An independent guide to Val Thorens

View of Mt Blanc from Val Thorens

Private lessons inVal Thorens

Pupils in a private lesson in Val Thorens

Private lessons in Val Thorens. The first section answers the question 'Why take private lessons?', to give you an idea of what you can expect when you book private lessons in Val Thorens. There's information about the times, prices, and meeting points, and a link to a British ski instructor in Val Thorens. Read about private lessons in Val Thorens here.

Why take private lessons in Val Thorens?

Private lessons in Val Thorens

People choose private lessons over group lessons for a variety of reasons. 

You may prefer to do just a few hours of lessons, rather than a full week. Or you may be looking for more individual attention, to improve your technique - perhaps to learn something specific, such as carving, bumps, or off piste. In private lessons, you don't have to wait around for other people, or feel pressured into going faster than you're comfortable with.

Lessons can be for just one or two people, or for a small group of family or friends of about the same level. They are usually very enjoyable, and a good way to learn a lot in a short time.

These are some typical private lessons:


For a complete beginner, or someone has done just a few sessions at a dry slope or snowdome in the UK. Private lessons can give beginners a solid foundation, help them overcome any nerves, progress quickly, and really enjoy their first skiing experience. (How fast people progress also depends a lot on their own fitness, age, and confidence. Also, different people have different ambitions and expectations).


Some intermediates find that they have 'plateau-ed' - reached a certain level, but don't seem to progress any further. In these cases, private lessons are ideal to take their skiing or snowboarding to the next level, by correcting any faults, and giving a clear picture of the technique required for different situations and snow types.

Good skiers or snowboarders

Experienced skiers may have a particular area that they want to improve, such as carving, bumps, or off piste. Good snowboarders may wish to learn more technique, try freeride off piste, or have a go at freestyle tricks. 

Other possibilities include some tips on technique while exploring the Three Valleys.

Meribel Mottaret, Three Valleys

Méribel Mottaret, in the 3 Valleys


Expert skiers or snowboarders often like to explore the Three Valleys, or discover off piste itinerary routes. One or more full days are ideal for this. (Doing the Three Valleys is subject to the links being open - the links can close if it's too windy, or the avalanche risk is high; off piste skiing or boarding is also subject to weather and avalanche risk).

Snowboarder in Val Thorens


Private lessons in Val Thorens, Easter 2016

There are various reasons why you may wish to book private lessons for your children. 

They may be more confident when learning with their own instructor, rather than in a group where more than one language is spoken. Several families sometimes go on holiday together, so it's possible to make a small group of children at about the same level. 

Sometimes children are at a different level to their parents or brothers and sisters, meaning it's difficult to ski together. Or a family may wish to ski together for most of the week, but the children will still benefit from learning better technique in a few private lessons. 

Some children want to continue through the ESF star system, without doing group lessons.

Private lessons for children in Val Thorens

Private lessons in Val Thorens: times

Private lessons, top of the Cime de Caron, Val Thorens

The times of private lessons vary, according to whether it's school holidays or not - ie whether it's high or low season.

Low season

Outside the school holidays, times are more flexible. Private lessons with the ESF are available in the morning, 9-12. (9-11 or 11-1 may be possible, too, depending on the instructor; 10-12 is not usually favoured, as the morning is generally the most popular time, and it effectively takes the instructor's whole morning for a 2 hour lesson). Afternoons, and full days, are also options.  

High season

Private lessons may not be available in the morning, especially in the busiest weeks, as many instructors will be doing morning group lessons. However, some instructors may be able to do a private lesson on Sunday morning, and start group lessons on Monday. With the ESF, private lessons are usually available at lunchtime (12.00-1.30, 12.30-2.00, or 12.00-2.00), or in the afternoons (2.15-4.45 in Christmas and New Year's weeks, then 2.30-5 from 10th February 2019 onwards).

Private lessons in Val Thorens: prices

Private ski lesson in Val Thorens

The hourly rates for private lessons vary according to whether it's high or low season, morning or afternoon, and according to the number of people. For example, in 2018/19, the rate at the ESF is:

  • €52/hour for 1-4 people, in low season, in the afternoon
  • €93/hour for 5-8 people, in high season, in the morning

See the full ESF private lesson prices.

Private lessons in Val Thorens: meeting points

ESF private lesson meeting point, Castor & Pollux, Val Thorens

The meeting point for private lessons in Val Thorens is generally flexible, and can be outside your accommodation if the lesson starts first thing in the morning, or at a central point such as the Rond Point des Pistes, if the lesson begins later in the day. 

Some of the ESF meeting points include the bottom of the Castor & Pollux magic carpets (at the Rond Point des Pistes), Montana snowgarden, and Maison de Val Thorens (in place Caron). They can be seen, marked with a black triangle, on this resort map. You can see various meeting points, and see what the central area looks like, on this annotated photo of the Rond Point des Pistes and beginners' area:

Beginners area and lesson meeting points in Val Thorens

We hope you enjoy your private lessons in Val Thorens.

ESF in Val Thorens

ESF Val Thorens kids' group

The ESF is the biggest ski school in Val Thorens, with up to 200 instructors in the busiest periods. They offer group and private lessons in skiing and snowboarding, as well as other activities like snowshoe walks. Read more about the ESF in Val Thorens.

Val Thorens ski schools

ESF ski school offices in Val Thorens

The Val Thorens ski schools page has details of all the Val Thorens ski schools.

Find out about group ski and snowboard lessons at the different ski schools in Val Thorens, as well as the private lessons and other activities they offer.

Private lesson, Boismint sector, Val ThorensPrivate ski lessons, Val ThorensPrivate lesson, Cime de Caron, Val Thorens

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