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Orelle (Val Thorens)

Thinking of skiing in Orelle? Situated in the unspoilt Maurienne Valley region, Orelle offers a high-speed gondola link to Val Thorens and 3 Vallees ski area, providing a lower cost alternative

Why Orelle Ski Resort?

  • Links to Val Thorens - the highest ski resort in Europe, meaning snow-sure slopes from November to May
  • A lower-cost base from which to explore the vast Les 3 Vallées ski area
  • Gateway to over 600km of varied (and pretty amazing!) slopes in the 3 Valleys
  • Home to the highest zip wire in the world
  • A quiet village away from the hustle and bustle of most 3 Valleys resorts

Orelle Resort Information

Orelle is located within the Maurienne Valley region of the French Alps. It’s divided into 10 small hamlets. The authentic hamlets are tucked away in a natural beauty spot, near Italy and the Vanoise National Park. The stone houses have beautiful slate roofs and lots of traditional charm. Discover a village with a unique architectural heritage! The area is ideal for those seeking peace, calm and authenticity.

'Francoz' hamlet is home to the brand new gondola for 21/22. There will be a new link between Orelle and Val Thorens (takes 20 mins) which creates a new entry point from the Maurienne Valley (and Italy) to the 3 Vallées. For the first time in Val Thorens’ history, the summit of Cime Caron at 3,200m will be directly accessible from Orelle thanks to the construction of two new gondolas called “Orelle” and “Orelle-Caron”. It means visitors will be able to access Val Thorens directly from Orelle either on skis or by foot!

There’s is a bar, restaurant and mini-market next to the gondola base station. For a further selection of shops, bars and restaurants St Michel de Maurienne is a five-minute drive. A little further afield, St Jean de Maurienne is a 20-30 minute drive.

Orelle/Val Thorens ski area

Although Orelle is located in the Maurienne Valley, its ski area is within the 3 Valleys domain. Orelle itself has a small ski area with a few pistes but is directly linked to Val Thorens and the 3 Valleys ski area. As of the 21/22 season, there is a brand new high-speed cable car from Orelle to Val Thorens.

From Orelle you can choose between three primary ski areas:

Orelle-Val Thorens (150km of piste)
La Vallée des Belleville (300km of piste)
The entire 3 Valleys (600km of piste)

Val Thorens/Orelle is part of the large 3 Valleys ski area (the largest ski area in the world), which many skiers rightly regard as the greatest intermediate ski-playground in the world (but don't be put off if you are a beginner or total expert because Val Thorens/Orelle literally has plenty of slopes for all levels and masses of free-ride and off-piste opportunities). This impressive lift-linked ski area is formed of 8 ski resorts:

Les 3 Vallées, as it's called in French, offers you over 600km of high altitude and snow-sure ski slopes (150km just in Val Thorens itself) - every ski enthusiast’s dream! Amazing skiing can be had right from the beginning of the winter season in the Les 3 Vallées ski area and there is something for everyone - no matter what your style or ability. Renowned for its superb quality of snow and modern high-tech ski lift system which is ever-evolving, Val Thorens/Orelle is a perfect ski resort for everyone.

The 3 Valleys benefit from excellent snow coverage - the minimum altitude level for skiing is 1300m (at Courchevel Le Praz) and the maximum is 3230m. The 3 Valleys offer wide ski runs that are maintained nightly by nearly 100 piste grooming machines. In Val Thorens/Orelle you spend most of your time skiing at altitudes between 2300m and 3200m which is pretty exceptional.

  • For Val Thorens, see details with our sister company Ski Collection

Additional ski fact info, main ski info in resort facts box at top of page (21/22):

Half the size of the 3 Valleys pass, the Belleville area covers Val Thorens, Orelle, Les Menuires, St Martin de Belleville only - 300km of pistes

Val Thorens local area

150km, 31 lifts (19 chairlift, 7 gondola, 1 cable car), 89 slopes:

Green slopes: 11
Blue slopes: 38
Red slopes: 31
Black slopes: 9

Orelle/Val Thorens skiing info


At the top of the Orelle gondola there’s a small green nursery slope with a beginner lift (suitable for complete beginners even on their first day). The pistes around Orelle and the top of Val Thorens are primarily blue and red (ideal for intermediates). In general, complete beginners 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 for intermediates.


