Val-d’Isère is a famous ski resort located in the French Alps, very close to the Italian border. Together with Tignes, it forms the Espace Killy ski area, close to the Grande Motte glacier.
Tourists from all over Europe are enchanted by the state-of-the-art infrastructure alongside picturesque alpine chalets, surrounded by magical and majestic mountains. Nestled in the Vanoise National Park, Val d’Isere amazes with its impressive panoramas, lakes and glaciers bordering Italy.
Magnificent trails, expanses of alpine flowers or glistening snow, unspoilt landscapes and a beautiful alpine environment await you, suitable for sports all year round.
The ski slopes of Val-d’Isère have always been the scene of the greatest sports competitions: the Olympic Games, the Criterium de la première neige, the World Ski Championships held on the Oreiller Killy slope or the Face Olympique de Bellevarde slope.
But above all, they are a popular destination for all snow sports enthusiasts. In fact, the area boasts 300 km of slopes:
The various sectors are linked by 90 ultra-modern lifts, including the famous 3-cable gondola, the 3S Olimpique, and the 8-seater Tommeuses chairlift: with 4 cable cars, 45 chairlifts, 35 ski lifts, 4 gondolas, 2 funiculars.
The slopes are divided into 3 main interconnected sectors, the Vallon de l’Iseran, Solaise and Rocherde Bellevarde, where the downhill races are held: here you will find the black slope Epaule du Charvet and the former Olympic Volto, both very steep.
The Val-d’Isère ski resort was born in 1931 when the first cable car was put into service. Since then, the success of Val-d’Isère has experienced an unparalleled crescendo.
What has made the valley so famous is a winning combination of unique characteristics: the location of the resort, high up in the Vanoise massif, gives this area abundant and good quality snow, so much so that Val d’Isère was chosen to host the 2009 World Ski Championships.
Ski mountaineering is an increasingly popular and practised activity in Val-d’Isère: it is a sport dedicated to expert skiers, who know how to follow basic safety rules, equip themselves with the appropriate equipment and keep informed about the weather and avalanche risk.
In this valley, it is possible to climb the Solaise mountain via the signposted path at the height of the Savonnette ski lift. You will have to follow the signs on the trees and climb over 400 metres of altitude difference in the middle of the forest.
There are two routes that are very famous and popular with ski mountaineers:
Val d’Isère is the ideal place to practice off-piste skiing: you will discover unspoilt slopes thanks to its geographical location, which guarantees exceptional snow cover. Off-piste skiing allows you to escape, to take time to observe the mountain in all its immensity: you can ski freely, in a virgin, silent and magical space.
The best off-piste skiing can be experienced in January and in March/April with spring skiing. Remember to always be accompanied by a mountain professional, who will help you discover the best off-piste areas in the region and inform you of the dangers of skiing in unmarked and unprotected areas.
Don’t miss the itineraries Col Pers, Col de Premov, Col du Montets and Vallon de la Sache.
Located on the other side of Bellevarde, in the Mont Blanc valley (2500 m), access to the Val d’Isère snowpark is quick and easy.
From Val d’Isère, one opts for the La Daille funicular or the Olympique cable car, then descends to the Marmottes or Borsat chairlift (via the Orange, Diebold or Verte slopes). Finally, take the Snowpark ski lift or the Mont Blanc chairlift.
Speedriding is a mix of skiing and paragliding: you speed down the slopes attached to a glider, in total safety.
The only requirement for learning the pleasure of these gliding flights is to have an adequate level of skiing. The rest is just pure fun. Val d’Isère has one of the best Speed Ride learning and training areas in the world.
This perfect configuration is due to the slope gradient (blue to reddish), the favourable wind direction, the weather and the safety of the snow. The test area is well connected by chairlift and allows for highly repetitive training.
In the Daille sector, the frost remains throughout the winter, creating a beautiful illuminated waterfall from 6pm to 10pm. This natural wall is perfect for learning ice climbing: lessons are given by resort guides who will enable you to progress safely on this wall frozen by the bitter cold.
You will be provided with crampons, technical ice axes and harnesses to embark on this unique experience.
Even those who do not know how to ski can have fun on the snow using the toboggan runs. To the left of the Savonette lift, an area is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who want to have fun in safety.
Tobogganing is an activity that can be practised from 7 to 77 years of age: pure fun.
