It is a pretty good estimate that if you mention Val d’Isere to a British person or any avid skier they have either been there, going there or have heard of it. The luxury and charm of the village teamed with a world-class ski area with snowsure slopes attracts devoted skiers, snowboarders, and party enthusiasts every year.
So when I was invited to Val d’lsere Ski Resort with the luxury chalet company Hip hideouts and was to be shown (skied) around Val d’lerse with the tourism office I jumped at the chance.
Winter in Val d’Isère Ski Resort
Val d’Isere has over 300 km of ski runs, connected with Tignes, as a part of the Espace Killy ski area. There is definitely something for every type of skier or snowboarder. Its long season stretches from the end of November into the first week of May.
The ski runs range from nice easy green slopes to incredibly steep black runs that kept any adrenaline junkie happy. There are also some really nice red slopes that are wide making turning easy and enjoyable.
In 2016 Val d’lsere has won 3 awards at the 2016 World Snow Awards Ski Resort of the Year, European Resort of the Year and Après Resort of the Year.
Val d’Isere Events
Due to conditions and the terrain, Val d’Isere hosts a number of ski and snowboard events each year. I was lucky enough to be there for the AUDI FIS Ski world cup competition, in which the atmosphere was electric. This is considered one of the most important ski events of the calendar year.
When it gets really cold, you will be glad to know that Val d’Isere has recently invested millions in upgrading the Solaise summit area, which includes the impressive 10 seater Solaise Gondola with heated seats and FREE WIFI. Not only can you warm up but you can also keep your friends updated (envious) about your ski trip on social media at the same time.
Ski Runs & Area
Linked with the neighbouring Tignes to form a ski area of 300km of piste, there is something for everyone from a complete beginner to seasoned skiers who enjoy going off piste.
- They are long and wide in most parts
- Plenty of on and off piste skiing, especially after a fresh dump of snow.
- Lots of places for kids to ski and there is also a children’s area
- 153 Groomed slopes (pistes)
- 2 Snowparks
- 78 Ski Lifts
- 2 Glaciers
As most skiers or boarders know, you can’t beat using your own gear when on the slopes but when Snowberry Ski Hire offered me a pair of skis to use from their ski hire collection, I thought I would give them a try and I am glad I did. I used my own boots but the Rossignol Skis that I had were light and easy, I felt like I had been using them for years. The only downside was that I wanted to buy a pair!
Snowberry Ski Hire offers some of the latest ski and snowboard collections for hire and is located right next to the main Piste.
A team of professionals will come to your chalet and do the fitting services for you in the comfort of your own place, without you even having to leave. They will take your measurements before returning to the hire shop to make sure everything is ready for your first day of skiing.
Accommodation in Val d’lsére
No doubt you are definitely spoilt for choice in Val d’Isère from the Luxury Chalets with 24hr service and swimming pools to apartments and budget hotels. There is something available for everyone with all types of budgets.
Search and book accommodation that is available in Val d’Isère ski resort in Winter
I stayed at Kilco Penthouse with Hip hideouts which are Luxury chalet that sleeps 10 people and is only 5 minutes from the new Solaise Gondola. This place was definitely the ultimate in Luxury Chalets with everything from Michelin star-trained chefs, a private swimming pool to having your own private 4×4 chauffeur.
Getting to Val d’lsére from Geneva
The closest international airports are Chambery Geneva or Grenoble and the best way to get to Val d’Isère is either via transfer, bus or car as there are no direct trains.
Beware, flights are not regular from Chambery and tend to be more expensive than from Geneva airport or Grenoble. There are also more options in regards to transfers from Geneva airport.
Getting a Transfer
Our transfer from Geneva was with SnowDrone Transfer It was the first time I have caught a transfer where you were given movies, bottled water and FREE WIFI for the journey. This made the 3hr drive so much more pleasurable and before we knew it, we were there.
Apres-ski in Val d’lsére
There is nothing more enjoyable than having a drink of some sort after a hard day of skiing or boarding and Val d’Isère definitely, does not disappoint in that department. Considered to be one of Europe’s top apres-ski spots, with countless bars across the resort on and off the slopes.
You are never in short supply of places to go, notably the Folie Douce at the top of the La Daille gondola to kickstart your apreski for the day, before heading to the Cocorico for some live music at the foot of the slopes in the afternoon. If you don’t want the party to stop, you can continue on to Doudoune Club which goes to 5 am!!!
Other hot spots include The Morris Bar, Dick’s Tea Bar, Petit Danois and The Underground.
Top Tips for Val d’Isere Ski Resort
- Keep your eye out for the colourful statues (like the blue bear), placed around various parts of the ski slopes. They are a great photo opportunity with the snow in the backdrop. They were created by a renowned contemporary French artist Richard Orlinsk
- You can buy your lift pass online to miss the queue and pick it up from the ski office.
- If you want to take a break from Skiing or if the kids are climbing the walls, visit the swimming Centre Quasportif
- There is a free bus that runs between La Daille – Val d’Isere center – Le Fornet. I understand that this runs from 7:35 am to 3:00 am most days.
- Val Thorens France is also a great option. If you are looking for a resort a little smaller but still want the same vibe.
- You can never have enough Ski Gear!!!
Would I Recommend Val d’lsére Ski Resort
This is my second time to Val d’Isere and it has only gotten better. Granted I was invited and I was shown around but this does not affect the fact that I would not hesitate to go back again with both friends and my family.
I mean, what is there not to like about Val d’Isere, with its 300klms of ski runs linked without the need for long and boring connecting trails or lifts. A lively town packed with bars, restaurants and upmarket shops. Not to mention, the additional facilities that are available in town like the Aqua leisure centre, Ice-skating, climbing, ice-driving or paragliding. Val d’Isere definitely has something for everyone during the winter ski season.
And the best bit is it is only going to get better, with the tourist office continuously spending money to update areas, chairlifts, and gondola.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope it helped you to decide where to go for your next Ski Trip Val d’lsére Ski Resort is truly a beautiful French ski resort. If you are interested in discovering more Ski Resorts in France, you can check out my posts on the other ski resorts Morzine and Les Gets
Have you been to Val d’Isere Ski Resort before or are you about to? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
75 thoughts on “The perfect start to the season Val d’Isère Ski Resort France”
Looks amazing – I love France for skiing (after living in a ski resort in the Portes du soleil region) I like the idea of having a luxury chalet to relax in after a day of skiing. The resort looks perfect too – one I haven’t visited though obviously know of! Happy skiiing ⛷
I love Portes du soleil region as well and I should be there in March for some spring skiing. Definitely recommend it, it is one of the prettiest rests I have seen and there is so much to do.
Great post, I am a skier and definitely keen to try this resort out.
Definitely, try it out especially skiing on the glaciers.
The good thing about skiing in Western Europe is that everything is so well organised. Luxurious too! Even the minibus came with Wifi and movies. I’d imagine it’s hard to look out the window and appreciate the view when your favourite movie is on. I’d love to be invited to Val d’Isere!
It is a 3hr transfer so super long, I didn’t watch a movie but I did use my phone and took in the views at the same time. I definitely excited to be invited along for the experience.
I’m not much of a skiing person but I do love to go to places like this in winter. This looks absolutely marvelous and seems like THE place to be for ski- and snowboard lovers!
Val d’lsere is definitely a place you can visit without skiing. There are alot of people that go there just to enjoy the Michelin star chefs and the 5star spas that they have everywhere. It is also a fun place to people watch 🙂
I really do know NOTHING about skiing but your chalet looks amazing! Plus, the thought of heated seats is amazing – sounds like Val d’isere are really upping their game.
Apparently, they spent 19million alone just doing up one of the area and they have just had approval to build a hotel at the top of the mountain. I have nearly finished my chalet review, so I will definitely let you know when it is done.
I concur they are spending a lot of money, making the area better which I think it great.
A luxury chalet with michelen starred chefs?! That’s my idea of a holiday! x
I am just finishing the post on just the chalet. Wait to you see what else they offer, it is amazing.
Am I in the minority being British and not having heard of this? Although to be honest I’m not a big winter sports fan. However, I can totally see the attraction with this place! It looks (and sounds!) incredible.
Okay so that seems a lot more sarcy than I intended haha! It should be noted I’m not a winter sports fan because I’m a big fat scaredy cat who hates cold weather.
I am just finishing the post about the luxury chalet that I stayed in and everything was heated, the floor, the pool and even the concrete outside so you never felt the cold. You don’t have to be scared you can always play on the baby slopes 🙂 and drink wine
I didn’t write it in my post but everywhere you go in the resort, you hear a British person. Even my guide and person from the tourism office was British. A lot of people go to Val d’lsere to relax and enjoy the first class facilities like the Spa’s and the luxury resort. If the ski conditions were not as great I would have stayed in and enjoyed my accommodation.
I think I’ve been there when I was a kid but can’t remember for sure. You made me want to go to ski, now… The accomodation you were in looks amazing!!
Writing the post gave me the holiday blues but then I remembered that I am skiing next week again 🙂 The luxury chalet was amazing and I would have never left to go skiing if the conditions were not as good as they were. The couches were so comfy I would fall asleep on them every night.
oh wow, those slopes are gorgeous! I’m kinda in love with that blue glass bear, too!
