, there’s a whole host of other activities to do in Meribel in the summer as well as in the winter. So, whether you're just looking for something to do when the lifts close or you simply don't ski, we promise you you'll have no time to get bored here!
Meribel is an outdoor activities paradise. The Alpine town and its surrounding mountains offer hundreds of things to do for every ability and every age. Some activities are perfect for solo travellers while others are more suited to romantic couples. Families and groups will also find a wide range of things to do in Meribel. From relaxing to full on adrenaline, from child friendly to adults only, from outdoor fun to bad weather indoor activities, there is something for everyone in Meribel.
Top things to do in Meribel
Below are our three favourite activities in Meribel but there are plenty more to choose from. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration – you'll see that there are plenty of alternatives to skiing and snowboarding in Meribel.
1. Winter sports, skiing & snowboarding: Skiing and snowboarding are probably the most popular activities in the Mottaret. But we're not talking about lift-assisted, downhill skiing and snowboarding only – there's a whole host of activities that involve boards strapped onto your feet including ski touring and split boarding, cross-country skiing or telemarking. But there's much more than just skiing and snowboarding in Meribel in the winter. The Mottaret mountains are the perfect setting to go snowshoeing and husky-dog sledging, while the ice skating rinks in Meribel town centre will keep the whole family entertained.
2. Mountain biking: Meribel attracts hundreds of enduro and downhill biking aficionados every summer to its almost 100 km of tracks that meander through lush forests to reach stunning mountaintops with breathtaking views. An experience not to be missed!
3. Walking, hiking & running: In the summer, the Mottaret pistes turn into meadows and deep-forested trails to explore on foot. From easy valley strolls to gruelling trail running climbs, everyone can explore the Meribel valley's beautiful sunny landscapes.
Climbing in Meribel
Like most of the Alps, Meribel is a great place to go rock climbing. Experienced climbers can tackle the mountainside rock and enjoy the fantastic views (just make sure you have all the right gear and safety equipment). While there are a number of adventure companies and mountain guides who can take you out on your first climb and show you the 'ropes'.
How much does it cost to go rock climbing in Meribel? Rock climbing course prices in Meribel start at around €45 per person for a half-day group lesson and up to €400 for a full-day climbing private guide.
If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary, then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain. This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. Following marked routes through the mountains, you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. Suitable for adults and children over the age of eight.
How much does it cost to try out Via Ferrata in Meribel? You can hire all the essential equipment, including helmet, harness and "cows tails" at most sports shops in resort – it'll set you back around €20. If you're a beginner, you should also book a mountain guide or instructor. Prices for Via Ferrata group lessons in Meribel start at around €45, with private guides charging around €220 for a half-day.
For the true mountain enthusiast, why not scale an amazing frozen waterfall or glacier? This is a fantastic sport, not just for experienced mountaineers. The ice climbing season peaks between December and March. You can either go with a guide from an adventure company in Meribel or you'll need to know what you are doing and bring your own kit.
How much does ice climbing cost in Meribel? Ice climbing prices in Meribel start at around €250 for a half-day group course.
Mountaineering & mountain climbing
The summits and ridges of the region make fantastic terrain to discover ski mountaineering. The quantity of snow in winter usually requires using touring skis for the approach hike, which means ending the outing by a really enjoyable downhill run.
How much does it cost to climb mountains in Meribel? Local mountain guides offer formulas for all skill levels, from beginner mountaineers to expert climbers. Private guiding prices start at around €400 per day.
If you don't fancy climbing outdoors, or you're new to climbing and want to give it a go in an indoor centre, then Meribel has somewhere for you to go. Climbing equipment is normally provided, or you can bring your own and insurance is normally needed before you hit the climbing wall.
Culture and guided tours in Meribel
If you want to know more about the Meribel Valley's history and traditions, head to the Musée des Allues, open in the winter season 14:00-18:30.
The Nature Reserve of Plan de Tueda was created in 1990 and goes from Tueda Lake to the Gebroulaz glacier via the refuge Le Saut and along the Doron stream. It features a marked botanical trail showcasing more than 100 varieties of local flora. It is also the home of the black grouse, a threatened species of bird.
Cycling and mountain biking in Meribel
The bike park in Meribel offers trails of all levels, from greens to blacks, including downhill pistes, enduro itineraries and cross-country courses.The variety of terrain ensures that everyone, from beginners to expert and pro-level downhill and freeride riders, can get many days riding on trails suited to their preferences and ability level.
How much does it cost to go mountain biking in Meribel? Mountain bike prices in Meribel depend on what you need. For bike hire – renting a hardtail or full-suspension mountain bike for a day starts at around €70, and about €350 for a seven-day electric mountain bike hire. Finally, you may want to get a private guide to show you around the local trails – expect to pay around €45 per hour.
