Val d'Isere

Ski Resort in France

Introduction

Val d’Isère is thought by many to be one top winter sports resorts in Europe. The sophisticated and charming village teamed with world class ski terrain attracts devoted ski, snowboard and party enthusiasts year after year.

Val d’Isere is one of the greatest ski resorts in the world. It has extensive, high snow-sure slopes which it shares with Tignes, forming the Espace Killy ski area. The town itself, although rather large, is more attractive than most ski resorts and has a wide and varied array of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

The Espace Killy is quite rightly famous for both the quality and the quantity of the skiing on offer. There are 300kms of snow-sure pistes and nearly 90 lifts here, more than enough to keep even the most energetic intermediate happy for a week. And for experts there is plenty of off-piste, some of which is very testing and most of which is easily accessed through the lift system, although sometimes a brief uphill climb or long traverse is needed. For experienced ski tourers with skins and strong legs, the possibilities are almost limitless.

It’s a true skier’s paradise that offers something for every ability level, from absolute beginner up to advanced skiers. Off the slopes the nightlife is hard to beat, with lively pubs to enjoy the famous après scene, chic bars for a cocktail and a couple of nightclubs where you can get your groove on.

You can make the most of plenty of dining options in Val d'Isère. Choose between traditional Savoyard restaurants, fancy bistros or the more comfortable (and affordable) restaurants and pubs serving all types of everyday food from all over the world. Accommodation in Val d'Isère - as with eating out and partying - is fairly pricey, but you are paying to be in one of the world’s most famous ski resorts.

Although there are cruisey blues and beginner areas, the skiing is most suited to advanced skiers, who will enjoy the many challenging pistes and the famous off-piste opportunities. The Val d'Isère calendar is packed full of all sorts of events and festivals happening at the foot of the slopes, mainly including fireworks and competitions. Val d'Isère is a destination that really does have it all – amenities, world-class skiing and an enviable nightlife.

The latest addition to the ski area is the state-of-the-art Solaise gondola, which opened in December 2016. It has 91 cabins each with a 10-person capacity, heated seats and WiFi - so no more bottlenecks during peak season. The ride up takes just 7 minutes, making it one of the fastest gondolas in the world. And at the top? The American-style Day Lodge, with a bar, picnic area, kids' corner, and two sun terraces, to make the most of those gorgeous views. There's also a great beginner's area up there, where newbies can learn the basics at high altitude.

Val d'Isere is a strong contender for the title of the world's best ski resort. Such accolades, however, comes at a price: Val d’Isere is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the Alps.


Val d'Isere info card

Resort Altitude1850m
Highest Lift3450m
Total Piste300km
Longest Run10km
Directions of SlopesN, S, E, W
Uphill Capacity149425
Total Lifts89
Gondolas/Cable cars10
Chairlifts45
Drag Lifts34
Snow Parks2


Best time to visit Val d'Isere

Thanks to the presence of the Pissaillas glacier, a high altitude and a vast adjoining area, Val d'Isere is great for skiing from the beginning of December through to the end of April. Besides the snow-sure nature of the Pissaillas, a majority of the slopes are situated above 2,500m altitude, well positioned to get the best snow coverage. To top it off, there's 150km of further terrain in the rest of the Espace Killy, including Tignes' Grande Motte glacier. The slopes face North, South, East and West with plenty of south facing pistes for milder mid-winter skiing and cooler north facing ones if you're skiing later in March, so you can enjoy the sunshine and avoid the slush. For when mother nature needs a helping hand, over 300 snow cannons are stationed around the glacier and adjoining areas to keep the pistes in great condition.

Val d'Isere is buzzing with festive cheer over the Christmas and New Year period and a popular destination for families during school holidays because of its fantastic snow and vast range of activities.


Snow conditions in Val d’Isère

The snow conditions in Val d’Isère are difficult to beat, wherever you go. Even in bad snow years, Val d’Isère remains accessible in most places due to the high altitude. A big plus point is the fact that all runs back into the town stay open almost all of the time, because of how high the town is. The majority of the runs are above mid-mountain, ensuring long-term accessibility.

Val d’Isere’s snowmaking facility is the largest in Europe, the new 2 million Euro facility 'The Snow Factory' will provide guaranteed snow-cover from November until May. The artificial snow will play a key role in keeping the ski area in pristine condition even in a dry winter. The 650 snow cannons cover 40% of the ski area.


Val d'Isere Village

Val d'Isere has re-invented itself in recent years with numerous new buildings in attractive wood and stone. There is underground parking in most areas leaving the village centre free from most traffic, which makes for a good feel.

Val d’Isere is a bustling big-resort village that has aspects to it that date back to the mid 1500s. It is not what you would call pretty, but it is elevated above the functional and most of the buildings are tastefully clad in either wood or local stone. The Avenue Olympique is the main road through the centre of the village, and most of the action occurs on either side of the through road.

Val d’Isere has embarked on a thorough upgrading of its services recently and the Pure White Val d’Isere project has helped greatly. New extensive parking areas and traffic plans have coincided with extended pedestrian zones and a better bus network. All in all, Val d’Isere is getting better, unlike some French resorts.

Hard winters forced villagers to build solid houses with the local stone, setting the style for centuries to come. Jacques Mouflier, a Parisian, discovered Val d'Isere under mounds of snow in 1929. And the snow, "as light and fluffy as swan's down" convinced him that this mountain valley was just the spot to create a resort in the image of an Austrian ski village.

But with the inauguration in 1937 of the Iseran Road - the highest mountain pass in the European Alps - linking the Tarentaise and Maurienne Valleys, the soul of the village was "smothered for a time by city-influenced architectural concepts" until the busy little mountain town embarked on an extensive facelift during the years leading up to the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics. Until then it had become something of an eye-sore except for one redeeming factor: its attractive old centre.

Val d'Isere was once a small hunting village owned by the Dukes of Savoie, and the old quarter, complete with ancient church, dates back to 1553. It was one of the few churches that was not destroyed during the French revolution; when the French revolutionaries tried to dismantle it, they were peppered with buck-shot. In 1987 the reconstruction of the town centre began, in true Savoyard style, using wood, stones from the Manchet valley, and flat mountain slate for the roofs.

In 1998 Val d'Isere's main street was renovated, and Val d'Isere's architectural renovation project specified strict conditions that are still respected. Any new construction has to make use of wood and "Lauzes" (wide flat stones) in keeping with the area and its history.

Val d'Isere's satellite villages vary from the charming traditional ambiance of Le Fornet to the slightly brutal modern and higher rise of La Daille. Not to everyone's taste, La Daille's structures however cleverly reflect the craggy grey peaks above and are architecturally interesting.


Val d'Isere Ski Resort

In France's Rhone Alp region, Val d'Isere (pronounce it: val de saire/sare/ser) makes up half of Espace Killy which is widely thought of as one of the most brilliant and beautiful ski areas in the world. In keeping with the attractiveness of its surroundings, the resort itself is a compilation of alpine hamlets made up of cosy wood and stone chalets. With the original village dating back to the 13th century and eye-catching church steeple at its centre, the whole place is truly oozing alpine charm. And while dreamily trad in appearance, Val's numerous bars, clubs and restaurants form a buzzing après ski scene and you’ll find all modern conveniences at your fingertips.

Its good looks and great après are certainly deciding factors for choosing ski holidays in Val d'Isere, but what really seals the deal is the world-class skiing and snowboarding terrain. At an altitude of 1850m, the resort is well placed for good snowfall throughout the season – usually opening before, and closing later than most other resorts. Some say the snow-sure slopes the best in the world for intermediate and advanced levels, and they’ve been home to some of the very best names in snow sport – most notably Olympic legend Jean-Claude Killy who the area’s named after.

This quality, powdery terrain is accessible by a fabulously fast and efficient lift system and, with an Espace Killy lift pass, you're granted access to Tignes (which forms the other half of Espace Killy). In total you've got 300km of slopes to roam, including 2 glaciers, 2 snowparks, slow-paced beginner areas and oceans of off-piste.

With so much to do on and off the slopes, Val d'Isere works well for couples, groups and families alike. It has been awarded the 'Family Plus Label', and it's not hard to see why. As well as children's ski schools, there's a great kids area in the leisure complex as well as a Holiday Village crèche with various childcare options and a children's sledging slope where families can enjoy the floodlit area together.


Skiing in Val d'Isere

In Val d'Isere you'll be skiing in the tracks of some of the world's greatest skiers. Olympic medallists Marielle and Christine Goitschel learned to ski there, not to mention triple gold winner Jean-Claude Killy, after whom the wider ski area is named.

As an indication of its premier status, the resort has hosted championships including the 1992 Olympics the World Alpine Ski Championships in 2009, along with the World Cup every December.

If some of the best skiers in history have learned here, beginners can too. The resort has 2 nursery slopes, one in the centre and another at La Daille. Beginners can practice on the 2 'Slow Zone' areas on Solaise and Bellevarde called Madeline and Verte. The Col de l'Iseran runs are also wide, gentle and relatively quiet areas to build confidence. Learning to ski in Val d'Isere is also very good value, thanks to the free lifts that serve the beginner runs.

For intermediate and advanced skiers, Val d'Isere is debatably one of the best areas in the world. Two must-ski runs are the "OK" piste (which features in the annual World Cup) and the mogulled "Face" piste on Bellevarde (of Olympic and World Championship fame). Off-piste opportunities are abundant, as are challenging mogul runs.

Val d'Isere loves snowboarders, and the relationship is firmly mutual. All pistes are open to boarders and there are oodles of good freeriding terrain and deep powder runs to enjoy. It's especially good for intermediate and advanced boarders, and because of the small number of button lifts, access to slopes is a never a drag!

