Meribel's ski area offers something for every level of skier and snowboarder, from gentle beginner pistes to more challenging descents, it's definitely somewhere you can make the most of with the right lift pass.
And as we all know, when it comes to planning a ski trip, buying a lift pass is one of the bigger investments. So, before you take the plunge, take a look at our guide full of tips and tricks of what to buy, when to buy it and what to do with it once you've got it.
Here's a quick run down of our best insights:
- Buy ski-passes online, saving time and money in resort
- Look out for web-only ski-pass deals
- Get up early and ski the whole area till your legs fall off (maybe do some fitness training before coming)
- Avoid faffing in lift-queues, spend more time skiing
- Play in the family fun zones
- Enjoy piste-side extras
- Ski in the other resorts included in your pass
- Make the most of the après-ski opportunities
Whilst it's possible to buy your lift passes when you get to resort, instead of spending your first morning standing in a long lift pass queue in the cold, buying in advance means you're straight up the mountain on day one. Buying online couldn't be easier, and the pass card itself can be reloaded / recharged if you visit resort again.
If you're staying in Mottaret, aka Meribel-Mottaret, this is a self-contained resort higher up the valley than Meribel, and you'll need to buy your passes from a different lift company. Whilst the lift pass is the same, to date the two lift companies have not created a unified website, therefore make sure you are purchasing and collecting all passes from the correct lift company.
Top Tip: Rather than opt for them to be mailed to your home address, simply pick them up in resort - it's just one less thing to remember to pack.
As with many things these days, the deals tend to be online, and that's no different when it comes to lift passes, especially if you buy well in advance taking advantage of any 'early bird' specials.
Web exclusive deals offer fantastic value for duos, families and groups on the six-days plus passes especially, these are only available if you buy online (even though you can opt to pick them up in resort). There is the option to post the passes to you, or to top up existing passes (card reference numbers required). The Family Package (two adults + at least two children) essentially means everyone skis at the children's rate, and if you're coming in a group of friends take a look at the web exclusive 'Tribu' package for savings galore.
Top Tip: You can buy your passes in advance safe in the knowledge that up until the day before they start, all lift passes bought online are fully refundable.
Make the most of the pistes
Top Tip: The easiest way to make the most of your lift pass is to set yourself the goal of experiencing the whole area. The Three Valleys ski area has:
- 328 piste-basher prepared slopes for you
- 600km of skiable distance on those slopes
- 166 ski lifts
- 50% of the slopes in the Three Valleys are green and blue
- For intermediate skiers and snowboarders a tailor-made itinerary has been produced so you can easily ski all three valleys without having to take off your skis or snowboards
- Fun zones
- Snow parks
Get up early and avoid rush hour
To make the most of your lift pass, catch the first and last lifts every day for six days in a row and ski it all. Then start on the off-piste. This way, you'll be maximising your piste-to-buck ratio.
More realistically, take your time, enjoy it, and like us, take a long leisurely lunch after three pistes.
Avoid faffing around in lift queues
The lift-barriers check hands-free passes on the LEFT SIDE, remember to:
- Put your lift pass in a pocket on the left side of your ski jacket or trousers and you'll whizz through the turnstiles. Often ski jackets come with a small pocket on the left sleeve exactly for this purpose.
- Don't put any credit cards or phones in the same pocket as your pass, you'll simply confuse the machines.
- Kids trouser pockets are often lower than the sensors - use their sleeve pockets.
There are often single person lift queues to fill spaces on the chairlifts, don't neglect to use these and make some new friends on the way up.
And in all seriousness, take-off rucksacks and hold them in front of you. The straps can get caught on the lifts if they're still on your back, or you can be pushed to the front of the seat with the extra depth, and this is dangerous.
There is so much to do in the resort's fun zones. Visit Yooni, the friendly Yeti, in the Yeti Park at Meribel-Mottaret or visit Altiport to discover the frozen north, try a family slalom and relax in the Inuit village.
Try the famous 3km toboggan run at "Moriond Racing", whizz through eight tunnels, slide up the walls, and get a free snapshot of yourself to show the folks back home. Also available at night when the track is floodlit, adding a whole new element to this magical experience.
Ski in other resorts too
With your six-days plus pass you will have access to the largest ski area in the world with inter-linked resorts. You'll be able to take in the high altitude slopes of Val Thorens, the stunning pine forests of Courchevel Moriond, and ski amongst the chocolate box chalets of Meribel. In fact you will have eight different resorts in total completely at your disposal - maybe a bit of a stretch on a week's skiing trip, but the opportunity is there.
World famous après-ski
If you're not already exhausted by the prospect of all that skiing, and you think you'll still have some energy for dancing in your ski gear, you're in luck. The famous Folie Douce Meribel-Courchevel is open every day for fun and frolics, with DJs, live performers, loud music and an unforgettable après-ski experience.
Top Tip: Make sure you leave enough time to get to the last lift down to resort, a last minute helicopter taxi home isn't going to be cheap.
All of these tips will help you get the most out of your ski pass. Now, all you need to do is get out here and see for yourself. Read our resort guide for all you need to know, and we look forward to seeing you on the slopes.