Riding in the Alps is much more demanding than your favourite local route back in the UK. The roads around Meribel are the setting for some of the most gruelling sections of the Tour de France, but they can be tackled by enthusiasts as well as professionals. To gain the most from your riding in the area it goes without saying you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. You do not need to be a super human, but the ability to ride comfortably for up to 3-4 hours in the UK should see you enjoy the mountain routes.
How much does it cost to go cycling in Meribel? Once more, cycling prices in Meribel are a matter of your personal wants and needs. If you've brought your bike with you, then you can just get on the road and challenge your fitness as you climb some of the Alps most famous mountain 'cols' at no cost. Those in need of wheels will be glad to know that renting a carbon road bike starts at around €45 per day.
Fishing in Meribel
Meribel, like all the Alpine regions, is a paradise for fishing. You can fish at the Tueda Lake, full of rainbow trout, but bear in mind that half of the lake is reserved for no-kill fly-fishing using barbless hooks. You must ensure that you have the correct fishing permit and are aware of the local fishing regulations.
Fitness and swimming in Meribel
A public gym & fitness classes can be found at the main sports centre in Meribel, and a number of hotels also have their own facilities to keep you trim while you're on holiday.
Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Meribel. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. In summer and winter you should be able to find somewhere to take a dip, so don't forget your towel and your swimming costume or shorts.
Flying in Meribel
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up! Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snowcapped mountain tops, glaciers and Alpine forests.
How much does it cost to explore Meribel by helicopter? Helicopter tours in Meribel start at around €100 per person for a 10-minute flight.
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Meribel is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France & Switzerland, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the mountain tops you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep you airborne for longer.
How much does a tandem paragliding flight cost in Meribel? Anyone can take part in a tandem paragliding flight, even if you've never paraglided before. You'll be attached to an instructor who'll take care of the wing, so you just need to relax and enjoy the views. Tandem flights start at around €90.
One of the best ways to take the spectacular mountain scenery from a different point of view is on a hot-air balloon. There are activity companies in Meribel offering balloon rides, which usually take up half a day including preparation and inflation.
Golf in Meribel
Méribel has an 18-hole course along the wooded slopes beneath the Dent de Burgin. It has a large 1100 m2 putting green, a chipping green, a bunker and a 40 station practice range. You can hire a buggy, electric trolley and manual trolley.
There is a 12-hole crazy golf course in the centre of Méribel-Mottaret. One round, with all equipment included, costs around €4.
Horse riding in Meribel
The Three Valleys offers a wide expanse of spectacular terrain on which you can saddle up and go exploring. There are a wide range of trails and routes waiting to be explored in Meribel and what better way to explore them than on horse back.
There is a horse-riding centre at the Bois d'Arbin open every day, all year round. They also offer private and group riding lessons, as well as pony rides for small children.
Indoor activities in Meribel
Bowling is a great group activity in both summer and winter, or when the weather's too bad to go outside.
Catch the latest films and releases in Meribel on your holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Skiing and snowboarding in Meribel
Downhill skiing & snowboarding
Lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities in Meribel. So much so that we could write several guides dedicated to them... and, in fact, we have! Take a look at our Ski Areas, Pistes and Parks Guide where you'll not only find a lot of information on the Meribel ski area but also links to many other articles: Ski Lifts Guide, Best Pistes Guide, Snowparks Guide, Beginner Ski Areas Guide, Advanced Ski Areas Guide, Off-Piste Ski Areas Guide, Ski Itineraries Guide and even a guide on the best places to go skiing when the weather is bad.
However, lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding aren't the only things you can do in Meribel while having a pair of skis or a board strapped to your feet.
Get back to nature and explore the lovely tranquil cross-country ski trails. There are two different techniques – classic and skating. Classic is the easiest for beginners; you simply place your skis in two parallel grooves, push off and glide around the trails. Skating is more energetic and a slightly harder skill to grasp; you push your feet out to either side as though you are ice skating and use your poles simultaneously to gain momentum. You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops and book a group or private lesson to learn the basics from most ski schools or private instructors. A number of adventure companies also offer cross-country skiing guiding, tours and lessons too. Find your way around with the cross country skiing maps.
How much does it cost to go cross-country skiing in Meribel? You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops in Meribel, with cross-country rental prices starting at around €15 per day. You may also want to book a group or private lesson to learn the basics, in which case prices start at around €180 for a six-day group lesson. Finally, to access the higher trails you'll need a lift pass. Cross-country skiers can purchase pedestrian passes starting at around €7 for a single trip and up to €80 for six days.
