Do you like the mountains? Discover the best things to do in Val Thorens in summer and winter!
Located in the Tarentaise valley, Val Thorens is a winter sports resort attached to the town of Belleville in Savoie.
Known as the highest resort in Europe, with a dominant village at an altitude of 2,300 m, Val Thorens is part of the tremendous and gigantic ski area of the Trois-Vallées, alongside Meribel and Courchevel.
If this Savoyard resort is an ideal playground during the winter period, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to do in Val Thorens in summer.
Between the traditional downhill skiing and the fantastic rail tobogganing, the helicopter flight, and the ascent in alpine pastures, you will find the outdoor activity that suits you.
Whether you are a sportsman or simply looking for a nature holiday, whether you come with or without children, you will enjoy the outdoor activities to do in Val Thorens.
On the way to a breath of fresh air! Here is the list of best things to do in Val Thorens in summer and winter:
The 19 Best Things to do in Val Thorens in Summer and Winter (Outdoor Activities)
Best Things to do in Val Thorens in Summer
The choice of trails for hiking is not lacking in the Trois-Vallées area. More than three hundred kilometers of paths are marked! So you can discover the beauties of the mountain in summer: marmots, chamois, green valleys, flowery meadows, etc.
The ski lifts are also accessible in summer and allow you to easily reach a hiking starting point located at the other end of the area.
Here are some examples of circuits:
- Lake Lou (Easy): 2 hours, 292 m of elevation gain;
- The shepherd’s path (Easy): from Val Thorens to Les Menuires, 1 hour, 500 m of elevation gain;
- The refuge of Péclet-Polset (Medium): 5 h 15, 714 m of elevation gain;
- The Col de la Vallée Etroite (Medium to Difficult): above Lake Lou, 7 hours, 1,000 m of elevation gain;
- The Tour de la Pointe de la Masse (Difficult): 33 km, 1,077 meters.
The ascent to the alpine pastures
Among the outdoor activities to do in Val Thorens, transhumance is undoubtedly a must. It is an ancestral ritual celebrating summer’s arrival and the herds’ departure that joins the alpine pastures.
The latter is located between Val Thorens and Les Menuires, six kilometers from the villages of Belleville, where a special day is often organized on this occasion around June 21.
The zip line
Are you a fan of thrills? Come and test the BEE! What if you stepped into the shoes of an eagle for a flight of 1,300 m from the top of the Bouchet chairlift, located on the Orelle estate, at an altitude of 3,230 m? You will stay almost two minutes in the air, with a breathtaking view of the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys.
In total safety, you will live this unique experience in the world at a speed of 65 to 105 km / h! The adventure is even crazier in winter, wearing your skis!
Paragliding is one of the outdoor activities to do in Val Thorens throughout the year. Everyone will judge the season that offers the most beautiful landscapes.
Attached by a harness to the instructor who will operate the equipment, you will only have to rush to make your paragliding baptism and live incredible emotions.
You will choose a flight adapted to your desires and level, from the simple contemplative flight to the flight with figures! Departures are generally at an altitude of 3,000 m.
Lovers of the snowy mountain prefer winter paragliding. Prices vary between 80 and 170 € depending on the options chosen.
Mountain biking and road biking
The mountain is the perfect setting for downhill mountain biking. Val Thorens, Les Menuires, and Saint Martin de Belleville can boast of holding the “espace VTT/FFC” label since 1998.
The 3 Valleys area gives you access to 120 km of mountain biking trails for twenty-one routes, during which you can climb ridges, follow torrents or descend the mountainsides.
Here are three examples of routes for three distinct levels:
- The tour of the Plan de l’Eau (Easy): Starting point in Les Bruyères, ideal for the family;
- The ascent of mont de la Chambre (Middle): from Val Thorens;
- The circuit of the 3 Valleys (Difficult): 117 km through the domain of the 3 Valleys;
Be aware that it is also possible to go mountain biking in winter. You will then use a fat bike.
For road bike enthusiasts, the options are fewer, but they exist. Take the departmental road 117, between Val Thorens and Moûtiers, for about 40 km. Some 13% passages await you, with a total altitude difference of 1,867 m.
Quad or buggy riding
The quad, the buggy, or possibly the motorcycle are ways to approach the mountain and appreciate its landscapes in another way. Walks can be arranged for two hours or half a day. The B license is mandatory for the driver.
