Jake Morris - Ski Expert"The infamous 'Face' is a must ski/snowboard run for the more advanced riders, Plan Millet in the Solaise area is great for carving/cruising down as well. For Apres ski either head to the Folie or Cocorico and then Dick's Tea Bar until the early hours - good luck!"
Val d’Isere has been a firm favourite with the Brits, not only for its chocolate box chalets and village centre but also the après ski and nightlife. The ski area (Espace Killy) has something for everyone, from free access to the nursery slopes to some epic off-piste terrain.
Val d’Isere is made up of three main areas, up the valley towards Italy is Le Fornet, ‘Val Village’ in the centre and La Daille is down the valley and closest to Tignes. All three areas are linked with a very regular and free bus service (the Train Rouge) so wherever you stay it’s easy to get around.
Val d’Isere is known for its party atmosphere as much as it’s skiing and has many bars to choose from for après ski, after dinner and nightclubs. Worth a mention are Café Face for the après ski where the beer starts at 2€ at 4 pm and goes up each hour, Blue Note where free nibbles are available from 3-5pm and Saloon and the Moris Pub often has live music.
SKI AREA OVERVIEW
Named after Jean-Claude Killy the triple Olympic champion, this vast ski area offers over 300km of pistes. From Le Fornet to Tignes les Brevieres you would be hard pushed to cover the area in a week, let alone a weekend!
With the Pissaillas Glacier in Le Fornet at the top of the valley, the Solaise ski area in the middle and Bellevarde area towards Tignes, all areas offer different ski routes back down to the village, for those who don’t want to get the lift down. Although some of these runs are marked green on the piste map, some parts of them may feel quite steep to novice skiers, so if your legs are tired we recommend the lift.
If your skiing is up to it there are a few challenging black runs in the Espace Killy, including the infamous ‘Face’ run on the Bellevarde side which comes back into the village and was used for the mens downhill in the 1992 Winter Olympics as well as the 2009 World Championships.
The Pissaillas Glacier in Le Fornet also offers skiing in the summer, as does the Grande Motte above Tignes.
- If you are up and out early enough start your day in Le Fornet and ski right across the ski area to the bottom of Tignes Les Brevieres. You can either take the blues into Tignes Val Claret and Tignes Le Lac or the black straight to Le Lac.
- If you are a keen off-piste skier then Val d’Isere has lots to offer. There is a choice of expert ski schools who offer guidance and we can help you pre-book in advance.
- The local market on a Monday is where you can pick up some bargains from a new fleece or goggles to local delicacies from the cheese counter or sausage stall!
- The new aqua sports centre is certainly worth a visit to enjoy the Jacuzzi, massage jets, bubble beds or float around the current stream. Entry is free with certain lift passes (although some areas of the aqua centre may incur an extra upgrade cost).
- For a hot chocolate to remember, visit Maison Chevallot, the boulangerie on the main street for a super-rich velvety pit stop. Their cakes are worth a look too!