Val Thorens is the highest resort in the Three Valleys ski area (and in
Europe), at 2300m. It was 'born' on 18th December 1971, when the first
three draglifts opened, and it has developed and flourished since then.
The resort of Val Thorens now has around 25,500 beds.
New hotels are superbly insulated and built to high standards of luxury.
There's everything you'd expect in a modern ski village - a tourist
office, a post office, banks, a medical centre, a church, car parks, a
cinema, and a radio station. There's also a good sports centre and
swimming pool. Val Thorens has a twice-weekly market. Although it's a
compact resort, the free shuttle bus can come in useful, and runs from
morning to evening in the winter.
Thorens tourist office is in the Maison de Val Thorens, which is
the big building on the snowy place de Caron. They're open from
0845-1900 every day during the winter season. They can answer questions
about the resort, and they are multi-lingual - as well as French and
English, there are staff who speak, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Generally, they are friendly, helpful, and enthusiastic.
There's a selection of booklets and leaflets - among the more useful
Val Thorens AnimHebdo - a weekly guide to the events in Val Thorens.
(See also events on ValThorensGuide)
Practical Holiday Guide - a small Yellow Pages type guide to shops,
restaurants, bars, and services in Val Thorens
By the tourist office counter is a children's play area, and a space
for changing babies' nappies.
Internet in Val Thorens
The tourist office in Val Thorens offers internet connection - free
There is also free
at some of the lift stations (including Funitel Péclet, Plein
Sud, Pionniers, Moraine, Portette, Funitel 3 Vallées, Plateau, Cime de
Caron, and Cairn; wifi is available at the bottom of Rosael chair in
Orelle, and reaches to the terrace of the Chalet Chinal Donat mountain
restaurant). Internet access is during the skiing day only, from
9am to 5pm. The ski pass offices at Forum, Olympiades, and Montana also
have free wifi.
Most of the cafés and bars in Val Thorens offer free wifi as long as
you buy something, so that might be a good option if you're using your
own laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Try, for example, O'Connells bar,
La Piscine pizzeria, or Pizzburger; or Le
Val Thorens resort: Post Office
The Post Office, La
Poste, is also in the Maison de Val Thorens. As well as dealing
with post and selling stamps, they have mobile phone packages, they do
foreign exchange, and there's a cashpoint.
The opening times during the winter season are:
0900-1200 and 1400-1730 Monday to Friday
closed on Saturdays and Sundays
Tip: often everyone goes to the Post Office at the same time, just
before they close, so to avoid queuing, visit earlier if possible.
There's a market in Grand Rue (near the church) every Tuesday and
Thursday, in the winter and summer seasons. There are stalls with
local cheeses and meats, locally produced honey, fleeces and other
clothes, craft items, and more.
There's a great sports centre in Val Thorens, located in the Caron
shopping centre. It has sport facilities including a gym, and tennis
and squash courts, as well as an 'aqua-club', a children's fun park,
and a 'well-being' area.
The main medical centre in Val Thorens has its own building in place
Péclet, new in December 2016. There are four doctors, and they deal with
any injuries or illnesses that do not require hospitalisation. (They
will assess patients, and send them to Moûtiers hospital if necessary).
The opening hours are 0900-1800, and outside of those hours, there is a
doctor on call. Phone the centre's number +33 479 00 00 37 in the first
There is another doctor in the medical centre in the rue du Soleil,
towards the bottom of the resort. Opening hours are 0900-1200 and
1500-1800, and the phone number +33 479 00 74 39.
You will have to pay for any consultation, and claim the money back on
your insurance afterwards.
Any visitor from the UK should make sure to take a European Health
Insurance Card (EHIC), which you can apply for here, and ski holiday insurance is recommended.
The EHIC will be valid until the end of the UK's transition period, 31st
December 2020. Then, all rights and benefits will be lost. It isn't
clear whether there are any advantages to the Conservative & Brexit
Party's project of leaving the EU; there are, though, many damaging
consequences and this is just one of them.
