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FAQs for Val Thorens

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    About FAQ's - Resort Information for Val Thorens

    About FAQ's - Resort Information for Val Thorens

    Here is collection of general resort knowledge compiled from years of responding to email enquiries, getting ourselves lost, finding ourselves, late-night bar conversations, your feedback, plus translations of French brochures. We have put this resource together to help you out when you are planning a trip to the resort. Updating this section is a never-ending task so if we have missed anything out, or you spot that we are out of date or just plain wrong, please do let us know!

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    Are there any creches / childminding / baby sitting services in Val Thorens?

    Are there any creches / childminding / baby sitting services in Val Thorens?

    There are a number of childcare options available in Val Thorens. Please be aware that booking in advance is always recommended and that nurseries may want to see medical records and vaccination certificates. Please see our Childcare Services section for further information and contact details.

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    Are there any English speaking doctors in Val Thorens?

    Are there any English speaking doctors in Val Thorens?

    If you are unfortunate enough to need to visit the medical centre whilst in Val Thorens you will find the main medical centre in the Place de Caron. You cannot make an appointment you will just need to sit and wait to be seen by the doctor who will then make the assessment. If the center is not open you can call the number on the door for the doctor on call who can assist. The medical centre are able to deal with a wide range of ailments and injuries however if you need a hospital referral it will mean a trip down the mountain to the nearest hospital in Moutiers.

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    Are there any family rates or child discounts on lift passes?

    Are there any family rates or child discounts on lift passes?

    During the winter the Val Thorens lift pass company offers various discounts for families and children. For a full list of what's available see our Winter Lift Pass Options page and to find out about prices visit Lift Pass Prices in Val Thorens

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    Are there any free lifts in Val Thorens?

    Are there any free lifts in Val Thorens?

    The main free beginner area in Val Thorens is located just before the Peclet lift, it is easy to spot with two magic carpets either side, ‘musaraigne’ and ‘Campagnols’. They are covered which is well received on those snowy chilly days and you do not need a lift pass to be able to use them. Just be aware that the pistes that these free lifts allow access to are also a through-fare for the rest of the resort so it is advisable to keep towards the edges of the piste. The entire lift system is free for children under 5 and adults over 75 years. Proof of age must be presented when claiming your free pass. For more information on beginners reductions and free lifts please see Val Thorens Lift Pass Options - Winter.

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    Are there any left luggage facilities in Val Thorens?

    Are there any left luggage facilities in Val Thorens?

    Val Thorens Sport Centre (in the Centre Commercial Caron) and Les Menuires Sport Centre (Quartier Croisettes) both operate a left luggage office every Saturday from 8am until 8pm. It costs €1.50 per bag and you can also take a shower for €4. You can pre-book if you wish by calling: Val Thorens +33 (0) 479 00 00 76 Les Menuires +33 (0) 479 01 08 83

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    Are there any nightclubs or late night bars in Val Thorens?

    Are there any nightclubs or late night bars in Val Thorens?

    Don't worry if the thought of going to bed early every night in order to be first up the mountain in the morning isn't your cup of tea! There is plenty in Val Thorens to keep the night-owls happy, take a look at our Bars & Clubs in Val Thorens Guide to find out where to party in resort.

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    Are there any non-smoking bars and restaurants?

    Are there any non-smoking bars and restaurants?

    Since January 2008 smoking has been banned in all bars, cafés and restaurants in France. Patrons are generally free to smoke on the terrace and during the winter months smokers are often catered for with outdoor heaters. Have a look at our Guide to Dining in Val Thorens for suggestions of restaurants and bistrots in Val Thorens.

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    Are there rules and restrictions on the lifts ?

    Are there rules and restrictions on the lifts ?

    The Val Thorens lift system operates during both summer and winter seasons and has different restrictions regarding access according to the time of year. Please see Val Thorens Ski Lift Guide for further details.

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    At what age should my child start skiing?

    At what age should my child start skiing?

    Most ski teachers wouldn’t recommend starting skiing before the age of three or four at the earliest. The right age will vary from child to child, and depends upon the child’s strength, co-ordination and attitude. For this age group skiing should remain a play activity, so don't expect a young child to ski all day - a couple of hours is ample. For more information on ski school and children please read our Guide to Children's Skiing in Val Thorens.

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    Can I cross-country ski in Val Thorens?

    Can I cross-country ski in Val Thorens?

    Cross-country skiing is a great alternative to regular alpine skiing if you fancy taking things a bit slower and enjoying the tranquillity of the surroundings. It is still a great form of exercise though, as it is more energetic than it looks! You can find out all about the cross-country trails in Val Thorens in our Guide to Cross-Country Skiing.

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    Can I drink the water in Val Thorens?

    Can I drink the water in Val Thorens?

    Yes! Val Thorens is a proper town with decent water treatment. The water can sometimes taste a bit metallic due to the high mineral content and during the melting periods some people prefer to switch to bottled water just in case the treatment plants are over-capacity. Generally though the water in the Alps is, on the whole, wonderful mountain spring water and Val Thorens is no exception. It is perfectly safe to drink and tastes even better than the water at home!

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    Can I get sunburnt in winter?

    Can I get sunburnt in winter?