Rafting and whitewater sports
What could be more pleasant than cooling off in the white water of a torrent when the sun hits in summer? Leave Val Thorens and go to Haute-Isère, at the gates of the Parc de la Vanoise.
Try your hand at the Rapides d’Aime and discover the Centron Gorge. There is something for all levels: from 7 km of descent for the uninitiated to 23 km for the most experienced.
If haute-Isère is an ideal spot for rafting, it is also ideal for all whitewater sports. For a rafting trip, prices vary between 49 and 66 €.
The adventure course (tree climbing)
Leave the water to gain height and put on your adventurer gear. Between footbridges and stirrups, between monkey bridges and rungs, your course will be strewn with pitfalls to the delight of athletes searching for sensations. If you stay hungry, the end-of-course zip line should satisfy you!
Do you want to take a break from mountain sports? Take the time to book one of the resort’s fourteen tennis courts!
What would the mountain be without its lakes? With countless torrents and more than ten high-altitude lakes, the Belleville Valley is a perfect spot for sport fishing enthusiasts. Slight risk of missing fish; river trout invade the Bruyères body of water every week.
However, you will need to bring a fishing card, which can only be used during the day. The youngest will be able to discover fly fishing on 1/2 day and up to six days.
Sledding on rails
If you like sliding sports, know that it is not impossible to go sledding in summer! After the grass sled, discover the sled on rails!
Go to the resort of Les Menuires, not far from Val Thorens, and board your toboggan and hurtle down the 1,000 m of turns and twists! You can enjoy the many best outdoor activities in Les Menuires.
The outdoor activities to do in Val Thorens are not just thrilling activities. If you like sports of concentration and precision, archery is for you! The shooting range is accessible to children over the age of six.
Let the horseback riding enthusiasts be reassured that our hoofed friends have not deserted our French mountains. Pony for the youngest, horses for adults, or the most seasoned.
It is also possible to make children discover the hiking qualities of our friends donkeys. Horse riding is one of the best things to do in Val Thorens in the summer.
Walks can be organized for over half an hour or a day. Lovely night walks are also offered.
The ULM overview
Fly peacefully over the Belleville Valley for a walk or a baptism of Ulm. This outdoor activity is also practicable in winter.
Best Things to do in Val Thorens in Winter
Skiing and snowboarding: Downhill skiing, Downhill skiing
Whether it’s downhill skiing, snowboarding, ski tours, or evening skiing, all formulas and supports are possible in the world’s largest ski area. With over 600 km of slopes, you shouldn’t get bored!
In addition, it is possible to take ski lessons for a price that varies between 33 and 46 € per day.
Sledding is nice. The snake-gliss is even more so! It is a kind of caterpillar of individual sleds, clinging to each other.
Rest assured, the head of the snake is driven by a professional who masters the direction and speed of the equipment. This concern for safety does not detract from the sensations!
You will leave from the Funitel de Péchet for 45 minutes of crazy descent with friends or family. The most sensitive, however, will have to refrain from going up.
A mulled wine will be offered on arrival to reward your courage or recklessness! The snake-gliss is one of the best things to do in Val Thorens in winter.
A snowshoe ride
Are you tired of board sports? Put on your rackets! Step into the shoes of a Neolithic man and imagine going hunting, as did our ancestors, who had no other means to move than this ingenious technique.
The snowshoe ride is also a pleasant way to appreciate the beauty of the winter landscapes at your own pace and in peace.
It is possible to book your discovery hike for a day or 1/2 half day from 50 €.
A dog sled ride
Animals, forests, skiing, does it tempt you? Among the outdoor activities to do in Val Thorens in winter, the dog sled ride is particularly typical.
If you don’t live in the high mountains, you shouldn’t have the opportunity to relive such an experience anytime soon! Do you like nature, skiing, adventure, and contact with animals?
Dog sledding in Savoie is, therefore, for you. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and is accessible to children from two years old. You can couple this singular outing with a night in a yurt. Change of scenery guaranteed!
The flight over the massifs by helicopter
The mountain in winter is of unparalleled beauty. You will take full measure by flying over the most famous peaks of the Alps by helicopter. You will take off from Val Thorens and then admire the 3 valleys or Mont Blanc seen from the sky.
Depending on the options chosen, the price of a flight varies between 100 and 500 €.
So, which of these outdoor activities to do in Val Thorens tempts you the most?