Val Thorens has some of the best intermediate terrain in the 3 Valleys. 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’s a chairlift or the new Orelle-Caron gondola. Depending on your level, you may prefer one or the other.


The pistes down from Cime de Caron cable car can be challenging. The Falaise and Variante runs from the Col de Rosael (near the Orelle area) can be challenging too, especially when mogulled. There are plenty of black runs around Val Thorens. The 3 Valleys have over 600km of piste so if you stretch a little further into other resorts you will find more than enough to keep you entertained.


There are no resort runs back to Orelle village. You need to take the Orelle gondola back down.


Starting this winter 21/22, there will be a new secure and marked zone in the Borgne sector dedicated to ski touring. Without any ski lifts around and a departure from the “Plein Sud” sector, this ski touring zone is made up of one ascent slope, groomed and prepared, and two slopes to descend, one of which is unpisted. This new area is a place to discover or practice ski touring safely, in a natural but
marked zone, far from the crowds. This natural space, accessible by the “Pionniers” or “Plein Sud” ski lifts, is perfect for groups to practice avalanche prevention and mountain safety training where they can learn how to use equipment such as avalanche detectors, probes and shovels. The zone will also be linked to the “Camille” slope, an existing ski touring route for those who want to extend and prolong their ascent.

First tracks: a hike up in ski touring gear to watch the sunrise and have breakfast higher up. As the French saying goes: the mountain belongs to he who gets up early Bookable in resort.

Several routes for both walkers and ski tourers start out from the Slope Maintenance office (rue du Soleil in Val Thorens):
2.1km, from the Cosmojet toboggan chalet at the 'rond-point des pistes'
6.1km, from the Cosmojet toboggan chalet at the 'rond-point des pistes'
5km, from the Cosmojet toboggan chalet at the 'rond-point des pistes'
2km, from 'les Balcons' area of resort

Every evening, the Slope Maintenance team provides updated information on which trails will be open to ski tourers the following day, according to the piste grooming schedule.

Mountain fun zones


The Val Thorens’ snow park is internationally recognized and rated by experts. Located at 2600m it boasts exceptional snow. The varied components of the park allow both beginners and professionals to improve and have fun on freestyle features adapted to their level. ‘Shapers’ also create different jumps every year to give everyone new ways to get aerial!

Take the Moutière chairlift at the base of the ski resort and then the Plateau draglift next to the snow park.

There is also the family snowpark. Normally, this snow park is situated in the 'Grand Fond' sector, but this winter it’s been moved to a place that is more accessible for beginner skiers and boarders. The family slope will join the Junior Space and Funslope in between the 'Chalets du Thorens' and the slope crossing. This fun zone offers an exciting place to play for even the smallest of skiers!

Nordic/cross country skiing


There are only 4km of cross-country ski trails in Val Thorens itself. However, there are 130km of cross-country ski trails in the whole of Les 3 Vallées ski area.

Get closer to the summits and enjoy breath-taking scenery such as the Cime Caron with its 360° panoramic views of more than 1000 alpine peaks of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps or the Mont de la Chambre with its clear view of Mont Blanc. There are also various mountain restaurants along the way to stop for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink or two.

Opening 2019/20, La Braiz is the highest cross-country skiing run in Les 3 Vallées! Starting near the Plan Bouchet lift which is at 2,350m, this 1km tour is ideal for those who want to discover the Orelle-Les 3 Vallées area in a different way and work on their fitness!  The trail is accessible with a pedestrian lift pass.

Orelle Ski Hire

Unfortunately not bookable with Peak Retreats.

Orelle Lift Passes

Pre-book your 6 day+ Val Thorens lift passes with Ski Collection. Please enquire.

