The skiing season in Val d’Isere is long and stretches from the beginning of December through to the end of April so you should make your reservations at least two months before you plan to take your vacation.
Bellevarde is perhaps the most famous of slopes at Val d’Isère. The Location has a superb black run that looms over the town with a summit of around 2,807 meters. La Face De Bellevarde is one of the more famous black runs within the Alps. The Bellevarde has historically been used for a range of different tournaments, including the 1992 Winter Olympics as well as the 2009 Alpine Ski World Championships. Getting up there is easy too, thanks to the high-tech cable car called “The Olympique” which can reach visitors to the top in just under six minutes, making it one of the most efficient cable cars in the world. Those who like a challenge can try the Epaule du Charvet, at Rocher De Bellevarde, a black run which provides a sharper, sterner challenge than La Face.
Le Fornet is a nice little hamlet that acts as a getaway from the hustle and bustle in the city center. Those who want a change can head to Le Fornet for skiing or hiking, since its readily available via a regular free bus from the town or directly from the Solaise slopes. It is possible, with a series of different lifts, to reach the intermediate summer ski area of the resort, which is just beneath the impressive 3,500-meter Pointe du Montet, on the gorgeous Pissaillas glacier.
Le Solaise is the centre of the skiing area and is usually the busiest as it is ideal for beginners. Le Solaise is divided into three main areas:;
First the Glaciers bowl, L and Mattis – Glaciers’ bowl, “L” and “Mattis” areas offer easy skiing on sunny wide slopes.
Going a bit more into the intermediate area, Madeleine, Arcelle and Manchet pistes are slopes with a bit more steepness and challenges. Last but not least, the Tete de Solaise is ideal for experienced skiers and can be quite a challenge when skiing down to the down to the village in the late afternoon. This trail is not easy so beginners should take the chairlift down to the village instead.
Bananas – Located at the bottom of La Face is Bananas, which is one of the more famous watering holes in the area.
The Pacific Bar – The Pacific Bar is another much loved bar and has a giant TV screen, and offers live music and open mic nights for visitors. Here you can enjoy a nice drink and delicious food before calling it a night at Val d’Isere.
XV (Bar 15) – This unique venue is half mountain hut, half rugby-club dressing room, where beer is served in rugby ball-shaped glasses.
Alexandra Bar – This has got to be the best snooker and pool venue at the resort. You also get to enjoy amazing mojitos and acoustic bands that make an appearance.
Le Graal – Located on Route de la Blanc, Le Graal is where the youngsters go to party. The pub also has a pretty good menu with the best burgers you’ll taste at Val d’Isere. Entry to Le Graal is free before midnight.
Coco Rico – Open from 2.00 to 4.00pm everyday,Coco Rico is another option for night time fun at the ski resort. The ‘Rock n Roll’ après bar is a favorite in Val d’Isère, located on the Place du Rond Point des Pistes near the Solaise gondola.
La Folie Douce – La Folie Douce near the Télécabine de la Daille, has to be the epitome of open air clubbing. La FolieDouce is notorious for table dancing, Europop and cabaret shows Enjoy a cabaret show and DJ daily from 3.00 to 5.00 pm.
Le Doudoune – Located at Central Val, right under Coco Rico, Le Doudoune is a unique night club that opens from 11 pm onwards each night. With free entry before midnight the nightclub is known for hosting some of the best parties in the Alps with regular superstar guest DJs such as David Guetta and Rudimental performing. Le Doudoune also offers a free night bus around the resort so that you reach your hotel room safely.
Other bars include
• Grande Marnier at Place des Dolomites
• Café Face at Immeuble Christiania (Central Val)
• Morris Pub at Val Centre
• Victors Bar and Restaurant at Heart of Val d’Isère
• Saloon Bar at Avenue des Téléphériques
• La Petit Danois at Chalet le Coins (Val Centre)
• The Blizzard Hotel Bar
Although Val d’Isere is predominantly earned its reputation as being one of the finest Places to go skiing, there are certainly other activities to attend to besides alpine skiing. Val d’isere has many different forms of events to offer over the course of a season. it is therefore well adviced to stay tuned on the website to stay up to date with latest concerts, movie premiere or event related to various competitions from the alpine world cup tour.
