Meribel has quietly been building a reputation for mountain biking over the last 5 years. Quieter than other local resorts such as Tignes and Morzine, Meribel has epic, lift accessed trails throughout the valley.
Boasting a UCI World Cup Downhill track, two trails that run from the peaks to the valley bottom and countless steep, technical runs through the woods there is plenty to keep any enthusiastic mountain biker busy for a week and more.
As passionate mountain bikers ourselves we will be on hand to offer advice, trail recommendations and expertise throughout your stay.
Don't believe us? Madison Saracen stayed with us for the World Cup in 2014, which saw Matt Simmonds take his best result in a World cup and Manon Carpenter take the overall title and win!
Meribel is fast making a name for it's self for mountain biking and has caught up with some of the better known resorts in the Alps and now provides an excellent mix of bike park trails and wilder, more technical, natural trails. With decents of over 2000m available from peak to valley bottom you've got an epic alpine VTT wonderland on your doorstep.
Meribel's lifts are now open 7 days a week from July 6th 2016 to August 26th and give you access to:
In our opinion, the best part of riding in Meribel is the variety and length of the "enduro" style trails the valley has to offer. Riding on the marked bike park trails or on the footpaths that snake down the valley to Moutiers and Brides Les Bains you have an amazing choice of natural trails.
From the Tougnetes/Cretes side of the valley you have multiple options of technical trails through the woods going past Les Allues and down to Villarlurin and Brides Les Bains. From the Saulire side you can follow the Doron river down rocky trails or through the "leafy couloirs" which run below Meribel Village.
Buses back to Les Allues and Meribel run from Brides Les Bains 5 times a day. The buses tow large bike trailers meaning that you can lap from the peaks to valley bottom multiple times a day.
Chalet St Joseph is an ideal place to base yourself for mountain biking in Meribel. Located in Les Allues you are just a minute's ride away from the free shuttle bus service which runs you up to the trailhead. The village boasts a British run bar, a number of great restaurants and a shop which opens daily during the summer. Not only that but some of the best trails in the Valley finish at Les Allues so your home runs are guaranteed to be epic!
The chalet itself is comfortable and well equipped with free wifi, a hottub to help you recover from the day's riding, secure bike storage and a tool kit and bike stand for any fettling required.
For guiding in Meribel and the 3 Valleys we recommend Clement who runs La Trace Verte. Offering expertise and advice for all disciplines of mountain biking Clement and Victor will help you get away from it all and see some secret spots. He can shred abit as well...
Tignes has invested heavily in the last few years and in our opinion is one of the best places in France to mountain-bike. The descents are long and heady, mostly singletrack with lots of features built in to keep the best bikers happy.
Heather says: The trails are marked green, blue, red & black and I have to admit I stick to the blues when I'm in Tignes which for me is just the right level for a challenging and fun-filled day.
Andy says: A trip to Tignes always means a big day's riding. The long enduro style run to Val D'Isere and Jump Around are some of my favourite runs in the Alps. Jump Around is definitely well named! The blue runs are technical, flowy and have red options so are great for mixed groups.
Les Arcs features "La Cachette" a downhill singletrack run down the mountain and into the trees that offers a over 3,000m of descent, an experience not to be missed on a mtb trip to the French Alps. The top half is graded red/black depending which line you take and is great fun and do-able for most riders. The lower section is a definite black and only recommended for experienced riders. There is a freestyle bike park and plenty of other trails too.
Heather says: I was a bit daunted setting out on the Cachette but after a couple of runs sessioning the top section I was loving it and rushing back to the top to do it all again.
Andy says: The trails in Les Arcs are steep and fast. The Cachette is great for ballsy riders looking to go big and quick and the same goes for the bike park. The other trails are great fun and XC routes are stunning.
A little known resort in the Beaufortain just an hour from the chalet, this is a little gem for mountain-biking. The trails are generally shorter than at the other resorts we ride but they really pack a punch offering riding that is in parts swoopy, jumpy, technical, rooty and rocky. What more can you ask for? There are 10 downhill trails and 3 cross country trails, a freestyle park, wall ride and a 4X trail.
Heather says: I love the runs at Les Saisies, they aren't that long but each trail has everything you could possibly want to challenge you and provide maximum enjoyment giving you a real buzz by the time you reach the bottom.
Andy says: Les Saisies trails are short, wooded, twisty and quick, quick quick. Shorter runs mean more laps so you can session trails and dial them so you know the jumps and berms inside out. For a more aerobic challenge the 20km enduro run to Albertville is not to be missed.
In 2014 we Meribel was chosen to host the final round of the UCI Downhill World Cup. Not only were we stoked to have the event in our back yard but we were also lucky enough to welcome the Madison Saracen team for what turned out to be a amazing and very successful week. It's a week we will never forget and one that we wer proud to be part of.
"When the team travels to World Cup races, we always look to find a home from home style accommodation. Somewhere the riders can relax, recharge and prepare for the competition ahead. Alpine Ethos went above and beyond our expectations with a great house to stay in, a safe place for our bikes and equipment and of course Andy and Heather's legendary hospitality and cooking. It would be no exaggeration to say that they became a part of the team for that special week in Meribel, where Manon Carpenter won the World Cup overall and Matt Simmonds climbed onto the 2nd step of the podium. Meribel is a fantastic summer location for ride holidays and families, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that you spend it with Alpine Ethos."