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Orelle (Val Thorens)

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Ski area: 3 Valleys, France
Resort height: 880m, ski 2300m
Resort top height: 3230m

3 Valleys
(Val Thorens, Orelle, Les Menuires, St Martin, Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Brides)
Km piste: 600
Lifts: 172
Snow cannons: 2091 (1/3 ski area)
Snow parks: Various

No. of slopes: 318

Green slopes 51 Blue slopes 126
Red slopes 111 Black slopes 30

Beginners starstar
Intermediates starstarstarstar
Experts starstarstar
Boarders starstarstar

Driving distance from Calais: 583 miles (8hrs 30)


Orelle is located within the Maurienne Valley region of the French Alps. Orelle is divided into 10 little hamlets  - Francoz is home to the 3 Vallees Express gondola that connects Orelle to Val Thorens and the 3 Valleys ski area.


The 8 authentic hamlets are hidden in a natural spot, near Italy and the Natural Park of Vanoise.


Stone houses, beautiful slate roofs and lots of traditional charm. Discover a village with a unique architectural heritage.


Great for those seeking calm, peace and the authenticity.


The gondola takes 15 minutes and takes you up to an altitude of 2300m.


Orelle benefits from low prices in the small hamlet but with access to one of the largest ski areas in the world – the 3 Valleys.


There is a bar and restaurant next to the gondola departure, and a mini-market within the residence. For a further selection of shops, bars and restaurants St Michel de Maurienne is a 5 mins drive or St Jean de Maurienne is a 20-30 mins drive.


  • Opening Dates
  • Child Care
  • Activities
  • Apres Ski/Eating
  • Access
  • Other Amenities
Opening Dates


Orelle gondola link to Val Thorens open from 22nd November 2014 to 10th May 2015 (Val Thorens opening: 22nd November)

Child Care



Looks after your children from 3 months to 6 years old.

Discovery learning workshops, sport, reading, cookery, games, activities around the mountain and the snow, etc.

Elisabeth ANDRÉ or Caroline Neyret

Telephone number: 0033 4 79 59 99 67


Booking form:

Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 17:30 pm.

21st December 2014 to 26th April 2015.

 Rates 14/15:


6 times

Morning from 8.30am to 1pm
Afternoon from 1 to 5.30pm



Afternoon from 12 to 5.30pm



Day from 8.30am to 5.30pm




Half-day or day hosting:
Morning 8:30 am - 13 pm (meal must be provided)
Afternoon 12 am - 17:30 pm (snack must be provided)
Afternoon 13 pm - 17:30 pm (snack must be provided)
Day 8:30 am -17:30 pm (meal and snack must be provided)
For the youngest, half an hour of adaptation the first day with the parents is necessary.

• Documents required for registration:

- Child Health record

- 30% of the total amount

• Functioning modalities

Lunch and snack provided by the parents, as well as dummy and blankie!




New activity in Val Thorens/Orelle built in 2014

World's highest wire (La Tyrolienne)
A glide over 1300 m… 1 minute 45 seconds of pure pleasure in breathtaking surroundings, from the 3 Valleys peak at 3230 m, at the top of the Bouchet chairlift in the Orelle resort, over to the Val Thorens crest, at 3000 m, at the top of the Thorens Funitel.

From Orelle to Val Thorens, suspended from a steel cable, comfortably installed in a cocoon of fabric which will take you over the 100 km/h barrier, you can experience what it feels like to be a great bird of prey, soaring over infinite spaces.



Length: 1300 m
Altitude on departure: 3230 m
Altitude on arrival: 3000 m
Maximum height above the ground: 250 m
Speed: 65 to 105 km/h
Age: 8 to 88 yrs
Weight: 120 kg

Access is reserved to skiers by the Bouchet chairlift, in the Orelle resort.
The glide costs 50 € and tickets are purchased on-site.
Please note that there are a limited number of places. The use of the Tyrolienne is subject to weather conditions.


Orelle Sledding

A run is available at the top of the gondola. If you do not have a lift pass because you are a non-skier, a pedestrian pass can be bought from the lift pass office.


• Sledge: a sledge run was done up at the top of the cabin.

• Telebaby: at Plan-Bouchet, open from 9.20am to 4pm.


Orelle Paragliding

From the Caron’s Summit from December - April. Contact ‘Libre Envol’. Didier Goujon – 0033 681 55 74 94

At an altitude of 3000m to 650m in altitude, at the top of the chairlift Boismintz or depending on the weather, from the Cime Caron or Peclet Glacier.


