Val d'Isere Ski Resort

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Val d
Val d'Isere is one of France's most famous ski resorts set in a gorgeous alpine valley
Ski Val d
Ski Val d'Isere's famous 'Face' run as fast as you can!
Val dʼIsère has amazing, diverse ski terrain including tree-lined pistes at La Daille
Val dʼIsère has amazing, diverse ski terrain including tree-lined pistes at La Daille
Glacier du Pissaillas is perfect & quiet on winter
Glacier du Pissaillas is perfect & quiet on winter's mornings, plus still opens in summer!
Linked with Tignes, Val d
Linked with Tignes, Val d'Isere is a huge ski area with a lifetime of freeride terrain to explore
The Solaise gondola rises up over Val dʼIsère ski resort village
The Solaise gondola rises up over Val dʼIsère ski resort village
Ski empty piste trails at Val d
Ski empty piste trails at Val d'Isere ski resort if you start early - snooze & you lose!
Val dʼIsère village retains some of its traditional charm
Val dʼIsère village retains some of its traditional charm
Modern lifts are du jour at Val d
Modern lifts are du jour at Val d'Isere like the Solaise gondola lit up by the vibrant nightlife
The famous La Folie Douce is one of many mountain bars at Val d
The famous La Folie Douce is one of many mountain bars at Val d'Isere ski resort
Glacier chair in the Solaise sector of Val d
Glacier chair in the Solaise sector of Val d'Isere serves the resort's best progressing beginner terrain
Steep freeride ski terrain above Laisinant at Val dʼIsère resort France
Steep freeride ski terrain above Laisinant at Val dʼIsère resort France
Olympique gondola takes skiers up 975m vertical to the top of the Bellevarde at Val dʼIsère
Olympique gondola takes skiers up 975m vertical to the top of the Bellevarde at Val dʼIsère
Signal surface tow is used to access fun off-piste freeride terrain at Val dʼIsère ski resort
Signal surface tow is used to access fun off-piste freeride terrain at Val dʼIsère ski resort
Soaking up the sun drinking cocktails at Val d
Soaking up the sun drinking cocktails at Val d'Isere is expensive, but worth doing at least once!
Free village transport is excellent in Val dʼIsère, seamlessly linking all the villages & ski lifts
Free village transport is excellent in Val dʼIsère, seamlessly linking all the villages & ski lifts
Le Fornet is the Powderhounds
Le Fornet is the Powderhounds' favourite village & sector in Val d'Isere ski resort
Accommodation in the
Accommodation in the 'satellite' ski village of La Daille at Val d'Isere has excellent access to the ski lifts
Cocorico is Val d
Cocorico is Val d'Isere ski resorts most traditional (read most energetic) après ski venue
Ski Val d
Ski Val d'Isere at least once in your life.

Val d'Isere Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Val d'Isere

Val d'Isere3.5/58
Val d'Isere3.5 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
  • Recommend
    88%
  • Would Revisit
    88%
Backcountry Books Ski & Snowboard Guide Books & Maps

Interlinked Ski Resort

Tignes

Val d'Isere Maps & Stats

    Val d'Isere Ski Trail Map
  • Val d'Isere Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,550m - 3,456m (1,906m) (incl. Tignes)
  • Average Snow Fall
    7 - 10m+
  • Lifts (78)(incl. Tignes)
    11 Gondolas/cable cars/funiculars
    41 Chairlifts

    Summer Skiing - 2 lifts for skiing
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Winter: Mid-Nov to early May
    8:45am - 5:00pm

    Summer: Early-June to mid-July
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 300km (incl. Tignes)
    Longest run - 10km+
    Advanced - 18%
    Intermediate - 25%
    Beginner - 57%
    Off piste - 10,000ha
    Summer skiing - 20km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Val d'Isere only
    Adult - €52 to 61
    Child - €44 to 52
    Adult over 74yr - Free
    Child u/8yr - Free

    Solaise only
    Adult - €38 to 44
    Child - €38 to 44
    Adult over 74yr - Free
    Child u/8yr - Free

    Val d'Isere & Tignes
    Adult - €56 to 66
    Child - €48 to 56
    Adult over 74yr - Free
    Child u/8yr - Free

    Summer Skiing at Val d’Isere
    Adult/Child - from €30
    Tignes - Val d’Isere (Espace Killy) Ski Trail Map
  • Tignes-Val d'Isere Trail Map
    Val d’Isere Summer Ski Trail Map
  • Val d’Isere Summer Ski Map

Val d’Isere Ski Resort France

Val d’Isere is a premium alpine resort in France that oozes charm & panache, plus also happens to have some of the best ski terrain in the world, providing fun & challenge for everyone that skis there. Along with nearby Tignes ski resort, Val d’Isère, forms the French Alps self-titled "Most Beautiful Ski Area in the World". Tignes-Val d'Isere was formerly known as 'Espace Killy', named after Jean-Claude Killy, the legendary French champion alpine ski racer who dominated the sport in the late 1960s. Its friends just call it 'Val'!

