Three Valleys Area - personal observations
There is a good supermarket with large car park about 3km out
of Moutier on the Brides les Bains road. Gas and reasonably priced
of the Courcheval resorts, poshest and most expensive, and best access
to lifts. Some of the big hotels allow public use to their swimming
leaves polite notes on your window saying parking in the day is OK,
but for night you must go down to park at 1550 beside the summer swimming
after you enter 1850 the road splits. Turn left away from the bubble
lift that goes over the road. Carry on up the winding hill and park
either at the second drop off point of the Jardin Alpin lift (where
there is a fairly flat car park) or go on up and park on the grass
verges near to the Pralong chair lift. This is particularly convienient
for lunch in the camper and this lift gives good access to the slopes.
No easy parking
here so far as I know - and lift access not good to main three valleys.
main road just past the higher of the village entrances there is a
car park beside the outdoor swimming pool and opposite the tennis
courts. This is the designated parking site for camping cars but a
few years back there were no services, buses running generators all
night and it has no access to lifts!
We have parked
in the village of 1550 and not been moved on. Reasonable bubble up
to 1850 which runs until late at night, but the ski run from 1850
to 1550 can get slushy in warmer weather.
Le Praz - aka Courcheval 1300 (Olympic
ski jump village)
of the resorts so less likely to have freezing problems, but the only
runs down are red and black and are often closed or in poor condition.
You can come back down on the bubble though.
seen camping cars in the day on the main lift car park but more on
the flat car park just out of the village going up the mountain, on
the left hand side below the road. This seems a long walk to the lift
to me, but you can, in good conditions, ski back to the van via a
built, modern, but small resort with slopes well protected from sun,
so holds its snow well for its altitude. There is a small green beginners
slope in the village not shown on the piste map. Good modern lift
out of resort, but after that you need to take a chair up the Col
de la Loz or a steep button. I rate the blue back to resort
as "easy blue" - unless icy, but the top of the bubble (10
person) is very easy to reach in order to take a lift down if you
welcomes motorhomes with a Flot Bleu and free parking. The
higher car park is encouraged, but take levelling wedges. Not many
restaurants and only one supermarket with unsurprisingly highish prices.
seen motorhomes on the car park near end of the Brides les Bains (Olympe)
lifts -- no facilities I think, and about seven years ago I met some
Brits who were dumping their black waste in plastic bags and letting
it freeze ;-(
Meribel is is a sun trap so slopes back down to the village are either
icy or slushy. Big public swimming pool for showers.
Meribel Campsite open all year - Le Raffort
At a village about 3km short of the resort
village. £20.00 per night for four seven years ago, but that
included free washing machine, showers etc. Close (200m) to
Bride les Bains (Olympe) lift. The camp-site building also houses
a bar and excellent public restuarant much frequented by the locals.
Tel 04 79 00 56 29 - Fax 04 79 00 44 92
There is a large and flat public car park
beside the campsite where vans also park. At the end of the car park
is a lift (Olympe) coming up from Brides les Bains, which goes right
to the centre of Meribel. Personally I don't like the lift from here
as when you get to the end it is another 3-400m walk to the main lifts.
You can hire a ski and boot locker at the main lift if you want, but
I can't get my boots on unless they are warm, and the lockers are
not properly heated!
Mottaret - 1750m
I have never seen vans up in Mottaret where
there is little flat parking anyway.
Les Meuniere - 1800m
Vans can be seen on car parks just below
the main building complex where there are services. In 2003/4 I heard
this was getting busy and that height barriers had been put on the
other car parks.
Val Thorens - 2300m
Its about 2300m so very high, cold and barren
as it is above the tree line. I have never seen any vans up here.
Bellvue St Martin - 1400m
I have never seen the car park here as it
is not in sight from the main lift. There is an official Aire and
I gather the village is pretty. A new bubble lift was put in a year
or so back and has improved access.
Brides Les Bains - 600m
Attractive but expensive spa town on the
river in the valley. This was the site of the olympic village and
a four man bubble carries you right up to Meribel.
I have seen vans on the car park here, but
do not know if they are allowed to stay overnight - the lift is about
800m out of town though.
Further north on the local Brides road back
to Moutier are pleasant off road, river view, areas where we have
parked when descending to unfreeze in a non-winterised motorhome!
Orelle - 900m
Orelle is not known to 3 Valley afficianados,
but is due south of Val Thoren in the next valley of Maurienne. It
links to the back of the Cime de Caron and Breche de Rosael with a
long high speed gondola.
The Maurrienne valley should be worth exploirng
for motorhomers as they boast 24
small resorts (+ 3 valley access) masses of pretty villages and
a poverty of Brits, and the Orelle link into the three valleys.
Espace Killy - Tignes and Val d'Isere - personal observations
Tignes les Brevieres
The lowest of the resorts
- I have seen vans parked on the car park here. The well marked camp-site
is, I think , a summer site only.
Tignes les Boisses
Free Aire on left opposite
the Church. Loos and hot water. But, it is a bit of a hike to the
slopes that only go down to Les Breviere.
I note that the 2003/4 piste
map shows a putative lift from Les Boisses car park to high above
Tignes le Lac. This will dramatically change the usefullness of this
Tignes le Levachet and
Tignes le Lac
The major shopping area
but undercover car paring.
In the summer I have spend
a pleasant couple of days beside the lake though and used the water
from the fountains.
Tignes La Claret
The highest of the resorts,
at about 2100m. They permit campers to park on the flat car park here
for 12 euros a day, but no overnight sleeping and this is enforced.
In the summer it seems free with several vans around - this is the
base of the funicular for summer skiing on the Grande Motte glacier.
Val d'Isere - la Daille - 1785
Good aire on the right at base of funicular
- ski right to your van. Over Christmas 2003 there were some 30 vans
here with some rather selfish parking, some empty vans and too many
mini-buses. Campers parked in the lay-by at the entrance to the official
parking were not moved on. Excellent community spirit and many thanks
to several Belgium people who helped us with battery chargers and
Water and brown/black disposal, but the latter
is simply the sewer cover at road level and would send a British Health
and Safety inspector into apoplexy.
There are plans supply electricity here and
early work was visible in 2003.
There is a list of charges (approx 10 euros
per day) but in early season there was no attempt to collect this.
Overflow parking is another 300m up the road
in a bus car-park where we found another 20 vans. When parked in the
middle of this car park we were blocked in by three layers of cars
- charming smiles, gallic shrugs, and claims of innocence met our
protest when the French Ski instructor returned from the pub! The
nearest bus stop / train-rouge is equi-distance north and south!
There is a swimming bath for showers in the
main town. (Which I have heard is free for lift pass holders)
Val d'Isere main village
Val d'Isere - la Laisinant
About 0.75km past the main village several
vans park on a small level car park at the bottom of a blue run and
at a "Train-Rouge" bus stop.
Train-rouge and train-vert are a brilliant,
free and frequent bus service to all of Val d'Isere and its component
I have seen many motorhomes in small Italian
resorts such as Aprica and Passa de Tonale. I have no idea of facilities
and would welcome feedback on any other sites in Europe.
Email David Jobson