Skiing in Val d'Isère
With sister resort Tignes, it forms the excellent Val d’Isère - Tignes ski area formerly and more popularly known as Espace Killy. The ski domain has an impressive 300km of pistes and 78 lifts, with snow-sure slopes that are perfect for anyone from absolute beginners to grizzled veterans.
Val d’Isère has been operating as a ski resort since the 1930s, but its most major transformation over the years occurred on the lead-up to the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics, when its Face de Bellevarde run (known to insiders as ‘La Face’) was the site of the men’s downhill, giant slalom and Super G events.
In general, the skiing here is possibly more suited to intermediate and experienced enthusiasts than complete beginners, but the resort’s nursery slopes have been improved significantly over the years, especially with the Pim, Pam, Poum magic carpet lifts at the top of the Solaise lift and you can also access long, interconnected green runs from the Borsat chair that are ideal while you’re still finding your feet.
Last but not least, the après-ski at this lively resort is in a league of its own, with everything from fine restaurants offering haute cuisine to buzzing bars and clubs. When you want to experience the best of the winter wonderland that is the French Alps, Val d’Isère is the jewel in the crown for many visitors.
With high-altitude snow-sure slopes and a huge variety of pistes, Val d’Isère has more than enough to appeal to all aptitudes of skiers:
The pistes here can be a little more challenging than their equivalents at rival resorts ̶ for instance, a Val d’Isère blue might be in the red category elsewhere and a black run almost always represents a very tricky but genuinely exciting endeavour.
The Solaise slopes are blessed by some of the best beginner slopes and are served by three moving carpet lifts (Pim Pam and Poum) accessible via the plush Solaise access gondola, which has heated seats and free Wi-Fi. More exciting beginner areas can be found at La Daille.
The Bellevarde ski area is perfect for advanced-level skiers. Accessible via the Olympique jumbo gondola, this peaks at 2827m. The Bellevarde is home to the thrilling La Face, the World Cup Downhill OK run and some of the area's best off-piste opportunities in Val d’Isère which include the Banana, a large vertical drop you can access via La Face, and the Charvet Tour; another famous off-piste run accessible from the top of the Grand Pré chairlift.
An excellent lift system, reliable snow depth and plenty of off-piste areas close to the lifts mean that Val d’Isère is an awesome resort for snowboarders too ̶ take a look at what’s on offer:
The snowpark at Val d’Isère is located at a lofty 2500m high at the Mont Blanc chairlift ̶ it’s around 500m long and has 40 kickers and 6 lines for all levels of boarders.
The Swatch Snowpark at nearby Tignes is situated at the Grattalu chairlift and has a variety of jumps and obstacles as well as a big air bag where you can practice your most outrageous moves. If you’re looking for even more entertainment, there’s also a boardercross course.
With many off-piste opportunities in Val d’Isère, a local mountain guide can take you to the best hotspots for fresh powder. Although enjoyable all year round, the best times for off-piste tend to be January, when you’ll find deep powder.
Solaise is Val d’Isère’s original ski area and has been serving visitors since the resort first opened in the 1930s. A network of intermediate runs is nestled at the top (2560m) and you’ll also find FIS Women’s World Cup downhill course the Rhones-Black.
Snow Conditions in Val d’Isère
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The apres ski experience in Val d'Isere is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the ski holiday. Val d'Isere is one of Frances's most popular resorts and does have a sterling reputation for being a party hub in the Alps. If you are looking to be out and about on your holiday, check out our recommendations for a great evening.
La Folie Douce is a well-known après ski spot in Val d'Isere that offers live music, dancing, and entertainment. It is one of the Alp's most famous slope parties, sometimes hosting up to 300 people! It's located on the slopes, so you can ski right up to the party and back down as well. There is a cable car right next to it that takes you back to the village but it closes at 4pm so keep an eye on the time if you want to catch it.
La Baraque is another popular après ski spot in Val d'Isere that has a lively atmosphere and serves a range of drinks and snacks. It's a great place to meet up with friends and socialize after a day on the slopes.