Val d'Isere has its own snow park, the Oakley Valpark, at an altitude of 2,500m. It has loads of kickers, rails, jumps, and obstacles with an airbag and quarter pipe, divided into separate zones for different abilities (including a fun zone). The snow park has its own sound system and a chill zone with a BBQ. For younger enthusiasts, the Acticross is a family orientated area with gentle bumps, jumps, curves, super tunnel and a fun slalom.

Beginner

Beginners are rather spoilt at Val d'Isère with around a dozen ski schools to choose from, several of them British owned and operated. Then the resort has created special beginner zones up on the mountain so you can make your first turns in a custom designed area. There’s one on the pistes of the Verte in the Bellevarde area and the Madeleine in the Solaise area.

From these there are plenty of long greens and blues to progress on to with easy to ride chairs and gondolas to take you back up the slopes.

Intermediate

A veritable ‘intermediates paradise’ with more than 100 blue and red graded runs in the Espace Killy and recent investment in fast modern lifts meaning you can generally reach the furthest points distant above Tignes within half a day – not one of these giant ski areas that’s actually so big you can’t make it to large sections of it and return within the day.

Val d'Isère is made up of several sectors including Bellevarde, the top of which is reached via the Funival, and Solaise, the runs from which meet those of Bellevarde down at the village centre. Fornet up at 1930m has preserved its authentic Haute Tarentaise character and is an unspoilt hamlet and gives access to the ski area’s highest sport at the Pissaillas glacier, a summer ski area. The glacier is well suited for Intermediates with a range of blues where you can often beat the crowds at the beginning of the week. However watch out for the long flat sections as you come off the glacier, skiers must attempt to maintain speed through the flat sections at the bottom of the Vallon de L’Isere valley.

Good intermediates will be capable of tackling the famous OK men’s downhill race course, not at top speed perhaps, just enjoying the ride.

Advanced

One off the world’s great resorts for advanced skiers, with no less than 25 black runs to enjoy and Olympic downhill runs to test out. Most infamous is La Face, created for the ’92 Olympics which descend nearly three kilometres (two miles) from its peak at 2,809 and pitches at up to 63%.

However the area is most famous for its off piste (of which there is 10,000 hectares or ten times more than pisted runs) with forested areas like Danaides, accessed from the Solaise Express chair among the more popular. The Face du Charvet is another off piste descent of legend that is on every serious off-piste skier’s ‘slopes to ski before I die’ list, but always check the avalanche advice and go with a guide group. Other classic back-country routes thatVal d’Isere has to offer is Col Per, off the Pissaillas glasier down to Le Manchet valley, and Le Grand Vallon, a beautiful back-country bowl accessed by dropping of the back of the signal poma. Why not brush up on your avalanche awareness, and back country safety by attending Henry’s infamous avalanche talk, a very entertaining event that takes place periodically throughout the season in various bars and pubs in town.

There’s enough to do on the local slopes, but if this is your tenth season here you might consider some of the additional options from ski schools and mountain guides, these include an off piste ski safari to neighbouring resorts as far as Paradiski; heliskiing in Italy, ski touring excursion and a trip to nearby Bonneval – another famous off piste destination.

Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing

Val d’Isère has a very highly regarded snowpark spread over 35 hectares and three lines of kickers of varying difficulty, a gentle blue line for learners, a red line for intermediates, and the daunting black line for the pros! Its attributes include a variety of interesting features depending on the time of season, namely two boardercross courses, several quarter pipes, rainbow rails, flat boxes, and wall rides for the jibbers among us. The park has its own drag lift although it is relatively slow and sometime a little unpredictable. Of course there are more terrain parks to try out across the Espace Killy over in Tignes too and for freeriders this excellent region has just as many treats and challenges for boarders as skiers. The network of high speed chair and gondola lifts makes getting up the slopes easy too.

Cross-Country Skiing

Val d'Isère has some excellent cross country ski routes, which combined with neighbouring trails in Tignes and L’Espace Killy combine to around 44km of tracks in total.

Loops are up to 6.5km long and cover all kinds of terrain from open mountainside to forested valleys and are available in very easy (green), easy (blue) and moderate (red) levels of difficulty. They are located in the Manchet valley – where the longest trails are located, as well as at La Daille, Fornet and the lake of Ouillette.


Val d'Isere Apres Ski

Famed for its après ski, you're unlikely to have a dull evening in Val. The resort has 4 nightclubs including the legendary Dicks T Bar (open from 4pm - 5am). Living up to its name, you'll experience ‘sweet madness' at Le Folie Douce, which boasts some of the best après ski in Europe. “Bananas” is another favourite, well known for its fantastic cocktails and convenient slope-side location.

In Val d'Isere's 92 restaurants, you'll find dishes to suit all tastes from traditional Savoyarde indulgence to Margarita pizzas in one of the many family friendly restaurants or takeaways. This includes Michelin starred Atelier d'Edmond which serves a fusion of gourmet cuisine and local delicacies. Round the back of the Billabong/Quicksilver shop is a great American diner-style cafe where friends and families can relax in the laid back atmosphere and enjoy the tasty food.

Off-slope facilities are superb and varied, making this a great destination for non-skiers. Outside, the village has a natural ice rink where you can skate amid beautiful surroundings and there are some great walking routes and snowshoeing, ice-climbing, ice-driving, husky rides and even paragliding. Every Thursday evening wander into the town centre to enjoy spectacular illuminations, live music and street entertainment, before heading to one of many après ski bars.

The huge Centre Aquasportif has something for all ages, however you like to spend your spare time. Swap slope-side for the complex's “Beach-Side” area where there's a swimming pool and separate leisure pool. Little ones can enjoy the paddling area while you relax with the currents and massage jets. Savour some peace, quiet and pampering in the Wellness Zone's sauna and stream room, where you can also have a hydro-massage or some spa treatments. There's a state of the art gym, and a range of sports halls where you can play a game of squash, volleyball, football, basketball, badminton or table tennis.


Families in Val d'Isere

With the Famille+ label, Val d’Isere is classified as one of France’s best family resorts. The ski area is best suited to those who have already been skiing a few times but if you’re brining learners along, there are 2 nursery slopes and specific children’s zones as well as various ski schools that do group and private lessons (you can even book lessons as a family to learn and improve together). See if the ticket office are still doing the ‘family ski pass’, where you can save money by purchasing everyone’s passes together. A top tip is to get the lifts back down at the end of the day if you’re with nervous skiers as the runs back to town can get quite tricky. For children who aren’t quite old enough for ski school, the resort also has a range of childcare options at the Children’s Holiday Village (at the bottom of the slopes) and the Petit Poucet nursery (often we can include on-site childcare with accommodation bookings too).

Little ones will love having their very own outdoor zone in the middle of the resort, where they can race on sledges, build snowman and make snow angels to their heart’s delight. On recent years, the area at the foot of the pistes has been turned into a family fun zone on certain nights of the week, with a snake gliss, airboarding and more. If everyone needs warming up after a day on the mountain, head to the Aqua leisure complex which has a ‘beach world’ and ‘wellness world’ to keep both children and grownups happy.

See our selection of family favourite chalets, hotels and apartments below. You know the best way to get your brood to the slopes, so whether it’s with flights and transfers, a self-drive package or just the accommodation, our ski specialists can help find a holiday to suit you.

Select your departure dates and travel preferences below to find something that suits you best – you can also arrange everything from low price to high or by star rating.


Group Holidays Val d'Isere

This legendary resort really does have something for everyone and accommodation to match, whatever your group size, preferences or budget.

Catered chalets are ideal for a group getaway – enjoy a cosy, intimate setting to yourselves by booking a chalet with rooms to suit your group size. Chalet Rousell sleeps 10 and is only 1 minute from slopes, making it perfect if you’ve got a group of snow lovers to match. Hotels are another group-friendly option, especially large properties like Club Med that are likely to have late availability in case any stragglers want to join up later. If it’s cheap you’re looking for, and mucking in on the catering isn’t a problem, apartments can be ideal. We like the Balcons de Bellevarde Apartments which have a quiet but convenient location, around 5 minutes’ walk from both the lifts and the town centre.

The ski area is suited ideally to groups of skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. If you’re taking beginners, there are two nursery slopes, one located in Val d’Isere centre and the other in La Daille – so whatever area you stay in, less confident skiers won’t have to travel far. There are some world class descents for more confident skiers who can get the Espace Killy pass to experience Tignes. Any non-skiers tagging along for the ride won’t be disappointed either, with activities including ice skating and shopping to name a few. Non-skiers looking to keep up with the rest of the group in terms of exercise can while away a good few hours at the Aquasportif – which has pools of all shapes and sizes as well as a gym and sports courts and a wellness centre.

If it’s partying you’re after in Val, it’s partying you’ve got. Local legends include Dicks T bar and the Folie Douce – both absolute must-visits if you want to sample the après here.

Ask us about our group deals and discounts to see if they apply to you. Our group holidays come with flights and transfers, channel crossings or just accommodation-only depending on your plans. Search below or give our ski specialists a call for all the advice and assistance you need to make choosing and booking as easy as possible.


Val d'Isere Accommodation

Originally a small alpine farming village, Val d'Isere the town has developed into a modern alpine resort town whilst maintaining its village feel and sense of tradition. The 'Old Town' is undoubtedly very pretty, with quaint old stone properties lining narrow snow filled streets. Val d'Isere the valley is made up of a number of charming little hamlets, namely Le Cret, Le Joseray, Le Chatelard, La Legettaz, Le Laisinant, Le Daille and Le Fornet. More recently the area of Les Carats (millionaires’ row as it's locally known!) has developed its own luxury character and charm.

There are about 50 Val d’Isère hotels with a range of rooms, suites and apartments, most of which are 3 and 4 star hotels. Generally the hotel tariffs are high relative to other European ski resorts, but there are also a few 2 star hotels for those on a tight budget. Val d’Isere accommodation also includes many chalets (including some very luxurious chalets) and a high number of self-catering apartments (condos).