Other lift passes are available to buy in resort such as half or full day passes for beginners or those who only wish to ski the odd day. Some resorts also offer specific passes for beginners areas or smaller area. You can also buy cross country ski passes, one-use lift passes (for non-skiers) and obtain free passes for very young children.

Ski Lockers

At Plan Bouchet there are backpack lockers with USB sockets, toilets.

New this winter 21/22 in Orelle: secured ski lockers next to the bottom of the gondola. 112 boxes for 4 people and 38 boxes for 2 people, all digitally secured, heated and equipped with shoe dryers, for your comfort.

Orelle Ski School

Please enquire. Skiing from 4 years old

Top snow activities to experience in Val Thorens/Orelle!

Val Thorens is not only just about skiing, the resort has more activities than you’ll have time to try out on a single trip. And there’s something for everyone: those in need of rest can relax in the open air during a dog sled run. Adrenaline junkies can fly down one of two ziplines. In short, whether you’re
with family, friends or your partner, you’ll find something amazing to do when not on the slopes!

Please note Peak Retreats do not book any activities and most activities are payable.

Please note it takes an hour to get from Orelle to Val Thorens by gondolas so plan your trip back accordingly so you don't miss the last lift.

Bouchet zipline
A Maurienne and Tarentaise valley link between Orelle and Val Thorens – but by air - which imitates the flight of an eagle. Length: 1,300m. Maximum height: 250m. Departure altitude: 3,230m (the highest
point of 3 Vallées. Only accessible on skis or a snowboard.

Pow surf (new for 21/22)
It’s snowboarding without bindings where riders move and glide on the snow just as if they were surfing on water! Technique and balance is everything!

Ski in a wingjump suit
Designed like a parachute, Wingjump suits are worn like a cape and attached to your ski poles. They inflate as you pick up speed, providing a light, safe gliding sensation. 

Ice diving
Embark on a wild adventure, just a short distance from the resort; a timeless journey beneath the frozen Lac du Lou. After putting on a waterproof drysuit and diving equipment (compressed neoprene drysuit, waterproof gloves, diving mask), it’s time for 20 minutes of glacial exploration. Access the lake on snowshoes or cross country skis (40 minutes), followed by a 30-minute ice diving session supervised by our professional diving instructors (includes equipment briefing), then it’s back to the resort on snowshoes or skis. Open to anyone aged 16 and over, even if you have never been diving before.

Sledge dogs
Come and experience unique sensations, led by professional mushers. Activity runs from Monday until Friday in the morning. The ride takes 30 minutes per session. They have two sledges which can start together and three sledges in February (please don't exceed 150kg per sledge.) This activity is open from 2 years old. They don't recommend for pregnant women.

Ice driving
Discover the highest ice-racing track in Europe. The Val Thorens Drivers’ School wants to initiate you to a number of new sensations. Steering, counter-steering, braking….all the techniques are tried under the watchful eye of a trained professional. The Ice Driving Val Thorens welcomes you on the 'Alain Prost' ice-racing track of VT.

Buggy initiation on ice
An SSV (Side by Side Vehicle), better known as a “buggy”, is a motorised vehicle that looks like a quad bike. You get to experience unique sensations driving an 800cc engine buggy on ice. The Ice Driving Val Thorens driving school provides initiation sessions on the main circuit (which hosts the Andros Trophy). Two people can ride a buggy together.

Get ready for an incredible experience on a marked-out run in the heart of a magnificent natural valley. All the thrills of a toboggan run for everyone from 5 years old with space-themed lights and sound effects. The longest toboggan run (6km) in Europe – the CosmoJet. After an 8 minutes ascent using the Péclet Funitel, you arrive at the departure set at the foot of the magnificent Péclet glacier, at an altitude of 3,000 m. Then it’s off for 45 minutes of excitement and sliding entertainment! Helmet provided within the cost. You can also try the evening run! And after all these emotions, the SETAM offers you mulled wine & local mountain Beaufort cheese at the Chalet Cosmojet. For daytime, meet at the Chalet Cosmojet, situated above the bottom of the Cascades chairlift, buy your tickets.
For evenings, be at the Chalet Cosmojet to collect your equipment. It is free for children between the age of 5 and 10 and under 1.25 m tall, on an adult's (above 18) sledge. Only children over 10 years old and over 1.25 m tall are allowed to use a sledge on their own. Children between 9 and 10 years old and over 1.25 m tall can use a sledge on their own if accompanied by an adult on another sledge. Only SETAM sledges are authorised on this run. Helmets and gloves are COMPULSORY for everyone. Don’t forget that departure is at an altitude of 3,000m - dress warmly.