Ski touring & split boarding
Whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down or tackling a backcountry route, ski touring and split boarding allow you to get off the beaten path while working a sweat up the slopes. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around or, if you've got all the necessary knowledge, you can head out in your own group.
How much does it cost to go ski touring or split boarding in Meribel? It depends. Ski touring prices in Meribel range between €60 per day if you’re only renting the gear and around €400 if you’re also getting a guide for the day to help you explore the backcountry. Of course, if you already have the equipment and the local knowledge, ski touring in Meribel is free!
Heliskiing & heliboarding
Heli-skiing is not permitted in France but there are a couple of companies in Meribel offering panoramic helicopter rides that include heliskiing. They pick you up in resort and take you over the border into Italy or Switzerland from where you will ski down accompanied by a mountain guide. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
How much does it cost to go heliskiing in Meribel? Perhaps unsurprisingly, heliskiing is one of the most expensive activities on this list – after all, you’re swapping the lifts for your very own helicopter! Prices start at around €300 per person and include the helicopter ride and a guide to go with you as you ski down the remotest areas in Meribel.
Modern winter biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting that tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Meribel you can try your hand at this Olympic sport. If you like cross-country skiing but want to add another challenge, then biathlon is the perfect way to escape into the natural, quiet surrounding mountains and then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one, but it's fun all the same.
How much does it cost to try out biathlon in Meribel? Biathlon lessons usually start at around €150 for a half-day and they include all the equipment but for the cross-country ski rental, which starts at around €15 per day.
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier – you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow.
How much does it cost to try out speed riding in Meribel? Beginner speed riding lessons usually start at around €100 for a half-day group lesson and they include the wing but not the ski hire – high-end ski hire for advanced skiers starts at around €30 per day in Meribel. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski... whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Meribel that offers this service.
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached into the binding at the toe, so to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
How much does it cost to go telemarking in Meribel? It depends. Telemarking prices in Meribel range between around €40 if you’re only buying a ski pass for a day, plus around €70 if you’re adding one-day gear rental, and around €90 if you’re also getting a private instructor for an hour to teach you the basics.
Where to go to jib, bonk, spin and pop in the 3 Valleys. The Big Air Bag which used to be located in the Area 43 snow park has now been moved to the centre of Mottaret. Take some gnarly leaps off the jump and land on the air bag, the perfect place to practice those big jumps and tricks without having a crash landing on snow. Fun for beginners who are just starting jumping and experts to practice their tricks and skills. Head to any of the S3V lift pass offices for more information and enjoy the big air bag open every afternoon and apres ski.
Inuit village for children
The Inuit village is composed of whoops, banked turns and slaloms. You will also find a number of fun and enjoyable inuit themed games and a children's entertainer is on hand all season to offer activities to your little ones. The perfect place for your children to enjoy some safe and fun beginner skiing. Access is from the Altiport chairlift or the Rhodos gondola. Located on the Altiport area near the green pistes.
Snow and ice activities in Meribel
Raquette à Neige or Snow shoeing in and around Meribel is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions or for non-skiers. Don't forget to wear comfortable and waterproof boots. Either set out on your own, or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and explore the hidden parts of the ski area. Grab a trail map from the Tourist Office and head off on your own adventure. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go.
How much does snowshoeing cost in Meribel? If you don't know the local area well, we recommend you get a private guide or join a group on a snowshoe expedition – it may seem safer than skiing but you'll be exploring backcountry trails where the avalanche danger is high so it's better to go with someone who knows what they're doing. These outings start at around €30 for a half-day. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, but you can also hire them from most ski hire shops in Meribel starting at around €10 per day.
Husky dog rides
Be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths in winter. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, you set off following the guide’s team. If this all sounds a bit much you can opt for a less physical outing where you sit in the sled and the guide does all the hard work! It's a very popular winter activity, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is a must. They run from early December to the end of April (snow-permitting).
How much do husky rides cost in Meribel? Husky-dog ride prices in Meribel start at around €100 for a half-day, with discounts for kids.
In Meribel you can enjoy ice skating! It's a fun thing to do with the family, or in a group if you want to do something a little bit different for apres ski. Perfect for children and families and those who just want to enjoy the beautiful mountain views whilst playing around on some skates. There may be one or more ice skating rinks in Meribel, find out where the ice skating rinks are and enjoy some icy outings!
How much does it cost to go ice skating in Meribel? A single entry to the ice rink in Meribel is around €4, with skate hire costing around the same.
This is one winter activity that doesn't require a lot of expensive equipment, just grab your sledge and head for the nearest snow-covered hill!
