Savoie / France
There’s far more to Orelle - a collection of 10 Alpine hamlets in the Maurienne Valley - than meets the eye!
Thanks to two new high-speed gondolas built in 2021 - the Orelle and the Orelle-Caron - this “secret gateway to the 3 Vallées” now has a hig-speed, direct link to Val Thorens and the 600km of the 3 Vallées. You can also ski the Belleville valley (300km) as well as Orelle’s own ski area (150km). With so much to choose from, you can ski right into May.
Skiers also have the chance to ride Europe’s highest zipline, the Tyrolienne - a breathtaking 1300m zip ride from the top of Orelle’s Bouchet lift to the Val Thorens crest!
Spring, summer and autumn are a great time to reconnect with nature in Orelle Val Thorens, with great walking and biking trails as well as via ferrata, climbing, and canyoning. The village sports ground has tennis courts as well as facilities for football, basketball and handball..
With free parking and convenient access to the world's largest ski area, all at a fraction of the cost of larger 3 Valleys resorts, Orelle emerges as the ideal choice for individuals seeking the finest skiing without the hustle and bustle of bustling hubs.
Immerse yourself in the wonders of Orelle, a haven where nature and adventure blend harmoniously, and create memories that will endure a lifetime. Don't forget to explore the captivating attractions of Bonneval-sur-Arc, Lac du Mont Cenis, and the charming hamlet of Eco in the picturesque Maurienne valley, offering a perfect escape from the frenetic pace of city life.
With access to some of the best and highest skiing in Europe, you can expect to ski right into May when you base yourself at Orelle Val Thorens.
With two high-speed cable cars whisking you into the heart of the huge 3 Vallées ski domaine (600km of pistes) there’s plenty of choice, and that’s before you even start on the Belleville Valley (300km) and Orelle’s own ski area (150km). So you won’t be surprised that this area caters for skiers of every level.
The Orelle cable car will take you to Val Thorens ski area in 13 minutes, and another seven minutes in the Orelle-Caron gondola will take you to the Cime Caron. Parking is free at Orelle, and the 10-person cable cars have racks for your equipment so just sit back and enjoy the ride - the views will leave you speechless!
Choose between two ski passes - the Orelle Val Thorens (150km) is perfect for a short stay, but if you’re looking for more choice, go for the 3 Vallées ski pass, which covers 600km of slopes.
Cross-country skiers will find the 3 Vallées’ highest trail in Orelle. At a height of 2,350m, it leaves directly from the Orelle cable car. There’s also a boardercross slope at the crossing of the Lory and La Croix d’Antide slopes.
Other winter activities include sledging, snow-shoeing, ice-skating and the thrilling Tyrolienne zip wire. And when you’re done with all of that, take some time to relax in your OVO Network chalet.
There’s still plenty to do in Orelle Val Thorens and the Maurienne valley when the snow melts! The Vanoise national park is a wonderful place for walking, hiking and biking, with marked trails all over the surrounding countryside. The Orelle and Orelle-Caron cable cars open on certain days - check times with the tourist office.
Your walk might take you past the isolated Notre Dame des Anges chapel, on the Arcelin forest trail, or give you incredible views of the Bissorte Dam, on the Prec forest trail - it was built in the 1930s to supply a hydroelectric plant. Another hike could take you to the fascinating “Pierre aux Pieds” - a series of rocks with engravings dating back to the Iron Age.
There are plenty of other ways to keep active too - try geo-caching, canyoning or via ferrata, or perhaps head for the sports ground where you can play football, basketball or handball. Tennis courts can also be booked through the tourist office.
There are climbing sites between Bonvillard and Les Champs, which are open all year round, or you might prefer a sedate game of boules.
Culture vultures could learn something new at the Espace Alu, a museum which looks at the history of aluminium production in the Maurienne valley, or at the impressive baroque church of St Maurice.
If you're up for further exploration, why not consider a trip to Italy? The tourist office organises coach trips to this splendid city, providing ample time to visit the market, enjoy a leisurely lunch, and discover the exquisite baroque architecture and charming piazzas. Additionally, the Maurienne valley offers an exceptional blend of nature, heritage, and remarkable sites, such as the Mont Cenis plateau, located at an altitude of 2000 meters.
With its prime location between the Vanoise National Park and Italy, this destination provides opportunities to immerse yourself in pristine nature, partake in sports and cultural activities, and experience unique adventures like zip-lining, via ferrata, and high mountain hiking.
Skiing and boarding are the main activities that bring guests to Orelle Val Thorens in the winter, and in the summer, hiking, biking and climbing are the most popular. But when you stay at an OVO Network property, there is so much more to see and do. Here are some of our favourite things to do in and around Orelle Val Thorens and the Parc de la Vanoise...
If you’re skiiing from Orelle Val Thorens, there’s a fast and thrilling way to get from the top of the Bouchet chairlift to the Val Thorens crest - take the zipwire! It will take you just 1 minute and 45 seconds to glide the 1,300m along this steel cable, and you can take your skis with you, securely strapped to your back. You’ll reach speeds of over 100kmh and enjoy the most amazing views of the mountains! The cost is 56€, and you can buy your ticket on site (ages 8 to 88!). If you’d rather not go it alone, the 1800m BEE zipwire at the top of the Moutière chairlift will take two people side by side - and it’s open in winter and summer!
Slide down the Péclet glacier on this marked sledge run, which is open to anyone over the age of five. It will take you eight minutes to get to the start on the Péclet Funitel, and 45 minutes of sheer delight to get back to the bottom on your sledge. Open from January to May, the price of 18.30€ includes one descent, a sledge and a helmet. It’s 27€ for two descents, but if you want to ride all day, it will cost you 36.60€. Children aged between five and nine can share an adult’s sledge free..
