by Fiona Bell | 25th July 2023
Why visit La Tania in the Summer?
The 3 Valleys in summer is lovely and quiet, and much more pure than winter. With an abundance of activities on offer, it’s a great choice for your summer vacation, whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or an adrenalin-fuelled holiday. We asked our 3 Valleys resident Ben to give us the low-down on the many activities available to visitors, and why it’s a perfect spot for a summer getaway.
A selection of the winter network of gondolas, cable cars and chairlifts across the 3 Valleys open during the peak summer season, enabling walkers and mountain bikers to access tracks and trails.
The gondola from La Tania takes you from the village up to an altitude of 2000m, and is open 09.30 to 12.30 and 13.30 to 16.45, and best of all, it’s free to use!
Other lifts due to open in Courchevel this summer are Le Praz, Verdons and Vizelle. See our details here for the latest schedule of Courchevel lift opening dates and times. Over in the Meribel Valley, Tougnette 1 & 2 will be open, along with Pas de Lac from Mottaret.
Parc National de la Vanoise
Based in La Tania, you’re located right on the edge of the Vanoise National Park; formed over 60 years ago and now home to a vast array of fauna and flora. To name just a few of the animals you might encounter: ibex (or bouquetin in French), chamois, golden eagles, black bearded vultures, eagle owls, [a lot of!] marmots, black grouse and rock ptarmigan.
Walking and Hiking
Whether you are super fit or just ambling along, there are magnificent walks to be done, taking in incredible waterfalls, forests, mountain tops and spectacular views. Head off on a trail from village level, or get a head start using one of the lifts!
We would highly recommend jumping on the free bus to Courchevel 1650 where you can visit Lac de la Rosière; a perfect summer picnic spot, and the starting point to a great hike up Dent du Villard.
For those venturing a little further, why not stay the night at one of the refuges, and savour peace and tranquility amongst nature.
Download the Courchevel hiking trail map here. (Note this is the 2022 map; we’re awaiting the 2023 version!)
If you’d rather explore the treasures of the 3 Valleys on two wheels, then you’ve come to the right place! The area has a great set up for bikes, whether it’s taking on some of the breathtaking enduro downhill trails, or enjoying stunning panoramas made accessible thanks to some electrical bike assistance! The lifts are adapted to take bikes and MTB lift passes are available.
The MTB World Cup was held in Meribel back in 2015 and since then they have continued to put hard work into creating and maintain trails. Now with 11 downhill trails, there’s 35km of descent on the Meribel side, with grades varying from green through to double black. Over on the Courchevel side is another great set up, with something for everyone, ranging from green loops on 4×4 runs to long and technical single tracks.
Download the 3 Valleys MTB map here. (Note: Also the 2022 version)
Enthusiastic road cyclists will love the Col de la Loze mountain pass; this is a cycle-only route accessible from both the Courchevel and Meribel valleys, climbing to an altitude of 2304 metres. Featuring once again in the Tour de France itinerary for 2023, the pro cyclists will grace us with their presence on 19th July – one not to miss!
For any hardcore cyclists (or those with vehicles!) the Savoie region is home to many other notorious cols and passes, making them accessible from La Tania, including Col de la Madeleine, and Col du Petit St Bernard heading over into Italy.
Dine in the Sun
Conveniently located at the top of the La Tania gondola, Le Bouc Blanc Restaurant opens during the summer, and boasts a large terrace with fantastic views. One of our favourite places to enjoy a delicious lunch and a carafe of rosé in the sun!
If you don’t fancy venturing up the gondola, there are excellent restaurant options located in La Tania village also open during the summer. Tuck into a delicious burger on the terrace at Ski Lodge, or enjoy the traditional cuisine at Bistro Machet.
Our favourite spot for an outdoor swim is the beautiful lake at Courchevel Le Praz, located just 5 minutes from La Tania by car or the free bus. Even closer to home, La Tania is home to its own small outdoor swimming pool (paid access; under 5’s free), located at village level.
Rock Climbing & Via Ferrata
If you’re an experienced climber looking to make your own way, check out the Courchevel rock climbing guide.
Alternatively take on one of the thrilling Via Ferrata courses in the area. Roped to a guide, you can experience mountaineering and climbing on a set route built into the rock faces. We’d highly recommend the Via Ferrata at Lac de la Rosière, where you will have the opportunity to cross a magnificent Nepalese bridge. Experienced climbers can head to the Croix des Verdons – as the highest via ferrata in France at over 2,700m, on tough terrain and with no escape routes, this one is definitely not for the faint hearted!
Often described as the ‘purest and simplest form of aviation’, take an exhilarating aerial journey over the valleys with a tandem parapenting flight!
A Round of Golf
Both Courchevel and Meribel have golf courses. Courchevel offers a smaller 9 hole pitch course, whereas Meribel is lucky enough to have a full 18 hole course which hosts several events during the summer, including a ProAm competition. A truly spectacular course; the third hole drive is incredible.
Thermal Baths: Brides les Bains
The spa village of Brides les Bains (just past Moutiers as you’re heading up the mountain, at the bottom of the Les Allues valley) is the place to soak and unwindin thermal waters surrounded by soothing landscapes. Loved by the French, it’s a popular place to visit for ‘le cure’!
Take a different perspective – see the 3 Valleys from the air! Meribel and Courchevel both have altiports where you can take a local sightseeing plane or helicopter flight. Enjoy spectacular views of Mont Blanc and flying over the glaciers of the 3 Valleys and the neighbouring Vanoise Park.
This is by no means an exhaustive list! There’s plenty more, including tennis, rafting, SUP, archery, fishing, horse riding, quad biking, canyoning… you name it, you can probably do it
As a resident of the 3 Vallées, Ben takes responsibility for company operations across our Tarentaise resorts, including the delivery of our product and service, and applies his common-sense approach to get the best from our teams.