Val d’Isere is also home to one of the best cross-country ski trails you will find in France. There are mainly two ways in which these trails can be explored. Classic is for beginners who can ski in two parallel grooves, while Skating is the more difficult option, and involves using poles to gain momentum through the ski trails. Boots and ski equipment are available for hire from the sports shops. More information on the many sports shops at Val d’Isere here.
The Winter Biathlon is another exciting way of enjoying your stay at the Val d’Isere skiing resort. Made of a combination of rifle shooting and cross-country skiing, this event not only tests stamina but also one’s skills on the snow. Normally an Olympic sport, visitors can also take part in the Biathlon at the Val d’Isere ski resort. The timed rifle-shooting at tilted targets is safe for children aged seven and above.
The main draw for Val d’Isere is the skiing. The destination has a range of off-piste areas for skiing or snowboarding apart from the Espace Killy to ski or go tobogganing in. The skiing destination is well known for its ski tours. Ski down or through the pistes, or tackle a back country route to make the most of your vacation at Val d’Isere. A number of English speaking ski schools, including ICE, a BASI Partner training center, runs Gap-year courses, instructor training and performance courses for all levels of skiers.
“New Generation” Ski school variety of lessons for both the beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The service offers adult group sessions, teen group sessions, and children group sessions along with off piste introduction and advanced skiing courses for those who are interested. It is advised to book a program before hand, especially during peak months.
Out of the 18 ski schools at the ski resort, Oxygene ski school is undoubtedly the crowd favorite. The Ski School has English-speaking instructors, and offers a number of classes for different skill levels. This is the preferred ski school for kids and adults.
“Alpine Experience”, is a team of experienced ski professionals who specialize in off-piste guiding in Espace Killy and its surrounding areas. One of the team members also includes Henry Schniewind, the creator of HAT, which is now world-renowned for avalanche presentations in UK, Europe and USA & Canada.
“Mountain Masters”, is a specialist ski school, run by British and French ski instructors offering classes for adults and children alike.
It happens at night and the temporary snow arena is lit all evening. Anyone can meet up and watch the booted ponies prancing from the sidelines.
The resort also hosts men’s and women’s competitions of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup every year, and the annual winter sporting event GEM Altisgliss Challenge, which is a contest between over a thousand students from around 30 schools, organized by the Grenoble School of Management.
Visitors can sit back and admire the view from a helicopter. Helicopter tours are carried out daily and allow visitors to enjoy the stunning views of the Alps.
You can also be in charge of your own sledge and take a tour around the Val d’Isere ski resort with a group of huskies. Before you get started, a professional trainer will show you exactly how to stop or start before you take over the reins of the husky driven sledges. These only run from December to April though!
There’s also an ice driving circuit at La Daille where the family can enjoy driving through or Go Karting on the ice.
Those who have never tried paragliding will have a chance to experience the picturesque views from up to 30 feet above the ground. Oxygene and Evolution 2 are the paragliding specialists that operate from within Val d’Isere.
Val d’Isere also features an outdoor skating rink that’s open all week but is dependent on the ice conditions. Visitors can purchase a week-long pass for a reasonable 22 euros. The skating equipment is available to rent on location.
Depending on the age of your child, there are a number of childcare options available in Val d’Isere. There are numerous babysitting and nursery facilities available in the area. If you want your kid to ski like a professional (some day!), then you’d want to get them enrolledinto one of the many ski schools at Val d’Isere. The ski schools teach children according to age, so find out the age group of a particular ski school. The main nursery ski area for children and beginners is at the bottom of the Solaise lift. There is also a nursery area with free lift in the village of La Daille, and at the top of the Solaise lift. It is also possible to hire baby ski equipment such as sledges, buggies and snow shoes at Val d’Isere.
Le Village des Enfants is a holiday day center with lunch time catering for children age 18 months to 13 years located at Rond Point Des Pistes, Val d’Isère. Read more about Le Village des Enfants here.
Jelly & Ice Cream is a private nanny and babysitting service situated in Tignes & Val d’Isère. Their aim is to ensure your child is well looked after, leaving you free to enjoy your skiing. Read more about Jelly & Ice Cream day care here.