Transportation - Get In

From the UK and other European countries, most visitors fly into one of the 4 local airports (Chambery, Lyon & Grenoble in France, or Geneva in Switzerland), and then organise a bus, taxi or minibus transfer into resort - or hire a car. You can also get from London to Val d’Isere by car (~12 hours) or by train - usually changing stations in Paris.

Long-haul international arrivals have a few different options - you could fly to Paris and take an additional short flight to one of the airports above, or alternatively take the train from Paris all the way to Bourg St Maurice (the town at the bottom of the valley to Val d’Isere) and take a ~30min taxi from there. Otherwise, there are quite often long-haul options to fly directly into Geneva, as above. If you’re feeling adventurous you could even look at flying in to Turin or Milan in Italy, and hiring a car from there (expect at a 4-5hr drive from those airports, though).

If you’re arriving from within France then it’s well worth looking at the train options (see about trains below) to get to Bourg St Maurice and then a taxi up the hill to Val d’Isere.


Airports

In winter, there are four main airports you could fly into (see below) whilst in summer, flights only operate to Geneva and Lyon.

Airports close to Val d'Isere
ChamberyGrenobleLyonGeneva
2h2h452h452h50
144km217km221km223km

So all 4 options are generally a 2-3 hour drive, however bear in mind that things like heavy snowfall and busy roads at weekends and on holidays can sometimes make the journey longer.

Each of the airports above has its own advantages and disadvantages:

Geneva has by far the most options, with dozens of daily flights from London alone and plenty more options from other destinations - usually a good bet for picking up a bargain on the flight price as well (just beware of false economies if that then lures you into splashing out on a fancy Swiss watch en route though!)

Chambery is the closest, but has few scheduled flights (mostly charter flights from Tour Operators) and limited transport options. It’s also quite a small/hectic airport (particularly on Saturdays).

Grenoble is similar to Chambery, although has more scheduled flights (including several airlines from London).

Lyon is a larger airport, and has more flights again (albeit mostly from around Europe, rather than the UK).

Once you’ve arrived at the airport you’ll need a transfer to Val d'Isere, which you can do via private taxi or minibus, hire car, coach, train or public buses. Travel times vary for each airport, as do the respective transfer costs - so factor this into your calculations.


Flights

During the ski season period (December-April) there are huge numbers of flights in and out of the 4 local airports on a daily basis - particularly to Geneva and Lyon. Grenoble and Chambery tend to be busier at weekends, and are closed completely during the summer months. Geneva is very busy all year-round, with dozens of UK and International flights throughout the summer and quieter inter-season months.

Use our Flight Finder via the link below to search for the best flights for your trip.

If you’re bringing sports equipment with you, don’t forget to check how much extra the airline might charge you for carriage and give yourself extra time to get this additional equipment checked in. Often the excess baggage areas are separate from the main check in desks, so make sure you get there with plenty of time to potentially do two check-ins. You should be able to find out more information about prices and check in desks either on the airline website, on your tickets or email confirmation.


Transfers to Resort

Once you reach the airport, bus or train station, the most popular option for onward travel to Val d'Isere is to take a transfer. There are quite a few options, from public bus services, to shared transfers, to private transfers and even helicopter transfers! Alternatively if you’ve made your way to Bourg St Maurice, rather than an airport, then you can jump on a bus or in a taxi up to Val d'Isere.


Buses

Using public transport can help keep the costs down on your trip to Val d'Isere, however it can take considerably longer and may involve a few changes along the way - you also don’t have the luxury of being dropped off on your doorstep, as you would with a taxi or with most transfer companies.

Val d'Isere has a bus terminus (Gare Routiere) where a couple of the international coaches stop (see more on coaches below) and it's also where the buses from the airports or train station in Bourg St Maurice will drop you off.

Buses from Chambery airport to Val d'Isere operate 4 times per day on Saturdays and once on Sundays during the ski season. It takes around 2 hours 45 minutes to get to Val d'Isere. There's also a stop in La Daille if you're staying out of the centre. Buses from Lyon airport run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the ski season, 3 times per day and take around 4 hours to get here.

Buses from Geneva airport operate every day of the week in winter with 6 buses on Saturdays, 4 on Sundays and 3 on all the other days of the week. This route also takes around 4 hours. Buses from Grenoble airport operate on 5 times per day on Saturdays and once on Sundays in winter and take between 3.5 to 4 hours to get to Val d'Isere.


Trains

The nearest train station for Val d'Isere is at Bourg St Maurice and it takes around another 45 minutes by road to get to Val d'Isere.

If you’re travelling from the UK, the Eurostar leaves from London or Kent and takes you into Paris, where you can pick up a connecting TGV train to Bourg St Maurice. These trains only operate in winter (from December to April) on Saturday during the day and overnight on Fridays (without sleeping compartments).

International trains connect Bourg St Maurice to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport or from Paris-Gare-de-Lyon on the TGV service, which takes around 5-6 hours. If you're coming from Lyon Part Dieu you can reach BSM on the regional trains which takes around 3.5 hours.

Once you've arrived in Bourg St Maurice you can pick up a shuttle bus to Val d'Isere or a take a transfer minibus directly from BSM.


Long-distance Buses/Coaches

There are a couple of International coach companies that can take you direct to Val d'Isere Gare Routiere, alternatively you can get to Grenoble or Lyon and from there you can pick up connecting buses to resort.

International coaches are usually more comfortable than your average coach and many travel through the night, allowing you to spend more time on your actual holiday. Although the journey time is obviously longer (London to Val d'Isere takes around 18.5 hours), you don't have the usual airport hassle of checking in luggage and hanging around in the departures lounge waiting for your flight to board. It is also more eco-friendly and often a bit kinder on the pocket.


Driving

Hiring a car or bringing your own vehicle with you to Val d'Isere is a good idea if you want to have a little more flexibility getting around once you’re here - although you won’t need a car to go skiing once you’re in resort as there is a very regular and free shuttle service around resort and between all the main lifts. Remember that you will also have to pay for parking, if you don’t have access to any with your accommodation.

It also gives you the option of exploring some other nearby resorts such as Tignes, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Meribel, Courchevel or Val Thorens, or popping down to Bourg St Maurice to stock up at the bigger (and cheaper) supermarkets.

Bear in mind that in winter the road on the way up to Val d'Isere includes a few narrow tunnels, is quite winding in places and conditions can be hard to drive in. The local snow clearers operate every day in winter, and do a fantastic job, but it you’re at all nervous or stressed about driving in the snow, in the dark or on the right-hand side of the road, then it might be worth considering a different option! Read our Driving to Val d'Isere Guide and find more information on Parking in Val d'Isere once you’ve arrived.


Travelling with equipment

Airlines, trains and transfer companies are all well-versed in catering for customers who travel with their own sports equipment (eg skis/snowboards or bikes/golf clubs in the summer), but it’s well worth checking the details in advance. Each company will have their own individual policy terms and conditions depending on the type of sporting equipment you are transporting. Here's a snapshot of the different transport options and a guide to their restrictions:

By Plane: Some airlines charge for taking skis/snowboards, and some don’t, and this can also apply to bikes, golf clubs, parachutes, mountaineering equipment - so check before you book. Make sure you pack your gear well, as it’s not unusual for there to be a few bumps and bruises along the way, if you don’t! The same applies for your bike, whether that be a mountain bike, road bike or touring bike...pack it well and ensure it falls within the packaging guidelines specified by the carrier.

Airport Transfer companies - again, these guys know that you’re going skiing, so they are able to cater for skis and snowboards coming too. However, it’s always important to let them know exactly what you’re bringing, so that they can ensure having sufficient capacity for skis/snowboards/bikes/clubs etc. An 8-seater minibus is much more cramped if all 8 of you turn up with skis without having forewarned the driver!

By Train - depending on where you start from, remember that train travel might include a couple of changes and almost certainly lugging your gear up and down a few sets of stairs or escalators. Eurostar allows skis/snowboards as 1 of your 2 permitted pieces of larger luggage, however golf clubs, bikes and other sporting equipment incur an additional charge of around £30 for their registered luggage service.

Transportation - Get Around


Bus

As with most ski resorts, Val d’sere also runs an excellent free bus service. Running approximately every 5 minutes throughout the day, the red line bus link runs from La Daille to Le Fornet, through the centre of Val . It’s a great way of getting over to the La Fornet ski area should some of the other chair lifts be out of action due to high winds. If you want to avoid skiing the extremely tough 'Face' at the end of the day, skiing down to La Daille and catching a bus back to the centre of town is a very easy option.

The yellow line ski bus does loops of the centre of town, going via the main strip of hotels to the front des neige and the rond point. The timetable is displayed at bus-stops and paper copies can be picked up in the resort. After the ski lifts are closed, the buses are much less frequent.


Ski lifts

The Olympique Gondola goes from the centre of Val d’Isere, at the front des neige, and provides access to the Bellevarde restaurant, as well as some stunning views. Heading up from La Daille, the gondola takes you directly into La Folie Douce, the legendary après ski bar and the amazing restaurant La Fruitiere.

Both the Solaise lift and Solaise Telepherique are available to pedestrians. The Tete de Solaise restaurant at the top has an ever-growing reputation and the panorama from the top on a sunny day could rival almost anywhere else in Espace Killy. A pedestrian pass will cost around €50 for six days or €11 for a single return journey.


Taxi

Taxis are a great way to get to some of the less accessible restaurants in Val, like Les Clochetons or L'Atelier d’Edmond. It is recommended to book in advance from a number of local companies.


On Foot

Val d’Isere is very accessible on foot. The town centre is relatively flat and you can walk to most places within 10 or 15 minutes. It is worth buying some ice-grippers for your boots, as Val d'Isere operates a white road policy. They can be bought online or from most ski hire shops in town.

