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Valmorel Ski Resort Guide

Valmorel, France

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length94 miles
Highest Lift8,366ft
Resort Height4,593ft
 Nearest AirportsChambery and Grenoble
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Valmorel is not yet 40 years old, and very tastefully designed, gaining widespread admiration for having the advantages of a purpose-built resort without looking like one. The ski area is linked to that of St François Longchamp giving over 150km of terrain. An 'ideal family resort'


The French ski resort of Valmorel is in the French Alps at an altitude of 4,593ft, with 94 miles of marked runs.

Valmorel is part of the Le Grand Domaine ski area with access to 193 miles of downhill skiing, with 167 marked pistes, served by a total of 90 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Valmorel itself (94 miles of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Le Grand Domaine ski resorts of Doucy-Combelouvière and St François Longchamp. Valmorel is directly linked by Ski Lift to the ski areas of Doucy-Combelouvière and St François Longchamp.

With ski lifts as high as 8,366ft, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Valmorel?

The next notable snow forecast is 4in, expected on 24 September.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Valmorel

Ski Area Stats

Valmorel Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 8 6 miles
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
1912 miles
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
3930 miles
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
2411 miles
Total Length
94 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
25 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

Le Grand Domaine Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
Total Length
193 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Valmorel Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift8,366ft
Lowest Trail4,593ft
Resort Altitude (Valmorel)4,593ft
Max Vertical3,773ft

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Valmorel
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Valmorel Overview

One of France, Europe and the world's newer major resorts, Valmorel was built in 1976 after the mistakes of earlier French ski resort developments had been learned. It is the first ski centre you reach on entering the famous Tarentaise Valley and, provided you arrive on a good day, you should be inspired by a sense of calm, natural beauty on arrival. The resort opens out onto scenic pine forests, mountain pastures and the backdrop of the high Alps, the marketing slogan 'Valmorel La Belle' seems perfect.

The architectural style is unique in France, inspired by ancient construction techniques in the Morel valley. There are no slopeside rectangular concrete apartment blocks, but instead large chalet style buildings, none of them more than three or four storeys high and all following the curves of the land beneath. Only wood, stone and paving stones are used and there are no visible electrical wires or cables either.

Valmorel is divided in to various 'hameaux' (hamlets) - clusters of buildings on different levels. These are connected by footpaths, sometimes covered, and adorned with charming little squares and internal courtyards. Everything here has been created with a calm but active lifestyle in mind and to remain harmonious with the natural setting.

It's a concept very similar to that taking the major North American ski areas by storm in the late 1990s, pioneered by Intrawest, most notably with their successful resort designs of Whistler-Blackcomb and Tremblant in Canada. Valmorel centres on The Bourg ('the small market town'). Almost all of the shops and services are located here in a pedestrianised area. The façades in pastel tones are decorated with trompe l'oeil frescos. The archways, porches and overhangs are reminiscent of the time when architecture was sophisticated.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Valmorel is 2 miles long and the most difficult run is the 'Riondet', which is 2 miles in length.


Marketed primarily as an intimate resort proud of its architecture and layout it comes as a pleasant surprise to find that the ski area is so big, with 150km (93 miles) of runs stretching across the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valley. Such a ski area is not huge by the standards of the French super resorts but it's certainly as big as anywhere else you will find in the world.

Known as the Grand Domaine area, it inevitably links to neighbouring resorts, in this case St François-Longchamp, as well as the smaller traditional villages of Doucy and Les Avanchers nearby. The two major resorts are at each extreme of the skiing area so there's a good sense of travelling to get from one to the other and its best to allow a full day to make the return trip. More than 300 snow guns help to ensure that the link stays complete throughout the season.

Naturally the ski area has been just as well designed as the village. Pistes run right down into the village itself. Beginners have an excellent purpose designed area, separate to the main skiing and allowing first timers to build up confidence before hitting the greens (very easy runs) out in to the great white yonder. There is even a slow chairlift so you can get used to going up, as well as down, in an unintimidating way - an idea common in North America but invariably ignored or forgotten elsewhere in Europe.

Intermediates will have the most to enjoy in Valmorel's skiing, with the vast majority of trails graded blue or red to suit their standard. You get an enjoyable sense of travelling by taking the half dozen series of lifts and runs across to St Francois Longchamp and with slopes facing in all directions it's possible to stay in the sunshine all day by moving around the mountain.

Expert skiers are most likely to head for reds and blacks of the Col du Mottet and the Massif de la Lauzière above Longchamp. Powder fans will find huge expanses within easy reach of the lift system. The smartest thing to do is to hire a guide who'll lead you on a long run down the Belleville Valley to St Jean below Les Menuires.

The ski school employs ninety instructors able to instruct in all major languages and all the snowsports including competition skiing, powder snow, snowboarding or 'surf' as the French prefer to call it, cross-country skiing, skwall, and telemark.

Group lessons have a single meeting point in front of the ESF (French ski school) building in the hamlet of Mottet. Courses of lessons are normally for two and a half hours per day, six days a week, commencing Sundays or Mondays.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.


At the top of the Creve Coeur chairlift there is a snow zone for freeriders on skis or boards. A boarder cross and various rails are maintained and adapted to suit all ability levels. A meeting place with cool zone and barbecue is regularly in use, and the Park is served by the Gollet drag lift. .

Beginners are recommended to head for the Biollène trail. Off the slopes, Valmorel's idea of creating a safe and relaxed family environment may not match every 'boarders idea of the ideal après scene, although there is action to be found in some bars.

Location and Map

Where is Valmorel?

This ski resort is in the French Alps in Le Grand Domaine, Savoie.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Valmorel is Chambery, 60 minutes drive away.

Grenoble, Annecy, Lyon St-Exupéry, Lyon Bron, Geneva, Sion, Saint-Étienne and Turin Caselle airports are all within three hours drive.

Chambery is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.


Ski Lift Capacity

The 38 ski lifts are able to uplift 51,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 22 miles of ski runs, with 315 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Valmorel open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is mid December, and usual closing is Mid April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Valmorel, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Valmorel Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Valmorel

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

Most après ski activities are centred on the pedestrianised main street through Bourg where street cafés can be lively as soon as the lifts close.

Popular spots include bars like the Cafe Alpin, Ski Roc and the Perce Neige are usually the busiest in the resort. Later on there are cocktail bars. Late night dancing is offered at Les Nuits Blanches night club.

Radio Valmorel on 104.3 FM can keep you informed of entertainment opportunities, as well as weather forecasts and ski conditions.

Other evening activities include the cinema and evening snow shoe hikes and you can opt to spend an unusual night out by visiting the Kanata igloo village (15 minutes from the resort) by foot.