Written by Shelly Donahue - Because I’m a Colorado Native, I had never thought of skiing anywhere but the beautiful Colorado Rockies, that was until I had the opportunity to ski the French Alps with Club Med at Val Thorens.

Val Thorens is the highest altitude resort in Europe at 7,545 feet and the highest point in the 3 Vallees ski area - the largest ski area in the world with over 372 miles of runs. It is surrounded by a horseshoe of dramatic peaks. The resort has a breath-taking panoramic view of over more than 100 Alpine summits in France, Switzerland and Italy. It has been called the most beautiful view in the Alps. The resort is linked into a vast network of trails across the Meribel and Courchevel valleys, but also a neighboring fourth valley, Maurienne. You can easily journey from Val Thorens to the far corners of the three valleys.

The skiing was amazing! We were able to ski right out of the resort to the slopes and return to a lively Apre Ski.I was impressed by the great powder and the number of well-groomed slopes. The lifts on the slopes were fast and efficient and the skiing was every bit as good as what you would find in Colorado. There are plenty of choices of skiing types, from cross county to a freestyle snowpark. The snowpark is made of tables for jumps, rails and boxes (sliding units) of different sizes. They also have an unusual hips-quarter or Jump Air, a shock-absorbing stunt mattress, which allows you to try some acrobatic stunts with complete safety.

We flew into Geneva and took the two-hour shuttle to our Club Med resort. The ride was beautiful as we traveled up into the Alps. As we got closer to our destination, the trees disappeared and the terrain became more rugged.

The lobby at the Club Med is very modern and hip. We entered into an atrium with a 4-story climbing wall. The rooms are roomy and comfortable, looking over the slopes with a small deck off of the room.

One of the most impressive things about staying with Club Med is the value. For about what one would pay for a lift ticket here in Colorado, you get an all-inclusive package. Your stay includes lodging, meals, drinks, Apre Ski, lift tickets and lessons or guides.

I would recommend a guide on the mountain, just to get acquainted with the mountain. It is so large, it was nice to have someone show us around and give us some skiing tips.

The food in the resort was delicious. There was a specialty restaurant that had some of the best French cuisine. At the breakfast buffet, we enjoyed the many fresh fruits, cheeses, French pastries and order-your-own omelets. The lunch buffet also had a big variety of choices. Of course, my favorite was the homemade ice cream.

In the evenings we enjoyed shows, cocktails and fun on the climbing wall as we competed to see who could climb the wall the fastest.

There are so many activities to do in and around Val Thorens. Some of our companions went dog sledding for the afternoon, some enjoyed kite skiing, and some of us enjoyed a day in the village visiting some of the bars and shops.

If you have never skied the Alps before, now is the time to plan for your ski vacations next season. Give us a call at Endless Travel and we will be happy help you plan your family ski trip to Europe.

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