I kept stopping so I could admire the sky and the mountains.
How luxurious! There are some great ski resorts here in the States, but brand-new gondolas and sweeping views of the Alps sounds like perfection. How much do lift tickets run per day?
I skied at in the states for the first time last year at Mammoth mountain and I really enjoyed it but it is not the same as Europe that is for sure. The one difference I did find is how expensive the lift passes are in America for a day than in Europe. In America, I think we paid. around USD 120 compared to the 45Euro in Europe. Australia is the same though, it is really expensive for a lift pass for a day.
I just learned how to snowboard a few years ago and only have been able to get on the slopes once a year since! I have been dying to do more destination travel based on snowboarding and slopes and this place looks incredible! I love the photos you took, especially that cool bear statue! We have to make it here ASAP!
I am off to Bulgaria next week to ski for a week, apparently, is supposed to be really good for beginners. The good thing about Val d’lsere is that is plenty of areas to get depending on your level. I have been skiing for 25years, so I skied everywhere but I loved the big open slopes of Va d’lsere.
I’m British and before this I had never heard of it haha! I keep it in mind for future visits to France though!
If you ever go there, close your eyes and just listen as all you can hear is the British and you will think you are back in the Britain. Even my tourist guide and skier guide were both british. It good for me as I became one of you last year:-)
Oh so jelly! I want to go skiing with the blue bear! Australian skiing just isn’t quite the same
I learnt how to ski in Australia many years ago and you are correct it is definitely different and the areas are much smaller. They had animal statues spread out across the resort and they looked really cool.
Never been to Val d’Isere, but I am very tempted after reading your post! That chalet looks incredible, I think I would spend all the time in that private pool… 🙂
It definitely would be an ideal spot for your boys and they have aqua center that was supposed to be really good. Having a private swimming pool definitely made the trip more pleasurable.
Your boys would definitely love it there and it really does have something for everyone. Having a private pool in the chalet did make for a more luxury ski trip
I have never been, but it seems like winter paradise! I mean wonderland.
the sno drone tranfer in itself seems very glam, with the free wifi, water & entertainment, to keep you sane. Reminds me how when I am flying, I actually enjoy it because of the huge amount of entertainment, plus the thrill of traveling!
Not to mention, the luxury chalets & room service really does look like luxury! Staff doing your fittings in the comfort of your chalet? Well! If I work hard & am one day able to afford to upgrade from budget to luxury travel, I would love to take that! I mean, the cosy chalets are bomb! Anyway, it’s great Val Disere suits all budgets, & everywhere you go is absolute charm. Pinned this post for future travel reference!
Thanks so much for your in-depth comment, I really appreciate it. Don’t worry, I usually ski on a budget as well and it was really great to be invited along to stay for a long weekend. The problem now is that I don’t want to go back to budget 🙂
Btw thanks for the pin also :-)!!!!
Oh my gosh how lucky! These pictures are gorgeous, what a beautiful place. I am dying to learn how to ski, maybe one day soon I’ll learn so I can visit here
I have skied a lot over my time in various places around the world but I have to admit that is a great area to learn to ski in. The runs on the easy slopes are really big and wide which would make any beginner feel comfortable.
I have never skiied but my husband does and he is desperate for us to go as a family – your post has done a very good job of persuading me!!
I think i’d be pretty good at apres ski though!
This definitely a great place to take a family skiing, especially if you have not ski before and you have others that can. The good thing is that if you get tired (especially when you are learning) there is plenty of other things to do in the area.
I am glad that they are investing in upgraded gondolas and the ski area. Even though my skiing days are long behind me, I still enjoy the occasional snow retreat.
My tourist guide that i had on the first day was 85yrs old and he was skiing faster than all of us. You never to old to ski….But you are correct this is a place that you could just go and relax in too.
I have never been skiing I am such a wimp and I am scared of falling over. But all that snow looks amazing I might just go for the apreski as prefer the sound of sitting somewhere cozy sipping a drink lol and wait for all the skier to join me.
You just have to make sure you fall when it has been snowing and it is nice and soft. The only downside is that if you get snow everywhere you will get wet when it melts. Val d’lsere recently won the best apres ski resort at the 2016 awards. People watching is also a lot of fun to do there 🙂
Fabulous! Certainly looks like a magical place. I like the idea of heated gondolas. Luxury accommodation five minutes from the gondola sweet.
It definitely was pure luxury and now I don’t want to go back to budget travelling. Can I go back?
