Resort Guide: Val d’Isère
🌲 Resort height: 2100m
🏔️ Highest point: 3450m
🗺️ Total ski area: 300km
❄️ Season Dates: November- May
⛷️ Slopes: 163
🎿 Snow Parks: 2
🟢 Green runs: 13%
🔵 Blue runs: 41%
🔴 Red runs: 25%
⚫️ Black runs: 18%
Live Weather in Val d’Isère:
✈️ Getting to Val d’Isère:
The usual access point to Val d’Isère is Geneva Airport which is 222km and a three hour drive away. Lyon St. Exupery Airport is a similar distance from Val d’Isère and also offers good international connections. Chambery Airport is a shorter transfer at just 144km and under two hours on the road but offers fewer regular flights.
Children’s ski lessons in Val d’Isère
Children can begin to ski in small group classes from the age of three in Val d’Isère with top schools like PDS, Prosneige and New Generation. Most ski schools and independent ski instructors will also begin to teach children from the age of three in private classes.
Lessons for very young children and beginners all take place directly on the snowfront in Val d’Isère on the free nursery slopes where they’ll learn the basics of skiing from how to stand on skis, to snowplough turns, to how the all important lesson of how to stop!
Older children and those going beyond their first steps on snow may venture to the beginner’s area on top of the Solaise sector which features very short ‘bunny hill’ type slopes to long, undulating green and blue runs which are fantastic place for children to progress.
That’s not to say that all children’s ski lessons are tame! Once kids have been skiing for a couple of weeks they can begin racing or even take their first laps through the snowpark. Many children’s lessons will also end the week with a medal or a certificate for your child to take home as a souvenir of their time on the snow.
Val d’Isère for Beginners
Although you won’t find Val d’Isère on many “Best Resorts for Beginners” lists, it is arguably one of the best places in the Alps to learn how to ski. Despite a wealth of excellent off-piste and expert terrain, Val d’Isère has three dedicated beginner’s areas – two of which are completely free to use, and one which is available to access with a reduced-price lift pass.
The main snowfront aka. The Rond-Point-des-Pistes is the flat section where you’ll find two of Val d’Isère’s main lifts – the Olympique and the Solaise gondolas – as well as the largest of the free beginner’s areas.
Serviced by a free chair lift (Village) and a free drag lift (Savonette) this sector has some short, gentle inclines perfectly suited to learning the basics of skiing. If you’re staying in the hamlet of La Daille, just out of the main town, you’ll also find a free drag lift servicing a small slope which will inevitably be just steps away from your door.
Rather than resign beginners to a life at resort level, Val d’Isère – unlike many other resorts – also offers an expansive beginners area (with astounding views) 2550m above sea level!
In the summer of 2016 Val d’Isère completely re-developed the top of the Solaise sector and transformed it into a beginners paradise with very gentle short runs served by magic-carpet lifts, long green runs like the Madeleine which is completely reserved for those new to skiing, and several undulating blue runs which are an ideal place to get your first taste for a bit more speed.
Val d’Isère for Intermediates
Intermediates will likely enjoy themselves most on the Solaise sector as well as in the Fornet, including it’s Pissaillas Glacier. One thing to watch out for in Val d’Isère is the true difficulty of the homeruns.
What is labelled as a blue would likely be a (difficult) red in another resort and the reds are closer to blacks. At the end of the day it’s probably a better idea to take the lift down than it is to ski – especially with tired legs or a couple glasses of rosé in your system.
Val d’Isère for Experts
Advanced and expert skiers in Val d’Isère will find themselves spoilt for choice with famous black runs – like La Face de Bellevarde which hosted the men’s downhill in the 1992 Olympics and is used every winter in the FIS World Cup ‘Criterium de la Premiere Neige’ – and some of the world’s best lift-served off piste. From the Grand Vallon, to Pisteurs Couloir off-piste aficionados are sure to find something to tickle their fancy.
Val d’Isère for Off-Piste
Val d’Isère has a great array of easily accessible off-piste routes. Head up to the Bellevarde side of the Mountain which has three main off-piste routes on offer: The Banana, the Charvet Tour and The Face du Charvet.
The Col Pers cannot be missed if you are an avid off-piste skier, this route starts at the Pissaillas Glacier through the Gorges de Malpasset and finishes at le Fornet cable car.
The Piste Perdu, also known as the lost valley, is a unique, fun and challenging off-piste route. If you feel like navigating your way down a narrow canyon through rocks and branches, then this is definitely the off-piste for you!
We would always recommend taking a Guide when going Off Piste. Qualified professionals can guide you safely down many routes suitable for your level.
Val d’Isère for Non-Skiers
If you’re an avid skier but your partner isn’t, don’t worry, Val d’Isere has you covered. In the town centre, there is a great sports centre including a swimming pool and an ice skating rink. There are also great opportunities for winter walking and many of the mountain lunch spots are accessible by foot, just hop on the gondola and meet the rest of your family for lunch.
Explore SkiBro’s range of non-ski related activities, such as snowshoeing and dog-sledding in Val d’Isere!
The Espace Killy serves the perfect summer skiing destination with the Glacier du Pissaillas in Val d’Isère and the Grande Motte Glacier in Tignes at an altitude of 3,656m and offers 20km of pistes. Open in mid-June this wonderful summer ski area is great for all skiers, from beginners to free-riders.
If you’re a fan of après-ski, Val d’Isere is the place to be. Head to la Folie Douce on the slopes or down to Coco-Ricos for a dance, a drink and some music!
Not only can you enjoy one, two or many glasses of wine right on the slopes or in town, but you’ll also be accompanied by live music, circus tricks and big mountain parties.
Wanting to feel like a local amongst the instructors, head to Coin des Aimes. In the heart of the town, it offers you a bustling local vibe of drinks, music and laughter.
Finish your night in Dicks Tea-Bar where renowned DJs ensure that the dance floors are full until five in the morning!