Val d’Isère Ski Resort Guide

With some world-famous runs, epic off piste and vibrant nightlife Val d’Isère has deservedly earned a reputation as one of the world’s best ski resorts. And it’s easy to see why. With neighbouring resort Tignes it forms the Espace Killy ski area, renowned for it’s high altitude terrain, and the resultant impressive snow record. Although it’s not just the altitude that makes Val d’Isère such a snowy wonderland. It’s helped by its location alongside the Italian peaks just over the Col d’Iseran. Word is this creates it’s very only microclimate, such that all the surrounding resorts can have clear skies when it’s dumping in Val d’Isère and the wider Espace Killy. Which is great news for powder hounds! And for skiers and boarders of all levels in fact. As even in very dry seasons across Europe Val d’Isère seems to retain a good covering throughout the season which normally runs here through ‘til May. No wonder we decided to open a ski school in Val d’Isère!

Aside from the amazing snow, what is that brings holidaymakers flocking to Val d’Isère? The variety of pistes certainly help. And although Val d’Isère is often touted as an advanced resort there are still a number of beginner areas as well as plenty of blues to keep the intermediates happy. The other thing that Val d’Isère offers is a picture postcard town centre and bustling nightlife to keep people of all ages partying long after the lifts are shut!

Val d’Isère has three main areas: Val d’Isere Centre (1850m), Le Fournet and La Daille. La Daille is the first little village you come to after leaving the mountain road. And although not the prettiest of villages due to its towering apartment blocks it does offer value for money accommodation for the more money conscious visitors and is ideally located in between Val d’Isère and Tignes. In contrast, Le Fournet is the quaint village just after the main town of Val d’Isère which still shows it’s roots to the area’s farming past. Buildings are chalets here are built using traditional stone and wood, as is the Savoyard tradition. The area of Le Fournet is also the gateway to some of the best off piste in Val d’Isère, making it an ideal base to clock up some serious ski miles!

Find the lesson that suits you with our Val d’Isère Ski School.

Val d’Isère Resort Information

Val d’Isère Key Facts

  • Part of the Espace Killy with links to Tignes
  • 150km pistes in Val d’Isère and 300km within the Espace Killy
  • 14 green runs
  • 29 blue runs
  • 26 red runs
  • 11 black Runs

Val d’Isère & Espace Killy Piste Map

Espace Killy Piste Map

Click on the image to download a high res Val d’Isère and Espace Killy piste map.

Recent Val d’Isère Blog Posts

Best Après Ski in Val d'Isère

The Best Après Ski in Val d'Isère

Head out with us on a whistle-stop tour of the best après ski in Val d’Isère.There is possibly nothing better than a tasty beverage after a great day skiing, and I think the majority of Val d’Isère would agree with me on this. Come…

Skiing in Val d’Isère

Best Ski Runs in Val d’Isère – our pick of the bunch

Val d’Isère and neighbouring resort Tignes form the infamous ski area of The Espace Killy. They offer 300km of pistes to explore with natural and high-speed links between the entire area, making queues unusual except in the busiest weeks.

For intermediates, Espace Killy offers a wide range of terrain and a number of nursery slopes for those starting out. But it’s for the more advanced that the area stands out from the crowd. With 25 black runs, including the well-known Face and endless off-piste, Val d’Isère really is a mecca for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The terrain here is steep so it’s said that a blue in Val is likened more to an easy red elsewhere so take it easy on day one.

The ski area of Val d’Isère is split into four main areas: Solaise, Bellevarde, Le Fournet and La Daille. Then there is much more to explore over in Tignes including the Grande Motte glacier so you’ll certainly earn that cheese feast for lunch!

For Beginners:

  • Beginner Areas – There are three designated beginner areas: one in the centre of resort, one in La Daille and up the top of Solaise.

For Intermediates:

  • Solaise – Ski the blues around the top of Solaise before taking the lift down.
  • Col d’Iseran – Ski down from the top of the Col d’Iseran from the top of Le Fournet.

