Ski & Snowboard



Ski & Snowboard Resort Review

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Val d'Isere, FRANCE affectionately referred to as the 'Kingdom of Skiing and Snowboarding' has some of the best open powder fields of any resort in the world.

Val d'Isere Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain

Val d’Isere is one half of the ski area Espace Killy sharing its lift space with the neighbouring resort of Tignes.

Together the interlinked resorts cover 300 kilometres of fantastic skiing and snowboarding terrain. Expect to find huge treeless powder fields, steep descents and tight chutes, long linking groomed trails and gentle beginner areas.

Most of the terrain is above the tree line and supported by a fast and efficient lift system. The lifts provide easy access to powder areas that at many other resorts are only accessible after a long hike or by helicopter.

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Agence Nuts - Office du Tourisme Val d'Isere

Advanced Skiing and Snowboarding at Val d'Isere

On fresh snow days head to the top upper areas of Le Fornet for deep powder runs off the Roches and Geant pistes. Be sure to stay high to have the pick of the powder further along.

The Cugnai Chairlift accesses plenty of open powder possibilities; just a quick traverse and short hike will be required for some extreme powder runs.

Don’t miss the extremely steep and fast Olympic Downhill trail The Face leading from the top of Rocher De Bellevarde down to the Val d’Isere Village.

The Manchet Express Chairlift, hidden from view of most chairlifts and often one of the last to be discovered, has some steep groomed trails underneath the chairlift and fun rolling powder terrain options to the far right.

Intermediate Skiing and Snowboarding at Val d'Isere

Intermediates can ski and snowboard the entire Espace Killy Area on long linked groomed trails.

From the top of the L’Olympique Cablecar at Rocher De Bellevarde intermediates have the option of turning left and heading towards Le Fornet or turning right and starting the long trip to Tignes.

The lower slopes of Le Fornet are quieter and less crowded than the upper areas. Catch the Fornet Cablecar then the Vallon De L’Iseran Gondola for extra long winding trails back down to the valley floor.

From the Le Fornet side catch the Leissieres Chairlift to access the Glacier Express Chairlift which has some fun intermediate pistes surrounding it. From there ski or snowboard down the L trail to the Val d’Isere Village. The Leissieres Chairlift is an interesting ride as it transports riders up and over one valley then down into another neighbouring valley.

Turn right from the top of Rocher De Bellevarde to access the Diebold trail that winds its way down past the bottom of the Snowpark before branching off at the mid section into more long winding trails. The trails lead down to the valley floor in the La Daille end of the Village. Once at the bottom catch the Funival train back to the top of Rocher De Bellevarde.

Beginner Skiing and Snowboarding at Val d'Isere

In the Val d’Isere Village first time beginners go to the nursery slopes at the base of the Solaise Cable Car serviced by the Village and Rogoney Chairlifts. The slopes are wide and gentle sloping.

All beginner chairlifts and drag lifts at Val d’Isere are free of charge.

Once beginner confidence grows catch L’Olympique Cable Car to the top of Rocher De Bellevarde to access the very long Verte trail ending in the La Daille end of the Village. Once in La Daille catch either the Funival train up for another run or catch the shuttle bus back to the main Village area.

The Val d’Isere Ski and Snowboard School has lessons for all ages and ability levels with both English and French speaking instructors.

Recent Lift Upgrades at Val d'Isere

The updated detachable 6 seate Laisinant Express Chairlift gives access to the slopes from the Le Laisinant end of the Val d’Isere Village helping ease some of the morning congestion at the Solaise Express Chairlift and eliminating the need to catch the shuttle bus back to the Solaise Chairlift after skiing or snowboarding the L or Germain Mattis pistes.

In Le Fornet the old Pyramides drag lift has been replaced with a new chairlift easing morning congestion.

In the Solaise area the old Cugnai two seater chairlift has been replaced with a faster four seater chairlift which will improve skiing and snowboarding turnaround times.

New hands free skiing and snowboarding has been introduced at Val d'Isere. The hands free ski pass automatically enables lift access without staff manually checking passes ensuring less crowd congestion.

Val d'Isere Terrain Park and Halfpipe

The Val Park Snowpark at the base of the Borsat Chairlift is scattered with big rails, massive jumps, hips and quarters.