Smaller toboggan
For the over 2’s, a free, safe and secure “Baby Fun” tobogganing area in the Place Caron at the middle of the resort awaits them. For the 6 – 10-year-olds, dedicated snowsports fans will love the new toboggan run measuring 250 metres in length over a 45-metre vertical drop and featuring a range of banked turns. You no longer need to climb back up to the top pulling your toboggan behind you thanks to the 2 free covered magic carpets located at the bottom of the slopes which let you get back to Place Caron without even breaking a sweat.

Snake gliss
Snake Gliss is an activity where up to 10 sledges are tied together, led by a professional instructor. The fun, thrilling activity involves a winding 45-minute descent from the top of the Funitel de Péclet. Fun and laughter guaranteed! 40 places available Monday to Friday. Meet at the Funitel de Péclet departure point. Rapid descent – participants should be physically fit. Equipment: helmet, gloves, après-ski boots and ski lift pass required.

Luge area "téléphérique
Cable car play area - for every kid who has dreamt to be behind the wheel of a cable car it is now possible for their dream to come true in a dedicated area...and as a bonus they will be able to slide on all the toboggans situated around the cable car. Located at the heart of the resort, on Place Caron, near Castor and Pollux magic carpet and the sledge run "Star toboggan run". Free.

Ice climbing
Discover the frozen waterfall climb at Val Thorens! Accompanied by professionals who will teach you how to use ice axes and crampons, you will share unforgettable moments in a majestic and unspoilt setting. As a bonus, from your perch at the wall of ice, you will enjoy a unique panorama of the Val Thorens resort!

The Ice Driving Val Thorens driving school gives you the opportunity to try ice karting. A 300-m long by 5-m wide ice run is specially set up for karting at the Alain Prost driving circuit centre. Ice karting sessions can be booked throughout the week.

Fat bike on snow
At an altitude of 3000 m, at the foot of the Péclet glacier, in the heart of a sumptuous high mountain decor, hurtle down the 700 m of height difference on the Tête Ronde blue slope. Accessible to sporty ones and experienced MTB riders every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening. Information and booking at the Chalet Toboggan, Rond-point des Pistes. Departure from the Funitel Péclet, 20 minutes before. All equipment is provided: bike, protections + accompaniment. Bike characteristics: hydraulic disc brakes, Huge downhill tyres.

Monoskiing and telemark skiing
Discover new snowsports thrills with lessons provided by the ESF.
- Monoskiing: Thanks to retro resort events, monoskiing is back in fashion and now has many
new devotees. But mastering the technique requires proper instruction before you can dive back to the 1980s!
- Telemark skiing: often taken up by experienced skiers as a new challenge, but that doesn’t make it any less accessible to beginners. 

Jump airbag
Do you want to learn new moves? Well, now you can do just that in total safety thanks to the airbag! The giant air cushion is the perfect solution if you want to learn or improve your freestyle skiing or snowboard technique. Free entertainment on Monday and Tuesday evenings. The Airbag is located next to 'Le Roc' drag lift at the Rond Point des Pistes.

Please note: All the above is for information only. For the most up-to-date activities including prices, please visit the resort tourist office website. All activities will be in local currency (€ Euros) and are bookable and payable locally in resort or directly online/by phone with the tourist office or activity supplier.

Val Thorens Tourist Office

Orelle Tourist Office

Top activities to experience in Val Thorens/Orelle!

Please note Ski Collection do not book any activities and most activities are payable.

