Val d’Isere is widely considered to be one of the greatest ski resorts in the world. The town centre is charming and attractive. The slopes it shares with Tignes are extensive, high and most importantly snowsure. And to further add to the accolades of the resort, it boasts a wide range of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Val d’Isere and Tignes make up the celebrated Espace Killy, which offers more than 300kms of snow-sure pistes and nearly 90 lifts.
The most wonderful amount of lift-accessed off piste is on offer for the expert skiers (with some easier stuff for intermediates) getting into off piste and for experienced ski tourers, the possibilities seem endless.
Beginners are also catered for pretty well in Val d’Isere with free nursery slopes and a cariety of ski schools and instructors. Admittedly, for those who have just mastered the basics, there are not many gentle runs to ease into – adventurous learners however will relish the challenges that Val d’Isere offers.
Val d’Isere’s centre has some lovely Savoyard buildings and also some buildings with a more modern architectural slant. The village has a real buzz to it in mid-winter with a huge array of bars, shops and restaurants to visit. Another aspect to the resort that helps set it apart from the rest is its fantastic and frequent bus service. between Le Fornet, Le Laisinant and La Daille. meaning that cars are simply redundant from the start to end of your stay.
150km (300km linked piste)
1550m – 3456m
December – April
Hotel L’Avancher, Val d’Isere
Hotel L'Avancher, Val d'IsereFacilitiesSleep CapacityThis...
Hotel L’Aigle des Neiges, Val d’Isere
Hotel L'Aigle des Neiges, Val d'IsereFacilitiesSleep...
Hotel Avenue Lodge, Val d’Isere
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Les Barmes de l’Ours, Val d’Isere
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Hotel Le Blizzard, Val d’Isere
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Hotel Kandahar, Val d’Isere
Hotel Kandahar, Val d'Isere FacilitiesSleep CapacityThis...
While the ski area is best for improving intermediates and advanced skiers, it is still a great place to learn. Val d’Isere has no fewer than 20 green runs, a number that has been worked on over the years with a view to dispelling the myth that the resort is not great for early learners.
Beginners based in central Val d’Isere are best taking the Olympique cable car to Rocher De Bellevarde to access six green runs. As well as easy skiing, the high altitude means that the rusna re snow sure, at any point in the season. There are also some sunny beginner slopes at the foot of the Solaise gondola.
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.
Most of the ski area can be enjoyed by confident intermediates and there are some great long runs, particularly from the top of the Laisinant chair, down to La Daille and then over the Toviere to Tignes. In total, there are 67 blue runs and 41 red pistes in the Espace Killy, offering a serious choice of well groomed pistes.
The Col de I’Iseran sector in particular offers some wonderful blue runs such as Aiguille Pers, Montets, Col, Pont Abbatte and Pyramides blues that are perfect for intermediate skiers.
The Rocher red is one of the easiest reds in the resort and superb for confidence building.
The Solaise area also offers an extensive network of medium difficulty runs. Le Fornet offers the same also.
Val d’Isere has more off-piste than any other resort we can think of, much of which is lift accessed. On top of that, Val D’Isere’s share of the 26 black runs in the Espace Killy, mean that experts will certainly find a challenge, even to match the vest best skiers. Val d’Isere also offers ‘Naturides’, marked with a black line on the map – these are patrolled and marked, but not groomed in any way. In fresh powder, there is no better place to be.
Our favourite black is the he infamous slope known as La Face De Bellevarde (or ‘Face’ for short) is one of the most iconic black runs in the Alps, and each year is the stage for the legendary Criterium de la Premiere Neige – the first World Cup Downhill in the Alps – held in Val D’Isere in mid-December.
La Face De Bellevarde, depending on the weather and snow conditions can be easy, or very tough indeed. In good conditions, adventurous intermediates will relish the challenge.
Beginner snowboarders on their first ever day will find the two free slopes, located in the centre of the village, perfect. Once confident of putting together a few turns, there are plenty of easy slopes to enjoy. As most of the runs into resort are steep and packed at the end of the day packed, you can always get the bubble down.
Freeriders will want to come back again and again as there are miles of piste and more off-piste than you can explore in a week.
