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Val Thorens - Orelle




Val Thorens


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Val Thorens is a renowned ski resort located in the Tarentaise Valley, in the French Alps. It is part of the Three Valleys ski area, the largest interconnected ski domain in the world. 

Val Thorens itself sits at an impressive altitude of 2,300 meters (7,545 feet), making it the highest ski resort in Europe, hence the resort is known for its excellent snow conditions and extensive ski terrain. 

It is a purpose-built ski resort, designed specifically with skiing in mind. 

The resort's history dates back to the 1960s when development began to transform the area into a ski paradise. Unlike traditional alpine villages, Val Thorens features modern architecture and a compact layout that provides convenient access to the slopes with ski-in, ski-out access, allowing skiers to easily navigate the resort without the need for additional transportation available throughout. 

When it comes to après-ski, Val Thorens is known for its vibrant and lively atmosphere. The resort boasts a wide range of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, catering to visitors looking to relax and socialize after a day on the slopes. Popular venues include La Folie Douce, a lively après-ski spot with live music and entertainment, as well as various mountain restaurants that offer stunning panoramic views along with delicious food and drinks. 


Orelle is a small village located just a few kilometers away, on the valley floor over the ridge from Val Thorens, and it serves as a gateway to the Three Valleys. 

From Orelle, skiers can take the Orelle gondola, which provides direct access to the local ski slopes in 15 min, then a short chairlift takes you over the ridge to the slopes of of Val Thorens. This connection opens up additional ski opportunities and allows visitors to explore the vast Three Valleys ski area. It actually sits in a 4th Valley, the same one from which you can access Les Sybelles, Valmeinier, Valloire and Valfrejus - its a key valley route to Modane and allows for almost direct access by train. 

Orelle offers a tranquil and authentic village ambiance with charming Alpine architecture.

This is a resort to visit if your focus is on the skiing and quiet, quality time with your friends and family

There's only one small bar at the bottom of the return Gondola and 2 resturants. The resort is split up into small developments of accomodation on winding roads up the mountain, you wont be spending time wandering around taking in the ambience of the town. 

Access is best if you own a car, there's a small store in resort but you're best suited to go to one of the larger supermarkets down the valley and stock up for your self catering break eg. Carrefour Market Saint-Michel-De-Maurienne.

The shuttle between hamlets and the gondola is TBC in 2023/14 season.

Related Areas

Pass prices
Piste Map
Transfer details
(Airports, trains, shared options)
Resort information
Local tips
Accommodation recommendations

piste map

Ski Pass

6 day pass
Euro / km

Beginners are well catered for: All carpets are free

Then get the EasyRider Pass for 4h - 1 day beginners passes. Carin and Caron Gondolas, cascades chair and 2 lacs.

Then you can get the Val Thorens Area pass and finally the 3 valleys pass!

Beginners passes are available here too. Start with the 28 Euro pass,
Then you can get the Orelle student pass, for access to the orelle area (4 hours, 1 day or 2 day) and finally upgrade to the Orelle-Val Thorens pass.




Closest Airports





Driving - Orelle

1 hour from Chambery

1h20 from Grenoble

1h45 from Torino

2 hours from Lyon

2 hours from Geneva

Driving - Val Thorens

This requires a lot of widning mountain roads as you make your way all the way up the valley, so prepare yourself with patience if you're brave enough to travel on peak days.

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Direct Train
Train + Bus Option
Direct coach

Train Connections




For Val Thorens

Train to Moûtiers

  • 1hr 15 - Chambéry

  • 2hr - Grenoble (change in Chambery)

  • 3hr - Lyon (1 change)

  • 3.5hr - Geneva (2 changes)

  • 4hr 30 - Paris (Direct)

or for Orelle

Train to Modane

Less than 4 hours from Paris by TGV 

  • 1hr - Chambery

  • 1h30 from Turin

  • 2hr - Grenoble

  • 3 hr - Geneva



There's no public transport connecting the stations to Orelle - you'll need to pre book a taxi for the short 10 min drive

The easiest way to plan train travel is use The Trainline (click the logo below)

This is because it's the most comprehensive integration of all European train operators, so you can even plan cross-border travel.

On average you can book 3-4 months in advance, read our full Guide to European Rail travel

Book with

Coach Connections

Bens Bus

  • Geneva, Grenoble or Lyon to Val Thorens

  • 3-3.5hrs aprox

  • Saturdays and Sundays

  • 2nd December 2023 – 20th April 2024

  • Schedual depends on Flight arrivals

  • £90pp return

  • Check the site for the drop off locations 


  • Geneva

  • From 55 euro each way

  • Mon / Thurs /Fri /Sat / Sun

  • Several departures each day

  • 11:30am earliest  - 2100 latest (Outbound)

  • 4:55 am earliest - 15:25 latest (Return)

Dart Bus

  • Geneva AIrport to Val Thorens

  • Saturdays

  • Timetable around flights

  • £90 return

Alpine Fleet

  • Geneva

  • Variable schedual - check the site for availabililty 

  • Mainly weekends

  • Val Thorens - from 39 euro single

  • Les Menuires - average 54 euro single

  • St Martin De Belleville - average 54 euro single

Altibus Services

Use Altibus to book travel from Lyon or Geneva airports

  • 2hrs to Moutiers from either airport

  • Mid Dec to Early April

  • Aprox 120 Euro return (all the way to resort)


  • Everyday

  • Only one afternoon departure Weekdays & Sunday

  • More departure times on Saturday.

Lyon (LYS'Express line)

  • Only  Friday / Saturdays / Sundays

  • 1 departure Friday / Sun

  • 3 Saturdays

Then you'll connect to another bus in  (inc on timetables & ticket)

Timetables here: Scroll down to your departure airport.

From Moutiers Coach Station 

  • Timetables here: scroll down to Moutiers

  • Operates every day

  • Multiple stops aprox 1hr 10 to Val Thorens

  • Aprox 20 euro return (on its own)

If your shared transfer drops you in the middle of the resort and you can't walk, use the inter resort shuttles or grab a local taxi

Accommodation options

Search using your prefered online travel providers, shop around for the best deal.

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Ski Hire

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