Ski holidays in Orelle
Orelle is a low key traditional small village in the Maurienne valley but part of the largest ski area in the world, The Three Valleys which links together the resorts of Val Thorens, Courchevel, Meribel, La Tania, Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville.
Also known as the hidden or fourth valley, Orelle village consists of 10 authentic hamlets in typical Savoyard architecture and small streets. But the resort only opened as an independent tourist destination twenty years ago but it has retained its authentic character yet make its facilities modern in order for visitors to easily access the whole ski area.
- Off piste
Skiing in Orelle
To access The Three Valleys area from Orelle, visitors have to take the 3 Vallées Express gondola up which takes about 5 minutes from the base at 900m all the way up to 2350m. This gondola is also the only route back down to the resort.
The whole area lift pass unlocks 600km of linked pistes, whereas the Orelle-Val Thorens lift pass offers 250km of slopes between 2300m and 3230m. The highest point of the ski area at 3230m is at the top of the Bouchot chairlift where you can admire the panoramic views of the mountains.
Beginners will find the green nursery slope in the area at the top of the Orelle gondola where the ski school meeting point also is. There is also a beginner lift here that even first timers can use on their first day. Complete beginners may struggle in Orelle with only a blue run to practice on and the access route into Val Thorens isn’t suitable for this level.
The area is an ideal place to ski if you an intermediate. Orelle and Val Thorens have a wide selection of blue and red pistes and the run from Orelle to Val Thorens after taking the gondola is a red before you ski down blue runs into Val Thorens village.
Advanced skiers will enjoy the whole area of The Three Valleys, with over 600km of interlinked slopes there is serious scope for mileage. But in particular, the slopes from Cime de Caron cable car the most challenging with the majority of the local slopes being reds and a few easy blacks. The Falaise and Variante runs from the Col de Rosael are also demanding ones to try and can often be mogulled.
There is also great off piste terrain in the local area, namely the Cime de Caron piste near Orelle which has the most scenic views. Plus, the La Combe sans Nom accessible from Cime de Caron has amazing snow conditions throughout the season.
Snow conditions in Orelle
Snow cover is reliable in Orelle with its lifts reaching altitudes as high as 2360m and 48% of the Val Thorens ski area is covered by snow making machines.
Après ski, restaurants and other activities in Orelle
Orelle doesn’t offer lively apres ski although The Three Valleys is notorious for some great apres ski spots. If you are looking for a lively atmosphere, neighbouring Val Thorens has the closest lively apres bars such as the infamous La Folie Douce, Bar 360, Cafe Snesko and the Frog and Roastbeef.
Orelle has very limited restaurants that serve traditional Savoyard dishes like Alpine lamb and fondue. The two restaurants are Bar de 4 Vallées and Altitude restaurant so if you are looking for an extensive choice then it is best going into Val Thorens via the resort shuttle bus or gondola if skiing.
For thrill seekers, the Orelle-Val Thorens area has a two ziplines, one is La Tyrolienne which is the world’s highest zipline allowing visitors to fly above the Vallée de Lory and admire the stunning views from above across 1300 metres of zipline. The other zipline is a more recent addition as is much longer at 1.6km from the top of Moutier chairlift to Val Thorens Place Caron.
Other activities include snowshoeing, sledding, paragliding, nordic walking, ice skating, relaxing at the beauty, spa and swimming pool centre, shopping or visiting the Orelle markets and its Grand Perron Farm.
Transfer times to Orelle
Chambery (CMF) - 1 hr 5 mins
Grenoble (GNB) - 1 hr 50 mins
Geneva (GVA) - 2 hrs 5 mins