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.
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)
Additional ski info facts, main ski details listed in panel at top of page.
ORELLE AND 3 VALLEYS SKI AREA
No. of slopes 68|
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 really 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.
For 2011/2012, a new jumbo gondola is planned above the Portette chair, opening up new blue and red runs on the front of the mountain, and off-piste on the back (virgin mountainside!). This is near to the Orelle ski area.
Orelle 3 Vallees Express Gondola lift opening times:
OPENING HOURS OF THE CABIN:
Up to 1th February 2013: 9 am - 4.30 pm (last run)
From 2th of February to 12th of May 2013: 9 am - 5 pm (last run)
From 4th of February 2012, opening of the cabin at 8.30 am on Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays