Val d’Isère Ski Resort
Val d”Isere is famous for being one of the best ski resorts in the world. It is a high-end resort brimming with charm and elegance. But it also has some of the best skiable terrain you’ll ever encounter. The ski area is large enough for anyone to have fun, whether you’re on one or two planks.
The area is so extensive because it links to the nearby ski resort of Tignes, creating the Tignes-Val d’Isere ski area, formerly known as Espace Killy.
Val d’Isere consists of luxury chalets, high-end hotels, fantastic restaurants, and lively bars. However, the old part of the town contrasts this with its 11th-century baroque church, historic chalets, and buildings made from stone and wood. This mixture creates a unique and welcoming atmosphere, made magical with a covering of snow.
Many visitors to Val d’Isere return every year and go nowhere else, which indicates how great this resort is. One of the reasons for its popularity is that Val d’Isere is its higher than average snowfall. It sits at 1850 meters, so the snowpack is preserved well due to colder temperatures. However, Val d’Isere’s underground snow factory keeps the snow coverage topped up when it gets warmer, extending the season to early May.
Val d’Isere’s skiable terrain is split into three main areas covering 150km of pistes. Solaise, Belvarde, and Le Fornet. All of these areas are serviced by modern ski lifts to quickly get you back up the mountain.
You will find long and fast pistes, but most slopes are suitable for beginners. Some of the difficulty ratings are slightly exaggerated, so beginners may want to use the lifts to get back into the village at the end of the day.
If you like to hunt for powder, Val d’Isere is a dream destination. There are many lift-accessible off-piste areas, but it’s best to book a guide to find the good spots and to stay safe. Alternatively, head to Le Fornet after a snowfall to play in the trees.
Val d’Isère ski season starts in…
Info & Stats
December 03, 2022 – May 8, 2023
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.
Val d’Isère-Tignes trail map
Watch the Video
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…
The picturesque high altitude traditional village of Val d’Isère is a magical winter wonderland that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
What makes Val d’Isère ski resort special?
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.
Who would love Val d’Isère ski resort the most?
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.
How do we get to Val d’Isère?
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!
What is there to do for non-skiers in Val d’Isère?
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.
What are the best Festivals and events in Val d’Isère?
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
How long does the Val d’Isère ski season last?
Val d’Isère-Tignes’ 300kms of groomed slopes and easily-accessible off-piste ski areas are open from November 28th 2021 to May 1st 2022.
When is the best time to go skiing in Val d'Isère?
January 2nd to Feb 5th 2022 is the cheapest and best time to go (low season), followed by 5th March until mid-April 2022 (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 5th Feb to 5th Mar 2022 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!