Val d’Isère

Les Arcs - Snow boarding
©Val d'isere tourisme

It might have a vibrant village and one of the best après ski scenes in France, but Val d'Isère isn't just for those who like to party. The resort is home of some magnificent ski slopes for all levels, and great off piste terrain.

Val d'Isère is one of the most popular resorts in the Alps, and when you get here it's easy to understand why: the cliché of 'something for everyone' rings true here.

The resort has always been a firm favourite with the British, making English something of a lingua franca in the bars around town.

The skiing is fabulous: the 300km Espace Killy ski area offers enormous variety of terrain, all serviced buy a slick network of chairlifts and gondolas.

 

 

Villages

La  plagne - village
©Val d'isere tourisme

The village is most attractive at its centre, with plenty of short of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants and a traffic-free hub, located close to the slopes.

There's also the Centre Aquasportif, a giant 5000sq leisure complex constructed of glass, wood and stone, located at the foot of the pistes. Nearby are the smaller, quieter villages of La Daille and Le Fornet.

The slopes


©Val d'isere tourisme

For experts and intermediates, the Espace Killy ski area is an absolute delight, encompassing the neighbouring resort of Tignes.

There is a lot of accessible off-piste terrain to keep powder hounds happy, and miles of runs suited to intermediates of all abilities - particularly in areas such as Bellevarde and Solaise.

Beginners will like the nursery slopes right by the centre of the village, accessed by a free chairlift.

Families


©Val d'isere tourisme

Val d'Isère rates highly for families. The resort has developed a whole new tranquil nursery zone as part of the redevelopment of Solaise area.

There's a children's nursery, Le Petit Poucet, which welcomes children age three and upwards, with fully flexible bookings; and children aged from 18 months to 13 years old can attend the Holiday Village.

Overall, the range of activities in Val d'Isère - in addition to skiing - makes for a rounded experience.

Non-ski activities

If you fancy ice driving, you can test your skills against the clock on the new BMW slalom course, beside the Rogoney piste.

The resort is also a good one for ice climbing: with crampons and an ice axe in each hand, you can scale two natural frozen waterfalls, which are floodlit in the evenings.

There's also dog sledding, cross-country skiing and biathlon. If you want to take to the skies and have the thrill of seeing the Espace Killy from above, there is parapente and speed-riding.

Eating

There is no shortage of gourmet restaurants in Val d'Isère, including L'Atelier d'Edmond, which has two Michelin stars.

For more down-to-earth dining on the mountain, try Le Signal, at the top of the Fornet cable car, or in town the friendly Le 1789, which is renowned for its traditional Savoyard classics.

Apres ski and nightlife

La plagne  - apres ski
©Val d'isere tourisme

The original and legendary Folie Douce bar is located on the slopes above Val d'Isère – making the resort the spiritual home of après ski in France.

From about 3pm there are DJs, flamboyant live acts and performers who whip up the crowd on the huge sunny terrace.

Down in the village Le Petit Danois is a fun party spot and Café Face another well-loved bar. For a laid back, low-key atmosphere, try the Blue Note.

Accommodation

The resort is chalet heaven, with properties to suit every style and budget, from uber high-end offerings to the more cheap-and-cheerful.

The resort also has a considerable range of apartments, with new luxury additions being the Chalet Skadi and La Mourra.

You'll also find plenty of hotels, such as the new Le Samovar, with its sunny terrace overlooking the pistes, or the family-run Auberge St Hubert.

Transfers

From Moutiers station

  • By bus: around 60 minutes; Adults 12€, Youth (U26) 9.50€ (www.altibus.com)
  • By taxi: around 40 minutes; about 80€ for an 8-seater taxi