Val d’Isère has a unique location. While being elevated at high altitude (1850m) and being the highest authentic mountain village in France, it is also nestled at the bottom of the valley which means that during the entire winter season from end of Nov until May, you are surrounded by a white fluffy blanket of snow.
Even though the snow cover is always reliable, it’s also backed up by La Snow Factory, the largest artificial snowmaking facility in Europe.
So, snowcover is guaranteed in Val d’Isère.
Val d’Isère’s village centre features a nice 11th century baroque church (with a bell tower built in the 1600s) along with a cluster of ancient chalets built in traditional style using stone, wood and slate. This gives the resort a magical welcoming warm atmosphere.
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Info & Stats
November 28, 2020 – May 1, 2021
Val d’Isère is divided into three sections in a steep valley.
In 2019 a new 10-person gondola with heated seats and Wi-Fi was opened in the central ski area, Le Solaise.
A second section, Bellevarde faces three directions in a triangular shape bowl.
The third section is Le Fornet in the quietest part of the resort. It has long and often empty runs and great opportunities for off-piste skiing.
Linked ski area
Val d’Isère – Tignes (2 resorts – 1 lift pass).
- 300 km of slopes
- 154 runs (20 green runs, 67 blues, 41 reds, 26 blacks)
- 2 snowparks
- 90 lifts
Val d’Isère has an outdoor ice-skating rink and offers activities including ice driving, paragliding, snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing and ice climbing.
Throughout the snow season there is a strong calendar of festivals and concerts.
There’s around 80 restaurants, including Michelin-starred L’Atelier d’Edmond and La Table de l’Ours.
For après entertainment head to the iconic Dick’s Tea Bar, La Bananas or Cocorico for live music.
With more than 80 restaurants, 30 bars and 4 night clubs, Val d’Isère has a lively après-ski scene and one of the best in the French Alps.
Location & Trail Map
Transfer time to Val d’Isère from:
- Bourg St Maurice train station: 35min*
- Chambéry airport: 1hr 50min*
- Geneva airport: 2hrs 30min*
- Lyon airport: 2hrs 30min*
Resort altitude: 1,850m
*Transfer time is approximate, by private transfer vehicle and subject to weather and road conditions. Shared shuttle/bus transfers have set departure times, take much longer to travel and don’t offer door to door service which is why we recommend private transfers only.
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Val d’Isère Ski Resort Video
Val d’Isere ski resort is without doubt one of the best ski resorts in the world and definitely in the top 3 best French ski resorts. Watch our video to find out why…WATCH video now
The picturesque high altitude traditional village of Val d’Isère is a magical winter wonderland that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Val d’Isère is a charming, traditional French village in a unique location. It is nestled at the bottom of a valley and at 1,850m altitude is the highest authentic mountain village in France.
This means that for the whole winter season from the end of November until May, you are surrounded by a white fluffy blanket of snow that never really melts.
The village centre features a fine Baroque church and a cluster of ancient chalets built in traditional style using local stone, wood and slate. This gives the resort a warm and welcoming atmosphere that borders on the magical.
Those looking for a high-altitude, snow-sure, traditional village with high end services, hotels, shops and restaurants.
With more than 80 restaurants, 30 bars and 4 night clubs, Val d’Isère offers the best and liveliest après ski atmosphere in the French Alps, along with Méribel in the 3 Valleys.
Val d’Isere is a 2.5 hour drive by private transfer from Geneva airport or train station.
It’s a 35min drive from Bourg St Maurice train station, the closest French train station.
A shared shuttle transfer from Geneva will take about 4hrs and will only drop you off at the village bus stop, not at your accommodation – not ideal if you are travelling with ski gear and luggage and don’t know your way around.
The most magical way to get there, from Geneva airport to Val d’Isère, Is by helicopter. This takes just 30 minutes and on the way you enjoy stunning scenic views of Mont-Blanc and the Alps on a journey you will never forget!
There are plenty of activities for non-skiers including an outdoor ice-skating rink, ice driving, ice karting, paragliding, snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing and ice climbing.
You will also find the impressive Aquasportif which offers classes such as Aquagym, aquatraining, aquacardio, aquabike, paddle, kids swimming classes, yoga, HIT, bikes, zumba, maxiforme, piloxing, pilates, bodystyp, stretching, etc… and sports facilities such as climbing walls, sports hall, a weights room, treadmills, TRX and Omnia.
There is also Beach World, Spa World and Well-Being World.
First tracks – 28 Nov 2020; Giants snow sculptures (around 10 Dec); Critérium de la Première Neige (ski world cup) around 13 Dec; Enchanted Christmas village with a host of festive illuminations, activities and events to get you in to the Christmas spirit; French National Ski Instructors Annual Christmas Show and Firework display; Festi Light every Thursday from January 9th to March 5th 2020 , where the main street is magically transformed into a snow covered pedestrian zone, with many twinkling AIRSTAR lights transporting you to a dreamlike world of fantasy with jugglers, musicians, DJ’s, ice sculptors and last but not least, the New Year`s Eve Fireworks Display
Val d’Isère-Tignes’ 300kms of groomed slopes and easily-accessible off-piste ski areas are open from November 28th 2020 to May 2nd 2021.
January 2nd to Feb 6th 2021 is the cheapest and best time to go (low season), followed by 6th March until mid-April 2021 (the shoulder season).
For Australians travelling to France to ski during our January summer holidays, we benefit from the cheaper rates on offer in the French ski resorts’ low season. This happens to be when the French and Europeans go back to work and school after the 2 week Christmas and New Year holiday period.
Europeans and the Brits flock to the resorts through February into March (DO NOT TRAVEL from 6th Feb to 6th Mar 2021 as this is the French school holidays). The slopes are extremely busy, the queues at the lifts are long and the price for accommodation is very expensive during that time. Even all the restaurants are booked out!
Typically, in January, the snow is dry with the largest build up. It is also the coldest time, so you will need to make sure that you dress warmly. It is still wise to choose a high-altitude resort in case mother nature has not been kind earlier in the season. Bear in mind though, that snow-making is used to supplement natural snowfall in high traffic areas.
So, not only is January the cheapest time to go skiing in the French Alps, it is also the best time to go thanks to the weather conditions, the lack of queues, more availability and choice of accommodation and you get to breathe fresh air with your loved ones, rather than with thousands of other people!