There was a time when ski resorts in the French Alps catered exclusively to skiers. If you weren’t a fan of the sport but wanted to enjoy the winter Alps scenery, there weren’t too many options for you. Even skiers had limited options to pass their time after a day on the slope. A restaurant, [...]
There was a time when ski resorts in the French Alps catered exclusively to skiers. If you weren’t a fan of the sport but wanted to enjoy the winter Alps scenery, there weren’t too many options for you. Even skiers had limited options to pass their time after a day on the slope. A restaurant, a municipal swimming pool and maybe a live music venue were the only activities to occupy your time off the slope or to entertain non-skiers in the group.
Fortunately, things have changed, and French ski resorts realized the advantages of offering a wide range of activities throughout the season. Meribel, in particular, one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the world, could be the perfect place for you to enjoy a stunning Christmas holiday in the French Alps or even a regular ski weekend.
Here’s a pick at some of the best apres ski activities in Meribel that you must try.
Meribel, a Beautiful Winter Retreat
Before we dive into the many activities you can enjoy in Meribel besides skiing, let’s take a look at what makes this beautiful resort in the French Alps such a great destination for your holiday.
There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with Meribel. Its chalet-style architecture and traditional French village charm have won Meribel a reputation for being one of the prettiest ski resorts in the world. Add the breathtaking scenery and a warm and friendly atmosphere to the mix, and you’ll get a superb location that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Don’t let the high number of visitors scare you. The area has more than 183 lifts that can over 250,000 skiers every hour, so you don’t have to worry about long queues and wasted time.
Talking about the remarkable lift system, it connects the huge Trois Vallees ski area, which boasts an impressive 600 kilometers of slopes. What makes Meribel so great is that it is located at the center of this enormous ski area, allowing you to explore the adjoining resorts of Val Thorens and Courchevel.
In addition to downhill skiing, there are also 120 kilometers of cross-country skiing. So, if you want to explore exploring the stunning off-slope terrain of the French Alps, Meribel is the perfect destination to do so.
But, enough about skiing! Let’s focus on the thrilling apres ski scene that makes Meribel a preferred destination for both ski enthusiasts and non-skiers.
Things to Do in Meribel off the Slopes
Whether you want to have a drink with your friends and dance at a bar, pamper yourself or try a new winter activity, there are plenty of ways to enjoy apres ski during your ski holiday in Meribel. Here’s a look at what you must try during your stay in this amazing ski resort.
Explore the Valley on Foot
You probably don’t have too much time to enjoy the view when you’re on the slope, and you are trying to improve your skills (or not to fall if you are a beginner.) That’s why a nice, relaxing walk could be the best way to explore the Valley and discover new locations.
For instance, you can take a nice walk down the valley to Less Allues, a lovely village with well-established restaurants and cozy bars. If you prefer more of a climb, you can get a “pedestrian pass” and explore the summits on foot.
Enjoy a Trip in a Light Aircraft
Here’s an activity that will make your trip to Meribel one of the best ski holidays in the French Alps you ever had: a relaxing flight in a light aircraft. You will take off from Altiport and get a breathtaking view of the Three Valleys from hundreds of kilometers above the ground. Or, you can go even higher and further and experience the stunning view of the Mont Blanc from the air. This experience will truly make for an unforgettable trip, and at 90 euros per person, it’s surprisingly affordable.
Indulge in Some Retail Therapy
Although small, Meribel has everything you need for a great holiday – good restaurants, lively bars, bakeries, and even some high-fashion stores. Whether you are looking for new ski gear or some Parisian chic clothes, Meribel has it all. Take a stroll down the main street from the Galerie des Cimes towards La Chaudanne and discover select boutiques and their offers.
Enjoy the Afternoon Cabaret
After a morning spent on the slopes, head directly to La Folie Douce to enjoy the afternoon cabaret show. Professional dancers in exotic costumes, lively musing, and flying champagne bottles will make your afternoons in Meribel hard to forget.
Take a Ride on a Snowmobile
If you want to keep the heart racing and the adrenaline pumping, a ride in a snowmobile will give the thrills that you seek. Hop on a snowmobile and explore the woods and snow-covered tracks of Meribel and the surrounding area.
Spend the Evening in a Refuge
What better way to become one with nature and feel as if you are a million miles away from civilization and the stress of everyday life than spending your evening in a mountain refuge. There are three refuges in Maribel, ranging from traditional to chic en-suite rooms. You can enjoy a two hours hike through the snow to get there or take an exhilarating snowmobile ride up to the refuge.
Visit the Musee des Allues
One of the things that will surprise you about Meribel is that it doesn’t offer the same winter-related activities as most ski resorts. If you want to enjoy a touch of culture during your stay, for example, you can visit the Musee des Allues where you can learn about the history and traditions of the Three Valleys.
Visit Meribel’s Olympic Centre
The Multi-Sport Centre is a legacy of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games, where all of the five women’s events were conducted in Meribel. Here, you can enjoy a variety of activities that suit any style and preference. You can swim, enter a bowling tournament, and watch a hockey match, or try something new like indoor climbing. The Centre also offers Zumba, aqua aerobics, yoga, or even pole-dancing classes.
Explore the Valley on a Snowshoe Outing
Snowshoeing is a relaxing activity that allows you to get off the beaten path and discover some of the most beautiful areas the Alps have to offer. You can learn about the diverse flora and fauna of the Valley, and you’ll get to enjoy trails that aren’t normally accessible. Not to mention the fact that it’s also a great exercise, so you can enjoy a crepe au chocolate after a half day walk.
A ski trip is not only a great way to get some exercise but also the perfect opportunity to switch off and forget about your worries. Who needs to explore the area in sub-zero temperatures when you could melt your stress away in a hot tub?
No matter how good or bad of a skier you are (or if you ski at all), a holiday in Meribel is a fantastic idea. The combination of extensive slopes and the vibrant apres-ski scene makes this small French resort a safe bet for a great holiday.
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