Skiing in Brides-les-Bains

Country: France

In a nutshell: A budget-friendly way to ski the epic 3 Valleys, as long as you’re prepared to put up with some hassle

We like:

  • A cost-effective way to ski the mighty 3 Valleys ski area
  • A traditional, charming spa town
  • Some good quality and excellent value hotels

We don’t like:

  • The 20 minute gondola ride to the skiing at Meribel is inconvenient and especially hard work for families and beginners
  • The town is very quiet at night with no apres-ski
  • Some might find it odd going on a ski holiday without any ski slopes in sight


  • Resort altitude: 600m
  • Highest lift: 3,200m
  • Lowest piste: 1,450m
  • Transfer time from most convenient airport: Geneva & Lyon: 1h 45m
  • Number of lifts:
    • Meribel: 61
    • 3 Valleys: 180
  • Number of runs:
    • Meribel:
      • Easy: 10
      • Intermediate: 58
      • Difficult: 9
    • 3 Valleys:
      • Easy: 66
      • Intermediate: 382
      • Difficult: 49


  • High altitude
  • Big ski area
  • Traditional charm
  • Great for intermediates
  • Great for advanced


A Brides-Les-Bains ski holiday is an unusual proposition in that Brides-Les-Bains isn’t actually a ski resort. It is a spa town with a high-speed gondola that that takes skiers up to Meribel in just over 20 minutes. This means that on a Brides-Les-Bains ski holiday you can ski the incredible 3 Valleys at a fraction of the price it would cost to stay up the mountain.

For skiers and boarders who want to ski the amazing 3 Valleys, but don’t want to pay the sometimes eye-watering prices for Meribel, Courchevel or Val Thorens it’s a great option. We wouldn’t recommend a Brides-les-Bains ski holiday to families or beginners, as these groups don’t need 600km of piste and they do need hassle kept to a minimum.

The 3 Valleys is without doubt one of the world’s greatest ski areas. It is simply vast and covers more terrain than even the most hardcore skiers could cover in a week. The lift network is brilliant and makes getting around the enormous area quick and easy. The terrain includes lots of high altitude skiing, as well as lots of tree-lined runs for when the weather is bad.

Brides-les-Bains itself is a quaint and relaxed thermal spa town – the spa element is more focussed on wellness and health rather than pampering though. There’s a modest selection of shops and restaurants, and virtually nothing in the way of apres ski other than the only casino in the 3 Valleys (which is open late)