We’ve recently returned from our latest ski holiday. Those who follow the blog know we are avid skiers, having taken the children to learn in Val D’isere, a trip across the Atlantic to Whistler and trips to Alpe D’Huez and Les Arcs, we are confirmed skiers! This year, as we were skiing late in the season, we decided to go to the rather high resort of Val Thorens – one of the most snow-sure resorts in Europe.
How We Got There
This year, we did things a bit differently. After a long, arduous transfer last year from Geneva airport, we decided to take the train. We boarded the Eurostar at St Pancras at 614, we had a quick transfer from Gare du Nord to Gare Du Lyon, we took the TGV to Moutiers. It takes 4 hours from Paris. We zoomed through the countryside, and by 4pm we were in Moutiers. A transfer on the Altibus, so 5pm we were in resort. It took 12 hours from our house to the Alps, but for once, it actually felt a relaxed way to get there.
We returned on the overnight Eurostar, this takes roughly seven hours from Moutiers back to St Pancras. Although sleep was limited as the seats don’t recline and the lights are not dimmed, it did mean we got a full day on the slopes on the Saturday.
What we needed
This year, we had every sort of weather: Sunshine, high winds, snow blizzards and blue skies. Sometimes all in one day. Therefore, all the kit was needed (we made a video about ski essentials last year). This year I was kindly sent a pair of Oakley goggles from Discounted Sunglasses. The brand Oakley needs no introduction and it is no surprise that the goggles looked stylish. But, what really matters is when you’re in the midst of a snowstorm, your vision is as clear as it can be, the pink tinted screen makes sure your skiing is as visible as possible. Somehow, the goggles manage the impossible: Stylish and fit for purpose. What is great, is that Discounted sunglasses offer these goggles and a seriously good price. What more do you need?!
Val Thorens is part of The Three Valleys. The Three Valleys has 600km of skiable slopes – that’s plenty for any skier. The runs are varied, so there really is something for every skier. The lifts in the main are modern and quick, therefore it’s easy to cover of plenty of ground. We skied all the way over to Courcheval and skied plenty of Val Thorens, Meribel and Les Menuires. It’s world-class skiing.
Where We Ate
We were in self-catered accommodation so we ate out every night. Val Thorens is a sizeable resort and there are plenty of places to choose from. You will find your traditional Savoie food (fondue and raclette and so forth), but also Tex Mex, burger joints and pizza places. Our favourite places were Tivoli, John’s American and Jaspers during the day for their sun-soaked terrace.
On the slopes, we really enjoyed Rok over in Meribel. They have a box full of fancy dress – perfect for everyone!
Where to stay
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend where we stayed. We rented a very small apartment which was noisy, dirty and not at all suitable for a family. However, whilst we were there we saw several places we would have liked to have stayed at. For a high-end option, there is The Fitzroy. Mid range options are Hotel Tango, or Hotel Sherpa, both of which are ski in, ski out.
OK, après ski when you are on a family holiday is a little different. As much as we would have liked a little dance with the kids at the Folie Douce, that wasn’t really going to happen. However, right at the bottom of the slopes, we all enjoyed stopping at either The Fitzroy or The Alpen. We’d happily sup our vin chauds whilst the children played in the snow.
Val Thorens also has a brilliant leisure centre. It has a pool, a relaxation pool, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms. Perfect for resting those weary limbs after a hard day’s skiing. The leisure centre also held soft play sessions and a ‘fun park’ with a wipeout and inflatables for the older kids which looked really fabulous.
Overall, Val Thorens is a brilliant resort, with world-class skiing and an exceptionally well appointed town centre, you can’t really go wrong (just pick better accommodation than we did!)