Orelle Pedestrian trails
If you want to walk and discover all the beauty of our mountains, a map is available at the Tourist Office.


Orelle Nordic walking
Every Thursday, enjoy this new activity, have a breath, a break around nice lansdcapes ; Learn how to combine soft physical activity and relaxation.
During the afternoon with a guide for every levels. Information and registration at the tourist office at least the day before.
RDV: 1.30pm in front of the residence


Orelle Torchlight walk

Each week, a small nocturnal torchlight walk, ending with a snack on instead of the gondola. 

Grand Perron Farm visit

Visit once a week to enjoy cheese and local products


Italian escape to Turin
Each week – On reservation at the Tourist Office. (ID card required)


"Cows, bells and cheese"
Every Friday, spend an afternoon to discover the animals of the farm and taste the local products.
Rates: 13€ adult, 9€ child under 12 years old.
RDV: Tourist Office

Internet access with printer, CD burner, Messenger, Skype and Office software. Possibility of Wireless connection for laptop.


Board games
Loan at the tourist office. Afternoon and evening organized plays.


Loan of books


Contact the tourist office to book the above.


Orelle Markets

- Modane: Thursday morning
- St-Michel-de-Maurienne: Friday morning
- St-Jean-de-Maurienne: Saturday morning  


All the above information is for information only. For the most up-to-date information please visit the resort tourist office website


Orelle Tourist Office

Office de Tourisme d'Orelle
Francoz 73140 ORELLE
Tél. / Fax 0033 479 56 87 22 -    

Apres Ski/Eating

1 restaurant, altitude restaurant, 1 bars


Bar des 4 Vallées
At the departure of the cabin, Valerie welcomes you in her friendly snack bar.

Beautiful terrace from March.


New in Orelle, you could now find pizza, sandwich, panini, chips, cakes and other snacks.

During winter on the place of the gondola.

Altitude restaurant
Chinal Donat

Located at the top of the 3 Vallées Express gondola, this mountain restaurant proposes self service or traditional restaurant in a warm ambiance. Traditional and regional food.


In Val Thorens

FROM 3.20PM:
Folie Douce (alongside Val d'Isere, Meribel and Alpe d'Huez). La Folie Douce is a unique concept created over 30 years ago by Luc Reversade. Food and clubbing in Val Thorens.

At an altitude of 2,600 metres, this open-air Club is the must-visit venue for a relaxing moment on the slopes of the 3 Vallées. A large balcony welcomes
DJs and live musicians. Overlooking the 700 m² dance floor, they electrify the crowd with powerful vocals and a touch of ‘folie’… Located at the top of the Plein Sud chair lift, it’s THE spot from which to enjoy the day’s final rays of sun and admire the sunset.




By Road: Driving distance from Calais to Orelle 583 miles (approx 8hrs 25)

From Calais, take A26 Motorway towards Reims and Troyes, then Dijon, Lyon, Chambéry. Follow the A43 Motorway to Modane. Take A43 until St Michel de Maurienne then RD1006 to Orelle (6km).


By Rail: St Michel de Maurienne/Valloire rail station then taxi (6km).



Chambery Airport is 95km from Orelle (1 ½ hours)

Grenoble Airport is 164km from Orele (2 hours)

Lyon Saint-Exupery is 180km from Orelle (2 hours)

Geneva Airport is 180km from Orelle


Public shuttle bus transfers from airport:


Chambery Airport - Orelle ( Saturdays from 20/12/14-18/04/15 (up to 3 per day). Adult return €60. 


Lyon Airport - Orelle ( Saturdays from 19/12/14-29/03/15 (up to 3 per day). Adult return €115. 


Orelle Transfer

Pre-book your Orelle airport taxi transfer with Peak Retreats

From Chambery Airport to Orelle – from £89 per person return based on 4 people sharing.  We can book from Grenoble, Lyon, Turin and Geneva airports too.

For all other transfer prices please view here 


Other Amenities

ESF Ski School, sport shop, Mini-market, post office, delicatessen. Nearest cash point is St Michel de Maurienne (6km).


Free Wifi

3 zones of free WiFi are available at the Tourist Office on the square from the cable car and the arrival of the cable car. Internet access terminal available at the Tourist Office, with logon tickets on sale.