For Advanced:

  • La Face – The famous run is not for the faint of heart, but definitely worth a go.
  • Le Fournet – Head here to explore the incredible off-piste terrain.

Val d’Isère Restaurants

Best Cheap Eats

  • Victors – Warm and relaxing atmosphere of this restaurant situated inside Langley Ski Lodge. Serving a mix of Asian dishes, grilled meats and a delicious burger that we recommend.
  • Chez Paulo – Quality Italian food with a huge variety of pizzas, pasta & lasagnas. Beware it does get quite busy here.

Mid Range

  • Le Lodge – They’ve got something for everyone at the traditional Le Lodge. Savoyard dishes, meats, fish and pizzas – all for a reasonable price.
  • Fondue Factory – A unique fondue experience in this concept restaurant. Decorated in vintage ski equipment mixed with a modern, Alpine feel, you can enjoy one of their  15 different types of fondue on the menu. And then cap it off with chocolate fondue dessert!
  • La Casserole – A classic, cozy Savoyard restaurant to get some local favourites. Raclette, tartiflette, croziflette, and fondues are all on the menu along with their signature ‘Casseroles du Chef’.
  • Tavern d’Alsace – French cuisine and Alsacian regional dishes with a varied menu and relaxed atmosphere. Situated inside the Hotel Kandahar.

Fine Dining

  • La Baraque – High-quality food, great ambiance, and live music – you really can’t go wrong. They serve a mixture of French and international cuisine. You will pay a bit more here for your meal, but it’s definitely worth it!
  • L’Atelier d’Edmond – If you really want to splurge, check out this Michelin star restaurant in Le Fornet. With set menus starting from 125€.

Val d’Isère Après & Nightlife

Amongst amazing skiing and delicious food, Val d’Isère also knows how to party.

You will not be a loss for some great après and nightlife spots in Val. Here are our favourites.

  • Cocorico – A stint in Val isn’t complete without an après at Cocorico. Head here for live music and then DJ until 8 PM closing.
  • Chez Jules “Le Coin Des Amis” – A great atmosphere in centre which locals and tourists both love. Head here for an après session.
  • Fall Line – Après and nightlife. Often have live music and events. Try the Espresso martinis and flat white martinis.
  • Dicks Tea Bar – Always a winner if into nightlife. Younger crowd with great DJs.
  • Doudoune – Situated just below Cocorico. Club 21 – Best on 21st of each month. Always a great party. Many big names come to do sets recently such as Rudimental, Mark Wright and Roger Sanchez.

A bit of History

Val d’Isère, which lies 5km from the border of Italy, first became a ski resort in 1933 with the opening of its first hotel L’Hôtel Parisien. Charles Diebold was a key figure in opening the resort as he was the first to create his own ski school. The following year the Col de l’Iseran opened, enabling tourists to arrive from different directions which opened new opportunities for the resort. The tourist industry therefore boomed and Val d’Isère was put on the map.

During the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics, the Face de Bellevarde in Val d’Isère was the site of the men’s downhill race. The ski area of Val d’Isère and Tignes forms the Espace Killy, named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy who actually grew up in Val d’Isère. 

The self-titled ‘Most Beautiful Ski Area in the World’ is not far from the truth! To this day it remains a charming alpine environment although it has, of course, grown largely over the past few years. The ski area is particularly challenging but there are plenty of wide, easily navigable pistes for those who are beginners or intermediates. There is also an extensive selection of off-piste which will keep an experienced skier busy for months.

val d'Isère map

Val d’Isère FAQ’s

Where can I stay in resort?

These are some of our favourite tour operators in Val d’Isère:

Le Ski
Chalet holiday specialists. They have a range of chalets in Val d’Isère. Highly recommended. Great for groups. They recently put in a large hot tub!

Hip Hideouts
Catered chalet holidays.

