Val d’Isere & its Surroundings
Val d’Isere is an extremely popular ski resort for both the British and French alike, as it maintains a lovely traditional village feeling whilst offering some of the best skiing and boarding in the world. With more than 300km of marked pisted runs and endless off piste skiing within the Espace Killy area, it’s a great destination for skiers and boarders of all abilities.
Nestling against the peaks of the Italian Alps, Val d’Isere is pretty much guaranteed a good snowfall every ski season. Their snow coverage is one of the best in Europe, normally ensuring good skiing conditions right to the end of the season which tends to be around the beginning of May. The extensive 96 lift system which is spread over ten miles across Val d’Isère and Tignes can transport over 100,000 skiers per hour. The quick ascending lifts of Val d’Isere which tend to travel vertically means that you get a lot of skiing back down in exchange for a short trip up. Because of the altitude of Val d’Isere and its excellent snow conditions, you can usually ski back to the centre of the village with ease.
Val d’Isere is made up of a number of charming little hamlets that include:
Le Joseray, La Legettaz and Le Chatelard, all of which close together and located within 5 minutes of the centre of the village, through the tunnel that leads from the main roundabout. They are conveniently situated at the bottom of the Manchet valley and provide excellent skiing conditions and the option of skiing back to your front door.
At the top end of Val d’Isere is the hamlet of Le Laisinant that has the Laisiant Express chairlift which transports skiers to the top of the Solaise and Le Fornet skiing areas. In good skiing conditions you can ski back to your door using the Piste ‘L’ route.
Le Fornet is situated about 5kms out of town just beyond Val d’Isere and is one of Val d’Isere’s best kept secrets. With chic chalets built to traditional Savoyard stone and wood designs, Le Fornet presents the typical picturesque postcard look. When the Col is completely covered by snow in the winter, Le Fornet offers some of the Espace Killy’s best off-piste skiing. The easy accessibility of its many gullies and bowls make it a top favourite with many off-piste skiers and boarders alike. It also offers some great open runs such as Point Pers and Col Pers. But because there are sections that are prone to avalanches, it is advisable to always ski with a qualified mountain guide.
Le Fornet offers the only glacier skiing in Val d’Isere at 3400m, and with 1500m of vertical descent, offers the opportunity to ski from the top of the glacier down to the bottom of the valley.
Just before reaching the village of Val d’Isere you will pass through the resort of La Daille. Whilst not necessarily pretty, La Daille provides some good ‘value for money’ self-catering and chalet accommodation. Its location at the base of the piste also means that you never have to walk more than couple of minutes from your accommodation to get to the slopes and on to the entire Espace Killy lift system. Added to that, you are only a 5 minute (free) bus journey into the centre of town.
Besides being a top ski destination, Val d’Isere has a lot to offer in the way of its numerous shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, as well as a cinema, giving you plenty of choice and variety. Whether you are there for the sking, or the aprés ski, you will find it extremely difficult to get bored in Val d’Isere.