Méribel is a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps, situated near the town of Moûtiers. Méribel refers to three neighbouring villages in the Les Allues commune of the Savoie département of France, near the town of Moûtiers (45.401°N 6.5655°E / 45.401; 6.5655), called Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. The villages are within the Vanoise National Park and a part of the Les Trois Vallées interlinked ski system.

Méribel in January 2014
Location in the Alps of Europe
LocationSavoie, France
Nearest major cityChambéry
Coordinates45°23′48.23″N 6°33′58.57″E
Vertical1,502 m (4,928 ft)
Top elevation2,952 m (9,685 ft)
Base elevation1,450 m (4,757 ft)
Runs76 (8 green, 36 blue, 23 red & 9 black)
Lift system53 (Capacity 75,565ph)

Méribel Les Allues is a ski resort that was developed adjacent to the traditional hamlet of Morel, with its centre situated at about 1400 metres above sea level.[1] It was founded by a Scotsman, Major Peter Lindsay,[2] who was looking for a new site for winter sports away from the ski resorts of Austria and Germany, because of the growing strength of the Nazi regime. In 1936, he visited the town of Les Allues for the first time. He then imagined how the town could become a ski resort. Firstly, he decided to create a property company in order to develop finances strong enough to build the resort. In 1938, the first lift was placed above Les Allues. A year later, he began the construction of the first chalets and hotels in the hamlet of Méribel. Three years later, the war would stop the development of the resort, but when it was over, development continued. Now a Colonel, Peter Lindsay used specialized architects, Paul Grillo, Grand Prix de Rome (1937), and his partner Christian Durupt, so that all buildings would be in harmony with the Savoyard style, using wood and stone for the walls, with slanted slate roofs. In 1950, the Burgin-Saulire gondola was built to link the resort to Courchevel. Lindsay's family continue to hold a financial stake in the resort. Lindsay's ashes and those of his wife are scattered on the Burgin mountain.

Méribel was home to events of the 1992 Winter Olympics (Albertville).[3] It hosted the ice hockey and the women's alpine skiing events.[4] Until 2011, Méribel was the host to the acclaimed Altitude Festival, with prestigious acts such as KT Tunstall, Marcus Brigstocke and Omid Dijalili performing in the bars and nightclubs around the resort. For 2011, it has been announced that the festival will be moved to Austria, with the organiser Richard Letts citing a reduction in support from the Méribel Tourist Office.[5]

The ski resort is part of the Trois Vallées ski area.[6] The Three Valleys area comprises 180 lifts, 335 marked runs (over 600 kilometres) and over 130km of cross-country tracks. The Three Valleys was expanded in 1996 to incorporate a fourth valley, though the area kept the name Trois Vallées. The area comprises the resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Les Menuires-Saint Martin, Val Thorens and Orelle.

The resort comprises the sub village of Méribel-Mottaret, at an altitude of 1750 m towards the head of the Allues valley, and Méribel Village at 1400 m on the road to Courchevel 1850.

Lift system

Name Type Persons per hour Year of construction Manufacturer
Table VerteChairlift fixed 4 places12501981Poma
Burgin 1Gondola 6 places17001982Poma
Burgin 2Gondola 6 places17001982Poma
Plattieres 2Gondola 6 places22001983Poma
Plattieres 1Gondola 6 places22001984Poma
Plattieres 3Gondola 6 places22001984Poma
ArollesChairlift fixed 4 places18001985Skirail
Rocher de la LozeChairlift fixed 4 places15001988Poma
Mont-VallonGondola 12 places34001988Poma
RhodosGondola 12 places20251989Von Roll
Mures RougesChairlift detachable 4 places18001989Poma
Roc de FerChairlift fixed 4 places14601990Poma
Olympe 1Gondola 6 places9201990Poma
Olympe 2Gondola 6 places9201990Poma
Olympe 3Gondola 6 places9201990Poma
Olympic ExpressChairlift detachable 4 places15001990Poma
MorelChairlift fixed 3 places7001991Poma
Côtes BruneChairlift detachable 4 places20701991Poma
CombesChairlift detachable 4 places24001994Doppelmayr
Pas du Lac 1Gondola 8 places30001997Poma
Pas du Lac 2Gondola 8 places30001997Poma
AdretChairlift detachable 6 places24001998Poma
Dent de BurginChairlift detachable 6 places24002000Poma
AltiportChairlift detachable 8 places34002000Poma
Plan des MainsChairlift detachable 6 places30002002Leitner
Plan de l'HommeChairlift detachable 6 places30002004Poma
ChâteletChairlift detachable 6 places22002006Poma
ChaletsGondola pulsed 6 places5222007Poma
Tougnète 2Chairlift detachable 6 places covered36002007Poma
Tougnète 1Gondola 6 places15002008Poma
GolfChairlift detachable 4 places15002009Poma
AltiportButton lift continuous5002009Poma
DoronConveyor belt covered2010Poma
Les LoupiotsConveyor beltPoma
ForetRope towPoma
CombeButton lift detachablePoma
CotesButton lift detachablePoma
EscargotButton lift continuous2005Poma
ArpassonButton lift continuous2006Poma
Roc de Tougne 1 & 2Button lift detachablePoma
AigleButton lift detachablePoma
SitelleButton lift detachablePoma
StadeButton lift continuousPoma

Past projects

  • For the 2012 season, the Burgin-Saulire 2 gondola is being replaced, and the new lift will be called Saulire Express 2. It will be constructed by Poma, and will take a new route up the Méribel Couloir, arriving at the same position as the Saulire cable car from the Courchevel side.
  • For the 2013 season, the Burgin-Saulire 1 gondola is being replaced, and the new lift will be called Saulire Express 1. It will be constructed by Poma, and will be joined to Saulire Express 2 for a continuous journey up the mountain, first gondola station in France MULTIX to sections decoupled amount of work 24 million.
  • Plattieres 1 & 2 are being replaced by a new gondola constructed by Poma, called Plattieres 1. This new lift will cut the journey time from 25 minutes to 9 minutes, and the new cabins will replace the old six seat, back to back gondolas with more comfortable 10 seat cabins. Construction will begin at the end of the 2011 season, and the old lift will continue to run through the 2012 season.

Tarentaise Valley skiing

The Tarentaise Valley has the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. Most well known neighbour systems are Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne) and Espace Killy (Val-d'Isère and Tignes). A weekly lift ticket in Méribel/Les Trois Vallées offers a choice to ski one day in each of the other two systems mentioned. There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create the - by far - largest ski area in the world. However that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.

See also


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