Les Trois Vallées
Still one can find places relatively undiscovered,, slightly removed from the crowds, quieter and less boisterous après ski areas, in the famous Les Trois Vallées or The Three Valleys in the Rhone-alpes region in the french alps. A ski region in the Savoie département (Savoie meaning land covered in fir trees) of France, above the town of Moûtiers and near the Vanoise National Park and the Tarentaise.
They are cheaper than their better known counterparts, with accommodation located close to the main lifts rather than an irritating hike away on the wrong side of town. They retain a traditional village atmosphere; a tangible local ambience & charm
Les Allues ( Méribel); at 1100m is a tiny resort of an ancient farming community. Ramshackle wooden barns, cowsheds & winding narrow streets. In 15 minutes the Olympe gondola takes you up to Méribel & Les Trois Vallée ski region beyond. When snow is good, it is also possible to ski back down via a scenic, wooded blue run.
There are few chalet companies operating in Les Allues, one is Just Soh. Restaurants and bars are low-key such as Tsaretta, and more traditional fine french can be found at L'Arbre & La Chaumière.
Champagny en Vanoise (La Plagne); located at the edge of the Vanoise national park, 1250m in a pretty wooded location. It is linked by the Champagny gondola to the La Plagne and les Arcs. It offers marvelous skiing from a quieter environment. It is even possible to ski down into the village at the end of the day on the rolling Les Bois red run through the trees or descernd via Mont de la Guerre. Sister village Champagny Le Haut, 300m up from en Vanoise, has an impressive artificial ice-climbing tower illuminated by night and open to total beginners. There are brilliant night time views across from both villages to the razzle dazzel lights of Courcheval.
There are several small, family-run hotels down in the village, and a luxury four-star self catering apartments & chalets at Les Alpinages de Champagny. Restaurants include La poya & Le Chalet du Verdant Sud.
St. Martin de Belleville (Les Ménuires / Val Thornes); is another small, quite village in a rather wealthy community, with just a few smart local shops and restaurants based around a 16th century church. how to get there
The slopes of St. Martin itself are not too busy and would appeal to the piste-bashing intermediate. The Jerusalem red run provide panoramic views across and up the belleville valley. The Boilley village run is also a pleasantly rolling end of the day gentle blue.
The best accommodation is in a number of exclusive, privately run chalets, including La Ferme de Belleville. St. Martin it also has a choice of fabulous restaurants, not least the Michelin-starred La Bouitte.