Overview of Val Thorens Ski Resort
The success of the Val Thorens ski resort is often overlooked when ski industry pundits talk about the rise to fame of Whistler and the ever growing popularity of resorts like Meribel. If you look at the Val Thorens ski map today it’s hard to believe the resort did not exist at all 40 years ago and initially had some problems establishing itself as a small collection of early buildings in a very remote location, the highest ever purpose built ski area in Europe – as it remains to this day.
But those visionaries in the late 1960s have been proved right, and Val Thorens' success has only gathered pace in recent decades after critical mass was achieved. It can now cater for more than 20,000 guests per night, has hundreds of shops and restaurants and, with a standard offer to all visitors of slopeside accommodation, guaranteed snow from late December to early May each winter and the world’s biggest lift served ski area at your feet, this is one of the very few ‘safe bets’ in world ski resort recommendations
Of course a Val Thorens holiday isn’t for everyone. Its altitude means no trees to be seen and it is an entirely man made, seasonal community with all that entails. It is criticised by some for its stark architecture, but 250 million Euros have been spent in a beautification process in recent years, with local wood and stone at the forefront. It's a child of the early 70s when the excess of 1960s concrete had been spotted (much of it just down the valley in Les Menuires) and architects had moved on.
There has also been criticism of little to do besides skiing but again the resort has addressed this in recent years, creating a great multi-sports and swimming pool complex and extra outdoor activities.
The choice of accommodation and restaurants has also expanded upwards in quality with five star hotels and Michelin starred restaurants (l'Épicurien at Residence Montana and Restaurant Jean Sulpice at Residence l'Oxalys). You can also find a wide variety of self-catered apartments and Hotels in Val Thorens.
No surprise then that Val Thorens has come from nowhere to become one of the 20 most visited ski resorts in the world, attracting more than 1.6 million guests each winter. For great prices and offers visit our Val Thorens ski deals page now.