Our top hikes

May 19, 2022

Do some exercise, get up high, discover breath-taking landscapes and see mountain fauna and flora – what could be a better summer activity than walking in the heart of our beautiful 3 Vallées mountains? Our valley’s walking paths charm every type of walkers, simply choose the grade that suits you and take it at your own pace! To help you select the right hikes for you, here’s some information on our must-do walks.

Le circuit des villages (circuit around the villages)

To discover Méribel’s cultural heritage on foot, take this circuit around the villages. This two-hour walk takes you through all the small villages in the Allues Commune (Mussillon, le Villaret, la Gittaz, le Raffort, Chandon, Nantgerel etc). This itinerary offers you a journey through time. You can visit churches and chapels such as Saint Jacques or Saint-Martin at les Allues, and also the old mill, sawmill, barns, the traditional bread oven, stables and the museum to learn about the history and heritage of the whole valley. (Access to the chapels and Baroque Church is free, as part of the Chemins du baroque, a route across the Savoy created in 1992 for the Olympic Games.) This walk will take you to discover the authentic charm of the heart of Méribel.

Access : Start either from Méribel at the Mussillon bread oven or from Les Allues at the bus stop. Remarks: this route can be done in either direction, according to the direction of the sun. Thanks to the bus service, you don’t have to complete the whole route. The trail is well signposted, so you can’t get lost!
Time : 2h30
Dogs : allowed

La boucle verte de Tuéda (the green Tueda loop)

The green Tuéda loop is a short walk around lake Tuéda. Characteristic fauna and flora found in this nature reserve include frogs, newts, marmots and nutcracker birds. These birds feed on the cones of Cembro pinetrees and are the icon of the Tuéda nature reserve. The view of the lake is beautiful and an even better view can be found by walking a short way into the forest. Here you will find plenty to amuse you: fishing pontoons, a restaurant, picnic tables, the Maison de la Réserve visitor centre which hosts exhibitions, a superb panorama including the Aiguille du Fruit, and a traditional farmhouse where you can buy cheeses and other local produce. This area is therefore very suitable for families with children of any age. The lake is easily accessible, even for people with reduced mobility. For a short alternative walk, go via the Refuge du Plan and stop for a drink on the terrace facing le Mont Vallon.

Access : Start from Méribel Mottaret from the Plan Ravet car park located at the entrance to the Plan de Tuéda Nature Reserve.
Time : 1h30
Dogs : allowed on a leash

sentier des baigneurs (the bathers' trail)

If you are looking for a cool hike alongside a stream, choose either le sentier des baigneurs (the bathers’ trail) or le sentier au fil de l’eau (the trail along the water)..

The bathers’ trail is a footpath that connects les Allues to the famous spa town of Brides-les-Bains. It passes through the undergrowth and borders the Doron river, the torrent that runs through the Méribel valley. The altitude difference between the two villages is 540m.

Access : Start from Les Allues, enter the village, pass in front of the Town Hall (Mairie), then take the second road on the right, going down past the restaurant opposite the village oven. At the main road, turn left towards Moûtiers. Follow this main road, 50 m after the last house, take the path on the right which leads between hazel and ash trees. At the next junction, continue on the left towards Brides by crossing over the road. The route continues below the sawmill, which you can visit. To return, either take the bus from in front of Brides-les-Bains Tourist Office, or return by the same path. If you only wish to do the walk in one direction, you can take the bus going up or down.
Time : 2h30
Dogs : allowed

Au fil de l'eau

This waterside trail also runs alongside the Doron River and connects Méribel-Mottaret to Méribel Centre. It is possible to make this into a circular walk: ascend along the stream in the cool of the forest and return down the other side through the hamlet of la Petite Rosière. The refreshing coolness of this walk comes from the melt water that flows straight from the Gébroulaz glacier, situated more than 3,000m above sea level. Little wooden bridges facilitate your route. There is about 300 meters gain in height on this charming and easily accessible circular walk.

Access : From the Méribel Mottaret roundabout or the Bois d’Arbin bus stop at Méribel Centre. You can park nearby or come by bus.
Time : 2h30
Dogs : allowed

Col de la Loze (Loze pass)

You will hear a great deal about the Col de la Loze this year as a new cycle path has been created. Walkers still have their own access and it remains one of Méribel’s most beautiful viewpoints. The Col de la Loze rises to 2,304 meters above sea level. The hike begins in the Altiport forest and continues up a ridge which overlooks the forest. From the top is a breath-taking view over the Méribel valley, Courchevel and the Grande Casse, at 3,885m, the highest peak in the Savoy. It is a fairly demanding walk but you will be rewarded by a beautiful view and sunsets to take your breath away. You can also glimpse the Lac Bleu that you can reach by walking downhill towards Courchevel.

