The Alpine Ski World Cup will once again be hosted in Val d'Isère for several races this year. The men will meet for Giant Slalom and Slalom on 10 and 11 December 2022.
The Ski Resort
Val d’Isere – the name alone is enough to excite most skiers. A place where 300 kilometres of runs, 2 glaciers and 2 terrain parks await. Together with Tignes, Val d’Isere is part of the Espace Killy ski area. The resort was named after the French skier Jean-Claude Killy who became a dominant force in the sport in the 1960s with several gold medals at world championships and Olympic games.
There is whopping 1,900 vertical metres between the valley station and the point where the ski area tops out, the Grand Motte Glacier. The views of Lac du Chevril also give this resort a truly unique feel. Many visitors may not know that the lake also holds a special secret – the original village of Tignes was actually located where the lake is now until 1952. The decision was then made to dam the Isère into a lake, and the village had to up sticks and relocate. Today, Tignes and Val d'Isère are known internationally as a great ski destination.
This vast ski area is a dream come true for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Beginners don’t have to stay down in the valley either, as there are plenty of high-level areas also suitable for novices. There are a number of practice lifts by the mountain station of the Solaise lift, such as the Madeleine and Terrasse lift. In particular, the area around the Rocher de Bellevarde (2,827 m) is a great playground for beginners, with some straightforward longer runs like Verte and Mont Blanc. In France, these simple runs are marked green.
However, the ski area really comes into its own for advanced skiers thanks to the incredibly diverse runs on offer. If you want to head for the glacier in Tignes, take the Tovière gondola to the Tovière peak (2,704 m), ski down to neighbouring Val Claret and then take the cable car up to the glacier. The glacier area itself is dominated by red and black-marked runs, though there are also several good blue runs on the lower section of the ice. The Génépy and Cairn trails down into Val Claret are particularly eye-catching, while the trails on the Aiguille Percée are a must for advanced skiers.
The Glacier du Pissaillas in Val d'Isère gives visitors the chance to ski on a glacier, and the blue and red-rated runs here are also open in summer. Slightly down the mountain from here, by the Vallon gondola, there is an extensive network of blue-marked runs to explore. The red-rated runs between Datcha and the Laisinant Lift are the next step up from this. The Germain Mattis run is an exhilarating ride which every proficient skier should try.
In addition, no visit to the region would be complete without riding the trails on the Rocher de Bellevarde who connects Tignes to Val d’Isère. The Orange and Coupe de Mond “ok” live long in the memory. If you enjoy facing up to the challenges posed by black trails, the Face de Bellevarde and its almost 1,000 vertical metres of descent is worth taking on at least once. The Grande Motte Glacier (3,656 m), perches above the ski area, allowing skiers and snowboarders to carve turns all year round.
However, part of Val d’Isere’s and Tignes attraction for many people is its fantastic off-piste options. There are endless fields of untouched powder to explore away from the groomers here. Cliffs and couloirs abound, offering up endless options for cutting new lines. However, the backcountry here should not be taken lightly, so we recommend experienced skiers taking the necessary equipment and ideally enlisting a local guide. The more daring amongst you can even experience heli-skiing here.
The Swatch Snowpark is a freestyle playground between the Col du Palet and Grattalu lifts. On top of boxes and rails, there is also a large air bag here for practicing those hard to hit tricks. Additional air bags can also be found in the lower section of the Carline and Millonex runs. On top of that, you can race your friends on a bordercross course by the Col du Palet lift.
- Offering 186 miles of slopes and terrain, Val d'Isère - Tignes (Espace Killy) is among the 3 largest Ski Resorts in France.
- Val d'Isère - Tignes (Espace Killy) is among the 3 best rated Ski Resorts in France.
- It is among the 3 most family-friendly ski Resorts in France.
- Elevated between 5085 ft and 11339 ft, the Ski Resort is among the 3 highest elevated Ski Resorts in France. The vertical drop from summit to base is 6253 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in France is 2657 ft. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
- Average snow depth during the season is 63 " at summit elevation and 28 " at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average snow depth of 105 " at summit elevation and 58 " at the base. This makes Val d'Isère - Tignes (Espace Killy) the ski resort with the best snow conditions in France.
- Val d'Isère - Tignes (Espace Killy) features 166 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in France is 168 sunny days. June is the sunniest month with an average of 28 sunny days.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
The first port of call for hungry skiers should be the mountain restaurants at the Solaise and the Rocher de Bellevarde mountain stations. Le Bellevarde is a rustic mountain lodge with an à la carte restaurant, self-service area and bar. The crackling wood on the open fire makes this lodge incredibly cosy and inviting. Tete de Solaise serves home-made delights ranging from pizza and pasta to fish and meat dishes. The umbrella bar is also a great choice for a quick drink. Le Peau de Vache (meaning “cow hide”) boasts fantastic burgers which come sizzling from the grill complemented by a range of salads. The Edelweiss mountain restaurant is located alongside the blue-rated Mangarde run and is also a must for visitors. This stone and wood lodge strikes the perfect balance between tradition and modernity. However, expect to shell out a bit more for your meal here. Le Signal at the mountain station of the Fornet lift is one of the most contemporary restaurants in the region. Its futuristic wooden design offers visitors a sun deck both in front of the restaurant as well as on the roof. Guests can also choose from an à la carte restaurant, self-service area and a small snack bar here.
