While some of us have decent ski hills near our homes, others might need to take a ski trip to get to the mountains. Any ski hill can be a destination, but oftentimes, people will decide to go to a ski resort. These resorts are often little towns of communities that offer lodging, food, and equipment for those wanting to ski. Many also offer nighttime entertainment as well as other fun daytime activities.
These ski resorts allow for access to numerous different mountains or trails and can be a great place to spend a couple of days with friends or family. Throughout the world, there are thousands of different ski resorts with access to some truly breathtaking mountains and communities.
But out of all the ski resorts in the world, which is the biggest? Well, that distinction goes to Les Trois Vallees (The Three Valleys), which is located in France. It is more like a ski area than purely a ski resort, but there is no doubting it’s enormous size.
This article is going to go over the resort, it’s history and what goes into making it the biggest resort on the planet.
What is Les Trois Vallees?
Les Trois Vallees is a ski area and resort in France, just south of Moutiers. The area originally consisted of three valleys including Saint-Bon, Allues, and Belleville, but a fourth valley (the Maurienne) has been added. The ski resort has a top elevation of over 10,000 feet and features 600 km of skiable areas. Because of this height, it allows for the best snow conditions for most of the resort for many months every year.
In total, there are 335 runs, with most being intermediate or easy, with some suitable for beginners and others made for expert skiers. No matter your level, you’ll be able to find a hill or run that works for you. The resort has nearly 200 ski lifts, ranging from chair lifts to cable cars. These can be responsible for carrying hundreds of thousands of skiers each and every hour.
The resort even features over 2,000 cannons for making snow to ensure the resort is always powdered and ready to go. A team of thousands contributes to the daily operation of the resort from snow groomers, ski lift operators, patrollers, and instructors.
While the entire area is considered a resort, there are several sub-resorts throughout the area in each of the valleys that make up Les Trois Vallees. Each offers its own experience and access to different mountains and runs. You could go back to this ski area and resort dozens of times and have a different experience every time, that is how massive it is.
The History of Les Trois Vallees
Back in 1925, several English businessmen and skiers wanted to create a ski resort in France, much like the ones that were up and running in both Switzerland and Austria. After exploring the area, especially the Saint-Bon valley, the expert skiers who explored the area (like Arnold Lunn) said it had the potential to become a large resort, and the rest is history.
The first area of Les Trois Vallees to offer skiing and other winter activities was the Saint-Bon valley. The first resort to pop up in the area was Meribel, which first was established in 1939. Within the next few decades, many other resorts would pop up around the valleys, and there are now 8 scattered around the area, with many having smaller sub-resorts.
Ever since 1973, it has been possible to ski the entire interlinked valleys by using a single ski pass. This in itself makes this the largest resort and ski area on the entire planet. If you want a truly a once in a lifetime experience, be sure to check Les Trois Vallees out.
Are there any other large ski resorts out there that you would love us to write about? If so, be sure to leave us a comment below.