Méribel

The resort of Méribel was founded in 1938 by British skier Peter Lindsay, when he visited the town of Les Allues. He imagined how the area would be perfect for a ski resort. The development of the area continued to create five villages. Les Allues (1,100m in altitude) is the original site of the Méribel resort. The village is filled with Savoyard chalets and refurbished barns along narrow streets. Méribel-Village sits at 1,400m in altitude and has been growing in size and importance since the 1990s. Before then, only a few chalets were in place in the area, but now it is connected by the Golf Ski lift and has easy access to Méribel Centre.

Méribel Centre is the heart of the Méribel area, and arguably the centre of Les Trois Vallées region. At 1500m in altitude, it hosts cinemas, pools, spas, shops and restaurants and boasts the best nightlife in the area. Méribel Les Hauts (1,600m in altitude) houses the first airport in high altitude (1,700m), but the village is more on the quiet side. It has a golf course and stunning views, and generally offers a vast amount of hiking trails. The highest village is Méribel-Mottaret, set at 1,750m in altitude. The pistes are directly linked to the village, so you pop out of your chalet with your skis on and ski back home for a cosy chimney fire straight from the pistes – the ultimate luxury for many skiing and lifestyle enthusiasts.

Another major attraction of Méribel is the Vanoise National Park, 2,700 acres that stretch from the Lake Tuéda to the Gebroulaz glacier. Beyond its natural beauty and large landscapes, Méribel Centre can get quite boisterous in the evenings. The rest of the villages in the resort tend to attract skiing and mountain lovers looking for a more peaceful and traditional environment.

Méribel Village

Located above 1,400m in altitude and right in the heart of Les Trois Vallées ski region, the village of Méribel Village is idyllic. Like the rest of the Méribel region, Méribel Village has housed some beautiful Savoyard-style architecture and a very friendly community since its inception in the 90s. Served by the Golf chair lift, the village is nearly always sunny and the terraces of the two main restaurants are usually packed with skiers. There are some relaxing après-ski options, but for those looking to take part in the nightlife, there are many free shuttles to and from the different villages. Méribel Village is quite young, but is sure to continue to grow in popularity, so purchasing a property in the village could be a great investment opportunity.

Méribel Centre

Méribel Centre is the heart of the Méribel ski area. Everything is close together, from tourism offices, to cinemas, to pools, to bars and restaurants, and it is always lively. Set at 1,500m in altitude, it is the largest village of the Méribel resort. Properties that make up the village are beautiful chalets and private houses, and they are set to a backdrop of the Savoyard landscape. Within the Méribel skiing area, more than 150km of ski pistes can be found and the village is linked to 600km of pistes found in Les Trois Vallées. The village hosts some of the region’s wildest parties and properties here always have a high rental demand.

Méribel Les Allues

Méribel Les Allues, made up of eight smaller villages starting at 1,100m in altitude, is the lowest resort to be found in the Méribel ski area. These are the villages that inspired the creation of the larger domain of Méribel back in 1936. It is where the charm, and the atmosphere, of the region stems for the rest of the Méribel ski resort. The villages are traditional and the architecture is typically Savoyard. The properties for sale in the region offer some great links to the higher ski pistes, but also provide a quieter and more authentic sense of the Alpine culture. In the summers, many chose to rent out properties in Les Allues since it offers some great hiking trails at the lower-end of the mountain, but also provides more challenging hikes higher up quite easily thanks to the Olympic chair lift that was installed in 1992.

The experts say

Méribel is a favourite among British tourists and skiers. English language is prevalent and mastering French is not necessary in the villages. It is also know as “Little England upon the Alps”.

The property market in Méribel

Accommodation can be found in a range of locations, from the village of Les Allues (1,100m in altitude) all the way to the highest village Méribel Mottaret. Despite some purpose-built villages on the mountain, a property in Méribel for sale has a very controlled aesthetic, so there are no cement high-rises found here. Prices tend to increase with altitude for a Méribel property. A two-bedroom apartment in Les Allues can be purchased for around €250,000 but a similar 63m squared apartment can easily be priced at €500,000 in Méribel Mottaret. Escalating up in the mountain to smaller villages, a three-bedroom Méribel ski chalet for sale on Route des Chalets can range up to €1,500,000. A five-bedroom chalet in Méribel-Mottaret can easily reach €2,000,000. The region of Les Trois Vallées is generally on the pricier side of the Alps. The proximity of the resorts allows visitors to have access to multiple resorts at once, thus increasing the value of the location. A ski chalet for sale in Méribel  offers a strong rental opportunity for its owner due to the year-round visitors and tourists.

How to Get There

By Train

Méribel's range of nightlife makes it a popular destination for those choosing the direct snowtrain from London St Pancras to Moutiers. The snowtrain is a weekend service, leaving either Friday night or Saturday morning, but you can still use the same route outside of Dec-Mar simply by changing in Paris.

By Air

Whilst the closest airport to Méribel is in Chambery, the most popular is Geneva due the much wider range of international and low cost flights. There are 3 different routes to Méribel for the transfer, but quickest being through Chambery using the main motorways.

Three insiders tips for Méribel

GET - Your morning pastries at the bakery Glaciers on Route de La Montée. Considered by many locals to be the best in the area.
DO - skiing the piste “The Steeper” is a must. It is a test for any adventurous skier.
SEE - the Olympic Centre is the heart of Méribel Centre; it is open daily and offers a myriad of activity options, incuding a pool, a fitness centre, a climbing wall and an indoor ice-rink.

- Added to shortlist

- Removed from the shortlist

Undo