Although Orelle is located in the Maurienne Valley, its ski area is within the 3 Valleys ski domain. Orelle has a small ski area with a few pistes, but is directly linked to Val Thorens and the 3 Valleys ski area via lift. You can be in Val Thorens within 30 mins of getting on the gondola at Orelle. There is now an easier and more enjoyable access to Orelle gondola, with the removal access stairs and an elevator for disabled persons. The new detachable Peyron chairlift in Orelle will be faster (5 minutes instead of 15) and easier being replaced by a 6 seater, with better wind resistance.


From Orelle you can choose between 3 primary ski areas:

Orelle-Val Thorens (150km of piste) – see right panel

La Vallée des Belleville (300km of piste)

3 Valleys (600km of piste)


New for 14/15:

Val Thorens’s Installs Retro Gondola

Val Thorens is installing almost-identical replicas of Péclet’s 1973 gondolas, in a lift upgrade that pays homage to the resort’s very first ski lift “eggs”.

Described by the resort’s marketing department as, “Round, colourful and utterly seventies,” the  gondolas provide pedestrian access to the ski area’s south-facing sector, as well as to the Folie Douce apres ski venue.


In technical terms, the lift is a ultra- modern – a hybrid detachable 6-seater chair lift with four person cabins dotted along it. It is a SETAM innovation that has been proudly named the ‘Pioneers’ Gondola Lift’, and will replace the existing 3V1 chair lift. It’s one of three new six-seater chairlifts being installed at Val Thorens for the coming winter.

The resort’s Boismint sector has been redesigned to provide improved skier traffic flow on the ski area and the Plan de l’Eau chair lift has been replaced by a 6-seater detachable chair lift. Travelling up higher than an the old route, the new lift will now serve a greater vertical drop and the new route will also provide a direct link to the Caron sector.


In addition La Portette chair lift has been replaced by another 6-seater detachable chair lift, improving its role as a link to the ski area’s Northern runs.  The bottom of the lift has been moved one hundred metres down the mountain, positioning it more in the centre of the sector’s skiing traffic.


Additional ski info facts, main ski details listed in panel at top of page.


Orelle/Val Thorens (99% above 2000m)




 32 & 18 free WiFi areas

No. of slopes 78











Orelle connects to Val Thorens (and the 3 Valleys via Val Thorens) via the 3 Vallees Express gondola. It takes around 15 mins taking you from 900m to 2350m. To link to Val Thorens you need to take the ‘Rosael’ chairlift. Otherwise the very small Orelle area has 1 green, 1 blue and 2 red pistes.


There is a boarders cross in the Orelle ski area.


In the 3 Valleys, 85% of pistes are above 1800m and 100% of the pistes are above 1800m in Orelle/Val Thorens.


Val Thorens ski area

Val Thorens is Europe’s highest resort and therefore snow cover is pretty much guaranteed from beginning of December to early May (open until 8th May 2012). There are mainly north-facing slopes.


The ski area itself of Val Thorens is suited to all abilities although the connection pistes up in Orelle are suited to intermediates rather than beginners.


Above Orelle, two chairlifts (Peyron and Bouchet) take you to 3230m on the flanks of Pointe du Bouchet. This is the highest lift in the 3 Valleys and there are some stunning views from the top. There are 2 red runs down that merge into a blue run. The previous black run is now classified as off-piste.


Take the 150 person cable car to Cime de Caron (its one of the greatest lifts of the Alps). From here there are red or black runs, however you can just catch the cable car back down (for beginners or low intermediates). The views are phenomenal from here and for pedestrians you can access this summit from the base of Val Thorens via a couple of gondolas. No ski equipment necessary! You can also access Orelle from this cable car, although it is a black run at first then a blue run back to the 3 Vallees Express gondola.


Off course you have the whole of the 3 Valleys to explore and the opportunities are endless for all types of skier and snowboarder.


ORELLE AND 3 VALLEYS BEGINNERS  (not suited to complete beginners)

At the top of the 3 Vallees Express lift from Orelle there is a small green nursery slope with beginner lift (suitable for 1st day for complete beginners). The pistes around Orelle and the top of Val Thorens are primarily blues and red (i.e perfect for intermediates). Complete beginners in general will struggle though, so we’d advise that unless you’re a very quick learner that the access routes to Val Thorens are only really suitable to intermediate level. There is a blue run to practise on in the Orelle sector, but that’s pretty much it.



