Val D’Isere, 1854m, France
Magnificent Val d’Isère is a very upmarket and exclusive ski resort in one of the most beautiful regions in France, nestled in a valley at the foot of the mountains, the village has retained its alpine traditions and it’s heavenly to stay there.
It’s a commune of the Tarentaise Valley in the Savoie department of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, located in South-eastern France, and is very close to the Vanoise National Park it lies just 5 km (3 miles) from the border of Italy. The ski area of Val d’Isère and Tignes make up the Espace Killy which is named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy.
Within the Tarentaise Valley is the largest concentration of world class ski resorts in the world, with neighbouring areas, Paradiski, Les Arcs and La Plagne and Les Trois Valleés, Courchevel, Méribel, Val Thorens to name just a few.
There are more than 300km of pistes, equipped with a high volume gondola which can transport standing skiers, together with a little train, chair lifts, button lifts and tow-ropes.
The skiing in Val d’Isère is split into three main areas to the right of the valley, looking up from the entrance to the village – the Bellevarde ski area with access to Tignes, the central Solaise ski area and the Le Fornet area with access to the glaciers at the top of the valley. Not only is there your traditional bashed piste skiing, but there are also plenty of off-piste possibilities, so Val d’Isère caters for all levels of experience and daring, not for the faint hearted!
The nearest airport is Chambery which is only two hours away but Geneva and Lyon’s airports are only three hours away by car. Geneva also has a daily bus service to Val d’Isère and nearest train station is Bourg St Maurice which is a mere 40 minutes away. There are great transfer links from shuttle bus, private minibus and taxis; it won’t take long to reach your fabulous holiday destination.
This charming ski resort boasts the prestigious title of the “most beautiful ski area in the world” it is renowned for its stunning panoramic views. Even though this resort has grown over the years, the transformation has been carried out sympathetically so the village would not lose any of its traditional alpine appeal.
Après ski is a vital part of everyone’s holiday especially in Val d’Isère, it is known after all for its vibrant and bustling nightlife. Here everyone looks forward to evenings catching up with friends and having some much needed down time. There are wonderful restaurants offering everything from simple classic French dishes to the most sumptuous of meals is available. Local rustic cuisine and international dishes are also available; there are plenty of choices to suit all palates. Sample the numerous bars from English pub style with pool tables to sleek and stylish bars offering the latest in cocktails, trendy bars with comfy sofas where you can chill and relax to upbeat bars with live music to dance the night away too. There are of course the family orientated restaurants and bars which offer a cosy atmosphere and cater for children’s tastes.
Throughout the year you will find a whole host of events going on from music, film and dance festivals to Christmas events and firework displays, there are just too many to list.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Val d’Isère is for couples and groups and possibly not ideal for families, you couldn’t be further from the truth, families are welcomed with open arms and children are well catered for. There are ski schools and clubs, magic shows, days at the farm, and wildlife walks to name just a few, were children are kept busy being entertained with a whole host of activities. It’s time to mention the non-skiers, yes they do exist and they love Val d’Isère and why shouldn’t they? With a whole host of attractions to keep anyone busy, they can go ice driving, paragliding, winter walking, ice diving and ice skating to name a few. It goes without saying all of that is available for the skiers too.
Val d’Isère has been and still is one of the resorts that anyone who calls themselves an expert or well-travelled skier just has to have visited. It is the place where everyone aspires to visit at least once. If you’re really lucky then owning your own ski property there doesn’t have to be just a dream but a reality!