Walking to La Daille takes approximately 20 minutes along the main road out of town, while a walk to Le Fornet would take much longer. The uphill walk to Le Fornet is long, yet scenic, taking up to an hour from the centre of town. There are no pathways, so you have to walk along the road. The walking routes up the Manchet valley towards the frozen waterfall are particularly spectacular and get you away from the hustle and bustle of Val d’Isere.


On Skis

Val d’Isere itself is one of the more difficult resorts to ski down to. From the Bellevarde side of the mountain, the town is reached by the former Olympic Downhill run La Face. From the Solaise mountain, the red run Piste M is the easiest route from top to bottom.

Skiing down to La Daille is a good option to get down from the Bellevarde side of the mountain. OK is a fantastic run and Diebold is a nice blue run through the trees. The free bus is then available every 10 minutes to get back to the town centre.


Getting to Tignes

The links to Tignes are only available by skiing or by road. To get there on skis, head up the Olympique gondola and ski down to the Tommeuses chairlift. From the top, you can ski down to Val Claret via the blue run Henri or to Tignes le Lac by taking the black run Trolles.

Getting to Tignes 1800 and Les Brevieries is simple enough and a very enjoyable ski. Taking the Chauddanes from 2100 and skiing down the Rhododendron blue run will lead you down towards 1800 and eventually Les Brevieres.

Tignes 1800 is near 13km from Val d’Isere, just over a 20 minute drive. Taxis cost anything from €40.


Helicopter

If you are feeling flash (and flush) you can fly from resort to resort by helicopter with White Tracks.

Accommodation & Hotels


Located on the most beautiful avenue in Val d Isère ski resort in France the luxury Hotel Avenue Lodge combines the art of living leisure and the exceptional Espace Killy ski area for yours holidays. This elegant Savoyard-style Chalet offers a contemporary sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing interior. Particular care was taken in selecting the materials used between modernity and tradition... This jewel of the snows offers a host of delights including a Lounge Bar a large sitting area with a fireplace a restaurant a pro shop refined rooms high-tech comfort and spacious bathrooms. So don t hesitate to go on holiday in Val d Isere. Luxury and winter sports The entire team of our hotel is at your service to make your holiday in our resort an unforgettable stay in the French Alps. Skiing fireplace relaxation tasting... And enjoy entertainment and activities in the resort. A luxury hotel a renowned resort majestic panoramas a renowned ski resort Hotel Avenue Lodge combines luxury and winter sports... Hotel is accessible to disabled people with reduced mobility.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • This is a wonderful boutique hotel, as guests say.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Stylish hotel
    • Comfortable beds
    • Spacious rooms
  • HOTEL AVENUE LODGE SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 92, this hotel is one of the top 1% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and location.


Rooms at Le Yule Hotel & Spa are designed in a vintage Scandinavian style, creating a warm and cosy atmosphere. Rooms also feature satellite television, a minibar and provide spectacular views of the ski slopes and the charming alpine village of Val d’Isère.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
  • LE YULE HOTEL & SPA SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 91. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and location.


Property Location Located in Val-d'Isere, Hôtel Christiania is in the mountains and minutes from Centre Aquasportif and L'Olympique Gondola. This 5-star hotel is within close proximity of Solaise Gondola and Funival Funicular.

Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 69 guestrooms featuring DVD players and flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms have deep soaking bathtubs and complimentary toiletries. Conveniences include phones, as well as laptop-compatible safes and desks.

Amenities Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. You're sure to appreciate the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features an indoor pool and a fitness center. Additional amenities at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and supervised childcare/activities.

Dining Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. Relax with a refreshing drink at one of the 3 bars/lounges.

Business, Other Amenities Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. Free valet parking is available onsite.

 


Featuring an indoor pool and a spa and wellness centre, Hotel Tsanteleina is a 4-star hotel located in Val d’Isère. The property offers a hot tub, a hammam and a sauna.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this hotel for solo travelers.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Wifi quality could be improved
    • Friendly service
    • Great reception
  • HOTEL TSANTELEINA SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 91, this hotel is one of the top 5% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and breakfast.


Hotel L'Aigle Des Neiges is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests in Val-d'Isere. Both business travelers and tourists can enjoy the hotel's facilities and services. Take advantage of the hotel's 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, facilities for disabled guests, room service, restaurant. All rooms are designed and decorated to make guests feel right at home, and some rooms come with television LCD/plasma screen, carpeting, mirror, slippers, internet access – wireless (complimentary). Entertain the hotel's recreational facilities, including sauna, indoor pool, spa, massage, steamroom. Discover all Val-d'Isere has to offer by making Hotel L'Aigle Des Neiges your base.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Winter sports facilities are close
    • Rooms could be larger
    • Comfortable beds
  • HÔTEL L'AIGLE DES NEIGES SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 88, this hotel is one of the top 10% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and breakfast.


Property Location: Located in Val-d'Isere, Hotel La Tovière is in the mountains, minutes from Funival Funicular, and close to Centre Aquasportif. This ski hotel is within close proximity of L'Olympique Gondola and Solaise Gondola.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 29 guestrooms featuring minibars and flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers.

Amenities: Enjoy the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features a sauna. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, ski storage, and a fireplace in the lobby.

Dining: Enjoy a satisfying meal at a restaurant serving guests of Hotel La Tovière. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Buffet breakfasts are available daily for a fee.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, multilingual staff, and luggage storage.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
    • Guests recommend this hotel for solo travelers.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • New rooms
    • Modern Hotel
    • Nice building
    • Stylish hotel
  • LA TOVIÈRE SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 87. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and location.


Property Location: With a stay at L'Avancher in Val-d'Isere, you'll be near ski lifts and minutes from Solaise Gondola and L'Olympique Gondola. This ski hotel is within close proximity of Centre Aquasportif and Le Fornet Ski Resort.

Rooms: Stay in one of 17 guestrooms featuring flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include phones, as well as safes and desks.

Amenities: Enjoy the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features a sauna. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). Getting to nearby attractions is a breeze with the area shuttle (surcharge).

Dining: Satisfy your appetite at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar. Dining is also available at a coffee shop/café. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served daily.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, multilingual staff, and luggage storage. For a surcharge, guests may use a roundtrip airport shuttle (available on request) and a train station pick-up service.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Rooms could be larger
    • Friendly service
    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Clean rooms
  • HÔTEL AVANCHER SUMMARY
    • This hotel has a very good TrustScore of 84. Guests recommend it because of its service, food and location.

Ski Area

Val d’Isere is linked to Tignes to form one of the great ski domains in the world. There are more than 300km of ski runs served by 88 lifts in the Espace Killy ski area, and although the accent is on strong intermediates and advanced skiers there is something for everyone.

The Espace Killy ski area is rightly famed for being a paradise for strong intermediates and advanced skiers and when you look at the breakdown of the pistes it is easy to see why.  Val d’Isere, in conjunction with Tignes, forms one of the biggest and most varied ski areas in the world.

There are two glaciers in the Espace Killy area, one in Val d’Isere above the Col de l’Iseran called the Pissaillas, and La Grande Motte in Tignes. The vertical drop can be as much as 1,900 metres. There are two snowparks and for those who like Cross Country or Nordic skiing there are 44km of trails in the Espace Killy.

The large beginners’ area at Bellevarde has six of the 22 green pistes throughout the Espace Killy, but there are 26 black runs and some patrolled marked runs that remain ungroomed for the duration of the season. There are also 38 red runs and 74 blue runs, of which many would be described closer to red than blue.

A long standing agreement between Val d'Isere's STVI lift company and the Grande Motte lift company in Tignes enables skiers to pass freely and easily between the two French ski resorts. Today there are more than 300km of ski runs served by 88 lifts in the Espace Killy.

Val d'Isere's vast ski domain is linked not only by its ski slopes, but also its superb free shuttle bus system that services the three sectors making up the ski resort. From 8:30 am to 2:15 am, the red, green or blue 'trains' link the different areas of the resort - La Daille, Centre, Le Chatelard, Legettaz, Le Laisinant and Le Fornet. This enables skiers and snowboarders to organise their day according to weather patterns and the type of ski slope they prefer.

La Daille (1785m) is packed with wide and long ski runs ideal for a good early morning warm up. Then at 1850m, the ski trails from Bellevarde and those of Solaise converge in the village centre. At 1930m, the Le Fornet has preserved an authentic Haute Tarentaise character. It is an unspoilt area from which visitors can reach the highest spot of the ski area.

While everyone, from complete beginner to those in search of the steepest and deepest runs possible will find ski runs galore to suit them, it must be said that the stronger the skier or snowboarder, the more they will get from Val d'Isere's vast terrain.

The large area for beginners is accessible from La Daille and Val d’Isere centre but if you do not shape up beginners will be severely tested.


Val d'Isere Beginner Skiing

Val d'Isere's beginner skiing begins with the nursery slopes high above Rocher De Bellevarde. In a sense, beginners in Val d'Isere are thrown in the deep end. While the ski area is best for improving intermediates and advanced skiers, no question, plucky beginners will discover numerous ski runs suitable for their abilities.

Although psychologically Val d'Isere is not the ideal beginners' resort, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. The ski resort is anxious to dispel the myth that just because the ski area is fundamentally for strong skiers, it does not have much in the way of nursery slopes.

It does, although the overwhelming ambience veers in the direction of the hardcore Val d’Isere have put in a lot of work to put that right. In 2006 there used to be 16 green runs, but as of the 2014 season there are now 20 in the Espace Killy, which is enough for any total beginner.

The good news is that beginners can zoom straight up the Olympique cable car to Rocher De Bellevarde to access six green runs, on which beginners can benefit from high altitude snow conditions, without feeling threatened by their environment.