Please note it takes an hour to get from Orelle to Val Thorens by gondolas so plan your trip back accordingly so you don't miss the last lift.

Val Thorens’ Sports Centre
Currently undergoing renovation work to offer you a new complex for December 2022:
- Aqua and well-being area
- Sports and leisure complex
- Multiple fitness, cardio-training and weight training rooms
- Well-being area
- Panoramic terraces

In the meantime, you can use La Croisette Sports Centre and Les Bruyères Aquafun & Wellness Centre, just 15 mins away and open 7 days a week.

At La Croisette Sports Centre you’ll find the following activities:
- Aqua-Spa, swimming pool: pool, steam room, saunas, Jacuzzis, relaxation area and a paddling pool for little ones
- Leisure sports: basketball, badminton, table tennis and squash
- Fun Park: trampolines, monkey bridge, play modules, ball pools...
- Weight training: bikes, rowing machines, cross trainers, treadmills, bench presses, weights...
- Fitness: group classes
- Well-being area: body and facial treatments/massages

At Les Bruyères Aquafun & Wellness Centre, discover the pleasures of water:
- Aquafun pool: swimming pool, indoor counter-current river, underwater seating and standing Jacuzzi. For the little ones: maxi paddling pool and water games.
- Wellness area: romantic grotto, Jacuzzi with a view, sauna, bubble pool, steam room with essential oils...
- Heights of Wellbeing: massages, body and facial treatments, manicures and pedicures….
L’Espace Aqualudique & Wellness

Footpaths for walkers and snowshoers
Whether for adventure or meditation, walkers and hikers can enjoy the same high-mountain pleasures as skiers. A detailed trail map is available for free at the Tourist Office. 4 footpaths and 8 ski lifts (Peclet funitel, Cairn, Caron, Cime Caron, Moutiere, Cascades, Orelle, Orelle-Caron) will be available to pedestrians and snowshoers.

Several routes for both walkers and ski tourers start out from the Slope Maintenance office (rue du Soleil):
2.1km, from the Cosmojet toboggan chalet at the 'rond-point des pistes'
6.1km, from the Cosmojet toboggan chalet at the 'rond-point des pistes'
5km, from the Cosmojet toboggan chalet at the 'rond-point des pistes'
2km, from 'les Balcons' area of resort

Snowshoeing in Orelle itself there are several options are available to you:
- tracks through the hamlets of Orelle
- an altitude track, at the arrival of the gondola

For the altitude route, a pedestrian pass is necessary to take the gondola. Documentation is available at the Tourist Office.

Val Thorens market
Every Tuesday and Thursday during both winter and summer seasons. From 10am - 8pm in Place de l'Eglise - you can shop for local meats & cheeses, clothing, craft stalls, sweets, wine and local honey.

Markets in Orelle and nearby towns and villages
- Tuesday: Aussois (in winter and summer season)
- Thursday: Modane
- Friday: Saint Michel de Maurienne, Valloire (whole day)
- Saturday: Saint Jean de Maurienne

Ice skating
Located at 'Place Péclet' to discover the joy of skating on the 400m2 ice rink made from completely natural ice. There’s also music and a light show. In order to provide guests the best possible
experience, La Patinoire also has a small chalet – a cozy spot to enjoy pancakes and hot chocolate with family or friends. Open for the entire season, from 15h to 21h, subject to weather

Laser Quest in the P1 underground parking garage
Dressed from head to toe in protective gear and armed with laser guns, players face each other in a laser game at 2,300m. In the darkness of an underground parking garage, two teams will face
each other in a "real war" in a themed apocalyptic setting. 

Igloo Village - see details under 'Eating out, bars & shops' tab

Bee flying - double zip line
Fly two-by-two on la Bee! The double zip-line has a length of 1800m (65m above ski slopes) and a maximal flying height of 65m! Open every day. Open to pedestrians and skiers, meet at the top of the Moutière chairlift! Accessible to all from 14 years old and taller than 1.40m.

