Long described as one of the world’s most “ideal” ski resorts, Val D’Isere is a long-time French Alps icon. It has amazing terrain and a truly charming village that provide visitors with a flawless setting for their ski holidays. It is connected to nearby Tignes, and together they create more than 300km of pistes and almost 95 lifts. And unlike many other resorts claiming to be connected, these two do not ask you to take long lifts or ski unappealing trails. Instead, they truly do connect via lovely pistes that require short distances and offer great scenery and conditions.
Ideal for beginners to experts, it sits much higher than many of its neighbors, with the village at 1850 meters and slopes topping out at an astonishing 3400 meters. The pistes here are noted for their impeccable grooming, while the modernity of the lifts is a constant source of praise.
For 2017, the resort introduces its new Solaise gondola that is a replacement for the outdated Solaise Express lift. The ten-person gondola has heated seats, WiFi and will allow more than 3,500 passengers to make their way up and down the mountain each hour. In addition to this new lift, there is also a wonderful new dining facility at the top.
Situated at such altitudes, the slopes provide excellent coverage, and good snow is such a guarantee that major global skiing events are held here every December.
It is understood that most the slopes here are for the intermediate to expert skiers, though there are nursery slopes available too. There are four sectors to ski, and two are reached right from the resort. Solaise is the first of the resort’s pistes and is accessible via the new gondola. It is a distinctly red rated run with some black trails. Bellevvarde is accessible from the Olympique gondola and is a challenging black downhill trail.
Le Fornet is at the western end of the resort and accessible via the ski bus or the pistes at Solaise. You can head up to the Pissaillas glacier or you can simply head back down through La Solaise. La Daille is at the eastern end of the resort and reached by bus. The pistes lead towards Tignes but also take you to the Funival funicular that leads to the top of Bellevard.
Nursery slopes are tucked all around the bottom of the resort, and there is another area at La Daille as well as the one situated on the slopes at Solaise. If you ride the Madeleine Express lift, it takes you to one of the gentlest slopes for beginners.
For the more adventurous, there is a terrain park. This is the Oakley Valpart that is tucked into the La Daille area of the resort. It sits at the bottom of the Marmottes lift, and requires the use of a separate lift to access the park. Guests are able to use the permanent racecourse, test themselves on the slalom or use the different trails contained within this park.
At the heart of the resort is the charming village, which actually dates to the 1600s. Interestingly enough, the town did not see much improvement or expansion until the 1990s and the Winter Olympics. One of Val D’Isere’s slopes, known as La Face, hosted several contests and this triggered many updates to the amenities, services and overall look of the village.
This is all great news to those who wish to ski Val D’Isere and discover for themselves just why so many flock here each winter to experience the amazing conditions and wonderful scenery.