If you are a total beginner out advice is to start with the Grand Pre green from the Grand Pre chair off the Rocher Du Charvet. It is a large, wide, and easy run for beginners and you will be tackling it from the top of the mountain – not many beginners can boast that.

The Mont Blanc green is also very easy and flat, but that is where much of the good news ends.

The Genepy green is largely easy, but can occasionally develop moguls. It is a good spot for a picnic lunch if meeting up with other more experienced skiers in a group.

The Borsat green is good for beginners who have developed a little confidence, as there is an opportunity to schuss at the end as you come into the Borsat chair. The Borsat chair can become very cold, so it is not ideal for small children.

The best green run in the whole of the Espace Killy is undoubtedly the Verte, a huge, open piste at the top, but it gets narrow the further you go down, especially as you go past the Folie Douce. The Verte goes all the way down to La Daille, so is a great run to get under your belt as you begin to improve.

Apart from good village nursery slopes, which are free, Solaise is the only other gateway to some gentle ski slopes.

The Madeleine, Datcha and Glacier lifts offer a small selection of runs, though downloading by ski lift back to the valley floor is pretty essential to avoid tougher slopes lower down at the end of the day.

It is generally recognised that Val d'Isere's gradings err on the degree of difficulty. It is often said that a blue piste in Val d’Isere might well be a red piste in other resorts.

That said, there are a few blues that we feel are accessible to skiers who can handle the Verte green. The Col de l'Iseran runs are, by and large, wide and pretty easy, especially if conditions are good at the top of the glacier. And because they are quite a way from the resort village, these ski slopes tend to be uncrowded too.

The Aiguille Pers is wide, easy and often empty, the Pont Abatte blue under the Vallon telecabin is very flat while the Pyramides blue is fairly easy also. The Col blue is also worth a look but at one point has a very fast and steep section, which may create panic among those not quite up to speed.


Val d'Isere Intermediate Skiing

Intermediate skiers in Val d'Isere will discover there is almost no end to the skiing permutations they can enjoy. With 67 blue runs and 41 red pistes in the Espace Killy the mountains around Val’Isere really is a superb playground for intermediates.

Intermediates will discover there is almost no end to the skiing permutations they can enjoy in Val d'Isere, although some ski runs are under-graded.

Viewed in its entirety, Val d'Isere as part of the Espace Killy offers huge potential for big kilometre skiing for intermediates, with long ski runs, fast lifts and typically good snow conditions. There are not many other places where you can ski as much distance, if you want to. It is intermediate heaven.

Col De l’Iseran

For instance, in the Col de I’Iseran sector there are a several blue runs such as Aiguille Pers, Montets, Col, Pont Abbatte and Pyramides blues that are pretty easy for intermediate skiers. That said, Mangard is almost certainly a red piste, and not blue as delineated, and Signal is a red run that really should be classified as a black run. It is steep, narrow, and gets very icy.

Our favourites in the L’Iseran sector include the Rocher red, which is easy for its grading, although boarders will have to scramble at the end as it is quite flat.

The Moraine and Cascade reds are good for cruising and the Pre-Chemin blue, which is a lovely gully that was ultimately more fun that the parallel runs of Col and Pont Abbatte, is the best in the sector.

Solaise

Across the piste map the Solaise, where the women racers compete in major events, has an extensive network of excellent middle-order ski runs, although the famous bumps can be quite a handful for anyone but strong intermediates or advanced skiers.

From the Solaise side of the ski area you can drop into the Iseran valley on the new Lessieres Express chairlift and ski down to Le Fornet.

The network of blues and reds at Solaise are well worth the trip up the Solaise Express in the morning.

Timid intermediate skiers will relish the Col de la Madeleine blue, which is good for getting the confidence up, as is the Leissieres blue. The Glacier blue is great for cruising and for taking in the extraordinary view.

Improving intermediates will love the long Arcelle red down into Le Manchet. If you are looking for tree runs the Germain Mattis red snakes through the forest and takes you back down to Le Laisinant. Piste L is the blue alternative.

Fourche is down as a blue piste, but used to be a red and is slightly steeper than Col de la Madeleine, while the St Jacques blue from the top of the Glacier chairlift could also be classed as a red by some.

Bellevarde

Rocher De Bellevarde is configured such that on one side you have mainly testing pistes that take you down back down to Val d’Isere. On the other you have a choice of challenging intermediate pistes that steer towards the La Folie Douce bar and La Daille.

If you are a timid intermediate do not for a moment be beguiled by the Santons blue at the end of the day, which is the only blue our of a sea of black runs that feeds the return to Val d’Isere.

Whoever categorised this run as an intermediate piste needs their head examined. It is almost permanently icy, and is packed with intermediates at the end of the day trying to snake their way back down – better always to have a vin chaud at the top and get the Olympique cable car back down.

On the other side there are four pistes for intermediates that is dominated by the Coupe Du Monde. It takes you past the Folie Douce, has wonderful views and provides thrills and spills all the way down to La Daille.

The Orange red provides nice tree-lined sections, and while it is fairly steep and icy in patches it is wide and provides a good test for improving intermediates.

The Diebold and “3j” blues are much the same – wide blues on which intermediates can really go fast, without much fear things can go wrong.


Val d'Isere Advanced & Expert Skiing

It’s Val d’Isère’s off-piste which provides much of its claim to be one of the world’s great ski resorts for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders.

There are 26 black runs throughout the Espace Killy, which makes Val d’Isere and Tignes among the front rank in terms of providing for advanced skiers.

And some of Val d’Isere’s most challenging runs are not short, either, so once you have made the commitment to ski down them you will be locked in the embrace until the finish.

Val d’Isere and Tignes both provide pistes known as Naturides, or black runs that are patrolled and marked, but not groomed in any way. Following a huge dump, this is sublime but as more and more people ski them, and less and less snow remains, moguls and ice prove to be a significant obstacle.

La Face De Bellevarde is one of the most iconic black runs in the Alps. The stage for the legendary Criterium de la Premiere Neige - the first World Cup Downhill on the first snow in the Alps – is Val d’Isere’s finest hour. The Criterium de la Premiere Neige was 50 years of age in 2005 and is held on the mythical black run in mid December every year.

The race, which opens the European alpine skiing season, is still considered one of the main events for the world's best skiers competing in the men's and women's World Cup circuit. Jean-Claude Killy distinguished himself here throughout the 1960s.

In good weather, and without the moguls and ice, La Face De Bellevarde can be a breeze. Sure, it is steep, but without ice and moguls strong intermediates can make their way down without much problem. When the moguls and ice flare up the black run becomes a serious challenge and as it is one of the longest runs in the Espace Killy, the pain goes on, and on, and on.

Also in the Rocher De Bellevarde area is the Epaule du Charvet, a gruesome black run that provides a sharper, sterner challenge than La Face.

The Epaule feeds into the Santos blue, so you get some respite from the giant moguls and thin patches of snow and ice. There is a lovely little restaurant at the bottom from which you can watch others similarly trying to battle through.

The next on our list is the Foret, which in our view is the toughest on-piste challenge in resort. Now that it is a naturide patrolled run it can be full of severely challenging moguls. As it is narrow in numerous sections there is no respite. It is also steep so it really is for seriously advanced skiers only – you have been warned!

In the Solaise sector two black runs come off the Plan red. Piste S is a naturide and unless you are blessed with virgin snow it is more pleasurable to take the Rhone-Alpes black, which cuts a narrow slice through the forest on its way down to Val d’Isere.

Also in Solaise is the Marmottons naturide of the Manchet Express chair. This can provide a host of opportunities and you can take whichever way down you like. In powder, there are few better black runs in resort.

Finally, Val d’Isere have removed the 3000 black that used to be by the Leissieres chair. It used to a mogul skier’s paradise. Sadly, it is no more.


Val d'Isere Snowboarding

Snowboarders rave about Val d'Isère as there are very few drag lifts and vast areas on- and off-piste to explore, and plenty of guides available to enable you to do so safely and get the best of it.

Boarders rave about Val d'Isere and rightly so, as there are very few drag lifts and vast areas of on and off-piste slopes to exploit. Ever since the great Jean-Claude endorsed snowboarding himself, the ski area has became a Mecca for snowboarders. There are one or two pinch points on the mountain, where skiers and boarders come into conflict but overall the vast space available, particularly for boarders ensures that the two snowsports live in harmony.

There are two snowparks in the Espace Killy: the one in Val d'Isère is above La Daille, close to the Mont Blanc chairlift. The ESF's Snowboard Club organises 'initiation' and improvement classes, private lessons and group lessons for competition level and class 3. There are a number of specialist snowboard shops and schools in the resort village.

The variety of jumps and rails makes Val d'Isere a great place for park novices to test out the park. Jumps are marked according to ability, so beginners know which to steer clear of and which they can hop over without any nasty surprises.

Runs for intermediate boarders to skip due to flat parts that require scooting include: the Cema green and Rocher red in L’Iseran and the Lessieres blue, the Traversee du Laisinant blue, and the Santons blue all in Solaise.

Ski lifts & pass

Val d'Isere has an excellent lift system with several different ski areas and also a connection to the neighbouring resort of Tignes, giving you access to a huge ski area (also known as the Espace Killy).

There are over 300km of pistes for all abilities (22 green runs, 68 blue runs, 39 red runs and 26 black runs) which you can access via the 88 ski lifts covering the Val d'Isere & Tignes ski areas. The lifts can take you from resort level at 1,850 metres all the way up to 3,450 metres.

Val d'Isere itself has 42 lifts, the majority of which are chair lifts, and there are 15 drag lifts. The link to Tignes and the rest of the Espace Killy ski area is easily acheived for all levels of skiers.

