It is a pretty good estimate that if you mention Val d’Isere France 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 in France. 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 check 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 regard to transfers from Geneva airport.
Snow Train to Val d’Isere
One of the best ways to get to Val d’Isere is via train. You can get a direct train from London to the town of Bourg St Maurice. Then it is just a 40-minute transfer from Bourg St Maurice by car to Val d’Isere ski resort.
The snow train will operate for the winter season from mid-December to early February. It will depart from London St Pancras every Saturday to Bourg Saint Maurice and return every Sunday. It is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Getting a Transfer
Our transfer from Geneva was with SnowDrone Transfer, who also do pick-ups from Bourg St Maurice. It was the first time I had 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 France
- 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 France 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 gondolas.
Skiing area Val d’Isere Ski Resort France
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. Other high-altitude ski resorts in the same area are Saint-Foy and Les Arcs 1600 both with visiting.
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.
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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Hip Hideouts Luxury Chatels in Val’ d’Isere France. However, all views are based on my own experience.