This Alpine adventure is a great day out for families with older children - it combines hiking and climbing on a trail cut into the rock face. You’ll wear a helmet and be clipped to the trail at all times to ensure your safety, but you’ll still need a head for heights! You can get more information at the tourist office.
A great summer day out for families with older children, canyoning is a fun way to get down a mountain using the rivers, streams and waterfalls - yes, you will get wet! An instructor will help you get across the obstacles by jumping, sliding and abseiling, and wetsuits and helmets are provided.
Come and meet these beautiful dogs before taking them for a 90-minute walk around Orelle Val Thorens. It’s an encounter you’ll never forget! Other activities available include husky karting and sledding.
Discover the beautiful area around Orelle while having fun on a geocaching trail - the tourist office will provide the clues, which are also available online or via an app.It’s a great activity for all ages, all year round and completely free of charge.
Discover the fascinating Italian city of Turin in just one day with a guided excursion organized by the tourist office. The bus journey takes approximately one hour, passing through the Fréjus tunnel. Upon arrival, you will have five hours to explore this city full of wonders. Take a leisurely stroll through the streets and admire the magnificent baroque buildings, or visit the Porta Palazzo market to uncover its treasures. If you prefer history, explore the palaces and the Egyptian museum. Before heading back, the bus will make a stop in Suse, where you can relax or do some shopping. Remember to have your ID or passport with you for the trip!
This traditional mountain restaurant on the slopes is easily accessible by the Bouchet lift or on skis. With its sunny, south-facing terrace, it’s a popular lunch stop for skiers. If you’d rather sit inside you can enjoy a home-made meal next to the fire. The menu includes Savoyard specialities as well as classic French dishes and delicious desserts. Only open in winter, and on the days when the gondola is open in summer. Check opening times with the restaurant.
Plan Bouchet, 73140 Orelle, +33 4 79 56 53 01
Pizzas to eat in or takeaway are the focus of the menu. Prices are reasonable and the pizzas are made on the premises.
58 Rue General Ferrie, 73140 Saint Michel de Maurienne, +33 4 79 83 06 48
There’s always a warm welcome at this small but popular restaurant in Val Thorens which prides itself on serving local specialities such as fondues, tartiflette and raclette as well as more unusual dishes such as pork with pears and chestnuts, beef tartare and caramelised pork shank. For dessert, you could choose raspberry tart, cherry and blueberry crumble or perhaps pear poached in red wine, depending on what’s in season. Book in advance, as its few tables are in big demand. It’s a great choice for lunch during a day on the mountain, but don’t miss the last lift back at 5pm!
Rue de Caron 172, 73440 Val Thorens, +33 4 79 08 63 95
Everything is prepared on site using seasonal produce at this refined restaurant. The chef is creative and will surprise you with his original dishes and his way of revisiting recipes using good local produce. Only open for lunch, but it is possible to have your meals delivered in the evening (contact the restaurant to arrange this).
13 Rue de la Republique, 783500 Modane, tel +33 4 79 05 42 99
Regional dishes such as fondues, raclette ... but above all delicious home-made pasta. The chef is Italian and it shows in his dishes.
28 place Sommeiller, 73500 Modane, tel: +33 4 79 05 22 84
You’ll find a mini market (open in high season only) which will meet most of your daily food needs in Hameau des Eaux d’Orelle - they offer fresh food, cheese, local produce and beer, a deli and local specialities such as raclette and fondue savoyarde (order the day before). For larger supermarkets, head to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne or Val Thorens. Open in winter (November-May) and summer (July-August) only.
To save precious time and make the most of your holiday, try the "DRIVE" reflex, which allows you to pick up your shopping on the day of your arrival without having to go anywhere. Some chalets offer delivery before your arrival - don't hesitate to discuss this with the property manager.
Open from 8:30am to 7:00pm except Sundays, the Fourneaux Intermarché is very large and offers a wide range of products. It also offers an online shopping and delivery service.
70 avenue de la Liberté 73500
Let's support local traders! This food shop sells Italian specialities such as cold meats. It also sells cheese, fruit and vegetables, flowers, etc. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 9am and 7pm.
2 Place Sommeiller, 73500 Modane 04 79 05 24 28
A must for tasting the valley's fine cheeses, ordering your fondues, raclettes, etc. Now a meeting place for cheese lovers, this store sells Beaufort PDO and Bleu de Bonneval sur Arc cheeses, as well as fresh produce and farmhouse cheeses from Haute Maurienne. You can also borrow raclette and fondue machines to order - they will, of course, prepare the cheese to go with it! Open Tuesday to Saturday from 08:45 to 19:00, with a lunch break between 12 and 14:00. Closed on public holidays. Closed from 02/07 to 29/08.
18 Place Sommeiller 73500 Modane
If you’re looking for gifts or souvenirs to take home, try the pottery, Bol d’Altitude, at Lotissement le Cré du Vlé, where you can pick up beautiful unique tableware.
You’ll find a bigger selection of shops in Val Thorens, or if you are after some serious retail therapy, what about a day in Turin? You can book a day trip at the tourist office or take the train from Modane.
Take the A43 from the direction of Lyons, coming off at exit 29. The RD1006 will take you the remaining 6km to Orelle.
The nearest international airports to Orelle are Turin, Lyon and Geneva.
It’s a lot easier to get to Orelle Val Thorens by train than it is to get to some of the bigger resorts! The TGV trains from Paris stop at Saint Michel/Valloire (6km) and Modane (12km) several times a day, and taxis are available from the stations. A TGV train from Paris to Modane takes about 4 hours.