World's Largest Ski Area!
When you book your Mountain Drop-offs transfer to Meribel you will be heading to the very heart of the famous Three Valleys ski area. Just two hours after leaving Geneva Airport you'll be ordering a vin chaud and excitedly studying the piste map ready for your first day on the slopes of the world's largest ski area.
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With the 13 resorts and villages that make up the Meribel Valley very spread out, Mountain Drop-offs assures pick up and drop-offs right to your accommodation door, be it to Brides les Bains at the foot of the Olympe bubble at 600m, or right up the top of the valley in Meribel-Mottaret via any of the villages and hamlets in between, like Les Allues and Meribel Village. Sit back, relax and dream of those corduroy pistes, lively apres-ski and great Savoyard food, with Mountain Drop-offs you'll soon be there…
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A French Ski Resort With British Roots!
There's no doubting there are a lot of Brits in Meribel, but what you might not know is that it isn't by chance. Back in 1936 Briton Major Peter Lindsay visited Les Allues village to ski the legendary 12km from Saulire to Brides les Bains he'd heard so much about.
Completely taken aback by the terrain, the sunny exposition and the mountain environment, Lindsay made it his life-long mission to create Meribel as a purpose built ski resort but with oodles of mountain style and charm. He even created a charter to ensure constructions use wood cladding and stone with slate roofs - a legacy that stands today, which is why there are no high-rise developments in Meribel itself, having helped maintain that village feel.
So back in 1938 Meribel (at 1450m) ski resort was born, with a single lift from where the Doran pub is now to the Rond Point and the first chalet-hotel Le Doran was built. Working with former world champ skier Emile Allais and various architects, Lindsay oversaw every aspect of the development, right down to the lift operating company which remains in private hands today.
Of course, there have been some modern developments and if you take a transfer to Meribel-Mottaret right at the end of the valley at 1750m, you'll see it's typical 1970s purpose-built ski resort style, but it is a lovely calm area with some of the best placed ski in/ski out accommodation in the Alps and you're right on the shores of Lac de Tueda and at the foot of Mont Vallon with the Parc National de la Vanoise behind.
In essence, there are two main ski resorts in the Meribel Valley: Meribel and Meribel-Mottaret, with over 150km of pistes between them. From Meribel it's just a life-ride over to Courchevel (on the left of the ski map) and an easy up-and-over to the right to ski Les Menuires and onto Val Thorens, so your really are in the middle of the 600kms of slopes that make up Les Trois Vallees.
And as for the sort of skiing available, there really is something for everyone and you'd have trouble to ski every piste in a week's holiday. Little ones are well-catered for too, as there are no fewer than 12 different ski schools in Meribel and kids are well-looked after with creches and kids' ski clubs too.
Here are some tips to whet the appetite and get you revved up for booking your Meribel transfer with Mountain Drop-offs!
- Beginners - those just learning to ski or snowboard in Meribelwill love the area around the Altiport. We love the sunny and easy cruise that is the green Blanchot piste for building confidence and there's a free drag lift for practising on too
- Intermediates - head to Mont Vallon. This area is truly magical, with two lovely wide, speedy runs that are great fun in the morning sunshine. Take the Plattieres bubble to the second stage and head down Bouvreuil, or go to the third stage of the lift and take Cotre Brune
- Advanced - when in Meribel you must do at least one run down La Face. Accessed from the Roc de Fer chairlift, this steep little number hosted the women's downhill skiing in the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics and is regularly used for FIS and World Cup events
- Snowparks - mini freestylers can learn their trade at the Moon Park, whilst under the Plattieres lift the main snow park is one of the longest-established and best renowned in the Alps
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Geneva to Meribel