As avid alpine aficionados when it came time to find a headquarters, we couldn’t have set up shop anywhere but the mountains. From late-November until early-May all of our staff are proud to call Val d’Isere our adopted home.
Even though Val d’Isere is well-known to skiers around the world, below you’ll find 9 little known facts we put together to celebrate the season opening this past weekend.
Use these facts to impress your mates at apres-ski, break an awkward chairlift silence or simply to kill a few minutes of time in your day to day routine, thereby bringing you that tiny bit closer to your next ski holiday!
Little Known Facts About Val d’Isere:
1 – Val d’Isere’s church predates the American Revolution.
The famous Church in the old village was built in 1664, making it 112 years older than the United States of America!
2 – Snow cover is guaranteed in Val d’Isere.
Val d’Isère guarantees snow from November to May thanks to the largest snowmaking facility in Europe – The Snow Factory. It cost €3 million to build and can produce 2,500m3 of environmentally-friendly artificial snow in just one hour – enough to cover an entire football pitch in two metres of snow!
3 – The pistes make your morning commute look tiny!
Val d’Isere and Tignes have 300km of pistes – equivalent to skiing from London to Sheffield!
4 – Val-d’Isere – Tignes covers a lot of ground.
The Val d’Isère – Tignes ski area is huge! It covers an area of 10,000 hectares – about the size of Liverpool!
5 – Endangered wildlife call Val d’Isere home.
On the brink of extinction in Europe, the bone-eating Bearded Vulture was re-introduced to specific areas of the Alps. Two males and one female now live in the cliffs above La Daille.
6 – Val d’Isere has been the star of multiple video games.
Val d’Isère was a hot setting for video games! In 1994 saw Val d’Isère Challenge released for the Super Nintendo, Val d’Isère Skiing and Snowboarding followed on the Atari Jaguar in 1995, and in 2002 Val d’Isère Park Manager for Windows ’98.
7 – Val d’Isere looks great on camera.
Val d’Isère has often been the backdrop for features on both the big and small screens including Absolutely Fabulous, Top Gear, and several of famous French director Luc Besson’s films including The Big Blue.
8 – Val d’Isere has history.
Inhabited by farming communities since before Roman Empire existed, the farming tradition continues today in Val d’Isère. At the restaurant L’Étable d’Alain (better known as The Fromagerie) you can see the local cows who produce the cheese for your fondues and raclettes through the window as they live right next door!
9 – It’s home to world-famous champions.
When you ski in Val d’Isère you are literally following in the tracks of legends as Val was home to triple Olympic gold medallist Jean-Claude Killy, has hosted Olympic events (1992), the World Championships (2009), and the World Cup Critérium de la Première Neige (every year since 1955).