Open all year round, the Vanoise National Park offers a multitude of routes to discover the beauty of the landscape, fauna and flora. Located at the gateway to Val d’Isère, it offers varied itineraries with grandiose views of Italy and the surrounding peaks.
Accessible to all types of hikers, the routes cross the mountains amidst rich vegetation (more than 1,200 plant species), passing through characteristic slate-roofed villages and arriving at the top of the highest peaks in Savoie. The strict regulations governing the park benefit the animals that live here in peace and quiet. It is therefore not uncommon to encounter ibexes, chamois, marmots, black grouse and partridges along the way.
The most famous walk, lasting three hours, is the circuit of the 7 chapels: from the heart of the village, it winds its way past its historic chapels, built by the mountain communities to invoke divine help in the face of adversity, such as avalanches, bad harvests, storms, epidemics and the passage of armies. To make this circuit fun, a treasure hunt is offered for children from 6 to 10 years old, using a didactic booklet that tells the story of the mountain communities. By returning the questionnaire to the Tourist Office, children can receive a small gift to reward them at the end of the circuit.
The Manchet valley is one of the unmissable places in Val d’Isère. The trail, which is wide enough even for pushchairs, is ideal for family outings.
Also worth a try is the walk from Fornet to Pont St Charles: facing the Galise, this easy hike gives a glimpse of numerous waterfalls and it is not uncommon to come across herds of chamois or ibex. Children will be delighted.
Lovers of rich mountain cuisine will not miss the opportunity to combine physical activity with a taste of local dishes. After the 1.7 km loop along the Lac de l’Ouillette, you can relax on the sunny terrace of the Ouillette restaurant, enjoying grilled meat and contemplating the panorama of the surrounding peaks. The lake can be reached with the Solaise cable car (free of charge), or by car via the Col de l’Iseran road or via hiking trails with 660 m of altitude difference.
Starting at the end of the Manchet valley, a 30-minute walk leads to the Arsellaz chalet: Marie-Pierre and her family prepare excellent grilled dishes and a sublime blueberry tart for dessert.
An excursion not to be missed is to reach the Solaise refuge and spend a night in the highest hotel in France, at 2,551 metres above sea level: the refuge offers a grandiose spectacle with breathtaking views of the mountain range, the perfect place to admire sunrises and sunsets. Guests can make use of the spa facilities: 25 m long swimming pool, jacuzzi and hammam. The hut is accessible just like Lac de l’Ouillette from the Col de l’Iseran road, the Arolle Millénaire trail and the Solaise cable car.
Val-d’Isère is nestled among the highest and most beautiful mountains in France. In summer, the panoramic trails lend themselves to unparalleled views.
The Col de la lose trail is a beautiful hike across the Prariond plateau, at the foot of the Col de la Galise and the glaciers of the Isère sources. If you are lucky, you might even come across the Alpine ibex. The recently renovated Prariond refuge on the plateau of the same name is worth a diversion: its large terrace offers a unique panoramic view, where you can sample organic and local products.
The Col des Fours hike from the Manchet is 13 km long, classified as difficult, where mountain lovers will discover fauna, flora and magnificent viewpoints. For a little refreshment or a snack, the Fond des Fours refuge located on the trail welcomes you from June to September.
The Col de la Bailleta trail from Le Fornet is a sustained, difficult, all uphill hike with a rare landscape at the finish. This 6-hour and 30-minute itinerary allows you to visit the Bailleta nature reserve.
Also not to be missed is the Balcon path: starting from the Place de l’Office de Tourisme, you climb up to reach the path on the mountainside. The effort of tackling the difference in altitude is rewarded by a breathtaking view of the village, Solaise and Bellevarde.
If the valley is frequented in winter mainly by snow and ski enthusiasts, in summer hiking enthusiasts gather in Val-d’Isére, attracted by the immense mountains that surround it. Its proximity to the Parc de la Vanoise provides access to a vast area, rich in alpine vegetation and wild animals.
The presence of the Pisaillas glacier also makes skiing possible in Val-d’Isére in the height of the summer season, which normally starts in mid-June: at this time, the access road to Col de l’Iseran opens and the Cascade chairlift and Montet ski lift come into operation.
The slopes open during the Col de l’Iseran opening period are Moraine, Pisaillas, Montet, Champions (reserved for training), Pers and Roche (both reserved for training).