One of the undoubted highlights is Le Panoramic by the lower section of the Grande Motte Glacier. As the name suggests, the lodge offers a pretty stunning views, while the menu is dominated by regional dishes. Val Claret is home to The Aspen Coffee Shop, which is about as American as can be – think burgers, sandwiches and omelettes. The Lo Soli on the Aiguille Prercée is a cosy place to warm up, with local cheese specialties served in front of a roaring open fire. If pizza is your thing, head for the Taverne des Neiges. Located directly by the Fresse lift, the sun deck is a great place to take a break on a pleasant day. La Chalet Bollin is easily reached from both Val d’Isère and Tignes. The best route from Tignes is to take the Bollin/Fresse lift up to the restaurant. It is a truly quintessential mountain lodge experience offering quick bites as well as pasta, steaks and regional cuisine.
The red-marked Trifolet, Coupe du Monde „ok“, Orange and Germain Mattis runs are all top-notch groomers and are a must for all visitors to Val d’Isere. Adventurous skiers will also love the Face du Bellevarde. The Glacier run in Tignes is a must, and it connects to the Rimaye trail further down towards Val Claret.
Most Difficult Runs
The great winter hiking paths in the region are a great way to explore the beautiful natural landscape around Val d’Isere. Whether you opt for a gentle stroll or a demanding hike, this is an underrated way of relaxing and immersing yourself in the backcountry. The same applies for snowshoe tours, though this piece of kit also allows you to leave the beaten path and explore some otherwise unreachable spots. A trip with a dog sled is also a pretty unforgettable experience. After a brief instruction, you are even able to steer the sled yourself if you wish. SnowGliss is another fun activity for families and groups. Multiple sleds are bound together and you all descend together as an interconnected chain of sledders! If you’d prefer, you can of course also go solo!
After a day in the cold snow, a soak in some warm water is sometimes just the ticket! The Centre Aquasportif allows you to do just that or take to the gym for even more exercise – the choice is yours. The wellness area alone is some 225 sqm in size, featuring everything from saunas to hydro massage. Architecture fans should also take a walk through the Alpine village. The traditional architecture of the region employs stone, wood and metal, and Val d’Isere showcases numerous examples of the variety of this classical building style and offers a fascinating mix of traditional and contemporary elements.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
There are plenty of bars and nightclubs in Val d’Isere for having a good time after the mountain closes for the day. Victors Bar has made a name for itself as one of the best après-ski locations in town. Don’t miss the happy hour between 9 and 11 PM! At Grand Marnier, the name says it all – you get a Grand Marnier free with every order. Saloon is another popular spot. This is the place to come for pub sports like pool and table football. The M Bar is conveniently within touching distance of the slopes. It is slightly more low-key than the other bars and you can’t help but relax and feel at home in the generously sized armchairs. Please note that most bars here close at 1:30 AM. After that, you have to hit the night clubs.
Doudoune is right by the valley station of the lifts and is a real hotspot locally. A different guest DJ spins the wheels every week here. Cafe Face opens its doors from 4 PM onwards, and there’s live music in the evening with the dancefloor opening from around 10:30 PM. The Graal Club also opens for business at 10:30 PM and is particularly popular with electro fans.
Tignes is known for its nightlife and the wide variety of bars that this entails. The Loop Bar is a particularly popular spot directly by the Trolles and Rosset runs. Scotty’s Bar is also an ideal hangout for rounding out a great day on the slopes. For live music, head for the 247 Bar and Vincents Bar, which also broadcasts major sports events. In contrast, The Marmot Arms gives visitors an authentic pub experience. If you want to party until late in the night, Tignes offers a range of different clubs which notably include Jack’s Club (80s music), Le Melting Pot (Drum & Bass/HipHop) and the La Blue Girl Club.
Infrastructure & Rental
Affiliate Ski Schools
Affiliate ShopsSki Rentals Val d'Isère - Tignes (Espace Killy) (31)
By car: You can drive to Val d’Isere via Zürich, Lausanne and Geneva by following the A 41 to Albertville, then continuing on the N90 to Moutiers. Then keep heading for Aime and Bourg Saint Maurice.
By public transport: The closest train station is in Bourg Saint Maurice, where intercity trains stop. Regular buses depart to the ski area from here.
Fly in: The closest airport is in Geneva, which is connected to the ski area by shuttle bus or public transport.