Scott Dunn
Holidays without compromise. Chalets at the ‘higher’ end of the market.

VIP Ski
Luxury catered chalets.

Alpine Elements
Run a small operation in Val d’Isère with two great chalets.

Powder White
Chalet holidays ‘tailor-made for you’.

Ski Val
More than 40 years ski holiday & ski chalet experience.

Highlife
2 chalets in Val d’Isere – all fitted with ‘detox facilities’ including log fires, hot tubs, and saunas!

Skiworld
A number of good value chalet hotels in Val d’Isère. The staff always make it a wicked holiday for their guests.

Project Ski
Self-catered apartments and a catering service!

YSE
One of the original chalet companies in Val d’Isère. YSE has twenty of Val d’Isère’s best chalets, from comfortable to sumptuous.

Consensio
Luxury catered ski chalets.

As well as some agents with whom you can book stays in Val d’Isère:

Alpine Answers
Free ski holiday booking service in 150+ resorts. Over 1,200 chalets and hundreds of hotels ranging in size from 2 to 200 people.

Altitude Holidays
Small, flexible, owner-run company.

Firefly Collection
Firefly Collection offers a cherry-picked selection of the finest luxury ski chalets, together with expert, impartial advice, and a complimentary concierge service.

Flexiski
Flexiski offers tailor-made holidays across the Alps.

Independent Mountain
Catered and Self Catered Chalets & Apartments in the French Alps.

Carrier
Luxury tour operator.

Move Mountains Limited
Handpicked ski holidays.

Much Better Adventures
Active holidays direct from Independent Operators.

Oxford Ski Company
Arrange luxury ski holidays; chalets, apartments, hotels- whatever your heart desires.

Powder Beds
Ski accommodation specialists.

Ski Boutique
Luxury ski holiday agent offering the finest chalets and hotels with a VIP service from start to finish.

Ski Independence
Travel agent specialising in ski vacations.

Skiline
Ski Holiday Company – run by skiers for skiers.

Ski Solutions
Luxury ski resort travel and accommodation.

SNO
Ski deals and cheap holidays with the biggest tour operators in Val d’Isère.

Snowfinders
An up and coming ski agency who will find you exactly what you want! Best prices, best advice.

Alpenglow Ski
A specialist chalet agent with a wide range of catered chalets to suit all budgets.

Caramel Snow
A unique and personal service, going the extra mile to ensure your bespoke ski holiday is perfect.

Ski Boutique
Luxury ski holiday agent offering the finest chalets and hotels with a VIP service from start to finish.

Simply Val d’Isère
Specialist Accommodation Agent for the resort of Val d’Isère with 150 chalets, 300 apartments, and 30 hotels.

Where can I get my skis and snowboard equipment?

We recommend the following shop for ski hire in Val d’Isère:

Snowberry Val d’Isère
Snowberry is without a doubt the best place to hire your skis. They have top quality new equipment for all levels with added services in their Premium Range or rock bottom-deals on slightly older skis in the Low-Cost range. They have over 40 native English-speaking staff, professional boot fitting, unlimited changes, free overnight ski storage, and courtesy transport.

What is the snow like? Val d’Isere webcams

You can check out the latest snow conditions on the official Val d’Isere site.

Where can I find more information about Val d’Isere

Valdinet

A useful website with information about resort, as well as snow reports and useful tips and advice.

What about childcare?

We recommend the following nanny services in Val d’Isere:

T4 Nannies
T4 offers a private nanny service in Val d’Isere, Tignes, Meribel, Courchevel, La Tania, La Plagne, and La Rosiere. They hand pick nannies who share the belief that undivided attention, fun and getting involved are the key ingredients to a happy family holiday.

Boobird Childcare
Entwining passions for travelling and natural learning, each child’s holiday is filled with play and creativity. Parents can explore the mountains knowing their children are safely cared for.

Check out what our Val d’Isère Ski School has on offer