Skiing the French Alps

Skiing the French Alps has been on the bucket list for as long as I can remember. So this past January, when I was invited by Club Med Val Thorens to experience the region, I jumped on the opportunity.

From the Lyons Airport in France, I joined a group of journalists on a long, beautiful drive into Les 3 Vallées (The Three Valleys).

With an altitude of 7,545 feet and 372 miles of internationally acclaimed ski slopes, The Three Valleys is Europe’s biggest and tallest ski area.

Skiing the French Alps
Skiing the French Alps – Picture Perfect day on Meribel Mountain

The Club Med Val Thorens Sensations Hotel was the perfect headquarters for a winter ski getaway – complete with ski-in ski-out accommodations, incredible on-site activities and even bedside slope views.

Skiing the French Alps
Views from my room at the Club Med Val Thorens (via Instagram @Tourist2Townie)

We skied for three full days, across three different mountains (Val Thorens, Meribel Vallee, and Courchevel), and snow conditions were absolutely amazing throughout the trip.

Skiing the French Alps
Mary (Snowboarder Magazine) and Instructor Survey the Fresh Powder

With a heavy supply of fresh powder and expert guides, I was happily trapped inside a carefree and exciting winter playground.

Skiing the French Alps

In addition to this being my first time Skiing the French Alps, it was also my first experience with traditional French Cuisine.

The two restaurants at Club Med were incredibly delicious. The restaurants at Meribel and Courchevel were out of this world. But, the culinary highlight for me during this trip had to be eating lunch at two Michelin star restaurant of Jean Sulpice – mind blowing.

It was here that I tried my first escargot (ravioli) and foie gras. Both were insanely good.

Skiing the French Alps - French Cuisine
Escargot Ravioli at Jean Sulpice

Beyond the epic skiing and mouthwatering food, we had a chance to experience some other great activities along the adventure as well…

First, and most satisfying, was the much-needed post-ski massage treatment at the hotel’s in-house CARITA Spa. Follow that up with a rest in the Hammam (steam room) and you’re re-charged and ready for the night.

The more exciting endeavorers included snowmobiling, sledding, and even testing out our rifle shooting ability at the Olympic Biathlon course in Meribel. As they put it, “this sport mixes the heart pounding excursion of Cross Country with the calmness and accuracy of shooting with a steady hand.”

Skiing the French Alps
Testing out the Olympic Biathlon Course at Meribel Vallee

I had the opportunity to experience a lot of “firsts” on this trip, and my first encounter with France was nothing short of awesome. This is one of those bucket list items that I probably won’t cross off, just so I can do it again.

Skiing the French Alps
A nighttime view above Val Thorens. I call it “A Yeti’s Perspective.”

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My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!


  1. I’m extremely jealous of your prowess on the slopes!! Living in Melbourne most of my childhood/teen years mountains & snow weren’t something seen too often. By the time I tried to ski for the first time at 18 years old it’s safe to say I was not a natural!! I’m getting there haha. Great post.

  2. That looks pretty amazing, we recently skied in the Swiss Alps and that was pretty special, but as we live in France we definitely need to visit these. We did drive by them on the way to Zermatt but unfortunately didn’t have time to stop and explore. Now added to the bucket list of things to do, before I am too old.

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