Considered the highest road pass in the Alps, the Col de l’Iseran, at an altitude of 2770 m, is one of the mythical stages of the Tour de France. Starting from Val d’Isère or Bourg-Saint-Maurice, take on the challenge of the Route des Grandes Alpes to discover an area with an exceptional natural and cultural heritage. The most experienced will climb on their road bikes for a sporty ascent, while the others can access the pass gently.
To discover all the trails available in the mountains, you will have to access the Val d’Isère Bike Park: accessible to both beginners and experienced cyclists, suitable for all downhill, enduro, cross-country, and e-Bike, it has 160 km of mountain bike trails. Several lifts operating in the summer provide access to the departure points of the various routes, as well as a shuttle service departing from Les Brévières.
If you don’t feel up to tackling the climbs, you can use the e-bike, the electrically-assisted bicycle: on the Rocher de Bellevarde there is a 200 km Bike Park with 50 km of e-bike trails between Val d’Isère and Tignes: the most famous are the 7 Chapels circuit and the circuit from the foot of the Borsat to Col de Fresse.
Paragliding is a fun activity that is accessible to all, both beginners, who can book their tandem baptism with an instructor, and experienced sportspeople.
Usually, take-off is from Solaise, then ascend from Bellevarde for a fresh start and land in the heart of the Front de Neige.
Val-d’Isère is very close to the Italian border, just a stone’s throw from Piedmont. To reach Val-d’Isère by car, all you have to do is cross the Frejus tunnel, a toll tunnel in the province of Turin, one of the most important transalpine links between France and Italy. Once on French territory, there are signs leading into the valley.
If, on the other hand, you wish to travel by train, you will have to arrive at the Bourg Saint Maurice station, 30 km from the centre of Val d’Isere and then continue by taxi or bus to the ski resort. Bourg Saint Maurice is served by many high-speed trains, including the TGV, Eurostar and Thalys.
If you live far from the border, you might consider arriving in Val-d’Isère by plane. The nearest airports are Grenoble Airport 210 km away, Geneva Airport in Switzerland 223 km away and Lyon Airport 221 km away, all of which can be reached in about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Located in the Vanoise massif in Savoie, Val d’Isère is a popular winter sports holiday destination. But Val d’Isère’s success is not only due to its huge ski area, but also to its mountain village atmosphere that gives it a timeless charm.
Attracting many visitors in all seasons, Val d’Isère offers a wide choice of accommodation, ranging from independent flats to charming chalets to luxury hotels with spa and wellness centre.
For a stay full of authentic Savoyard charm, the old village is the ideal place to stay in Val d’Isère. You will be able to experience all the ancient atmosphere of the village with its church, its traditional stone and wood houses and its narrow streets, and at the same time have all the essential services for your stay close at hand: cinema, shops, restaurants and bars. All just a stone’s throw from the ski slopes. There are also many family activities in the centre, such as the aquasport centre, perfect after a day of outdoor sports.
In addition, the old village offers a very wide choice of accommodation to suit all needs: by booking your hotel in advance, you can access the best rates, especially if you are planning a stay during the high season.
Val d’Isère is divided into several hamlets, one of which is called La Daille, at the gates of the resort. This urban district has a collection of buildings dating back to the 1970s and is an ideal place to stay during a family holiday. In fact, the most convenient accommodation is concentrated here.
In addition, the district boasts an optimal location for skiing enthusiasts: you have direct access to the Espace Val-d’Isère ski area thanks to the ski lifts.
For those in search of peace and quiet, we recommend accommodation in the small hamlets of Laisinant and Le Fornet. A little more out of the way, these residential areas favour a quiet stay.
Nature lovers will particularly appreciate the easy and close access to trails used for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Alpine skiing enthusiasts will also be pleased, thanks to the presence of the Laisinant chairlift that serves most of the slopes.
The residential areas of Châtelard, Joseray and La Léguettaz are located in the heart of the ski area. These villages are privileged places to sleep in Val d’Isère for ski enthusiasts looking for mountain accommodation. Although only a few minutes’ walk from the village centre, there are many chalets for rent, residences or even Club Med in Val d’Isère.
What's the weather at Val-d’Isère? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Val-d’Isère for the next few days.
Val-d'Isère is located in the department of Savoie, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.