The Snowpark has a well maintained halfpipe and a boardercross course suitable for all levels.

The Snowpark has four lifts, a repair bench and a viewing sundeck with music and BBQ facilities.

Other Activities at Val d'Isere

Other activities at Val d’Isere include snowmobiling, parasailing, helicopter tours, husky drawn sleigh rides and ice skating. Also on offer is cross country skiing, ice driving, snow shoeing, ice climbing and swimming.

For more relaxing activities try a French cooking class, a yoga class or have a massage or beauty treatment.

Shopping at Val d'Isere

The Village at Val d’Isere is a shopper’s paradise. It has ski and snowboard equipment and rental stores, fashion boutiques, shoe shops, newsagencies, perfume shops and jewellers.
There are photography shops, art galleries, antique shops, souvenir and gift stores, beauty parlours and hairdressers.

The Village gas well stocked grocery markets, bakeries, chocolate shops and local produce stores selling regional cheeses, meats and wines.

Val d'Isere Restaurants

The food at Val d’Isere is sensational. Chose from Savoyard cheese and meat dishes, gourmet fine dining restaurants and cafes.

The fine dining La Grande Ourse Restaurant has an open fireplace in the dining room and is open for dinner and lunch on the large sun terrace. The restaurant specialises in classic French dishes like stuffed roast chicken and delicate roast lamb with fresh vegetables. All meals are complemented by an excellent international wine list.

For raclette and fondue cheese dishes go to Le Canyon. Le Petit Danois serve excellent pizza and pasta dishes all day and stay open late.

Val d’Isere has 11 on mountain restaurants most with large sundecks. One of the largest and most popular is La Folie Douce serving quiches, beef stews, tarts and pies.

Val d'Isere Nightlife

Val d’Isere has an lively nightlife with bars, pubs and nightclubs scattered throughout the village.

Dick’s Tea Bar kicks off the après ski drinks with live music and happy hour running from 3pm until 7pm. The disco starts at 10pm and the dancing doesn’t stop until after 4am.

Café Face is great spot for a drink on the way home with live music daily and theme nights throughout the winter season.

The packed English pubs Pacific Bar and the Saloon have happy hour every night and live bands and DJs.

Le Graal serves delicious cocktails and plays 60’s 70’s and 80’s music all night long.

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Your Val d'Isere Ski & Snowboard Resort Reviews

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Lara K, UK As a first time skier Val d'Isere is not perfect but the views are spectacular and the variety of runs is wonderful, you can be out all day all over the mountains and even ski across to Tignes with ease. I'll definitely go again.

Fiona Welsh, USA I enjoyed Val d'Isere because everyone speaks English, in fact most of the tourists are from England, so it makes it really easy. The skiing is fantastic, it's known as the 'Espace Killy' Val d'Isere and Tignes are lift linked together, I'm not sure exactly how big it is but it's way too big to cover over one day, way tooooo big. The trails were groomed each day and being above the tree line either side of the trails are powder fields, it's quite bizarre how many people just stay on the trails and don't go of into the deeper powder, all the more for me! The snow-park totally rocks, the air the boarders and skiers where getting was huge. It's like they were born with skis on! The main trail going back down to the village is called 'The Face' and it is really fast and steep and on an icy day you need to be really careful. (I think they may have world cup races on it) We had a couple of beers in the late afternoon before tackling The Face, it made the ski down certainly interesting, I had more confidence but the old legs seemed to turn to jelly!!!

Dave Meadows, UK. PROS - extreme powder fields & cliff drops all accessed by lifts, no hiking necessary - spread over huge area - fast lift system moving crowds quickly - booming nightlife - good food CONS - expensive - more guys than gals - too crowded on weekends - long trip to get there by train and bus

Alison Liddell, Australia. If you want to ski in Europe it is essential to go to one of the major resorts because even in a poor season you should get some reasonable skiing. I would recommend Val d’Isere as one of the best. It is a huge area linked to other resorts, eg Tignes, and there is a great choice of skiing for all abilities. Be patient getting up the mountain first thing as the access lifts are crowded but once up the top you can head off to where you want.

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