With access to 2 glaciers, one in Le Fornet and one in Tignes at the Grand Motte, the lifts are not only open in the winter but in the summer as well, meaning you can enjoy all the mountain activities almost all year round.

Val d'Isere Lift Access & Restrictions - Winter
Wheelchair AccessAll lifts except the Funicular, Le Fornet cable car, La Daille gondola, Le Vallon gondola & Olympique gondola (Olympique is accessible to accompanied handiskiers).  All the chairlifts in the Val d'Isere ski area are handiski accessible, with the exception of those leading to Le Fornet and la Daile gondola
Paraglide / ParapenteSolaise Express & Solaise cable car give access to the designated take-off sites.
PedestriansPedestrian lift pass gives access to: Solaise, Olympique & Fornet cable cars; La Daille & La Vallon gondolas; Funival funicular; Solaise Express chairlift (both directions); Manchet Express, Bellevarde Express & Loyes Express chairlifts (ascent only).
DogsDogs are allowed on all pedestrian lifts, providing they are muzzled & kept on a lead.
BabiesIt is not recommended to expose babies or children under three years old to sudden changes in altitude or temperature - if lift staff consider your child too young to travel on certain lifts they reserve the right to refuse you entry.


Ski Pass Prices in Val d'Isere

Val d'Isere & Tignes Ski Pass 2017/18 (€)
Adult
14-64 yrs
6 Days: €285
Child / Senior
5-13 yrs / 65-74 yrs
6 Days: €228
Family
2Ad + 2Ch 14-17yrs
6 Days: €912
Family
2 Ad + 3Ch 5-13yrs
6 Days: €1140

Val d'Isere & Tignes Ski Pass 2017/18 (€)
INDIVIDUAL
prices per person
Adult
14-64 yrs
Child / Senior
5-13 yrs / 65-74 yrs
>12:454435.50
1 Day5746
2 Day9980
3 Day148.50120
4 Day198160
5 Day247.50200
6 Day285228
7 Day332.50266
1 Day Extension4739

Family Ski Pass - Val d'Isere & Tignes 2017/18 (€)
FAMILY
prices per family
2Ad+2Ch
example
2Ad+3Ch
example
6 Days9121140
7 Days10641330

Beginner Ski Pass - Val d'Isere 2016/17 (€)
BEGINNER
prices per person
Early SeasonMain Season
1 Day Solaise only3535
1 Day Val d'Isere4549
6 Days Ski School125.50139

Pedestrian Passes - Val d'Isere 2017/18 (€)
PEDESTRIAN
prices per person
Adult
14-64 yrs
Child / Senior
5-13 yrs / 65-74 yrs
1 Return trip13.5011
1 Day2016
6 Day5443.50

Activities & Things to do ( Summer )

Whatever you choose to do on your summer holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across the Val d'Isere area. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age in Val d'Isere. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!


Archery

Archery is one of those sports that people all ages love to try. There are a number of places near Val d'Isere to practice archery and become the Robin Hood of the Alps. They will provide you with bow and arrows.


Badminton

The modern sports centre in Val d'Isere has a multi-activity sports hall where you can play badminton.


Basketball

Facilities to practice basketball are available at the multi-activity sports hall in the sports centre at Val d'Isere


Canoeing / Kayaking

Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allow you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of white water river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants.


Canyoning

A not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day! You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children, but anyone over the age of about 8 can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide everyone can abseil down cascades, splash into pools and ride the river rapids. You can choose from short beginners’ routes or longer ones for the more adventurous.

Different companies will have their own policies on age limits but usually, unless they are booked onto a children's activity course, anyone under the age of about 14 years old will have to be accompanied by an adult. A basic level of swimming ability is required for safety reasons. There are a number of adventure companies that offer guided descents down the local waterways.


Cycling

Val d'Isere offers challenging mountain roads where to cycle while enjoying the stunning scenery. However, riding in the Alps is much more demanding than your favourite local route back in the UK. The roads around Val d'Isere are the setting for some of the most gruelling sections of the Tour de France but they can be tackled by enthusiasts as well as professionals. To gain the most from your riding in the area it goes without saying you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. You do not need to be a super man or woman but the ability to ride comfortably for up to 3-4 hours in the UK should see you enjoy the mountain routes.


Donkey Trekking

Experience the beautiful mountain scenery with these lovely gentle animals. Guides will take you on a donkey trek around Val d'Isere giving you an opportunity to explore the Val d'Isere mountains in a fun and different way. The perfect activity for children as these timid animals take you on a journey through the mountain terrain.


Farm Visits

Take the family into the Manchet valley and discover the Ferme de l'Adroit. It's open in summer and winter, and you can buy some of the delicious cheeses they produce on site.


Fishing

If you fancy a spot of fishing whilst in Val d'Isere then there are a few local and nearby lakes where you can catch some fish and enjoy the Alpine scenery. There are many altitude lakes in the area and a multitude of small rivers near Val d'Isere. Some of the most famous are the l'Ouillette or the La Sassière Lakes, perfect for trout fishing. You must, however, ensure that you have the correct fishing permit and are aware of the local fishing regulations.


Football

The modern sports centre in Val d'Isere has a multi-activity sports hall where you can play indoor football.


Geocaching

There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Val d'Isere!. It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!


Glacier walking

For a truly unique experience, clamp on your crampons and go hiking on one of the Espace Killy’s Grand Motte or Pissaillas glaciers. The breathtaking views and spectacular crevasses make this an incredible adventure. There are a number of glacial hikes, of varying difficulty, in this region of the Alps. Most mountain guiding companies will run organised excursions to the most accessible.


Golf

Val d'Isere's sports centre features a modern golf simulator where you can work on your swing whatever the weather!


Helicopter tours

A number of companies offer helicopter tours over the mountains of Val d'Isere. Take to the skies and see the resort from a totally different perspective!


Hydro-speeding

Hydro speeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river!. Using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard, be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids!

This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting, but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down white water rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves.

There's plenty of protection from the icy water elements as you'll be given a wetsuit, safety helmet and flippers. You will need to bring a towel, swim wear and if you wear glasses, a cord to keep them on. Guides will brief you with a safety demonstration at the beginning and there’s a vehicle to meet you at the end of the rapids that will shuttle you back to your starting destination.


Indoor climbing

If you don't fancy climbing outdoors, or you're new to climbing and want to give it a go in an indoor centre, then Val d'Isere has somewhere for you to go. The sports centre has 7 routes graded from 5a to 6c on its 12-metres vertical indoor climbing wall. Climbing equipment is normally provided, or you can bring your own and insurance is normally needed before you hit the climbing wall.


Mountain-biking

Val d'Isere is a Mecca for mountain biking, with varying terrain and fantastic views it is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts. With the whole of the mountain area to explore, Val d'Isere is definitely a great place for biking as the different and varied terrains suit bikers of all levels. Whether you enjoy a leisurely cycle around some of the lower level trails, or a day's hardcore downhill mountain is more your ‘thang’, Val d'Isere definitely has something to suit all tastes.


Mountaineering

There are a number of companies who can take you mountaineering in both summer and winter, from local guides to ski schools and activity companies.


Museums & Galleries

If you want to know more about the region of Val d'Isere and its history, head to the Musée Val d'Histoire, located in the heart of the resort.


Nature Reserves & Parks

The Vanoise National Park is located in the heart of the Savoie region. Created in 1963, it was the first French national park and it covers a large territory where you can find a stunning mountain landscape with lakes, and beautiful vegetation. It is also well-known for its population of Alpine ibex, as well as many other animals like chamois, marmots and more than 100 species of birds.


Paragliding / Parapenting

If you’ve never tried paragliding before (or maybe you’re not entirely sure what it is!) then Val d'Isere is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France, today there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is to get you flying.


Rock-climbing

Val d'Isere is a great place rock climbing for both beginners and experienced climbers. Experienced climbers can tackle the mountain side rock and enjoy the fantastic views (just make sure you have all the right gear and safety equipment). For beginners there are a number of adventure companies or mountain guides who can take you out on your first climb and show you the 'ropes'! Learn all the technique and skills in the safe hands of a well-trained mountain guide. Climbing is also a great activity for all the family, just check with the guide beforehand what their minimum age is.


Scenic Drives

Taking the scenic route is a good option if time is not of the essence or if you’d like to see a bit of the countryside en route. Although what you save in motorway tolls you will lose in time, but driving the back roads can be very rewarding in terms of all the beautiful places and viewpoints you’ll discover.


Shopping

Many people would not automatically think of Val d'Isere as a place to shop, however, the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports resort, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores, and plenty of shops selling traditional mountain goods.


Spas & massages

If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. Unwind, relax and indulge.


Swimming

Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Val d'Isere. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. In summer and winter you should be able to find somewhere to take a dip, so don't forget your towel and your swimming costume or shorts.


Tennis

There are a couple of places to play tennis in and around Val d'Isere. In Val d'Isere village there is a small sports centre with 2 grass tennis courts which is open from 10:00 to 20:00. The Manchet sport centre is open from 9:00 until 19:30 and has 4 clay courts & 8 grass courts. There is a free shuttle bus to take you there from the centre of Val d'Isere.


Tree-top / Forest adventures

There are a number for children's play areas in Val d'Isere in summer, and one has a zipe wire for some extra thrills.


Via Ferrata

If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary, then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb.

Following marked routes through the mountains you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. Suitable for adults and children over the age of 8, guides can be arranged on request and there are a number of adventure companies who can organise your via ferrata experience.

Beginners can take their first steps at Roc de Tovière, behind the residential buildings in La Daille, where you will find some fairly easy routes on which to find your head for heights. There are more challenging routes at the same site, which leave from the same point but then branch off into longer routes. If you feel like pushing yourself you can try the tougher route 'Via Ferrata des Plates', which leaves from behind the Pierre et Vacances building.