Cocorico If you're looking for a more upscale après ski experience, Cocorico is a great choice. A lively bar at the foot of the slopes with live bands, DJs and dancing on the tables. A great place to mingle with other skiers and snowboarders This trendy bar serves gourmet snacks and cocktails and has a sophisticated atmosphere.
Doudoune Club: If you want to continue the party into the evening, the Doudoune Club is a nightclub in Val d'Isere that is open until the early hours of the morning.
Val d'Isère offers a wide range of facilities to cater to the needs of all skiers who visit the resort. You'll find plenty of options for shopping, dining, and ski equipment rental, among other services. In case you need some recommendations to make the most of your holiday, we have a few suggestions to share with you.
Val d'Isère boasts a wide variety of ski equipment rental shops to choose from. If you prefer to travel light and rent your skis or snowboarding gear upon arrival, consider booking your equipment online as part of your overall ski holiday package. This is not only a quick and easy way to secure your ski gear but also the most convenient way to go about it. You don't want to spend your time at the ski resort wandering from store to store looking for rental equipment when you could be hitting the slopes. When you book your ski equipment with us as part of your holiday package, all you need to do is collect your gear upon arrival in Val d'Isère and start enjoying your skiing adventure.
In Val d'Isère, you can purchase your ski pass from any of the ticket offices or tills situated at the base of the lifts. However, if you book your holiday with us, you can conveniently secure your ski passes online for you and your family. By doing so, you'll be able to bypass the long queues at the ticket office upon arrival and head straight to the slopes with your pre-booked ski pass. When you arrive at the resort, you can simply collect your ski pass and start enjoying the snow without any delay.
The Aquasportif Center is the main sports centre in Val d'Isere and includes a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi. There's also a gym for those who want to work out and its grants public access. Hotel Les Barmes de l'Ours features a luxurious spa with a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi. You can also book massages and other treatments. Hotel l’Aigle des Neiges also provides 4 star luxury wellness, with the Deep Nature spa, offering a full range of Algotherm Marine Spa treatments, as well as a swimming pool, steam room, sauna and gym.
Val d'Isère has a diverse range of shops to cater to your shopping needs and sightseeing desires around the resort. Whether you're in the mood for some retail therapy or just want to explore the area, you'll find plenty of options to choose from. From small local corner stores to large retail chains for grocery shopping, and charming local bakeries and cafes for indulging and souvenir shopping, to unique souvenir shops offering delightful pieces that will remind you of your time in Val d'Isère. There are also pharmacies, food stalls, and a wine shop for your convenience.
Val d’Isère has fantastic child-friendly facilities and offers a wealth of activities specifically designed for children's entertainment and general welfare.
Val d'Isère boasts several ski schools for children, providing a safe and enjoyable environment for them to learn and master skiing. Whether you prefer organised ski schools or private instructors, you can easily book your children's ski lessons with us in advance and save time searching for a suitable ski school upon arrival. We have established excellent relationships and partnerships with accredited and certified ski schools and instructors who are highly skilled at teaching children aged three and above. This not only saves you the hassle of finding a trustworthy ski school, but also ensures that your children's lessons are reserved and they can simply show up as planned, with peace of mind.
There is plenty of on and off slope entertainment for children in Val d’Isere. Children can enjoy tobogganing on the specially designed slopes at the resort. There are also night-time tobogganing sessions available for an extra thrill. There's an outdoor ice rink located in the centre of Val d'Isere, which is open to the public and offers a fun and memorable experience. Children can also experience the thrill of dog sledding with a range of companies in the resort. This is a unique and unforgettable experience that they are sure to love. When you’re tired of the outdoors, head over to the Centre Aquasportif and enjoy a splash at the resorts indoor swimming pool with children pools and water slides. This is a great way to relax and unwind after a day on the slopes.
There is no shortage of English speaking childcare services in Val d’Isère. The tourist offices at the resort have a roster of multilingual childcare services and childminders available on request.
Val d’Isere is part of one of the largest ski areas in Europe, joined with neighbouring Tignes. It offers around 300km of marked pistes, ranging from green to black, as well as many off-piste opportunities. Val d’Isère’s village resort height is 1,850 metres with the pistes peaking at 3,450 metres on the Grande Motte glacier.