Air tubby
For non-skiers, settle yourself into a rubber ring, slide down the run and land gently on the airbag. Free entertainment on Monday and Tuesday evenings. The Airbag is located next to 'Le Roc' dag lift at the Rond Point des Pistes.

The bowling alley features 8 child-friendly lanes (for ages 6 and over), two billiard rooms (American pool and snooker), one games room (for both kids and adults), a sports library, and a sports bar with a giant video screen. Open until 2am.

Fly over the most prestigious summits of the Alps piloted by an expert. 10 minutes of pure pleasure over the largest ski area in the world.

Beneath you, the Belleville Valley, facing the Mont Blanc is revealed. You will be led by state-qualified instructors. Departure from 3000m altitude for a descent of 650m.

A paramotor is a motorized paraglider that enables a pilot and passenger to climb in altitude and stay airborne for as long as they want. Enjoy an unforgettable aerial view as you soar above the valley at a comfortable speed of 35km/hr. Your pilot, Timothy Green, will tailor the flight to your sense of adventure, whether it be a smooth panoramic flight or an exhilarating acrobatic flight. Weather permitting, you can even fly over some of the summits and glaciers in the area to witness an amazing panoramic view of the Massifs de la Maurienne, the Tarentaise, the Vanoise all the way to the Mont Blanc and the Ecrins mountain ranges. To reserve your flight, please contact Ski Cool up to 3 days before the day you want to fly so they can double-check the weather to give you the best flight time and date possible.

Stay in a Yurt for the evening
Chalet de la Marine Yurt
This authentic Mongolian yurt is at an altitude of 2500m guarantees a total change of scenery. It’s an opportunity to have an extraordinary evening right in the heart of ski area. Immerse yourself in its warm, welcoming atmosphere and awaken your inner nomad. And, if you visit, why not try a different type of fondue - a Mongolian seafood and meat dish called a “Guriltai Shul”?
Private evening hire for two to 16 people. Return journey by tracked vehicle. 

Please note: All the above is for information only. For the most up-to-date activities including prices, please visit the resort tourist office website. All activities will be in local currency (€ Euros) and are bookable and payable locally in resort or directly online/by phone with the tourist office or activity supplier.

Val Thorens Tourist Office

Orelle Tourist Office

Val Thorens Resort News and Events 2021/22

Resort news:

  • The FIRST resort in the world to introduce a revolutionary 4WD self-driving electric shuttle bus. Seating 15 passengers, the driverless shuttle will operate around the village. It’s free to hop on and off.
  • The descent speed of Cairn and Caron gondolas will be increased. For our non-skiing customers, those two lifts link the summit of Cime Caron from the resort centre.
  • A new free ski touring zone. Starting this winter (2021/22), there will be a new secure and marked zone in the Borgne sector dedicated to ski touring.
  • A new cable car connection Orelle - Val Thorens via Cime Caron - The “3 Vallées Express” cable car has been replaced by the new “Orelle” cable car and another new lift to the top of Cime Caron has been built called “TC Orelle-Caron”. This allows a direct link between Orelle and Val Thorens by cable car on skis or by foot.
  • Augmenting its focus on innovative mobility solutions, the resort has introduced Z-Green - an electric one-seater tracked vehicle designed to help disabled people get from their accommodation to the slopes.  Booking Z-Green is via the Tourist Office. 
  • A specially dedicated driving school has opened offering a chance to try go-karting on ice. Budding drivers will be trained in special ice-driving techniques for controlling a 270cc go-kart!
  • Snowguns are added at the top of the blue piste Plateaux in order to improve customer satisfaction in this highly frequented area between the snowpark and the FamilyPark. In addition, it will facilitate access to Funitel Grand Fond at the beginning of the season.
  • La Braiz is the highest cross-country skiing run in Les 3 Vallées! Starting near the Plan Bouchet lift which is at 2,350m, this 1km tour is ideal for those who want to discover the Orelle-Les 3 Vallées area in a different way and work on their fitness!  The trail is accessible with a pedestrian lift pass.
  • A new skicross circuit - called The Funslope - opens this season accessible by the Peyron chairlift. It’s the equivalent of a blue run level and free to access for all ski pass holders.
  • A new Igloo Village will bring little ones and grown-ups into a magical world. The Igloo Village will be easily accessible on skis, on foot, on a skidoo or with snowshoes!
  • Val Thorens’ first 95% organic delicatessen – Red Square – opens and will offer fresh products from artisans and local producers, as well as a wine cellar and quality spirits, with a wide selection of top-of-the-range products stocked. Packed lunches and sushi available to order.
  • Wild & Savage is an original concept to house a bar, tattoo parlour, and snowboarding and streetwear shop all under one roof, bringing in night owls, snowboarders, tattoo fans, and many more besides! They also serve a sweet and savoury brunch, tasting platters and offer a whole ranging of different services in this extraordinary, sociable venue.
  • From spring 2019, Val Thorens’ sports centre has been undergoing a transformation including a new aqua and wellbeing area in addition to the existing one, renovation of the entire central area, shopping centre area revamp.
  • Family SnowPark. Now located near the pro and advanced snowpark in the Grand Fond zone, the Family SnowPark has been moved to make it easier to access - clearly a big benefit for beginner skiers and snowboarders. The family area is effectively being joined up with the Junior and Funslope areas between the Chalets du Thorens and the Rond-Point des Pistes.
  • The ESF Mountain Office is ready to support budding and experienced freeriders develop their skills, too. It is running a range of freeride sessions to help people discover parts of the ski area inaccessible to beginners so that the plentiful powder snow can really be enjoyed.


