Mottaret (or Meribel-Mottaret to give it its full name) is situated at the top of the Meribel Valley, being 3km up the road from Meribel Centre. The Meribel Valley is the central valley of the Three Valleys Ski Area which is the largest ski area in the world. So with Mottaret being right in the centre of the Three Valleys, you could describe it as the best located ski resort as it has direct and easy access to the Three Valleys ski area.
It is one of the six major ski resorts in the Three Valleys.
It is linked to Meribel by a free bus service.
At 1700m it is one of the higher resorts in the Alps. With direct access to Courchevel and Val Thorens as well, Mottaret is a good location for convenient snow sure skiing. The season in Mottaret generally runs from the first week in December until the last week of April.
Mottaret is all about convenient skiing, with fast access to the rest of the Three Valleys. Nearly all the accommodation is either ski-in/ski-out or is no more than a couple of minutes to the slopes. The central lifts running out of Mottaret go directly to the peaks of the valley. Mottaret is so well located that it is as quick or quicker to get to the top of the Courchevel valley than from any of the Courchevel resorts including Courchevel 1850!
Mottaret consists of two main areas separated by the central piste area: Le Laitelet and Le Chatelet.
Mottaret was developed in 1972 as a satellite of Meribel. The initial development centred on Le Laitelet and then Le Chatelet was developed in preparation for the 1992 Olympics. Le Laitlelet (with Le Hameau at the top) rises up the east facing side of the Valley. The smaller Le Chatelet is situated on the west facing side of the valley just at the entrance to the Parc de la Vanoise nature reserve.
Mottaret's official name is Meribel-Mottaret and it is administered from Meribel-les-Allues. Even though Mottaret is quite different in character to Meribel and is a substantial resort in its own right, the tourist office for Mottaret is part of the Meribel tourist office. There is no separate tourist information dedicated to Mottaret.
Mottaret's major asset is its central location in the vast ski area of the Three Valleys and is best suited for intermediates and experts looking to make full use of the expanse of the Three Valleys. In Mottaret there are 21 lifts serving approximately 80km of piste. In Meribel there are a further 26 lifts serving another 80km of piste, with about 600km of pistes in the Three Valleys as a whole.
For beginners, as well as the blues and greens in Mottaret there is also easy access down to Meribel for the extensive nursery slopes there.
For intermediates Mottaret gives the fastest access to all the best skiing in the Three Valleys, making trips into the other valleys very easy.
There is a huge amount of off-piste possibilities in the Three Valleys. There is extensive off piste from Mont Vallon and Mont de La Chambre. Also there is the fantastic Aiguille de Fruit off piste route, that enables about two hundred uninterrupted turns and which finishes by Lac Tueda just by the apartments.
The local Meribel and Mottaret buses are free and run throughout the season. There are four services:
The Mottaret service route: Meribel - Le Chatelet - Le Hameau - Le Chatelet - Meribel
The first bus down to Meribel in the morning is at 8:40am. The last bus back from Meribel, leaves Meribel centre at 11:30pm.
The bus runs every half an hour leaving Meribel centre at quarter past and quarter to the hour for most of the day.
The first bus from Meribel to Mottaret leaves at 8:20am. The last bus returns to Mottaret at 12:00 midnight.