World class and snow-sure
Val d’Isère is a world class ski resort which goes from strength to strength. It attracts a truly international range of visitors drawn to the extensive range of mountain on-piste and lift-served off-piste skiing. Although better suited to advanced and intermediates, you don’t have to be particularly heroic to enjoy the resort, and beginners are well provided for. Val d’Isère boasts a combination of seriously impressive skiing, good infrastructure, and scores well in the ‘après’ department. The village ambience is pleasant, all within walking distance, with a superb range of bars, restaurants and accommodation.
What about ski chalets and apartments for sale in Val d’Isère?
We are often told that values here “have never fallen” and we can believe it. It is a rather unique market and new space is rare. Smart property redevelopments are the norm, and they sell well. Fast efficient lifts take more skiers up the mountain thereby feeding the accommodation and property markets. Val d’Isere is continually upgrading it’s facilities, properties are frequently renovated or rebuilt in order to ‘future-proof’ its position as a premier ski destination. December 2019 sees the opening of France’s highest hotel. At the top of the old cable car, the Refuge de Solaise has 34 rooms, 3 large luxury apartments, and a traditional refuge dormitory with 14 beds. Facilities include a 300- seat gourmet restaurant, a cocktail bar, and a spa with a 23-metre pool that is open to the public – a clear illustration of how the resort is innovatively positioning itself.
A guide to Val d’Isère
The village, located at the end of the Tarentaise valley, stands at 1850m, with top slopes at an altitude of nearly 3400m. The first lift in Val d’Isère opened in 1936, the resort has attracted guests for the best part of a century through constantly updating and improving what it can offer each generation of skiers. At the centre in the oldest part of the village is a fine Baroque church and a cluster of ancient chalets built in traditional style using stone, wood and slate.
Val d’Isère ski area
Val d’Isère is one of Europe’s most snowsure resorts thanks to several factors including the high altitude of the ski area. It has a long ski season and claims the largest snowmaking facility in Europe, with over 900 cannons covering 40% of the entire ski area. Though the slopes in Val d’Isère are enjoyed by all, the ski area is best suited to strong intermediates and better. That said, beginners are rather spoilt at Val d’Isère with around a dozen ski schools and plenty of nursery and easy pistes all over the ski area.
Val d’Isère’s ski area is split into four sectors, two of which can be reached direct from resort. It is easy to move from one sector to another, and the links to neighbouring Tignes, with which it shares the 300km ski area, are seamless, the area is served by 90 lifts. In the high season when it is busy, Val has a huge advantage – there are no less than seven main-mountain access points, from Le Fornet to La Daille.
The standard of piste grooming is extremely high and the lift system is constantly being upgraded, making short work of any bottlenecks in high season.
Après ski in Val d’Isère
You’re spoilt for choice with an enormous range of pubs and clubs offering possibly the most trendy, lively and varied apres ski from anywhere in the Alps. Famous spots include La Folie Douce, the first of its kind; Cocorico, with dancing and general merriment well before the lifts have closed. Another top choice for après ski is Cafe Face with great value drinks on offer, and at the beginning of the evening, there’s a chilled ambience. Le Bananas is the foot of the ‘Face’, this time-honoured Val d’Isère après ski hangout really does get happy, it is also a restaurant that serves a mix of Tex Mex and Indian food, as well as some of the Savoyarde classics, it is also a very popular place for a meal. The renowned Dick’s Tea Bar is certainly the place you want to head to later, to party late into the night. The Pacific Bar in the centre of the village is known for themed nights, happy hours, live music and sports.
Eating out in Val d’Isère
Val d’Isère is an attractive, sophisticated town with an eclectic mix of restaurants, from cosy and casual to fine dining. Value options on the slopes can be found as there is a huge choice. For example Tignes Cuisine which is located over in Tignes is a very popular place to stop for lunch. Les Marmottes at the bottom of the Borsat Express is an option, likewise the La Folie Douce Petite Cuisine, a stylish self-service spot.
In the resort Chez Paulo at the Rond Point des Pistes offers good value home cooked Italian cooking and is very popular. La Baraque is by far the most popular restaurant in Val among the locals. At the top of the scale, save up and go to Le Fornet, L’Atelier Edmond has two Michelin stars and is wonderful, but there’s also a well-priced brasserie adjoining the restaurant with more moderate prices.
Summer in Val d’Isère
When the snow melts, Val d’Isère remains a top notch resort for outdoor activities. You are in the Vanoise National Park, the oldest in France. Expect scenery that takes your breath away with a cocktail of forested hillsides and a sunny climate served by a lift system which enables visitors to explore a wealth of walking and biking trails.
The Bike Park is one of the best in France with 160km of mountain bike trails suitable for everyone from beginner to expert, a brand new enduro circuit and a recreational zone. Chairlifts are adapted to hold bikes and completely free to use. Or climb the Col de l’Iseran by bike or e-bike, this is one of the classic climbs of the Route des Grandes Alpes.
Popular outdoor activities are canyoning, rock climbing, white-water rafting, via ferrata and para-gliding. The Aqua Leisure Complex is a stunning new facility, open in the ski season and in the summer. The two Val d’Isère sports parks combine over 30 activities for all ages.
Over in Tignes there is summer skiing on the Pisaillas glacier on Grande Motte, usually open for 6 weeks around July.
A popular event for motorcylists is the The Rallye des Chamois, hosted by Val d’Isère Tourism. It combines 4 routes including the highest paved pass in the Alps the Col de l’Iseran, bike displays, gastronomic tastings, a rock concert, and no doubt some epic rides.
Property for Sale and Rent in Val d’Isère
If Alpine property for sale or rent in the Val d’Isère area is not of interest, consider properties nearby in Courchevel.
• Other Destinations in the French Alps •
Chamonix, Megève, Sainte Foy, La Rosière, Morzine, Les Gets, Courchevel, Méribel, Saint Martin de Belleville, Pays de Mont Blanc