Whilst we don't necessarily think it is the most beautiful ski area in the world, Val d'Isere is certainly one of the world's best ski destinations. As well as having the most reliable snowpack in the French Alps, the vast & challenging terrain holds a lifetime of skiing & snowboarding. You'll just need to push your way through the crowd to get to it some days! Wake up early, elbows up, here we go.....

Pros & Cons for Val d’Isere Ski Resort

Pros

  • Huge, world-class on-piste terrain for all levels of skier & snowboarder.
  • Most reliable snow cover in France.
  • Modern lifts and facilities.
  • Massive off-piste freeride & backcountry terrain for all levels.
  • Enormous skiable vertical.
  • Delightful resort village.
  • Lift pass linked to Tignes represents fantastic value for money.
  • Fabulous après ski.
  • Relatively easy to get to via train & bus.
  • Wide range of activities for non-skiers.
  • Village transport is frequent, efficient & convenient.

Cons

  • Busy to a point of being overcrowded in the peak season.
  • Expensive accommodation, food & drink (with a few notable exceptions).
  • Main on-piste trails can become mogul fields by lunchtime.
  • Off-piste terrain can get tracked out remarkably quickly during peak periods.
  • Lift system still has a handful of ancient relics that need replacing (ancient Vallons plus Col 1 & 2 finally getting replaced in 2024!).

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • The valley in which Val d'Isere is located can be isolated in times of heavy snowfall and/or avalanche danger.
  • Day car-parking costs money.
  • Choice of three villages, which is no choice at all because it is all so well connected by bus, ski lift & footpath!

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

The Val d’Isère ski resort has three main sectors: the comparatively remote Le Fornet (includes the Glacier du Pissaillas) at the top of the valley, the busy Solaise & diverse Bellevarde; both above the main village. All zones are generally well-served by modern high-speed lifts including high-volume gondolas, cable car, and a funicular. The Bellevarde has no less than 5 lifts converging on its 2,827m summit. The exception is the ancient Vallon gondola linking Fornet to the Pissaillas glacier area. An affordable lift pass for the Solaise sector makes skiing here very cheap for novices.

Check out the ski trail map for Val d’Isere below, and then imagine what it looks like with Tignes attached to the right (see link further below!).

Val d’Isere Ski Trail Map
Val d’Isere Ski Trail Map

On its own, Val d’Isere provides 150 km of piste on wide, highway-like runs. However, it is what the 'highways' turn into through the day that marks down the ratings on Val's piste trails. Whilst novice & beginner pistes make up nearly 60% of the resort's trails, skiers should note that many of these runs are 'dark blue' in the morning, evolving into 'dark red' or even black as the ski day progresses & the bumps start to appear in high traffic areas. Take care to avoid ending up black & blue!

Val is an off-piste freeride skiing & snowboarding paradise with an abundance of first-class free-ride opportunities throughout the resort including alpine bowls, steeps, couloirs plus larch & pine forests down lower. A quick reconnaissance will reveal multiple options accessible from the ski lifts, and even more within a short skin or boot-pack.

For more information on ski lifts, terrain, lift passes & maps, see our Val d'Isere Skiing & Snowboarding page.

Interlinked with Tignes

In combination with the neighbouring Tignes, Val d’Isère offers 300km of piste, 78 ski lifts, 10,000ha of off-piste and 2 glaciers (both available in summer for the moment, but who knows how long that will last). It’s a mega resort for sure! The resorts are linked by lift, piste & lift pass, effectively creatively one massive ski resort - how typically French! See the Tignes-Val d’Isere ski trail map to get a sense of the possibilities.

Summer Skiing & Snowboarding at Val d'Isere

The all-round nature of the Val d'Isere ski resort continues into summer. From mid-June to mid to July (depending on snow), 2 lifts access 6 piste trails on the Glacier du Pissaillas. Do it sooner rather than later as summer heat & rain is diminishing them rapidly these days.

Where is Val d’Isère France?

Val d'Isere lies in the Haute Tarentaise valley of the Rhône-Alpes region, southeast France, only 5 km (3 miles) from the border of Italy. With a rental car, Chambéry (CMF) (144km / 2½hr) is the nearest airport to Val d'Isère, followed by Geneva (GVA) (187km / 3½hr) & Lyon Saint Exupéry (LYS) (221km / 3½hr). Regular buses serve all the airports and various airport transfers are available. Note that Chambery airport operates on a limited basis. Search & book direct private transfers to Val d'Isere.

