Inside the forgotten resorts of the world's biggest ski area

bride les bains
Les 3 Vallées is home to 600km of slopes in total, but not all are busy Credit: MERIBEL ALPINA/MERIBEL ALPINA

The Trois Vallées was a remarkable creation. Established in 1973 when neighbouring ski areas created a common lift pass, the 600km ski area became the skiing world’s showpiece – even more so thanks to the publicity of the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics

However, happily for those of us with short lines of credit, some outlying villages in the ski area have been spared the glamorisation of Courchevel, Méribel and even Val Thorens, the ostensibly more down to earth of the three best-known Trois Vallées bases. 

Do these lesser villages still offer good value, despite being part of a famous ski area? Yes. Are they quiet and relaxing? Certainly; too quiet for some. Are lift queues shorter in their...

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