Piste total length: 150km
Resort Elevation: 1850m
Highest Lift: 3450m
Beginner slopes: 170km
Intermediate slopes: 78km
Difficult slopes: 52km
T-bar lift: 33
A Tarentaise Valley’s commune, in the Savoie department part of the Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France, Val d’Isère is a ski resort that lies from the border with Italy. A visitor-friendly resort, a staggering amount of skiing, and a ski resort with the most reliable snow-welcome to Val d’Isere! Together with Tignes, it makes up EspaceKillySki Region, one of Europe’s largest ski areas with 300km of pistes and some superb off-piste skiing across the Vanoise massif, in the Tarentaise Valley.
Espace Killy was named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy who grew up in Val d’Isère. The Vanoise National Park has two “refuges” or mountain huts on the territory of Val d’Isère: le Refuge du Prariond and le Refuge du Fond des Fours.
The resort was built in 1963 on the border of the VanoiseNational Park. During the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics, the Face de Bellevarde was the site of the men’s downhill race. Other alpine skiing events held during those games included men’s giant slalom and alpine combined.
Val d’Isère is a regular host of World Cup alpine events, usually for the men in early December. It hosted the 2009’s World Championships.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET TO VAL D’ISERE?
Here are four different ways you can choose to get to Val d’isere.
Flying to Geneva + Airport transfer
There are 4 International Airports: Geneva, Lyon, Chambéry, and Grenoble
One of the easiest and best ways to get to Val d’Isere is to fly to Geneva and then get an airport transfer.
Train to Bourg St Maurice
Bourg-Saint-Maurice (45 mins) is the closest train station that offers an excellent and frequent service, including high-speed rail options (TGV, Eurostar, Thalys).
The extensive network of European motorways makes it easy to come to Val d’Isere by car.
- 30km from Bourg Saint Maurice (40 min)
- 86km from Albertville (1h20)
- 135km from Chambéry (2h)
- 240km from Lyon (3h)
- 220km from Genève (3h)
Coach or long-distance bus
You can also reach Val d’Isere through a coach or long-distance bus, although it’s probably the least option for most visitors.
VAL D’ISERE SKIING
Val d’Isere’s ski area has various excellent terrain suited to all abilities throughout the resort. The main base ski area is friendly and ideal for first-time skiers. However, one can progress to different mountain parts, including several areas called “Piste Tranquille” for quiet skiing. The super steep BellevardeRun (The 1992 men’s Winter Olympics downhill course) and tons of wide-open red runs are great for some high-speed cruising.
Intermediates and advanced skiers will also love the endless runs in this resort. Off-piste is the resort’s main attraction, and much of which is accessed via lifts. But it is recommended with a guide to go along with the visitors plus the use of safety equipment since a lot of this terrain is unmarked. A guide’s experience and local knowledge will add to your enjoyment.
The high elevation of Val d’Isere makes the snow stay in good condition, and it doesn’t always get chopped up quickly.
Val d’Isere is a partner in Vail Resort’s industry with the Epic Pass, a top season pass product. So if you have one Epic Pass, you can ski in the resort for free and to all other resorts in the US and Canad like Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler/Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Heavenly, Northstar, Stowe, etc.
Surely, no one gets bored at Val d’Isere as various activities await every visitor, from kids to adults. There’s an ice skating rink in the center of the village, dog sledding, ice climbing, snowshoeing, spas, a cinema, and the big, Aqua Complex features a vast play pool, a 25m lap pool, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, gym, and massage.
You can have French cooking classes, galleries, shopping, and the fantastic working farm, La Ferme de l’Adroit, up the village’s end for cultural experiences. You can see the animals in the barn or buy some fresh cheese and the most delicious yogurt Scout’s tasted and dine in the restaurant.