Les Trois Vallées
This is the big one you’ve heard all about: vast, fast and a contender for largest ski area in the world. It’s impossible to tire of all this terrain: depending on how it’s reckoned, there are more than 600km of pistes and 180 lifts linking eight resorts and three parallel valleys. Among these are Val Thorens, Europe’s highest at a heady 2300m; wealthy and ever-so-British Méribel (elevation 1450m), founded by Scotsman Colonel Peter Lindsay in 1938; and playground of the super-rich Courchevel, which stretches over three purpose-built resorts at 1550m, 1650m and 1850m and is a fave of the Moët-at-five brigade and ultra-wealthy Russians. In between are a number of lesser-known Alpine villages – Le Praz (Courchevel-Le Praz; 1300m), St-Martin de Belleville (1450m) and très anglais La Tania (1400m); all are linked by speedy lifts to higher-elevation slopes.