The Heart Of The Alps

By: Eleanor Ramsay

For a luxury ski holiday to remember Méribel ticks all the right boxes. In the heart of the Alps, in the middle of the Trois Vallées stands the first class ski resort of Méribel. A classic Wintersports destination Méribel offers the largest ski area in the world. As part of the Trois Vallées there are over 600km of runs for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Couchevel, les Menuires, Val Thorens, La Tania and St Martin are all linked to the resort and each other whilst the Méribel ski area alone consists of 9 different sections.

Méribel is the only ski resort to have 15 high capacity gondalifts and the resort also boasts 14 drag-lifts and 19 chair-lifts. There is a massive 150km of groomed runs, 9 black 23 red, 36 blue and 8 green, offering versatility to suit all skiing abilities. Intermediates have a variety of red runs to choose from while beginners will appreciate the easy runs and gentle slopes.

Advanced skiers can take full advantage of the glacier skiing and soft powder runs and picturesque descents through the forest. The area is naturally blessed with good snow cover however thanks to the snow making facilities on the upper and lower slopes, lack of snow is rarely ever an issue and getting around the resort is easy. Ideally located, Méribel is home to an impressive 2 Olympic runs, 2 slalom stadiums and also has 2 snowboard areas. Not to be missed try the women's downhill of the 1992 Olympics from Roc de Fer or the runs from the top of Saulire down to Méribel or the two sweeping runs and off piste of Mont Vallon.

11 ski and snowboard schools are on hand for those that feel they would benefit from lessons, whether you are a beginner or experienced skier. Off piste excursions to the Gebrolaz Glacier & Heliskiing in Italy and Switzerland can also be arranged through the Méribel Mountain Guides office. Aside from skiing Méribel is number one when it comes to a lively après ski culture. There are a wide array of restaurants serving gourmet cuisine, bars and popular nightclubs in the resort. Hot spots include Rond Point above Méribel 1600 and Jacks Bar in the main town. During the day the pretty and traditional style of resort can also be enjoyed off the slopes with a whole host of other activities such as swimming, rock climbing. biking, paragliding and shopping. A walkers pass is situated at the top of the mountains and restaurants delivering a wonderful view of the entire resort. A luxury ski holiday in Méribel offers everything your heart could possibly desire...

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