How to get there
The popular French ski resort of Valmeinier is located just 133 kilometres away from Turin. The international airport at Turin is extremely well-served by flights departing from airports across the UK. Most people choose to hire a car at the airport and drive direct to the resort. To reach Valmeinier, take the Corso Regina Margherita until you reach the A55. Head towards Tangenziale Sud and then take the A32. Follow the A32 for 72 kilometres and take the exit towards Frejus. When you are approaching Bardonecchia, follow the E70 towards Torino and enter France. Drive along the N566 for just over 10 kilometres and then exit at Freney. After following the N6 for 11 kilometres, turn right on to the D902 and finally, turn left on to the D215C.
Whilst some skiers choose to fly to Turin, others choose to fly to Grenoble. Valmeinier is located just 128 kilometres away from Grenoble and the total journey time by car is about an hour and a half. To drive from the airport to the resort, follow the N90 until you reach the A41. Head towards Montmelian and take the A43 until you reach Exit 24. Continue driving until you reach Exit 29 and at La Colombette, take the N6 briefly until you come across the D902. Turn left on to the D215C and continue for several kilometres until you reach the centre of the resort.
Rail travel is always another option since Valmeinier has its own TGV train station. Take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then transfer to high-speed trains which will eventually take you to the resort. From the rail station, catch a local bus or taxi to take you to the resort centre.
If you choose to drive the whole distance between the UK and Valmeinier via Calais, make sure that your snow tyres and chains are in good condition and that you prepare your route, as well as an alternative route, well in advance.
Who does the resort cater for?
Valmeinier is perfect for intermediate skiers and beginners, as well as those who are trying skiing for the very first time. The slopes are well-groomed, wide, and open. Cross-country skiers will be impressed by the courses on offer and snowboarders will love the snow parks.
There is plenty apart from skiing to keep you entertained during the day at the resort. Snowshoe excursions, microlight flights, paragliding, ice skating, and hiking are all popular options. The natural skating rink in the resort is open from Sunday to Friday between 2pm and 8pm and you can book in advance. Guests can also take advantage of orienteering courses and ice climbing, an activity which is increasing in popularity. Non-skiers can capture the fun of the sport whilst tandemskiing. Ski instructors can show you around the resort whilst you sit in an articulated seat.
Evening entertainment includes restaurants, bars, and, for something different, night-time skiing. This consists of a torch-lit parade each Wednesday and is extremely popular with young people and family groups.
What accommodation does the resort offer?
There is a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets in Valmeinier. For the independent traveller, try ResidHotel Le Grand Panorama. It is just 800 m from the resort centre and so has a quiet and secluded location. The complex contains 114 apartments and chalet apartments and skiers have direct access to the nearby slopes. The rooms are well-equipped with coffee makers, kitchen areas, refrigerators, televisions, and dishwashers. Guests also have access to the sauna and swimming pool, although the pool is outdoors! Residence Eurogroup Les Lodges de Pierres contains 59 lodges, which are comfortably furnished with wood, resulting in a cosy and homely atmosphere. Guests at these self-catering apartments have access to a fitness club and a spa centre, complete with indoor swimming pool. For those who do not wish to self-cater, there are several hotels (unfortunately many of them mediocre) spread across the resort. However, much of the accommodation in the resort is aimed at the traveller seeking self-catered apartments, so you should spend some time researching this option.
There are 6 black runs (suitable for expert skiers), 31 red runs (suitable for intermediate skiers), 25 blue runs (suitable for beginners), and 20 green runs (suitable for those learning to ski). The slopes are served by modern lifts and they take nearly 40,000 skiers per hour up the mountains. The resort also has 400 snow cannons which generate artificial snow to supplement the natural snow.
- Downhill Pistes: 150 km
- Cross Country Trails: 40 km
- Number of Ski Lifts: 34
- Maximum Vertical: 1100 m
- Highest Lift: 2600 m
- Altitude of Resort: 1500 m
- Lowest Piste: 1500 m