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.
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:
(150km of piste) – see right panel
La Vallée des Belleville
(300km of piste)
(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)
ORELLE AND 3 VALLEYS SKI AREA
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.
ORELLE AND 3 VALLEYS INTERMEDIATES
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.
ORELLE AND 3 VALLEYS EXPERTS
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,
ORELLE AND 3 VALLEYS OFF-PISTE
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:
OPENING HOURS OF THE CABIN:
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.