  • La Grande Première - 20th-21st Nov 2021 - Val Thorens kicks off the season!
  • Andros Trophy - 4th-5th December 2021 - The Andros Trophy is the French national ice racing championship. Featuring the best ice drivers in the world – the F1 drivers of ice, the race involves using 100% electric-powered cars. Every year, the Andros Trophy attracts amateurs and pros of this amazing sport which combines speed, control, self-confidence and, of course talent - lots of talent! It’s an amazing spectator sport which will be held in Val Thorens at the Alain Prost circuit.
  • Ski X World Cup - 10th-17th December 2021 - One of the resort’s key sports events, the Ski Cross World Cup opens the season every year with the first stage in Val Thorens. The resort welcomes seasoned followers and the plain curious over the two-day event. Feast your eyes on awesome descents on the run named after Jean-Fred Chapuis, the Olympic Champion who was born in the resort. This year’s Ski Cross World Cup will be hosted by the Folie Douce team - the open-air clubbing institution - who will take care of the ambiance so that everyone will be rocking to crazy sax solos in support of all the competitors. Sports and partying all weekend long is guaranteed.
  • Ski & boarder week - 12th-18th December 2021 - A week of fun for hardcore snow sports fans, with ski and snowboard tests, freeride coaching and concerts, plus a bungee ejector ride and big airbag for those who want to defy gravity. Wristbands will be on sale at the Tourist Office for €29.
  • Once upon a time at Christmas - December 2021 - Christmas week at Val Thorens is all about fairy tale, snow and ice. Children and adults will love the Father Christmas village which will feature ice sculpture demonstrations, ESF ski instructor torchlit descents, a Christmas choir and warm drinks to keep everyone amused until the long-awaited arrival of the man himself - Father Christmas - followed by an amazing fireworks display. Place Caron will also have a big Christmas tree with lights making it the ideal place for taking great holiday snaps. The evening starts at 6pm and is free.
  • New Year Festivities - 27th December 2021-1st January 2022
  • Astronomy week - 13th-25th February 2022 - There’s a clear link between Val Thorens, the highest resort in Europe, and the stars. The lunar aspect of a resort perched up at 2,300 metres and the year-round opportunities for naked-eye stargazing makes the resort a very special place for budding cosmonauts. Things on offer - assisted sky watching, ultra planetary show, alien shows.
  • Valentines Day in the Summit - 14th February 2022 - Roses distribution and hearts hunt, celebrate love together in Val Thorens!
  • Dynafit Snow Leopard Day - 4th-5th March 2022 - For the eighth consecutive year, the ski mountaineering specialist DYNAFIT is organizing the Snow Leopard Day. Eight countries have agreed on a common date, on which ski touring enthusiasts are invited to build up altitude and thus support the Snow Leopard Trust.
  • Festival Tho - 22nd-24th March 2022 -  For the 13th time, Festi ValTho will take place in an astounding natural setting right on the slopes. This year the electronic music festival takes up residence at the Chalets du Thorens’ 360°Bar for three days. Over the past 12 years, it has become a firm date in the winter calendar for anyone who loves a party, high emotion and unforgettable experiences.
  • French Alpine Ski Championships - March/April - Attracting the best skiers in France. The battle for the French Championship title is on at Val Thorens’ Yannick Richard Stadium!
  • 3 Valleys Enduro - 3rd April 2022 - Whatever your category - Pro, Amateur or Family - teams of three will have a superb day of skiing filled with original and fun challenges. 
  • Vienne Jazz Festival - 16th-18th April 2022 - Take things up a notch at 2300m with the 3rd edition of the Val Thorens Jazz Festival. Over three days, jazz of all kinds will be performed, with 17 concerts planned between noon and midnight. The organisers are staging mostly free live concerts, outdoor après-ski jazz sessions and Jazz Mix afterparties. Take a break between runs to get your Jazz fix, with a conference, a show for younger audiences and a photo exhibition. The evening concerts all start from 8pm.
  • La Grande Dernière - 6th-8th May 2022 - Val Thorens is launching La Grande Dernière for its closing weekend. It’s the last chance to ski and enjoy a weekend of entertainment: DJ, waterslide, beach party at 2,300m, big airbag, and giant BBQ. 