Freestylers can find endless natural hits. The funpark under the Mont Blanc chair is smaller but now far superior to the one in Tignes, and well worth a visit.
Go-karting on ice! Head to La Daille – just outside Val d’Isere – where, hidden in the valley and surrounded by rivers and fir trees, is the ice-karting circuit. The track accommodates a variety of unique ice experiences from learning how to drive a piste-basher to driving on snow and ice in a controlled fashion, whilst families will love racing one another around the ice-karting track.
Enjoy the beautiful mountain views whilst playing around on some skates. The outdoor ice-rink in Val d’Isere is open from 15:00-20:00 every day and is a fun thing to do with the family.
Available for all levels, there are half-day and full-day snowshoe treks as well as fun snowshoeing hikes by night
Paragliding over the village
Val d’Isere is superb for paragliders and a great place to learn how to fly if you’ve never tried paragliding before. There are several clubs and organisations in the area. Glide down to your destination on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor as you enjoy the ride and fantastic views. Flights can be undertaken solo for qualified paragliders or with prior training from a qualified instructor.
There are a range of scenic helicopter flights over the Alps summits, exploring peaks like Mont Blanc, La Grande Casse and Les Ecrins. Take a 30-minute Heart of the Alps trip or the Mont Blanc tour which takes an hour. You can also book the helicopter for airport transfers and trips to the best restaurants in the area!
Dine on the Mountains
With its stylish decor of white enamel milk churns, exposed zinc pipework, antique tiling and dairy-styled fittings and furnishings, La Fruitiere has a special atmosphere. Easily accessible by Gondola, the menu is rich in locally produced foods and Savoyard delicacies.
Party on the Pistes – just because you’re not skiing doesn’t mean you can’t join the open air party. From 2pm when the weather is good see live musicians and soak up the apres ski party atmosphere.
The swimming pool and sports centre in Val d’Isere offer swimming, climbing, gym/fitness, squash, indoor football, volleyball, a children’s play area and more. It is split into five main areas – Beach World, Spa World, Sports World, Well-being World and Lounge World. There is something for everyone!
There are plenty of places for a pamper in Val d’Isere. Right in the centre of town and offering plenty of different treatments is Aigle des Neiges Spa. The hotel spa is a haven of peace with a wide range of facilities to help you truly unwind.
If your chalet doesn’t come with a spa, book Progression Therapies for a fabulous massage and range of treatments to help keep you looking – and feeling – amazing! Best of all, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your chalet if you don’t want to as they’ll come direct to you.
View the live snow report for Val d’Isere here
Places to Eat
Val d’Isere has a great choice of family friendly places to eat in really convenient locations, close to the slopes.
Non Ski Activities
As highlighted in our previous tab, there are plenty of off-snow activities for those . There is a great sports centre with a swimming pool and other activities are available like sledging.
Young Kids – Childcare
Children aged from 18 months to 13 years old can sign up at the Holiday Village (Rond point des pistes; +33 (0)4 79 40 09 81) which is open daily except Saturday and can be booked by the half day, or up to a full week with or without lunch.
There’s also another children’s nursery, Le Petit Poucet (+33 (0)4 79 06 13 97) which accepts children from 3 years old.
Jelly and Ice Cream (+34 690 255 425) specialise in private nannies and babysitting. In addition a list of registered babysitters is available from the Tourist Office (+33 (0)4 79 06 06 60) and there are about half a dozen registered child minders working in the village.
For kids ski school we work with a number of ski schools who are simply brilliant with little ones and can look after them all day, offering supervised lunches.
Hotel l'Aigle des Neiges
Hotel Avenue Lodge
Hotel Barmes de l'Ours
Hotel Le Blizzard
4 international airports:
Geneva (3h by car)
Lyon (3h by car)
Chambery (2h by car)
Grenoble (2h by car)
1 heliport with organised transfers
The Iseran pass is closed during the winter season.
30km from Bourg Saint Maurice (40 min)
86km from Albertville (1h20)
135km from Chambery (2h)
240km from Lyon (3h)
220km from Geneve (3h)
The closest train station is at Bourg-Saint-Maurice (45 mins), which offers an excellent and frequent service including high-speed rail options (TGV, Eurostar, Thalys).