How much does it cost to go sledging in Meribel? You can rent a sledge at one of the many local ski hire shops for as little as €5, while most of the sports shops in Meribel will also have them for sale. Several activity companies also offer you the chance to sledge at night, down the ski slopes.
In winter S3V offer 'tubing' as a winter activity. Everyday during the afternoon and for apres ski you can whizz and slide down the slopes in an inflatable ring. Definitely an adrenaline filled and fun activity for groups and families. Head to one of the S3V lift pass offices to book your tubing fun!
Spas and massages in Meribel
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool.
Tennis and racket sports in Meribel
Tennis is a great way to get the legs moving and to enjoy the sunny summertime weather. You can play a friendly game or have a lesson, whatever you choose to do it is a great way to have fun with friends and family. Open during the summer season there are tennis courts and training walls in Meribel. Lessons are usually available in groups or privately. Perfect as a family outing, you can hire a court and when tiredness hits enjoy some refreshments and snacks at the tennis club or cafe.
How much does it cost to play tennis in Meribel? Tennis court rental prices in Meribel start at around €12 per hour, with rackets available to hire for €4.
Meribel's tennis club also offers facilities to play badminton.
Theme parks, waterparks and aquariums in Meribel
Challenge your friends and family to a game of paintball! This exciting activity offers fun for groups of all ages. In most cases you're split into teams and a variety of scenarios and courses are offered at the beginning of all games, with each game lasting approximately two hours; the ultimate aim is to shoot your opponents with paint pellets and capture their flag before they get hold of yours. There are a number of adventure companies and courses that offer you paintballing fun in Meribel.
How much does paintball cost in Meribel? Paintball prices in Meribel start at around €30 per person.
Adventure parks are designed for children and adults to play, explore, exercise and have fun in the natural mountain surroundings. The ropes, swings, tunnels, trees and activities will be a great day for children and adults alike. Qualified guides will be around the course throughout to make sure you are safe and having as much fun as possible.
How much do adventure park tickets cost in Meribel? Adventure park ticket prices depend on age and number of people, but they start at around €10 for children and €20 for adults.
Walking, hiking and running in Meribel
Walking & hiking
In the summer months, Meribel is an Alpine mecca for walking and hiking in the beautiful alpine mountains. As the snow melts and the sun begins to shine the mountains make an excellent place to head out on a hike or walk. Walking is the perfect activity for groups, families and friends. Pick from a number of routes ranging in difficulty, from easy child friendly walks to challenging day long hikes. Along the way enjoy the fantastic mountain views, beautiful scenery and wildlife that is normally hidden in the winter months. Check out our walking and hiking guide for more details on hiking in the Alps.
There are over 200 kilometres of running paths in the area, a natural park and refuges for overnight stays. From beginner trails to extreme heights, Meribel has something for every level of trail runner.
For a truly unique experience, clamp on your crampons and go hiking on one of the many glaciers in the area. The breathtaking views and spectacular crevasses make this an incredible adventure. There are a number of glacial hikes, of varying difficulty, in this region of the Alps. Most adventure companies will run organised excursions to the most accessible. To read more about glaciers and the environment please go to our Glacier Meltdown article.
Meribel is a winter walker's paradise. With lifts giving access to the higher ground and a network of groomed trails in the winter, it's very easy to discover the resort on foot. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you set out as conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. You do not need any particular equipment, just a pair of sturdy boots and layers of warm clothing that you can take off or put on as necessary. A pair of walking poles will come in handy for extra balance on icy patches and for checking snow depth before you go striding forth. Top tip: buy ‘grippers’ for your walking boots to prevent slipping which you can buy from most local sport shops.
Watersports in Meribel
White water rafting
If you haven't experienced white water rafting before then this is a definite 'must try' on your list of activities to do! From the middle of May until September, the mountain rivers flow furiously as they are fed from the melt waters running off the glaciers high above the town. There are various options available from a three hour adrenaline rush to a full day excursion - this activity is guaranteed not to disappoint.
How much does it cost to go white water rafting in Meribel? Prices start at around €40 per person for about two hours of white water rafting in Meribel.
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allow you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of white water river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants.
A not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day! You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children, but anyone over the age of about eight can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide choose from short beginners’ routes or longer ones for the more adventurous. Different companies will have their own policies on age limits but usually, unless they are booked onto a children's activity course, anyone under the age of about 14 years old will have to be accompanied by an adult. A basic level of swimming ability is required for safety reasons.
How much does it cost to go canyoning in Meribel? Canyoning prices in Meribel start at around €55 per person, including all the equipment.
Hydro speeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard – be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids! This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting, but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down white water rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves.
How much does it cost to try out hydrospeeding in Meribel? Beginner hydrospeeding courses in Meribel start at around €45-€50 per person.