Walking & Hiking

n the summer months Val d'Isere is a mecca for walking and hiking in the beautiful Alpine mountains. As the snow melts and the sun begins to shine the mountains make an excellent place to head out on a hike or walk. Walking is the perfect activity for groups, families and friends. Pick from a number of routes ranging in difficulty, from easy child friendly walks to challenging day long hikes. Along the way enjoy the fantastic mountain views, beautiful scenery and wildlife that is normally hidden in the winter months.


Watersports

If you haven't experienced white water rafting before then this is a definite 'must try' on your list of activities to do! There are a number of trained guides in resort who will let you experience some of the best white water rafting available in the Alps. From the middle of May until September, the mountain rivers flow furiously as they are fed from the melt waters running off the glaciers high above the town. There are various options available from a three hour adrenaline rush to a full days excursion - this activity is guaranteed not to disappoint.

Activities & Things to do ( Winter )


Winter Walking

Val d'Isere is a winter walker's paradise, with lifts giving access to the higher ground and a network of groomed trails in the winter, it's very easy to discover the resort on foot. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you set out as conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. You do not need any particular equipment, just a pair of sturdy boots and layers of warm clothing that you can take off or put on as necessary. A pair of walking poles will come in handy for extra balance on icy patches and for checking snow depth before you go striding forth. Top tip: buy grippers for your walking boots to prevent slipping which you can buy from most local Sport Shops.


Wilderness Camps

Spend the evening dining in a yurt in the forest and finish the night with a drink by the fire and torchlit sledge ride back down the mountain. This is suitable for anyone over 14 years of age and offers a unique evening experience in the wilderness of Val d'Isere. Cost approx €70 per person.


Biathlon

Modern Winter Biathlon is the combination of cross country skiing and rifle shooting and tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Val d'Isere you can try your hand at this Olympic Sport. If you like cross country skiing but want to add another challenge then Biathlon is the perfect way to escape in to the natural,quiet surrounding mountains sand then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one but it's fun all the same.


Cinema

Catch the latest films and releases in Val d'Isere on your winter or summer holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.


Cross-country Skiing

Get back to nature and explore the lovely tranquil cross-country ski trails. There are two different techniques – classic and skating. Classic is the easiest for beginners; you simply place your skis in two parallel grooves, push off and glide around the trails. Skating is more energetic and a slightly harder skill to grasp; you push your feet out to either side as though you are ice skating and use your poles simultaneously to gain momentum. You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops and book a group or private lesson to learn the basics from most ski schools or private instructors. A number of adventure companies also offer cross-country skiing guiding, tours and lessons too. Find your way around with the cross country skiing maps.


Farm Visits

Take the family into the Manchet valley and discover the Ferme de l'Adroit. It's open in summer and winter, and you can buy some of the delicious cheeses they produce on site.


Geocaching

There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Val d'Isere! It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!


Gym / Fitness centres

A public gym & fitness classes can be found at the main sports centre in Val d'Isere.


Handiski / sit-ski

Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski.. whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Val d'Isere that offers this service.


Heli-ski

Unfortunately, heli-skiing is not permitted in France, however some of the ski schools, adventure companies, local flight companies and mountain guide companies will offer a pick-up/drop-off heli skiing service for you where you will be taken over the border into Italy or Switzerland. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!


Helicopter tours

Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up. Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snow-capped mountain tops, glaciers and alpine forests of the Alps.


Husky-dog rides

Be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths in winter. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, you set off following the guide’s team. If this all sounds a bit much you can opt for a less physical outing where you sit in the sled and the guide does all the hard work! It's a very popular winter activity, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is a must. They run from early December to the end of April (snow-permitting).


Ice-climbing

For the true mountain enthusiast, why not scale an amazing frozen waterfall or glacier? If you want to try something different in Val d'Isere other than hitting the slopes then why not try Ice Climbing. This is a fantastic sport, not just for experienced mountaineers. Whether you are an experienced climber or a beginner you can have a go at ice climbing on a 40m wide and 200m high ice waterall. Although it sounds like a very specalised sport, ice climbing is suitable for everyone - from complete beginners to experienced climbers. Some knowledge of ropes and basic climbing skills will give you a head start, but if you are a complete novice then your guide should be able to teach you from scratch.


Ice-diving

Submerge yourself in the icy depths & explore the wildlife below. You can try a completely unique experience in Tignes - Ice Diving. You can plunge into the icy cold waters of the lake and experience the thrill of diving under the icy layers above. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced diver you can have a go at ice diving. Adventure companies offering this activity will provide you with all the equipment and instruction you need, and will take you on this underwater adventure.


Ice-karting / Ice-driving

There is an ice driving circuit in La Daille where you can pit your wits against friends or family, with both driving and Go Karting on ice.


Ice-skating / Hockey

In Val d'Isere you can enjoy ice skating. It's a fun thing to do with the family, or in a group if you want to do something a little bit different for apres ski. Perfect for children and families and those who just want to enjoy the beautiful mountain views whilst playing around on some skates. It's an outdoor rink, open from 15:00 to 20:00 every day.


Mountaineering

There are a number of companies who can take you mountaineering in both summer and winter, from local guides to ski schools and activity companies.


Paragliding / Parapenting

If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Val d'Isere is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France & Switzerland, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the mountain tops you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep your airborne for longer.


Scenic Flights

Take to the skies and see the majestic mountains of Val d'Isere on a scenic flight in a helicopter. Fly over glaciers, wave at people on the Aiguille du Midi and take in the breathtaking scenery around you.


Shopping

Many people would not automatically think of Val d'Isere as a place to shop, however, the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports resort, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores, and plenty of shops selling traditional mountain goods.


Ski-touring

Val d'Isere is popular for ski touring, whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down, or tackling more of a back country route. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around, or if you've got all the necessary equipment you can head out in your own group.


Skiing & snowboarding

The main draw for people coming to Val d'Isere in winter is of course the skiing and snowboarding. With the whole of the Espace Killy to ski in, as well as a wealth of off-piste areas, Val d'Isere has something for every level of experience.


Sledging / Tobogganing

Val d'Isere does not have an official long toboggan run, it does however have a designated area for tobogganing located next to the nursery slope on the left hand side of the Savonette lift. The area is open everyday from 10:00 to 17:00 and it is the perfect place to take your children for some sledging fun. The entry to the area is free and you can hire sledges of different sizes from many ski hire shops or sports shops in Val d'Isere.


Snow-shoeing

Raquette à Neige or Snow-shoeing in and around Val d'Isere is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions or for non-skiers. Don't forget to wear comfortable and waterproof boots. Either set out on your own, or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and explore the hidden parts of the ski area. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, or you can hire snowshoes from most Sports Shops or Ski Hire Shops, grab a trail map from the Tourist Office and head off on your own adventure. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go.


Snowmobile / Skidooing

Those who enjoy speed will love riding a powerful snowmobile (like a motorbike with caterpillar tracks) around Val d'Isere. Discover the different dimensions of driving; carving turns, accelerating in a straight line, ascents and descents. Snowmobiles are a great way to explore Val d'Isere especially as you get to ride them when the resort is at its quietest. Disappear into the woods and blast around empty snow fields on your scooter with your own guide. Remember to wrap up warmly especially if you go after dark, and bring goggles if there is powder.


Snowparks

Where to go to jib, bonk, spin and pop in the Espace Killy.


Spas & massages

If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. Unwind, relax and indulge.


Speed-riding / Speed-flying

The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier; you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).


Squash

Normally located in the main sports centre, you should be able to rent all you need on site. Alternatively some of the hotels or spas have their own squash courts too.


Swimming

Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Val d'Isere. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. In summer and winter you should be able to find somewhere to take a dip, so don't forget your towel and your swimming costume or shorts.


Telemarking

Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached into the binding at the toe, so to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.

Restaurants & Nightlife


Restaurants in Val d'Isere

Mountain Restaurants

La Peau de Vache is the rising star of the mountain restaurants, with some old hands claiming it now has the best food and service of all. It has a smart, but welcoming mountain eaterie atmosphere. It is located half way down the notorious La Face and reached by the Bellevarde Express chair so be prepared for a challenging ski down on what would be a very full stomach.

If it’s a BBQ that you want then try Bar de l’Ouellette, located up the Solaise side of the mountain. It is a great spot to lounge out on a deck chair and gaze out across the frozen lake and watch as the skiers cruise down the gentle slope of the Madeline piste. With a huge south facing terrace, this position is perfect for a few drinks, great food and to soak up some winter sun.

Breakfast & Brunch

Start your day right at the Arctic Café, on the main street next to Sherpa supermarket. It does a good range in healthy breakfast options, including super-foods and natural smoothies. Great fuel for the mountain. For a taste of home, or possibly a cure for that hangover try the Morris pub for an all-day full English breakfast (open from 4pm weekdays and 12 noon at weekends).

Cafes & Bakeries

Chevallot Bakery located on the main street next door to the Hotel St Huberte is a family run bakery and café. It is a great place for a coffee and a choice from a huge selection of cakes, or a freshly made sandwich or pastry.

Child-friendly Restaurants

France generally is very relaxed with the idea of bringing children to restaurants. It is not unusual to see children sat late into the evening with their parents at even the smartest of restaurants. They may not necessarily have a children’s menu, as French children often eat the same type of food as their parents. However, being a family resort, most restaurants in Val d'Isere will be happy to accommodate children, so ask your server whether the kitchen could prepare small portions or simplified versions of meals. Traditional alpine food is not necessarily fussy or strongly flavoured like some regional specialities and children will probably love the idea of dipping into a fondue or grilling their own meat on a pierrade (hot stone).

For something low-key and family-friendly head to the Ormelune Restaurant, located just a stone's throw from the slopes, the modern interior and variety of dishes make this a great place to have a relaxed meal with family and friends. Open every evening they have a children's menu.

