Meribel (1,450m), a firm British favourite, is also known as ‘Little England upon the Alps’. Brits make up almost half the total visitors and if you were to go into a bar and ask for un verre de vin rouge , you’d probably be greeted by the blank faces of British season workers. The annual influx of Brits means you can easily get by without speaking a word of French, but it also means prices are high, British voices are everywhere and nightlife can be a little boisterous – shots of toffee vodka and dancing on tables at the Le Rond Point bar isn’t uncommon. Although a purpose-built ski resort, Meribel doesn’t allow high-rise developments, instead insists on chalet-style architecture so has grown out rather than up, extending more than 10 kilometres across the valley floor. The local ski area has enough varied terrain to keep all abilities happy. It also has the enviable location of being in the centre of the Three Valleys, the biggest lift network in the world.
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