An independent guide to Val Thorens
Val Thorens is the highest resort in the 3 Valleys, and in Europe, at 2300m. It was founded in December 1971, when the first draglifts opened, and has developed and expanded a great deal since then. It can accommodate 25,466 visitors (2015 figure). Val Thorens has gone upmarket in recent years, with new luxury hotels opening, like the Altapura, Pashmina, and Fahrenheit 7.
This section gives information about the resort of Val Thorens: a map, its history, and its facilities. Val Thorens has everything you'd expect in a modern ski village - a tourist office, post office, medical centre, church, (compulsory) parking, and a radio station. There's also a good sports centre and swimming pool. Near the tourist office and main ski school office is Val Thorens Club des Sports, which organises races and events, and trains the local youngsters.
Read about Val Thorens resort here and see a resort map.
You can find a map of the resort of Val Thorens here (click on the map to enlarge):
Val Thorens began on 18th December 1971, when the first 3 draglifts were opened. Read more about the history of Val Thorens.
Val Thorens tourist office is in the Maison de Val Thorens,
the big building on the snowy place de Caron. They're open from
0830-1900 every day during the winter season. They can answer questions
about the resort, and they are multi-lingual - as well as French and
English, there are staff who speak
Dutch, German, Russian, Japanese, and other languages too. They have a
selection of booklets and leaflets - amongst the
more useful are:
The tourist office offers an internet service - wifi, and a few computers in the lobby of the Maison de Val Thorens. It's quite expensive: wifi at the tourist office through Neptune costs €9.50 a day, or €30 a week; and internet on the computers by the tourist office is €3 for 30 minutes, €5 an hour, then a range of times and prices up to €50 for 50 hours.
There is free wifi at some of the lift stations during the skiing day (the Funitel Péclet, Plein Sud, Pionniers, Moraine, Portette, Funitel 3 Vallées, Plateau, Cime de Caron, and Cairn; and Rosael, in Orelle, with coverage reaching to the terrace of the Chalet Chinal Donat mountain restaurant). There's also free wifi at the ski pass offices at Forum Joseph Fontanet, Olympiades, and Montana.
Most of the cafés and bars offer free wifi as long as you buy something, so that might be a better option if you're using your own laptop or tablet. Try, for example, O'Connells bar, the Frog & Roastbeef, La Piscine pizzeria, Pizzburger, or Le Bowling.
The Post Office, La Poste, is also in the Maison de Val Thorens. The opening times during the winter season are:
There are four banks in Val Thorens, all of them in the middle or top part of the resort (none down at the bottom on the rue du Soleil). See locations and opening times of the banks in Val Thorens.
There's a market on place Péclet every Tuesday and Thursday, in the winter (and summer) season. Read more about Val Thorens market.
There's a great sports centre in Val Thorens, which is in the Caron shopping centre. It has sport facilities including a gym, squash courts, badminton courts, and tennis courts; an 'aqua-club' with two pools, sauna, jacuzzi, and hammam; a children's fun park; and a 'well-being' area. Read more about Val Thorens sports centre.
The main medical centre (Centre Médico-sportif) is in the place de Péclet, near the Hotel Pashmina. There are 4 doctors, and they deal with any injuries or illnesses that do not require hospitalisation. (They will assess patients, and send them to Moutiers hospital if necessary). The opening hours are 0900-1800, and outside of those hours, there is a doctor on call. Phone the centre's number 00 33 479 00 00 37 in the first instance.
There is another doctor in the medical centre in the rue du Soleil, towards the bottom of the resort. Opening hours are 0900-1200 and 1500-1800, and the phone number 00 33 479 00 74 39.
You will have to pay for any consultation, and claim the money back afterwards. Any visitor from the EU country should make sure to take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and ski holiday insurance is recommended.The emergency numbers in France are:
Note that there are defibrilators in the Maison de Val Thorens, the sports centre office, and at the top of the Boismint, Grand Fond and Peclet lifts; and there is one at the lift company's 'central'.
The church in Val Thorens is interdenominational. Their services are advertised in the tourist office's Val Thorens Hebdo leaflet, but there is usually a Mass at 6pm on Sundays, and then extra special services at Christmas and Easter.
As well as church services, there are classical and jazz concerts, at 6.30pm on Tuesdays in the winter. Again, check the week's Val Thorens Hebdo leaflet for details, or our events page. The concerts are free, but a collection is taken.
Poorly parked car in Val Thorens, photo by ValThorensGuide
You have to park your vehicle in an official parking in Val Thorens, which is a semi-pedestrian resort. You may drive through resort, and stop to unload your luggage outside your hotel, apartment, or chalet, but then you have to park your vehicle in a parking - either your hotel's or résidence's car park, or one of the parkings run by Valthoparc.
If you leave your car parked in the street, it will eventually get towed away to the pound, and the fee for recovering it is very expensive. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Municipal Police put warning notices on cars, but they do not usually tow them away unless they are obstructing traffic. From Monday morning, any car parked on the street can be towed away.
It is slightly cheaper to book with Valthoparc in advance (and by booking, you ensure you get a space in the parking of your choice, which is important in busy holiday periods). For example, in winter 2017-18, 5, 6, or 7 nights cost €72.50 if booked a month or more ahead, €79 if booked online up to a week in advance, and €80 if you pay in resort. You can book on Valthoparc's website.
Read more about parking in Val Thorens.
The radio station for the valley is Virgin Radio Val Thorens Les Menuires, on 92.3 and 101.0FM. There's a local programme in the morning and evening, and the rest of the time they take a feed from Paris. They broadcast an English version of the Val Thorens weather forecast and the piste and lift information several times a day. There is traffic information on Saturdays (but in French only).
Alpine Combined slalom leg, French National Championships 2017 - Louis Tuaire
The Club des Sports de Val Thorens is the local sports club, which includes the Val Thorens Ski Club. The office is in the Maison de Val Thorens, and in the winter it's open 0900-1200 and 1400-1800.
The main purpose of the Club is to train the local kids for competitions in skiing, freestyle skiing, and snowboarding. It also has sections dedicated to cycling and pétanque. They have a fan club to support the current champions. At the moment, the downhill and Super G specialist Adrien Théaux races in the World Cup, and has a number of podium finishes, including a victory; Jean-Fred Chapuis is Olympic Skicross champion; and Chloe Trespeuch is Olympic Boardercross bronze medallist.
Adrien Théaux, Super G, Val ThorensThey also:
When the new Stade chairlift was built to replace the old Stade draglift, the Club des Sports got its own draglift, going half-way up the Stade, which they use for training and competitions.
Contact them on 00 33 479 00 01 08 or through the Club des Sports website.
The cinema Lac Blanc in Val Thorens is in Grande Rue. It often shows French films, or American films dubbed into French (version francaise - VF); occasionally there are films in original English version, with French subtitles (version originale - VO).
Tel: 00 33 479 00 01 51
We hope you enjoy all the facilities in Val Thorens resort.
Our guide to Val Thorens ski area includes the beginners' area, a sector-by-sector guide to the pistes and lifts, the Snowpark, Skicross, and Stade de Slalom, and the off piste itineraries. We also have a section dedicated to mountain restaurants in Val Thorens.
Read about the Val Thorens ski area.
Val Thorens is quite compact, and it's usually possible to walk anywhere you want to go. Sometimes, though, if you're carrying luggage or ski equipment, or if you're with small children, you may wish to make use of the resort shuttle. It runs from 8am to 8pm every day, in the winter season. Read about the Val Thorens resort shuttle bus.
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