I’m not a skier but Val d’Isère looks like a perfect place for novice or expert skiers alike. I would rather enjoy the après-ski and try out the WiFi in the gondola – just to say that I did! 😉
You know that a lot of people go there just to relax and enjoy all the amenities and you can pay to just get on the gondola to go up and enjoy the views. They have just had an approval to build a hotel up the top.
I went snowboard a few years ago in Whistler, Canada and broke my wrist and haven’t done any winter sports since then. This place has me wanting to go back. And how cool that the Gondola has heated seats and FREE WIFI.
I have known a few people that have broken their wrists snowboarding and it has put me off trying it for that reason. Sorry that it happened to you, that is really unfortunate. You should definitely get back out there and maybe try skiing 🙂
I have never been skiing but this post has made me want to go skiing now! France looks like a great choice!
This looks absolutely stunning. I’ve never been skiing and honestly, it totally intimidates me. I’m not exceptionally coordinated, so I would definitely need to start on really small slopes. However, I could sit on those chairs really well! Haha! I also love the look of the lodge, and would be totally content there with a good book and a mountain view!
You know that Val d’lsere has some amazing long, wide slopes that are not intimidating at all for beginners. There are lots of bars and restaurants everywhere to enjoy when you need a rest. I am just finishing my post on the chalet. I definitely would have stayed in if the condition on the mountains were not so good.
My family (The Hubs and two sons) love snow boarding. I myself try to avoid snow with gusto lol. Val d’Isère looks amazing and your photos are stunning. I wonder if it would be worth visiting in the summer?
Funny you mention about the summer, I love hiking and I asked about the same thing when I was there. They have just built a new centre at the top for all hiking in the summer, where you can have lunch and relax. They have heaps of areas to go hiking in and I am keen myself go up there during the summer.
I’ve never been to Val d’Isere because I’ve only been skiing in the States. I am strictly intermediate, so it’s good to know that there is skiing for all levels there. I would love to go skiing in France as my French friends rave about it! Your photos look fantastic!
I skied in the states for the first time last year and it is definitely different from Europe. I have skied in a lot of resort in France and I really do love it. The French definitely know how to do it correctly.
I definitely need to add this to my list of places to go for snowboarding. This sounds amazing. I still have yet to make it to France or Switzerland to snowboard. So far it’s only been the US and Canada. Thank you so much for posting this. Great read!
I have always wanted a to go to Canada skiing, it is right up the top of my bucket list. Both France and Switzerland are a lot of fun to be skiing in.
Val-Dlsere looks like a veritable white wonderland. The slopes are so inviting and all the facillities sound amazing too. Would love to get out there and ski.
We were so lucky that the conditions were near perfect, the sun was out and the sky was clear and blue. There have been plenty of times when it has been whiteouts and we were stuck inside but saying that. If we were stuck inside it would not bother me as we had that amazing luxury chalet. 🙂
How fun this looks!!! I have never visited this area and it is time I go! I know Gian would love to skii those slopes and I will enjoy the cozy and luxurious hotel options 🙂
You would love the Chalet is definitely your type of thing and I know that you would over the slopes too.
I recently went skiing for the 1st time over the holidays. It was such a thrill and so much fun! Who knew? This looks like a great place for some skiing.
Oh, where did you go skiing? I love it, especially when everything comes together. Tomorrow I leave for back to the back ski trip to Bulgaria and then Italy and I am so excited.
I have not skied in val disere but would be tempted by prospects of heated lifts. The chalet looks fabulous too!
I love heated lifts especially when it is cold outside 🙂 The chalet was amazing and I am just in the middle of finishing the post.
I am not a skier but I would not mind being a by-stander and experiencing this, just for the fun of it. A well captured story – love the tips and the recommendations that you have put together.
Thank you for your lovely comment. It is a nice relaxing place for both skiers and none skiers.
Wow, this resort looks absolutely amazing. One regret I have about the time I lived in France was not taking the time to explore skiing there (to be fair, I was a broke ass at the time). Maybe it’s time to go back as a grown-up and try this resort!
I love the ski resorts in France, as they do offer something for everyone. Definitely understand about not having money when you are younger. I hope you have a great weekend
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Blue Bear was so cute, I enjoy skiing whenever I have a time so I would love to check out this place. Outstanding photography here, very eye pleasing.
The blue bear is huge when you see him 🙂 I love skiing to and just got back from skiing across France and Switzerland 🙂 Thank you in regards to the pictures.
I’m saving this post for next year! So much detailed and beautiful pictures 🙂 You definitely convince me to go there with your post!
Thank this amazing is pretty amazing and big. So much to do here too. Let me know if you end up going and I will be happy to give you some tips.
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