Here is collection of general resort knowledge compiled from years of responding to email enquiries, getting ourselves lost, finding ourselves, late-night bar conversations, your feedback, plus translations of French brochures. We have put this resource together to help you out when you are planning a trip to the resort. Updating this section is a never-ending task so if we have missed anything out, or you spot that we are out of date or just plain wrong, please do let us know! more »
Are there any creches / childminding / baby sitting services in Meribel?
There are a number of childcare options available in Meribel. Please be aware that booking in advance is always recommended and that nurseries may want to see medical records and vaccination certificates. Please see our Childcare Services section for further information and contact details.
Are there any discounts on liftpasses for groups?
Yes, the 3 Valleys launched a new group lift pass in 2012, called the PassTribu. To qualify, you must be a group of 3 or more, buy the same type of pass for the same duration, and with a single payment. It is available as a single valley or 3 Valley pass, for a minimum of six days. This gives a saving of 15€ per person for a six-day 3 Valley pass. Note that for families, there is a greater discount available with the Family Pass, available for 2 parents and 2 or more children.
Are there any English speaking doctors in Meribel?
Yes, all the three surgeries in the valley have English-speaking Doctors. Cabinet Médical 1600 (Dr Vabre) +33 (0)4 79 08 65 40, Centre Medical du Parc Olympique (Drs Mabboux, Journoud and Schamasch) Méribel +33 (0)4 79 08 60 41 or Mottaret +33 (0)4 79 00 40 88. (Our thanks go to Dr Schamasch for his kind assistance in checking the health information contained in this section.) Please see the Medical Services listings page for contact details. There is also a Samaritans-type helpline called SOS Help for people who are suffering from anxiety, depression, stress, or who would simply like someone to talk to. Lines are manned every day from 3pm to 11pm by English speaking staff and all calls are confidential and anonymous. The number to call is 0033 (0) 146 21 46 46.
Are there any family rates or child discounts on lift passes?
There are several free lifts for beginners in the valley. In Meribel they are: Loupiot, Cotes drag lift (at le Rond Point) Altiport drag and Fontany telecord. In Mottaret: Le Doron draglift, Ourson Telecorde and Chalets gondola are free (the latter can also be used by pedestrians). NB not all of these are marked on the lift map. Special reduced area beginners' passes, called Mini-passes, are also available in both Meribel and Mottaret. The free shuttle bus system can also be used as a means of getting up to the Altiport (1700m) or the Hameau in Mottaret (1800m) from where one can ski back down to the Chaudanne in Meribel. All lifts are free for the under-fives and those of seventy-five or over- you will need to provide proof of date of birth to obtain these free passes. You can read more about the ski lifts in our Lift Section.
Are there any left luggage facilities in Meribel?
There is no central left luggage facility in Méribel. Contact the agency/tour operator through whom you have rented your accommodation: most will allow you to leave your belongings with them during the day, and provide somewhere that you can change into ski gear. For example apartment rental agency Agence des Neiges offers its clients changing cabins and space to leave luggage during the day. Failing this, consider renting a hotel room for the day. There is a left luggage facility at le Hameau in Mottaret. The baggagerie is located at the Creux de l'Ours, just opposite the Intersport shop, and each large bag is charged at €2 per day. If you arrive in Moutiers on the very early Eurostar train, consider having breakfast at one of the cafés opposite the station before taking your transfer up to Méribel. The earliest breakfasts you will find on a Saturday in Méribel are at the Cactus Cafe (7.00 am) or la Taverne (7.30 am).
Are there any nightclubs or late night bars in Meribel?
Don't worry if the thought of going to bed early every night in order to be first up the mountain in the morning isn't your cup of tea! There is plenty in Meribel to keep the night-owls happy, take a look at our Bars & Clubs guide to find out where to party in resort.
Are there any non-smoking bars and restaurants?
Since January 2008 smoking has been banned in all bars, cafés and restaurants in France. Patrons are generally free to smoke on the terrace and during the winter months smokers are often catered for with outdoor heaters. Have a look at our Dining Guide for suggestions and listings of restaurants.
Are There Any Ski Lockers Near to the Pistes/Lifts?
Méribel’s lift company, Méribel Alpina, rents ski lockers at la Chaudanne, conveniently located right under the Saulire lift station. Each lockers takes up to three pairs of skis/snowboards and boots, and is heated. Cost €45 per week or € 11per day. Reserve in advance by calling +33 (0)4 79 08 65 32 Several ski hire shops will also look after your equipment. In Méribel, choose between: Alp’Sports – Sport 2000, le plateau tel + 33 (0)4 79 08 52 86 Espace Gliss II, Skiset, le Tremplin, La Chaudanne, 3€/day tel + 33 (0)4 79 00 37 98 Olypic Sports, Twinner tel + 33 (0)4 79 08 56 89 In Mottaret, try Blanc Sport, Ski Fun Twinner, Le Chatelet cost 3€/day tel + 33 (0)4 79 00 44 07
Are there rules and restrictions on the lifts ?