From Orelle and the top of the Val Thorens mountain range there are plenty of blue and red runs. To get from Orelle to Val Thorens there is a lift and then a red slope. Then blue slopes all the way down to Val Thorens village. Val Thorens has some of the best intermediate terrain in the 3 Valleys.



Locally, Val Thorens slopes are predominantly red runs and the black runs are quite easy. The pistes down from Cime de Caron cable car can be challenging. The falaise and variante runs from Col de Rosael (near to Orelle area) can be changeling especially when mogulled. 3 Valleys has over 600km of piste so if you stretch a little further into other resorts you will find more than enough to keep you entertained,



Val Thorens itself offers a huge amount of off-piste as well as other areas in the 3 Valleys. The Lac du Lou is a famous off-piste run off of Cime de Caron (near to Orelle). The views are stunning from here. For those with little experience, the Pierre Lory pass is apparently ideal. In Orelle itself (the fouth valley as its called), La Combe sans Nom accessible from Cime de Caron usually offers superb conditions.


The slopes of Val Thorens are going to be one of few resorts in France to be equipped with a new snow-groomer with electric transmission. The cutting edge technology improves fuel consumption by 20-30% and removes all the uncertainties associated with transmission hyfraulic circuits. Eco friendly technology!

Orelle 3 Vallees Express Gondola lift opening times:

30-11-2013 to 07-02-2014: 9am-4.30pm (last run)
08-02-2014 to 11-05-2014: 9am-5pm (last run)
From 8th February 2014, opening of the gondola at 8.30 am on Saturday, Sunday.


  • Ski Passes
  • Ski School
  • Activities
Ski Passes


Peak Retreats do not pre-book ski passes for Orelle/Val Thorens. Below is an idea of guide prices, which you can buy when you are in resort.


3 Valleys ski pass – ½ day and daily rates 14/15:

½ day - €38.60 children, €48 adults

Day - €44.70 children, €52.20 adults

Vallee des Belleville – ½ day and daily rates 14/15:

½ day - €36.20 children, €45 adults

Day - €43.70 children, €48.80 adults

Val Thorens/Orelle - ½ day and daily rates 14/15:

½ day - €32 children, €40 adults

Day - €38.40 children, €48 adults


Orelle beginners passes 14/15:

A daily skipass for an access to the gondola and Peyron chairlift: 24 € 


Ski School


Not pre-bookable with Peak Retreats. Book direct:


Tel: +33(0)4 79 56 74 11


Please note the ski school has a very small team of 3 instructors currently.


Orelle Group & Individual Tuitions

(13/14 prices, NOT pre-bookable)


Ecole du Ski Français Orelle – 0033 479 56 74 11


13/14 Prices:

Collective lessons 6 days: morning or afternoon 139€
Collective lessons half-day: 1 morning or 1 afternoon 25€
Individuals lessons: 1h from 39€



Mountain restaurants in 3 Valleys

1 in Orelle, plenty in Val Thorens and further afield.


Orelle Snowshoeing & pic-nic
Every Wednesday, go with a guide to discover the Vanoise National Park! Snowshoeing day with a guide for every levels.
Information and registration at the tourist office at least the day before.
Bring your pic-nic, a bottle of water, warmclothes, gloves, head covering, sun glasses. If necessary, cap, suncream, ...
Car necessary; Possibility to share cars.
RDV: 9am in front of the Tourist Office


Orelle 1st tracks with ski patrol team
Every Thursday, we propose you to go up before other, make 1st tracks and have the breafast at the top, with snow patrol team - d'infos

 - RDV at 8.15 am
- Up in the gondola with the rescue team, at 8.15am
 - First tracks
 - Coffee and croissant in the rescue unit.
Booking required at the tourist office, on Wednesday night at the latest.
Rate: 10 euros


Train on the champions’ stadium in Val Thorens
Skiers can now tackle an exceptional, full-sized ski cross stadium built alongside the World Cup run. 1.4 kilometres of thrills to enjoy for grown-ups…, as well as for children racing alongside their parents. Open access.


Other Accommodation In: Orelle (Val Thorens)

More details
Le Hameau des Eaux d'Orelle
Apartments. Sleeps 2-8
Located half a mile from Orelle gondola taking you directly to the Val Thorens slopes in the heart of the 3 Vallees in 15 minutes.
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