France: Les 3 Valleys

Les Trois Vallées is the largest connected ski area in the world which is linked solely by ski lifts and slopes. It claims to have about 600 km of ski slopes, resulting in 18.5 km² of groomed runs, while an independent expert measured about 493 km. In addition, there are 120 km for cross-country skiing. Seven ski resorts are spread over the mountainside in a rich and unique landscape. Courchevel. Méribel. Brides-les-Bains. Les Menuires. Saint-Martin-de-Belleville. Val Thorens. Orelle. The Alpine area of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville is known for its charming namesake village, with traditional stone-and-wood farmhouses, plus a handful of Savoyard restaurants

🙂 Saint-Martin-de-Belleville is a beautiful and picturesque town. Ski to door.

🙁 Rowdy, Rowdy F***s!

February 2024

The Williams very kindly booked this ski trip for Caitlyn’s birthday with help from Harry who found the excellently located accommodation which was very reasonably priced on It is called Le Neiger – Rubis Apartment and has 6 bedrooms (one is a box) and 5 bathrooms with a small sauna and a long dining table perfect for lots of people – very reasonably priced and comfortable accommodation with ski to door access… a great find!

The others had flown in a day earlier to Paul and I, and we arrived at 23h30 on Friday night when Bruce welcomed us and showed us where to go. We had a quick glass of wine before heading to bed.

We were up at 08h00 and had breakfast. We ski’d down to the start of the drag lift and up to the the main area where we collected our prepaid ski passes which gave us a nice discount. It was a lovely sunny day and great skiing. The kids are all experts and patiently waited for us. We had a delicious lunch and continued skiing for the rest of the day. Sunny skies – divine.

The town is postcard picturesque…That evening we went to a lovely place called L’Etoile des Niges. The food was excellent however, us having our first night together meant that we were very rowdy and we had a complaint and were asked to keep the noise down. We thought that the people who had complained had left and then relaxed and started being loud again … at which point the table behind us got up to leave and the Dutch guy said to us, ‘You rowdy, rowdy Fuckers’ and promptly tripped down the stairs – which again caused much hilarity! Oh dear … of course, the next evening when Paul and Andy went shopping for duck, he didn’t recognsise them and asked if he could go in front as he had only one item, to which they obliged with a smirk! LOL!

The next day was another fine day of skiing. Unfortunately Paul and I were both hungover and lost the group! I was also really unwell and full of Paul’s cold with raging temperature and fevers – not ideal … but skiing was still good.

Caits and Harry were practising their jumps. Harry hit 116Km/hour – crazy. Caits was 105KM…not my idea of fun at all.

Fun, Fun, Fun. That night Paul cooked duck which was delicious. Paul worked the next day but he walked me to the top where I bought another Day and 1/2 ski pass and joined the others on the gondola. More fun skiing! It was slushy at the bottom so definitely better to stay high.

Harry and I were a bit fragile.

That evening we hit the town and enjoyed a very LARGE Cocktail to celebrate Cait’s birthday! They were lovely in the bar and gave Caitlyn a Springbok shot to celebrate!

6 Feb 24 – CAITLYN’S 25th BIRTHDAY!

We gave Caits her birthday gifts and enjoyed a glass of bucks fizz to toast her. Paul stayed behind to work again and the Williams had gone to drop bags so we agreed to meet them at the top. Unfortunately we lost them and in an effort to catch up with them Caits was trying to hurry but it was really icy and I am not as fast as they are so I wiped out on an ice patch and Caitlyn was grumpy as she had to wait for me….roll eyes. We then got the meeting point and waited 15mins and then Harry called Rilet to discover that it was not the right meeting place. We then headed up and the only two alternatives down was a steep, narrow , winding Red or a Black. The guys did an easy Black the previous day was fine so I said I’d give it a go … BIG MISTAKE! 45 mins and lots of tears later …and only leaning my full weight against poor Harry did I get down – I was truly traumatised. Afterwards Harry showed me that this M Black is of the toughest runs in the Three Valleys! It was pure ice and relentlessly steep as the article states: an INTENSE DESCENT! …. an absolute nightmare.

The first pic below is the black and then the very next run was a Red… and it was SUPER STEEP AND ICY AGAIN – I had to go off piste into the softer snow so that I could turn – the 2nd pic! LOL. Poor Harry must have despaired!

We headed back to meet the others at 1pm for lunch after a hectic day! We took the mini bus to Geneva and it was such a scenic drive. Riley was on the same flight back as us and we enjoyed a farewell drink in the lounge. Another fab trip – thank you one and all!

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