Access : Park at the Blanchot car park, by the Altiport forest.
Time : 4h
Dogs : allowed

Refuge du saut & le lac des fées (saut refuge & the fairy lake)

This is probably the most popular walk in Méribel and a great place to spot marmots. You are likely to make frequent stops to enjoy the fauna and flora on your way. Want to be let in on a secret? The Fairy Lake, a pool of unusually transparent water, can’t be seen from the path, but you will find it by walking a short way off the path at le Plateau de la Plagne. The walk to the lake can be made by children and if you are feeling brave, you can swim in it, while admiring the view of the Aiguille du Fruit (1,896m). After this short break, there is still a climb to the refuge. Once there, enjoy a menu of varied, homemade dishes. You can also spend the night here during the summer season in rooms or dormitories (reservation required). Don’t miss out on this excellent route, which was renovated in 2013.

Access : Start from the Méribel Mottaret car park at the entrance to the Plan Tuéda Nature Reserve. Walk 100m towards Lake Tuéda, to the foot of a bank where a small path starts on the left, and join a hairpin bend on the road to Pierre et Vacances.
Temps : 4h30
Chiens : not allowed

Lacs du mont Coua (mont Coua lakes)

More adventurous walkers will be drawn to this day-long walk in the Vanoise National Park, where they can get close to its protected species and walk past its beautiful lakes lying between 2,600 and 2,800m altitude. Here, you can immerse yourself in a typical high Alpine setting. Above the Refuge du Saut, after crossing the Doron, you will find 5 lakes. This is also the kingdom of edelweiss, génépi, gentians, martagon lilies etc.

We suggest you depart early in the morning. The earlier you set out, the more likely you are to see the ibex and chamois who also enjoy the cool of the morning.

Access : Start from Méribel Mottaret from the Plan Ravet car park located at the entrance to the Plan de Tuéda Nature Reserve.
Time : 8h / or 4h, if you spent the night at the Refuge du Saut
Chiens : not allowed

La crête de Tougnète (Tougnète ridge)

This route follows the Tougnète ridge all the way along. This ridge connects the summit of Tougnète with les Allues, and is the dividing line between the Belleville and Méribel valleys. This hike offers breath-taking, unobstructed views of the Alps and the famous peaks of the Mont Blanc, Barre des Ecrins, Grande Casse and Aiguilles d’Arves. This gently sloping route will take you 1,500m downhill in 4½ hours. Most of the route is on the ridge and it passes through the forest until you reach les Allues. If you haven’t the energy to return to Méribel Centre on foot, take the bus.

Access : The walk begins at the top of the Tougnète 2 chairlift. You can either walk up on foot or take the ski lifts.
Time : 4h30
Dogs : allowed on a leash

Crête de la Saulire to col du fruit

By following the Fruit ridgeline, you can reach the pass of the same name and finish your walk on the banks of lake Tuéda, having descended 1,200m. Enjoy the breath-taking view at the top of the Saulire before you reach its little sister, the Petite Saulire. Then continue along the ridge, admiring the valley and the peaks of l’Aiguille du Fruit, Mont Vallon, Mont Blanc, and Mont Jovet. Spectacular views of the Gébroulaz Glacier will accompany you. Once you arrive at the Col du Fruit, tackle the descent to reach the Plateau de la Plagne where you can say hello to the many marmots. Throughout the descent, you will be in the Tuéda Nature Reserve, whose riches you already know.

Access : Your hike amongst the summits starts from Méribel-Mottaret from where you will take both sections of the Pas du Lac gondola lift. At the top, visit the orientation table on the terrace of Les Pierres Plates restaurant and then then take the track in front of the restaurant in the direction of the Vizelle lift from Courchevel. At the bottom of the first slope, take the small path that turns to the right, and follow it to its end. 300m further down, take the track on the left, which goes above a small wooden chalet, and climbs to the top of the ski lift coming from Courchevel (les Creux Noirs chairlift). The trail then turns into a little path which winds between the rocks on the Creux Noirs ridges to the Col du Fruit. Then take the path on the right that descends towards the Vallon du Fruit (the left path goes to Courchevel). After a vertiginous descent – where you may see chamois – you will return to Méribel-Mottaret via the Tuéda plateau (cross the Doron river by the small bridge, then follow the track on the right)
Time : 4h
Dogs : not allowed

Have a good hike !

This is a short summary of the hikes you shouldn’t miss during your stay in Méribel. For more information, a small guidebook of hikes is available at the Tourist Office priced at €5. Remember to respect the fauna and flora by not dropping litter and do not feed the marmots. Please don’t pick flowers: they are much happier in the mountains… Enjoy your walks!