The emergency numbers in France are:
15 (SAMU - the ambulance service)
17 (Gendarmes - the police)
18 (Pompiers - the fire service, who also transport people to who
112 (emergency number for any of these services, from a landline or
What to do in an emergency:
if you are in the village, visit the medical centre or, outside
normal hours, phone them on +33 479 00 00 37
in serious cases outside normal hours, call the pompiers on 18, or
if you are on the piste, alert the ski patrol (pisteurs).
Ask at the top or bottom of any lift, or call +33 479 00 01 80
Note that there are defibrilators in the Maison de Val Thorens, the
sports centre office, and at the top of the Boismint, Grand Fond and
Peclet lifts; and there is one at the lift company's 'central'.
Val Thorens resort: the pharmacy
The pharmacy is in the upper shopping centre, the Galerie Péclet.
During the ski season, it's open from 0830 to 1930 non-stop.
Val Thorens resort: the church
The church in Val Thorens is interdenominational. There's a Mass once
a week, and special services at Christmas and Easter. Check the
tourist office's weekly events leaflet for timings.
As well as church services, there are classical and jazz concerts, at
1830 on Tuesdays in the winter - see events.
(The concerts are free, but a collection is usually taken).
Val Thorens resort: radio station
The radio station for the valley is on 92.3 and 101.0FM. There's a
local programme in the morning and evening, and the rest of the time
they take a feed from Paris.
They broadcast a weather forecast and the piste and lift information
several times a day, and traffic information on Saturdays.
Val Thorens resort: cinema
The cinema Lac Blanc in Val Thorens is in Grande Rue. It often shows
French films, or American films dubbed into French (version
francaise - VF); occasionally there are films in
original English version, with French subtitles (version
originale - VO).
Val Thorens is quite compact, and it's usually possible to walk
anywhere you want to go. Sometimes, though, if you're carrying luggage
or ski equipment, or if you're with small children, you may wish to
make use of the resort shuttle. It runs from 8am to 8pm every day, in
the winter season.
Parking in Val Thorens is in one of the resort's car parks, run by
Valthoparc, or in your hotel or apartment's parking.
Val Thorens is a semi-pedestrian resort, which means you may drive
through resort, and stop to unload your luggage outside your hotel,
apartment, or chalet. You must then park your vehicle in a parking -
either your hotel's car park, or one of the parkings run by Valthoparc.
You're not allowed to leave your car parked in the street, and if you
do, it will eventually get towed away to the pound. The fee for
recovering it is very expensive. On Saturday and Sunday, the Municipal
Police do the rounds, putting warning notices on cars, but they do not
usually tow them away, unless they are obstructing traffic. From Monday
morning, any car parked on the street will be towed away.
You can book online with Valthoparc (and by booking, you ensure you get
a space in the parking of your choice, which is important in busy
holiday periods). 5, 6, or 7 nights in one of the covered car parks cost
€82.50 (2019-20 prices). It's €5 cheaper for the open car parks. Book on
Valtho Premium is more expensive, and your car is parked for you. In
practice, it ensures that some convenient spaces near the entrance to
one of the car parks remain empty for most of the season.
Val Thorens resort: Val Thorens Club
The Club des Sports de Val Thorens is the local sports club, which
includes the ski club. The office is in the Maison de Val Thorens, and
in the winter it's open 0900-1200 and 1400-1800.
The main purpose of the Club is to train the local kids for
competitions in skiing, freestyle skiing, and snowboarding. It also has
sections dedicated to cycling and pétanque. They have a fan club to
support the current champions. At the moment, the downhill and Super G
specialist Adrien Théaux races in the Alpine skiing World Cup, and has a
number of podium finishes, including a victory; Jean-Fred Chapuis is
2014 Olympic Skicross champion, and won the overall World Cup title
(globe de cristal) three years running; and Chloe Trespeuch is Olympic
Boardercross bronze medallist.
The Club des Sports in Val Thorens also:
organises races, from the weekly slalom and GS races, to FIS and
European Cup events. (You can book the slalom stadium to organise your
is responsible for the Skicross course
sells ski insurance (carte/carré neige). (The easiest way to buy
this insurance is to ask for it when you buy your ski pass, but if you
want a carte neige for the whole season, not just the duration of your
lift pass, this is on sale at the Club des Sports office)
Contact them on +33 479 00 01 08.
I hope you have a great time in the resort of Val Thorens.