°F / in / ft / miles°C / cm / m / km

Valmorel Ski Resort

Valmorel Resort Guide

Valmorel, France

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Valmorel Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length152km94 miles
Highest Lift2,550m8,366ft
Resort Height1,400m4,593ft
 Nearest AirportsChambery and Grenoble
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Valmorel at a glance

Valmorel is not yet 40 years old, and very tastefully designed, gaining widespread admiration for having the advantages of a purpose-built resort without looking like one. The ski area is linked to that of St François Longchamp giving over 150km of terrain. An 'ideal family resort'

 When will it snow in Valmorel?

The next notable snow forecast for Valmorel is 29cm11in, expected on 29 September.

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Valmorel Facts, Stats and Ratings

Valmorel Rated

Ratings for Valmorel
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

How High is Valmorel?

Max Vertical and Resort Altitude for Valmorel
Highest Lift2,550m8,366ft
Lowest Piste1,400m4,593ft
Resort Altitude (Valmorel)1,400m4,593ft
Max Vertical1,150m3,773ft

Ski Area, Pistes and Lifts

Valmorel Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for Valmorel
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 8 9km6 miles
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
1919km12 miles
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
3948km30 miles
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
2417km11 miles
Total Length
152km94 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
40km25 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

Le Grand Domaine Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for Le Grand Domaine
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
Total Length
311km193 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
°F / in / ft / miles°C / cm / m / km

Valmorel Summary

The French Ski Resort of Valmorel is part of the Le Grand Domaine ski area with access to 311km193 miles of downhill skiing, with 167 marked pistes, served by a total of 90 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Valmorel itself (152km94 miles of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Le Grand Domaine ski resorts of Doucy-Combelouvière and St François Longchamp. Valmorel is directly linked by Ski Lift to the ski areas of Doucy-Combelouvière and St François Longchamp.

With ski lifts as high as 2,550m8,366ft, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Valmorel Overview

One of France, Europe and the world's newer major resorts, Valmorel was built in 1976 after the mistakes of earlier French ski resort developments had been learned. It is the first ski centre you reach on entering the famous Tarentaise Valley and, provided you arrive on a good day, you should be inspired by a sense of calm, natural beauty on arrival. The resort opens out onto scenic pine forests, mountain pastures and the backdrop of the high Alps, the marketing slogan 'Valmorel La Belle' seems perfect.

The architectural style is unique in France, inspired by ancient construction techniques in the Morel valley. There are no slopeside rectangular concrete apartment blocks, but instead large chalet style buildings, none of them more than three or four storeys high and all following the curves of the land beneath. Only wood, stone and paving stones are used and there are no visible electrical wires or cables either.

Valmorel is divided in to various 'hameaux' (hamlets) - clusters of buildings on different levels. These are connected by footpaths, sometimes covered, and adorned with charming little squares and internal courtyards. Everything here has been created with a calm but active lifestyle in mind and to remain harmonious with the natural setting.

It's a concept very similar to that taking the major North American ski areas by storm in the late 1990s, pioneered by Intrawest, most notably with their successful resort designs of Whistler-Blackcomb and Tremblant in Canada. Valmorel centres on The Bourg ('the small market town'). Almost all of the shops and services are located here in a pedestrianised area. The façades in pastel tones are decorated with trompe l'oeil frescos. The archways, porches and overhangs are reminiscent of the time when architecture was sophisticated.

Valmorel - On the Mountain

The longest possible descent in Valmorel is 4km2 miles long and the most difficult run is the 'Riondet', which is 3km2 miles in length.

Skiing in Valmorel

Marketed primarily as an intimate resort proud of its architecture and layout it comes as a pleasant surprise to find that the ski area is so big, with 150km (93 miles) of runs stretching across the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valley. Such a ski area is not huge by the standards of the French super resorts but it's certainly as big as anywhere else you will find in the world.

Known as the Grand Domaine area, it inevitably links to neighbouring resorts, in this case St François-Longchamp, as well as the smaller traditional villages of Doucy and Les Avanchers nearby. The two major resorts are at each extreme of the skiing area so there's a good sense of travelling to get from one to the other and its best to allow a full day to make the return trip. More than 300 snow guns help to ensure that the link stays complete throughout the season.

Naturally the ski area has been just as well designed as the village. Pistes run right down into the village itself. Beginners have an excellent purpose designed area, separate to the main skiing and allowing first timers to build up confidence before hitting the greens (very easy runs) out in to the great white yonder. There is even a slow chairlift so you can get used to going up, as well as down, in an unintimidating way - an idea common in North America but invariably ignored or forgotten elsewhere in Europe.

Intermediates will have the most to enjoy in Valmorel's skiing, with the vast majority of trails graded blue or red to suit their standard. You get an enjoyable sense of travelling by taking the half dozen series of lifts and runs across to St Francois Longchamp and with slopes facing in all directions it's possible to stay in the sunshine all day by moving around the mountain.

Expert skiers are most likely to head for reds and blacks of the Col du Mottet and the Massif de la Lauzière above Longchamp. Powder fans will find huge expanses within easy reach of the lift system. The smartest thing to do is to hire a guide who'll lead you on a long run down the Belleville Valley to St Jean below Les Menuires.

The ski school employs ninety instructors able to instruct in all major languages and all the snowsports including competition skiing, powder snow, snowboarding or 'surf' as the French prefer to call it, cross-country skiing, skwall, and telemark.

Group lessons have a single meeting point in front of the ESF (French ski school) building in the hamlet of Mottet. Courses of lessons are normally for two and a half hours per day, six days a week, commencing Sundays or Mondays.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

Snowboarding in Valmorel

At the top of the Creve Coeur chairlift there is a snow zone for freeriders on skis or boards. A boarder cross and various rails are maintained and adapted to suit all ability levels. A meeting place with cool zone and barbecue is regularly in use, and the Park is served by the Gollet drag lift. .

Beginners are recommended to head for the Biollène trail. Off the slopes, Valmorel's idea of creating a safe and relaxed family environment may not match every 'boarders idea of the ideal après scene, although there is action to be found in some bars.

When is Valmorel open?

 Open from : December 21, 2019.

 Closes : April 18, 2020.

Usual opening is mid December, and usual closing is Mid April.

NOTE:- Lift and Piste openings are always subject to Snow Conditions in Valmorel.

Snow Making

Valmorel is able to make snow, on 35km22 miles of ski runs, with 315 snow cannons.

Ski Lift Capacity

The 38 ski lifts of Valmorel are able to uplift 51,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Where is Valmorel?

Valmorel is in the French Alps in Le Grand Domaine, Savoie, France.

How can I get to Valmorel?

 By Air

The nearest airports to Valmorel are Chambery, Grenoble and Annecy. There are eight airports within three hours drive. Chambery is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.

Valmorel - Off the Mountain

Valmorel Aprés Ski

Most après ski activities are centred on the pedestrianised main street through Bourg where street cafés can be lively as soon as the lifts close.

Popular spots include bars like the Cafe Alpin, Ski Roc and the Perce Neige are usually the busiest in the resort. Later on there are cocktail bars. Late night dancing is offered at Les Nuits Blanches night club.

Radio Valmorel on 104.3 FM can keep you informed of entertainment opportunities, as well as weather forecasts and ski conditions.

Other evening activities include the cinema and evening snow shoe hikes and you can opt to spend an unusual night out by visiting the Kanata igloo village (15 minutes from the resort) by foot.


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