- Elevated between 1,550 m and 3,450 m, the Ski Resort is among the 5 highest elevated Ski Resorts in France. The vertical drop from summit to base is 1,900 m. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in France is 867 m. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
- Val d'Isère is among the 3 best rated Ski Resorts in France.
- It is among the 3 most family-friendly ski Resorts in France.
- Season starts on 17 Oct and ends on 5 May (200 days). Average season duration in France is 120 days.
- Average snow depth during the season (17 Oct to 5 May) is 179 cm at summit elevation and 94 cm at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average snow depth of 290 cm at summit elevation and 165 cm at the base. Therefore Val d'Isère is among the 5 ski Resorts with best snow conditions in France.
- Val d'Isère features 114 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in France is 121 sunny days. December is the sunniest month with an average of 22 sunny days.
- Offering 300 km of slopes and terrain, Val d'Isère is among the 5 largest Ski Resorts in France.
Host of the FIS Ski World Cup on December 8 & 9, 2018 (Men's Slalom/Giant Slalom) as well as from December 14 to 16, 2018 (Ladies' Downhill/Super G/Alpine Combined). More information...
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.
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. The Glacier du Pissaillas 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. 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.
However, part of Val d’Isere’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
Dining and Restaurants
The food scene in Val d’Isere is packed with gourmet delights. First stop has to be Le Table de l’Ours Restaurant, which proudly boasts a Michelin star. Guests eat in the elegant atmosphere in front of an open fire. It goes without saying that the exclusive dishes served here are expertly matched with exquisite wines from the wine cellar.
L’Atelier d’Edmond is another local institution with a Michelin star. However, this is a much more rustic dining experience. The restaurant has been decorated in mountain lodge style and if you like what you see, you’ll be pleased to know that all of the interior decorations are actually for sale! However, don’t let the interior distract from the food, which really is top notch. Styles range from Mediterranean to contemporary French cooking.
The Pier Paul Jack Restaurant is housed in the Hotel L’Aigles les Neiges and blends the traditional with the contemporary. The restaurant’s three names each represent a different area. Pier serves innovative dishes, with a focus on regional produce and seafood. Paul is a place where gastronomy meets design. The atmosphere is minimalist and clean, with romantic lightening lending warmth to the starkness. The emphasis is on meat here.
The third area, Jack, includes the hotel bar. It’s the place to come for drinks and snacks, either before or after your meal.
Infrastructure & Rental
Ski Rental Shops
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.