Discover one of the prettiest resorts in the French Alps when you book a trip to Meribel with easyJet holidays. Throw in a prime location within the massive Trois Vallées ski area, a super modern lift system and some fantastic après-ski and you’ve basically got a dream ski holiday. Meribel has an upmarket feel, attracting a mix of seasoned skiers, boarders who like a bit of luxury and large groups of younger holidaymakers keen to soak up the nightlife.
The resort of Meribel is made up of several small villages scattered across the valley, linked by lifts and free shuttle buses. Meribel Centre, or Meribel 1600, is the largest and liveliest with tranquil Meribel Village sitting lower down the valley and Meribel-Motarret up at the top. All three have that picturesque alpine style, with lovely wooden chalets and breath-taking views.
Accommodation is mostly plush chalets, but there are a few nice hotels and some more affordable self-catering apartments as well.
Meribel links up with the resorts of Courcheval and Val Thorens to form the vast Trois Vallées ski area. With over 600km of piste, it’s billed as an ‘intermediates’ paradise’ thanks to the never-ending choice of blue and red runs. There are also plenty of more demanding runs and some great off-piste action. Try the infamous Les Bosses black run if you fancy a real challenge!The Meribel ski area offers 150km of pistes:
10 green runs
34 blue runs
24 red runs
9 black runs
61 ski lifts
Meribel has invested heavily in its lift system over recent years and now boasts more high-speed, cable-car lifts than any other resort globally. You’ll also find some excellent ski and snowboarding schools, with plenty of English-speaking instructors for all abilities.
Boarders will love Meribel's two snow parks. The well-established Elements Park has something for everyone – from boardercross to rails and jibs, with learner-friendly soft landings. Your efforts will even be filmed on automatic video camera. Plattières Park is home to more challenging kickers and rails for experienced freestylers.
Activities off the slope
One of Meribel’s most popular off-slope draws is the huge Olympic Centre, built for the 1992 Winter Olympics. Inside you’ll find a 25m indoor pool with slides and fun kids pool, a climbing wall, well-equipped fitness centre, relaxing spa, ten-pin bowling and even an indoor ice rink. That should keep you busy for a while!
Foodies can browse the stalls at Meribel Market, held twice a week. Sample some local produce and pick up some souvenirs for your friends back home. Cheese-lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to La Fromagerie for the stinkiest, and most delicious, regional Savoyard cheese.
Meribel’s cinema is a cosy place to enjoy a movie. Keep an eye out for VOST screenings if your French isn’t up to much. Or if you fancy some serious pampering, why not pay a visit to Deep Nature Spa in Meribel Village for some well-earned treatments?
If you prefer your activities on the adrenaline-fuelled side, Meribel has lots on offer. Snowmobiling through the wintery landscape is an unforgettable experience, as is a hot air balloon ride above the slopes. Driving a dog-sled pulled by a pack of boisterous huskies will certainly get your heart racing, or try inner tubing down the slopes in inflatable rings – a real family favourite. Or for something a little more sedate, how about a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh or some snow-shoeing?
Meribel’s lively après-ski scene has to be one of the reasons the resort is so popular with Brits. Whether you want to huddle up around a fondue or dance on the tables in your ski boots, there’s something to suit all tastes. And the resort’s free shuttle bus makes it easy to sample the nightlife in all of Meribel’s villages.
The majority of restaurants in Meribel serve up delicious Savoyard food, ideal for keeping you warm in the mountains. Dishes are hearty and often revolve around indulgent quantities of cheese and meat. You’ve got to fuel all that skiing somehow! You’ll also find some more international eateries, including a fantastic Indian restaurant: Tsaretta Spice. Most places stagger their dining with a 7pm slot and a later 9pm slot.
For crowd-pleasing eats in Meribel Centre, head to La Flambé for generous stone-baked pizzas. La Galette is a favourite with families looking to sample some traditional dishes, while the real igloo, at the aptly-named Igloo, is great place for large groups looking for a funky vibe. Couples can head up the hill to Meribel Mottaret for a romantic night at La Terasse, with its cosy candlelit canopy and live music. Or splash out on some classic French fine dining at Aux Petits Mignons.
When it comes to bars, Meribel’s most infamous is without doubt, La Folie Douce. Located right on the mountainside at the La Saulire mid-station, it draws in a young crowd with its loud music and table-top dancing. Open 3pm-5pm, it’s a sure-fire way to get your evening off to a lively start.
Jack’s Bar is another hotspot, loved equally by visitors and seasonnaires. Expect great happy hour deals, a friendly atmosphere and good tunes. Or soak up some amazing views with your drinks on Le Rond Point’s spacious outdoor terrace. For something a little more sophisticated, head to Barometer, a quiet and comfortable wine bar.
If you’re still going late into the night, Le Pub is the place to be. Open until 2.30am every night, its huge bar and lively dance floor are always full of revellers. O’Sullivan’s nightclub also puts on some great nights, hosting some well-known DJs and bands.