January 2012

At an altitude of 2,300m the French ski resort of Val Thorens is Europe’s highest.  In the 1960’s Pierre Schnebelen and his pioneering team lodged their visionary plans with the Savoie General Council to transform the small mountain village of Val Thorens into a thriving ski resort.  Despite critics, plans were approved and in the summer of 1971 the first 3 ski tows were installed ready for their opening on the 18th December 1971.

Following a successful opening year, development steadily continued in the small mountain village and come the winter of 1972 the resort established itself with the opening of the local tourist office, ski school and first restaurant.  Ten years after opening, in 1981, the project of building the world’s largest cable car began; the Cime des Caron.  Ascending to 3,200m and carrying 150 people this marked a new era for Val Thorens and catapulted the resort into becoming one of Europe’s top winter destinations.

The Early Days - Val Thorens

With healthy investment, Val Thorens went from strength to strength throughout the 1980’s and continued to establish itself as a leading resort in Europe.  Always one step ahead of neighboring resorts; in 1990 the ambitious plan to build Europe’s first Funitel lift system was completed.  Followed by the construction of the world’s longest gondola in 1995, creating the essential link to the 3 Valleys, Val Thorens was officially on the international map attracting people from all over the world. With world class skiing and a lift system to match, the development of Val Thorens turned to offering world class accommodation and facilities.  With a fantastic selection of self catering apartments such as Chalet Altitude and Chalets Val 2400 to the new ultra modern 4* Hotel Altapura, Val Thorens has a great selection of accommodation to suit and cater for every need.

The resort of Val Thorens as we know it today

Off the slopes Val Thorens has a lively après ski atmosphere and a number of wonderful restaurants offering a great selection of food, whether it’s pub grub and a beer you are looking for or fine dining, you can find a menu to meet every need and budget.

For the fair weather or non skiers there are endless activities to keep you busy!  The resort has a large sports centre, complete with fitness suite, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and children’s Fun Park.  For the children amongst the group, pay a visit to the local ice rink. For the thrill seekers, why not have a shot at the 6km toboggan run!

View Val Thorens for more information on the resort and the accommodation we feature, or for a tailor made quote and itinerary call a member of the Ski Independence reservations team on 0131 243 8097. You can also request an online quotation here.