Loveskiing’s Val d’lsere Review
Val d’Isere has been considered by many to be the world’s premier ski resort, it is hard to find anything not to like. Behind all its glitz and glamour there is some serious skiing to be done at Val d’Isere. Once a year the resort is transformed into the biggest party in the alps with the arrival of the FIS downhill. If you are planning on travelling to Val d’Isere during the race be prepared for some serious partying, incredible atmosphere and one of the best days skiing you could wish for!
Lift links to Tignes along with Val d’Isere make up L’Espace Killy, opening up a vast 300+km of varied pistes pleasing everyone from beginners to pros. Snow is guaranteed due to the presence of the Le Grande Matte glacier and the high altitude of the resort. What differentiates Val d’Isere to other ski resorts however is its après-ski and traditional, picturesque townscape. The “Folie Douche” at the top of la Daille gondola and “Dicks Tea Bar” are probably two of the most famous bars in the Alps. Whatever you are looking for in a winter holiday, Val d’Isere has got it… and more!
Have a look at the webcam for Val d’Isere to see the latest resort conditions.
- Some of the best pistes Europe has to offer, especially on the higher ground.
- Guaranteed snow curtsey of the La Grande Motta glacier
- 24,170 acres of freeride terrain!
- The resort is a traditional, picturesque Alpine town, especially at the beginning and end of the season.
- Excellent variety of top-quality ski guides and multilingual instructors.
- Although placed at the higher price range, Val d’isere still offers a plentiful supply of cheaper basic apartments, making it accessible to all.
- Some of the best quality ski chalets the Alps, if not the world are on offer.
- Despite Val becoming increasingly commercial, skiing still comes first and the townscape is regulated by a “no building higher then 3 floors” policy maintaining it from becoming over developed .
- Walking through the old town at night… can be magical. Walk up to Le Fornet (don’t take the bus). Walk back to Val on the mountain trail that starts on the other side of the bridge (over the gorge).
- The fact that the Val is such a huge resort, having 27,000 guest beds in the resort can put a lot of pressure on the resort, especially during peak weeks.
- Above average prices for chalets, hotel accommodation and night-life.
- How busy the pistes can get, especially coming back into the resort in peak weeks.
- Skiers because snow conditions often are more suited to skiing opposed to boarding..
- Those party animals that have a large budget and want to be seen in the “trendiest” resorts.
- Those who like to ski, eat and live in luxury.
- Cruisers – access to the huge Espace Killy ski area with guaranteed snow and the possibility of summer skiing on the Le Grande Matte glacier
- Food lovers – the range and variety of restaurants to be found both on and off piste is incredible and the majority are excellent standard
- Powder Monkeys – the high altitude and vast snow bowls create an off-pister dream
- Those who are after affordable skiing but don’t want to stay in boot camp conditions.
- Beginners, especially when the hustle and bustle of the resort is taking into consideration.
- Those who are after a quiet weekend away.
Click here to read an insider blog of Val D’lsere.
An immense ski area, three glaciers, a buzzing chic nightlife and a truckload of things to do when you’re not skiing make Val d’Isere one of the most popular mountains in the French Alps. The resort sits at 1850m, and the skiing goes up to 3,550m. Its vast size extends to 24,700 acres of skiable terrain along with 300km of marked piste. You could ski here for a month and still be finding new adventures each day. Boarders, there’s a ripping terrain park with a recreational area and music, BBQ facilities, chairs and tables. You can relax on the outdoor deck of Les Marmottes restaurant and watch the crazy flips and turns of boarders and freestyle skiers as they defy gravity.
This part of Espace Killy (also home to the Tignes resort) is an expert’s dream with the huge amount of exciting black runs and kilometre after kilometre of off-piste gold. Intermediates probably have the best choice of on piste runs, with an enormous amount of slopes laid out for them from Tignes le Breviere all the way to Le Fornet. Beginners have plenty of free lifts and runs to start on, but there’s not a wide selection of easy blues for them to move onto next.
Val d’Isère is divided into four sectors corresponding with the three main ridges dropping into the town and the glacier area (Le Fornet, Solaise, Bellevarde and the glaciers). Each offer different joys, from wide-open beginner and intermediate paradises to thousands of feet of steep black faces. If you purchase an Espace Killy ski pass, which includes Val d’Isere and Tignes, you’ll want to stay for the rest of your season, just so you can work your way through the overwhelming terrain.
There are great free beginner areas and lifts at Val d’Isere, but some of the intermediate runs can be a bit challenging when you move on to them. The new super modern Les Marmottes chairlift has a brake system which makes it easy to get on and off. Its location makes it accessible to skiers of all levels and assures an easy return for beginners to Val D’Isère. At the top of the chairlift, you just take the cable car l’Olympique down to return to the resort. There are two nursery areas in Val d’Isere – one in the centre of the resort and one in La Daille. Here, there are gentle slopes which are ideal for beginners and in addition, there are seven lifts in total which are completely free of charge – two chairlifts (Village & Rogoney) and three drag lifts ( la Savonette 1/2 & la Légettaz) in the Solaise area and “Les Lanches” 1 & 2 drag lifts in La Daille. After feeling more confident on these nursery slopes, the Solaise and Bellevarde areas are a good option as there are several slow and steady runs.