Discover the Tarentaise valley: our guide
Situated in the heart of the Alps between the Beaufortain and the Mont-Blanc massif, but also between the Vanoise national massif and the Maurienne valley to the south, the Tarentaise valley is known worldwide for its great Alpine passes and its unmissable winter sports resorts. It is the largest touristic valley in the world, from Les Chapelles meadows to the Petit-Saint-Bernard pass, the Aiguille Rouge peak and the Bellevarde peak in Val-d’Isère. Discover our special guide to the Tarentaise Valley!
Why you should visit the Tarentaise Valley
Unique ski resorts
The Tarentaise Valley became particularly popular after the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. It is full of exceptional ski areas with breathtaking natural landscapes. It welcomes you for unforgettable stays with family or friends in its world-famous ski resorts: Tignes and Val-d’Isère, Les Arcs and Villaroger, La Rosière and Sainte Foy Tarentaise.
A splendid natural setting
If you love nature, you won’t be disappointed! In the heart of Savoy, the Tarentaise valley has a unique ecosystem. Whether you stay in Méribel, Courchevel or Val Thorens, explore the region on skis or using the numerous hiking trails (with or without a mountain guide). You will discover vast protected national parks such as Les Écrins or La Vanoise. Summer is punctuated by numerous traditional mountain festivals where you can exchange with the locals, sample some local flavours, and appreciate local craftsmanship.
A rich heritage
The valley’s hamlets, such as Piémont, La Masure and Le Miroir, are representative of the richness and diversity of the region’s culture, with churches and chapels in the Savoyard baroque style and picturesque architecture. There are also remains of the Gallo-Roman civilisation. And lovers of typical Savoyard dishes will of course be in heaven here! In addition to the traditional tartiflette and raclette, discover little-known culinary specialities such as fricassee de caïon, alpine lamb, blueberry tart, Savoy cake and rissole.
What to do during your stay in the Tarentaise valley?
The Tarentaise Valley, the largest ski area in the world, is home to large resorts, village resorts and small authentic villages, so you have plenty of choice in terms of atmosphere and accommodation. You can access the most famous high-altitude ski resorts such as Val d’Isère, Tignes, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Val Thorens, etc. With more than 1,400 km of slopes and 600 modern ski-lifts, it is an exceptional place to go for winter sports!
Admire the Aiguille des glaciers, the highest point of Bourg Saint Maurice and follow the touristic routes of this High Valleys Artistic and Historical Area. The latter extends over the Tarentaise, Maurienne and Beaufortain regions and the Val d’Arly.
The Tarentaise resorts are constantly evolving to meet the needs of their visitors, be it in summer and winter. Put on your skis to hurtle down the slopes, or opt for snowshoeing, hiking, dog sledding or cultural outings. There is something for everyone in these wide-open spaces in the heart of the Vanoise massif!
7 must-dos in the Tarentaise Vannoise
Quintessential activities that you should consider in the Tarentaise Valley include:
- Go to Peisey-Nancroix: In the heart of the Haute Tarentaise, Peisey-Nancroix has a rich cultural and natural heritage. It is an ancient glacial valley with former silver-mining operations. It is home to the Paradiski domain.
- Roam around the Belleville valley: Between 1,200 and 3,200 metres above sea level, this valley is known for its flowery pastures and snow-capped peaks. From the village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville to Val Thorens via Les Menuires, this valley displays all the nuances of the mountains.
- Discover the ancestral craft of wool-spinning in Séez: The Arpin spinning mill has been spinning wool in the traditional way since 1817.
- Climb up to the hamlet of Monal: This is a very picturesque and listed village, located at an altitude of 1,874 metres. For many, it is one of the most beautiful hamlets in the valley, defined by its sturdy chalets and a magnificent chapel.
- Ski down the slopes of the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes: At an altitude of 3,500 metres, this is an absolutely breathtaking climb that allows you to enjoy the most exceptional views.
- Hike around the mountain pastures: There is nothing like the mountain pastures for a family outing and it’s the perfect place to buy a delicious Beaufort cheese made by local producers.
- Explore the Champagny-le-Haut valley on horseback: This valley has been shaped by glaciers, and you can admire untouched landscapes of rocky outcrops.