    Very easily! Always take precautions against the strength of the sun on a skiing holiday. At altitude and with the reflection off the snow, the sun’s rays can cause damage very quickly. Always, always wear sunglasses, even when the sun is not shining. Apply sunscreen, apply it thickly and keep applying it (you can still burn though cloud cover). Putting on factor 40 once in the morning will not protect you from burning. Reapply every hour.

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    Can I get to Val Thorens by Train from the UK?

    Can I get to Val Thorens by Train from the UK?

    You cannot get quite direct to Val Thorens but you can get close enough! The Eurostar from London goes direct to Moutiers which is just 30 minutes from Val Thorens. A quick bus or taxi ride should then get you up the mountain to resort. 

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    Can I go swimming in Val Thorens?

    Can I go swimming in Val Thorens?

    There are a number of indoor and outdoor pools throughout Val Thorens and Les Menuires. Please filter on 'Swimming' in our Sports & Fitness centres page

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    Can I picnic at any of the mountain restaurants?

    Can I picnic at any of the mountain restaurants?

    Over the past couple of years there has also been a surge of indoor eating areas popping up next to lift stations across the Three Valleys. Perfect for those chilly days when tucking into your sandwich on a ski lift in a blizzard is not too appealing! In Val Thorens you can find a large indoor eating area below the Caron lift station and if you are over in Meribel there is a swanky new area next to the Saulire lift. 

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    Can I take my baby to a ski resort?

    Can I take my baby to a ski resort?

    Yes, you can take your baby to a ski resort but be aware that sudden changes in temperature and altitude are not recommended. For help on in-resort childcare, equipment rental and helpful tips go to our Tips for Families in Val Thorens & Les Menuires.

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    Can you suggest some activities in Val Thorens for children?

    Can you suggest some activities in Val Thorens for children?

    Val Thorens is very much a family-friendly resort and welcomes children of all ages. From things that you can do as a family to activities that the children can go off and do with their new 'holiday friends' you will find plenty to keep everyone happy. Please see our Val Thorens Activities section for a few suggestions.

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    Can you suggest some hiking routes to try?

    Can you suggest some hiking routes to try?

    If you come to Val Thorens in the summer (and between you and me, you really should) chances are you'll want to get your walking boots on and go on a ramble or two. Val Thorens offers some beautiful walks for all standards, from gentle rambles to challenging hikes, you can enjoy the mountains just as much in summer as in winter. Have a look at our page on Hiking in Val Thorens for further information.

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    Do I need a photograph for my lift pass?

    Do I need a photograph for my lift pass?

    Not any more. Due to the invention of magnetic 'hands-free' passes cutting out a passport sized photo to attach to your ski pass is no longer necessary. The only exceptions are the season passes and free passes - for these your photo will be taken digitally at the lift pass office, or you can bring along a photo for scanning. Don't forget you can now order your passes in advance and online, and have them sent to your home address or hotel / rental agency in the resort.

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    Do I Need a Work Permit in Val Thorens?

    Do I Need a Work Permit in Val Thorens?

    If you are from Europe, the chances are you will not require a work permit or "autorisation de travail" to work in France - Switzerland is a different matter. Please see our Working a Ski Season in Val Thorens to find out more about visas and passports.

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    Do I need to carry chains in the car (often a paying optional extra in car-hire)?

    Do I need to carry chains in the car (often a paying optional extra in car-hire)?

    Yes! During snowy weather, resorts restrict access to vehicles with snow-tyres or chains, and sometimes traffic police will not allow any vehicle on to the resort access road without chains being fitted. Chains can be bought at any of the garages in the area or can be requested as part of a car hire package (if you are taking a car locally). We'd recommend that you buy them in advance at home though, to ensure the correct size & that they're actually in stock. The colour-coded 'quick-fit' variety are usually the best option and make sure you buy the right dimensions for you tyres - one size does NOT fit all.

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    Do the Ski Instructors Speak English?

    Do the Ski Instructors Speak English?

    Almost certainly – ESF instructors are mainly French but teach lots of English clients year after year, and so have a good understanding of the language. You will also find that many of the private schools in resort employ English instructors, so enquire when booking if this is important to you. When booking into a group lesson most ski schools will try and keep people of the same nationality together, to avoid confusion. During quiet times of the year you may find yourself in a mixed group, but the instructor will still try to engage with individuals in their own language. You can find details of all the instructors on our Ski & Snowboard Schools listings page.

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    How Can I Get a Job in Val Thorens?

    How Can I Get a Job in Val Thorens?

    There are a number of different approaches to finding work in a ski resort. The simplest way is to apply to season workers websites via our Job Finder. Many of the larger companies such as Tour Operators will recruit their staff long before the season starts, so if you fancy yourself as a resort rep then you’d better get in early! Take a look at our section on Working a Ski Season to find out lots of other useful information.

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    How do I find the best flight deals?

    How do I find the best flight deals?

    The internet is swamped with websites offering scheduled flight comparison searches. Our Flight Finder offers searches specific to airports closest to the ski resorts so you can quickly and easily see prices and availability. By going to the airlines directly the process is often simpler, however you don't get any comparison. The alternative to scheduled flying is to obtain seats on charter flights by contacting the major tour operators from your country (UK tour operators here). Through them, you may be able to arrange and pay for your flight (and transfer to Val Thorens) in advance, although this is not always possible as flight seats are sometimes tied to beds and are therefore in short supply.

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