French Restaurants

For typical French Alpine cuisine the options are plentiful. The Fondue Factory has managed to combine a swanky modern interior with classic Alpine food. It also boasts an impressive Ski Gallery in the entrance which is worth a look whether you’re going for dinner or not.

Alternatively, Le Casserole does similar dishes but in a more authentic mountain-style restaurant. Prices are around €18-€22 for a main course or per person for a fondue or shared dish.

Le Lodge successfully hugs the middle market in Val d'Isère with a great choice of local dishes, pizzas, and all the usual alpine fare. The steaks are particularly succulent. It is easy to find in the centre of town next to Dick's Tea Bar.

For traditional Savoyard cuisine try the Le Coin Savoyard restaurant located in the Les Barmes de L'Ours Hotel. You can enjoy all the typical Savoyard servings of fondue, raclette and braserade in a beautiful setting.

Alternatively head to the Le Samovar restaurant in the centre of La Daille where you can enjoy all the Savoyard sepcialities as well as pizzas, steaks and salads by a roaring fire.

For excellent a la carte menus try La Table des Neiges in Hotel Tsanteleina where you can enjoy a variety of modern and traditional French dishes as well as a selection of seafood courses. The cosy dining room with large windows out on to the pistes make for an excellent setting for lunch or dinner.

Further down the high street in the centre of Val d'Isere in Hotel Kandahar you will find La Taverne d'Alsace restaurant and brasserie. Serving local specialities and brasserie style cuisine you can enjoy a number of traditional and international dishes.

Italian & Pizza Restaurants

Flash Pizza located in the centre of town offer a good selection of freshly made pizza to eat in or take away, and they also do deliveries. Pizz ‘n Love, on the Le Fornet side of town also offer eat in, take away or delivery, and make a range of authentic Italian pizzas. Slice Pizzeria offers eat in or takeaway pizzas through the winter months. Find them next to Dick's Tea Bar.

Michelin-Starred Restaurants

In Le Fornet, L'Atelier d'Edmond is the proud bearer of two Michelin stars, awarded for their excellent modern cuisine. The restaurant is set in a beautiful old chalet decorated with curios and traditional farming tools.

La Table de L'Ours is mentioned highly in the Michelin guide for its elegant and inventive menu combining traditional French flavours with a modern twist. Open for both lunch and dinner you can enjoy the sunshine on the terrace or settle into the cosy and elegant dining room in the evening.

Other recommendations from the Guide Michelin include La Table des Neiges, La Luge, Bistrot Gourmand (Le Fornet) and La Baraque.

Modern European & International Restaurants

Victor's restaurant has a lively and fun atmosphere. Here locals and tourists alike enjoy excellent food, a large cocktail list and the resident DJ who plays all the best tracks until the early mornings. hours. Head to the bar for an apres drink (open from 4pm) and settle down to enjoy dinner, served from 6.30pm everyday.

If you are after a meal in a contemporary setting with a relaxed atmosphere then the place to go is Pier, Paul, Jack restaurant and bar. Moving away from the traditional restaurants Pier, Paul, Jack has 3 different concepts where your dining experience will reflect the cuisine and the bar area will provide a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy an apres drink or snack. Enjoy seafood dishes, local ingredients and excellent wine in this gourmet restaurant.

Sushi Restaurants

New for 2017 is Sushi Party, taking over a former fast food chicken and kebab take away. Also a take away, this order at a window Sushi place is located next to La Baraque.

Vegetarian Restaurants

4 Seasons on Rue de la Poste is an eat in-takeaway restaurant that serves an interesting menu of wraps, curries and Thai dishes that provide a nice change from the usual meat-and-cheese laden French dishes.

Despite there being no specific vegetarian restaurants in Val d'Isere, there are plenty of pizza/pasta joints that will have meat-free options. You'll also find that if you eat cheese you'll be alright as many Savoyard dishes consist of little more than that!


Bars & Nightlife in Val d'Isere

Whether you're looking for live music, dancing to some of the best DJ's on the international circuit, singing along to pop classics, dancing on tables spraying champagne or enjoying a fine wine or whisky by the fireside, you'll be able to find somewhere here to suit.

Apres-ski

La Folie Douce is a legendary piste-side apres ski bar that opens early in the afternoon. Think Ibizan beach party, but on the snow. The DJ starts his set around 15:00 and really gets the show going with the help of professional singers and dancers. The huge outside decking area is full almost every day with tourists and seasonaires alike partying until the sun goes down over the mountain peak. La Folie is located half way down the OK piste on the way to La Daille. If you unsure of the location, just follow the pumping music, you'll be able to hear it from miles away!

Cocorico is Val d'Isere resort centre's answer to La Folie Douce, located just off the Rond Point roundabout underneath the Solaise bubble lift. It too has a large outside terrace and gets busy around 15:00 with live music from 16:00 and a DJ from 18:00 to 20:00.

Bars like The Fall Line and Victors have a more relaxed atmosphere, where you can take a seat and still enjoy good drinks and live music through the week. Saloon and Moris Pub are also great options for a drink after skiing, where you can enjoy a few games of pool or a couple of games of beer pong whilst enjoying reasonable prices on drinks.

If you are after a more stylish form of apres ski then try Les Barmes de l'Ours Bar, located next to the Face piste. Here you can enjoy the open fire, piano music and a wide selection of fine wines, beers and spirits. For cocktails, head to bar M at the Tsanteleina Hotel. In La Daille, try the Le Samovar Bar, grab a comfy seat by the fire or out on the terrace and reflect on your days skiing.

Late nights

Val d’Isere has several bars and clubs open until the early hours if you're looking to stay out. You will also find that most hotel bars will remain open for as long as all of the guests are in there having a good time.

Bars open until 01:30 include Victors, Pacific, The Fall Line, Café Face, Moris Pub, Saloon.
Underground Cafe and Le Petit Danois are open until 02:00.

For night clubbing, Doudoune Club always has great DJ's (Pete Tong, Danny Howard to name a few) with regular parties throughout the season and is open from 23:00 to 05:00. Dick’s Tea Bar is a Val d'Isere institution and always a good option for late night partying. With great resident DJ’s as well as guest appearances the music is always fantastic and keeps the regular clientele coming back week after week. It's open until 04:00. You also have Le Graal club and Krystal nightclub to try out if you still have the energy!

Wine bars

La Cave sur le Comptoir has a good selection of French wines and champagnes, and offer small food platters to accompany your chosen vintage. You can also buy wine to take away if you are self-catering.

Festivals & Events

There are loads of events in Val d'Isere organised year-round. From quirky local events to large scale sporting spectacles there is always something worth visiting. In this section we bring you information about the major annual Val d'Isere events in resort.


February Events

The Frostgun Invitational
This freestyle ski competition attracts the best skiers and snowboarders from around the world, to a huge jump built especially for the competition each year.


March Events

European Snow Pride
After a full day of skiing and boarding in the company of your friends, our guided groups or our ski classes you will enjoy at your leisure the variety of great events that we provide throughout the week: après ski on a sunny terrace, cabarets and shows, parties with Europe's best gay DJs and clubs, the giant Pool Party taking place in "Le Lagon", Tignes' enormous 5000m2 pool and spa complex, after hours clubbing...

The Brits, Tignes
The British Championships, or Brits, moved to Tignes in 2013 but it's been one of the highlights of the British snowsports calendar for years. A week long festival and competition fo skiers and snowboarders with Halfpipe, Big Air, Boardercross, Skiercross and Slopestyle events.


April Events

International Adventure & Discovery Film Festival
The Festival du Film Aventure et Decouverte showcases short documentaries featuring at least one of the following themes: adventure, exploration, ethnic encounters, sport or expeditions. The festival has been running annually since 1996 and goes from strength to strength each year - worth checking out. Ask at the Tourist Office for the full schedule.


June Events

Fete de la Musique
The Fête de la Musique is the celebration that takes place every summer solstice on 21st June in cities, towns and villages across France. More than a music festival, the Val d'Isere Fête de la Musique is a free event that spills out from the bars and restaurants onto the streets and encompasses every type of music imaginable, from local amateur teen bands to professional classical musicians, from club DJ’s to traditional folk bands.


July Events

Bastille Day
Celebrated across the whole of France with a bang...well, several in fact, fireworks always feature heavily. And the residents of Val d'Isere celebrate this national holiday with as much enthusiasm as the rest of the country. Various activities are held across the city on the 14th, in memory of the storming of the Bastille on the same date in 1789. Traditionally the fireworks display normally starts off between 10-11pm.

Tour de France
The Alps have played a large part in the race over the years with the gruelling mountain climbs providing some of the most exciting spectacles of the event. The route changes slightly each year, taking in different towns, villages and cols along the way. Even if the race doesn't pass near to where you are this summer you can guarantee that it will still be avidly watched in bars and cafés around the country with everyone joining in to cheer on the famous yellow jersey!

Ice Trail Tarentaise
The Ice Trail Tarentaise boasts the highest highest trail race in Europe with 65km of trail and over 5000m height gain.


December Events

Christmas
The festive season in the snowy Alps is always magical and every year there is some sort of celebration in resort to mark the occasion. Christmas in Val d'Isere officially starts at the beginning of December when the Christmas lights are switched on.  The night is marked with vin chaud, hot chocolate and music.  From then on you can enjoy Christmas concerts, festive markets and live music throughout town as the resort gears up for Christmas and New Year.

New Years Eve
Come midnight the hoards of merry revellers head the centre of town for the big countdown – not an official event as such, more of a long-held tradition.  On the stroke of midnight you are advised to duck as champagne corks and fireworks are unleashed in celebration! Likewise, planning ahead is advised if you have your heart set on ringing in the New Year in a particular bar or club – some of them are ticket-only, so enquire in advance to avoid disappointment!

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