Val d’Isère is the jewel in the crown of the French Alps. Renowned the world over for its outstanding skiing and varied après-ski, the resort is a favourite of French and international visitors alike.
Here’s everything you need to know about France’s premier ski resort.
There are a few options for getting to Val d’Isère from the UK. The more hardy and budget-conscious travellers may take on the lengthy car or coach journey. This is by no means the most convenient route and could take in the region of thirteen hours from London.
A slightly more comfortable option would be to take the train to Bourg St Maurice. From there, it is only a short 45-minute transfer to the resort itself.
But by far the most recommended route to Val d’Isère is to fly to Geneva airport and take a transfer minibus to the resort, which takes around three and a half hours. It’s advisable to arrange your transfer in advance of travel, as this will ensure a smooth and timely onward journey once you’ve arrived in Geneva.
Val d’Isère is blessed with a wide range of accommodation to fit most budgets. Coming with its somewhat exclusive reputation, there are many high-end hotels and luxury chalets which come with price tags to match. In fact, there are no fewer than eight 5-star hotels in the resort. Despite this, there are some more modest options available for those who have tighter purse-strings.
If you enjoy being in the thick of the nightlife action, staying in the centre of the resort is advisable. Of course, this usually comes with premium prices!
If you prefer a slower pace in the evenings, there are some lovely hamlets scattered around Val d’Isère, some of which offer ski-in and ski-out accommodation. Le Joseray, La Legettaz and Le Chatelard are particularly good options.
Val d’Isère is part of the vast Espace Killy ski area. Any skiers’ eyes will light up at the sight of the Val d’Isère piste map. With 82 lifts serving over 300km of piste, there truly is something for everyone.
Along with the neighbouring resort of Tignes, Val d’Isère is known for its challenging tracks, both on and off-piste. Indeed, it is hugely popular with expert skiers keen to test themselves against runs like the world-famous “La Face”.
But “Val”, as it’s affectionately known, has also forged a superb reputation as an accessible, family resort that caters for beginners just as well as powder hungry off-pisters. There are a number of excellent ski schools, with the ESF always a popular choice.
Val d’Isère is known as a world-class ski resort, and with good reason. It combines a huge, varied ski area with outstanding facilities and all in a beautiful setting. Definitely somewhere to visit, whether you’re a veteran skier or just getting started.