Check the Val Thorens tourist office website for more exciting news from Les 3 Vallées: 

Orelle après-ski, bars & restaurants

1 restaurant, altitude restaurant, 1 bar

Bar des 4 Vallées
At the departure of the gondola, Valerie welcomes you in her friendly snack bar. Beautiful sunny terrace from March. Open 8am-7pm.

Chinal Donat altitude restaurant
Chinal Donat

Easily accessible via the gondola or the Orelle slopes. A south-facing panoramic terrace protected from the wind makes it a great and relaxing lunch stop! Open every day from 9am to 4.30pm. Enjoy a homemade meal next to the fireplace and sample some Savoyard specialities or World Cuisine in this warm and friendly restaurant.

Orelle Amenities

Orelle is served by a range of amenities including ESF Ski School, sports shop, Mini-market, post office, delicatessen, laundrette. The nearest cash point is St Michel de Maurienne (6km). 

Getting to Orelle, France

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 (4 miles). Listen to Autoroute FM (107.7 FM) for traffic news in English.

By rail: 
Take the Eurostar from London St Pancras (or Ashford, Kent). See our train services page for more information. The nearest train station to Orelle is roughly 4 miles away in St Michel de Maurienne.

By air:
4 international airports nearby. See our flying page for information on airlines (however we don't book flights).

Chambery Savoie Mont Blanc Airport to Orelle is roughly 63 miles, approximately 1hr 15
Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport to Orelle is roughly 111 miles, approximately 2hrs
Geneva Airport to Orelle is roughly 112 miles, approximately 2hrs
Grenoble Alpes Isere Airport to Orelle is roughly 108 miles, approximately 2hrs

Private taxi transfers:
Private taxi transfers from airports and train stations are pre-bookable with Peak Retreats. See our airport & station transfers page for more information.

Car hire:
Peak Retreats can arrange very competitive car hire at all airports, train stations and other town locations. See our car hire page for more information.

Orelle Opening Dates

See resort opening information

Accommodation in Maurienne Valley

Before you leave… Sorry to see you go. Before you do, would you mind just telling us why?

Also, don’t forget you can give us a call on 023 9283 9310 or email if you couldn’t find what you needed.
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