New link between Orelle and Val Thorens

23rd September 2021, by Abi Butcher

The ski resort of Orelle has a new link to Val Thorens. Pic: David Andrew/L3V

The ski resort of Orelle has a new link to Val Thorens. Pic: David Andrew/L3V

Two new high-speed gondolas will this winter link the ski resorts of Orelle and Val Thorens, providing a fast connection with the Maurienne Valley and the Tarentaise.

Orelle has long been known as the mythical “fourth valley” in France’s massive Les Trois Vallées ski area, but accessing Val Thorens from Orelle has involved the slow “3 Vallées Express” gondola from the village centre to Plan Bouchet and then a route via either one or two chairlifts.

From this winter, that link will be hastened by the installation of new, faster gondola from Orelle to Plan Bouchet — called “Orelle” and a brand new “TC Orelle-Caron” gondola linking Plan Bouchet to Cime Caron, at 3,200m. The lifts, which have cost €40 million, double the capacity on the route to 2,500 people per hour — and give an overall journey time from the centre of Orelle to the centre of Val Thorens of 45 minutes.

As well as taking skiers between the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valleys, the two gondolas will provide a route for pedestrians, with luggage allowed in the lifts, too. It means visitors can access the 3 Vallées from Italy and the Maurienne without having to drive into the Tarentaise Valley, an often congested route.

Orelle also provides a cheaper range of accommodation for the Three Valleys than the other resorts within the Tarentaise. 

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