The Meribel lift system operates during both summer and winter seasons and has different restrictions regarding access according to the time of year. Please see Meribel Lifts: Access and Restrictions for further details.
At what age should my child start skiing?
Most ski teachers wouldn’t recommend starting skiing before the age of three or four at the earliest. The right age will vary from child to child, and depends upon the child’s strength, co-ordination and attitude. For this age group skiing should remain a play activity, so don't expect a young child to ski all day - a couple of hours is ample. For more information on ski school and children please read our Children's Skiing section.
Can I Cross-Country Ski in Meribel?
Cross-country skiing is a great alternative to regular alpine skiing if you fancy taking things a bit slower and enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings. It is still a great form of exercise though, as it is more energetic than it looks! You can find out all about the cross-country trails in Meribel on our Cross Country Skiing page.
Can I drink the water in Meribel?
Yes! Meribel is a proper town with decent water treatment. The water can sometimes taste a bit metallic due to the high mineral content and during the melting periods some people prefer to switch to bottled water just in case the treatment plants are over-capacity. Generally though the water in the Alps is, on the whole, wonderful mountain spring water and Meribelis no exception. It is perfectly safe to drink and tastes even better than the water at home!
Can I get sunburnt in winter?
Very Easily! Always take precautions against the strength of the sun on a skiing holiday. At altitude, and with the reflection off the snow, the sun’s rays can cause damage very quickly. Always, always wear sunglasses, even when the sun is not shining. Apply sunscreen, apply it thickly and keep applying it (you can still burn though cloud cover). Putting on factor 40 once in the morning will not protect you from burning. Reapply every hour.
Can I get to Meribel by train from the UK?
Yes, you can..... but it is not likely to be the best or cheapest option, as in every case you will need to change at least once. Your best bet is Eurostar from London (Waterloo) to Paris (Gare du Nord) and then changing to an SNCF TGV train from the other side of Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Geneva or Annecy. Read more in...How to Get Here
Can I go swimming in Meribel?
Yes, there is a lovely pool at the Olympic Centre in La Chaudanne, please scroll down to 'Swimming' in the Summer Activities section to read more. There is also a swimming lake and beach in nearby Bozel (approximately a 20 minute drive from Les Allues), where you can hire out pedaloes during July and August.
Can I hire a car locally?
Garage Breton in Mottaret can arrange local vehicle hire. Call for for details on 04 79 00 42 84
Can I Picnic at Any of the Mountain Restaurants?
Picnicking is forbidden, or ‘interdit’, in most mountain restaurants. You may get away with eating your own sandwich if you buy some chips and a drink to go with it – but don’t be surprised if it is frowned upon. However, there are plenty of great places to eat al fresco in the mountains - as long as you don't mind nestling down into the snow or perching on a slab of rock! For our recommendations, please read our page on Lunch Spots on the Mountain.
Can I take my baby to a ski resort?
Yes, you can take your baby to a ski resort but be aware that sudden changes in temperature and altitude are not recommended. For help on in-resort childcare, equipment rental and helpful tips go to our Tips for Families in Meribel & Mottaret.
Can you suggest some activities in Meribel for children?
Meribel is very much a family-friendly resort and welcomes children of all ages. From things that you can do as a family to activities that the children can go off and do with their new 'holiday friends' you will find plenty to keep everyone happy. Please see our Meribel Activities section for a few suggestions.
Can you suggest some hiking routes to try?
If you come to Meribel in the summer (and between you and I, you really should) chances are you'll want to get your walking boots on and go on a ramble or two. Meribel offers some beautiful walks for all standards, from gentle rambles to challenging hikes, you can enjoy the mountains just as much in summer as in winter. Please have a look at our page on Hiking in Meribel for further information.
Do I need a photograph for my lift pass?
Not any more. Due to the invention of magnetic 'hands-free' passes cutting out a passport sized photo to attach to your ski pass is no longer necessary. The only exceptions are the season passes and free passes - for these your photo will be taken digitally at the lift pass office, or you can bring along a photo for scanning. Don't forget you can now order your passes in advance and online, and have them sent to your home address or hotel / rental agency in the resort.
Do I Need a Work Permit in Meribel?
If you are from Europe, the chances are you will not require a work permit or "autorisation de travail" to work in France - Switzerland is a different matter. Please see our Working a Ski Season to find out more about Visas and passports.