An excellent mode of travel to Val d'Isère is via train. The Bourg St. Maurice train station is 30km (20 miles) away and is on the schedule of numerous ‘fast’ train lines such as TGV and Eurostar from London & Paris. Book train tickets to Bourg St Maurice here. Bus services run regularly from Bourg St. Maurice direct to Val d'Isere, or you can take a local taxi. Buy bus tickets at the Bourg St Maurice train station.

For more information on the best ways to get to the ski resort, see the Travel to Val d'Isere page.

Val d'Isere Accommodation

Originally a small alpine farming village, Val d'Isere (the town) has developed into an extensive, modern, alpine resort whilst maintaining its village feel and sense of tradition. The 'old town' is undoubtedly pretty, with quaint stone properties lining narrow snow-filled streets, topped by the requisite church steeple against a backdrop of mountains. Val d'Isere (the valley!) is made up of several hamlets all slowly being linked into one large village, namely Le Cret, Le Joseray, Le Chatelard, La Legettaz, Le Laisinant, Le Daille & Le Fornet. Ski lifts serve the main village centre, La Daille, Le Laisinant & Le Fornet.

Search & book lodging via our Val d'Isere Ski Accommodation Listings page.

Val d’Isère is home to around 50 hotels most of which are 3 & 5-star rated. Hotel tariffs are high relative to other European ski resorts, but there are still a few affordable 3-star hotels for those on a tight budget. For 5-star accommodation next to the ski lifts, the Hôtel Les Barmes De l'Ours or Airelles Val d’Isère are the most exclusive places to stay. If on a budget, fabulous options include the Victoria Lodge Hotel, the simple Village Vacances de Val d'Isère, or further afield at the resort's Le Fornet sector lifts & pistes, the Chalet Hotel du Fornet. If hotels are not available, the ski resort has a vast quantity of chalet (including some incredibly luxurious ones) and a self-catering apartment (condos) accommodation available for holiday rental. Apartment quality can vary greatly so read the reviews carefully.

Search & book lodging via our Val d'Isere Ski Accommodation Listings page.

For detailed information & suggestions about where to stay, see our Val D'Isere Accommodation Info page.

[AdListings collection="Europe" category="France Val dIsere" subcategory="Val dIsere Packages"]

Non-Ski Activities

There is plenty for non-skiers to do in the valley including snowshoe walks, husky-sledding, ice-climbing, ice-skating, ice-diving, and indoor climbing. Less active entertainment includes visiting the wellness centres, the casino, taking the cable-cars to mountain restaurants and viewpoints (including sun decks!), visiting the local Alpine history museum, or some serious shopping in the 'fancy-pants' shops.

Ski Rentals, Guiding & Equipment

Ski rentals are available from our partners in seven Val d’Isere village locations & another at the La Daille valley station. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Val d'Isere Ski & Snowboard Rentals page.

A truly confuzzling number of ski instructors, mountain guides & ski schools ply their trade in the Haute Tarentaise valley & Val d'Isere is no exception. Guides can help find the best untracked powder at this busy resort. To narrow down the field, search & book a mountain guide, instructor & private or group lessons with the best providers via our Val d’Isère Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

If you need a new ski outfit comprising modern jacket, pants, gloves & goggles, Val d’Isere is one of the French ski resorts served by our local partner ski clothing rental company, Ski Chic. Order online & your ski outfit is delivered direct to your accommodation at the resort.

[AdListings collection="France" category="France Services" subcategory="Avoriaz Ski Rentals Clothing"]

Nearby Ski Resorts

Val d'Isere is part of the legendary skiing region called the Tarentaise. Whilst you may not feel the need to visit anywhere else, a festival of wonderful French ski resorts, from mega resorts to 'secret stashes', are within an hour’s drive of Tignes. The world's largest fully interlinked resort, the 3 Vallèes (Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens), huge Paradiski (Les Arcs and La Plagne) plus the smaller La Rosiere (linked to Italy's La Thuile) and the fabulous Sainte Foy are all close by. So easily to get distracted in the Tarentaise.

Review

The Powderhounds first reviewed Val d’Isere in 2018 and aside from the bumped-up piste & mega crowds, found it to be a fascinating ski experience that merits a longer stay than we could accomplish! We returned in March 2023 & had a fabulous time exploring deserted pistes and tracked powder in the off-piste. We plan on returning next season. You should too! Click on the review link on this page to read our sparkling repartee.

See how Val d’Isere compares to the rest of the French ski resorts on the France ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe on the European ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Instagram to see where we are currently skiing. Follow our main Powderhounds page on Facebook to stay in touch with up-to-date info, tours, and discussions.

Tours in or near Val d'Isere

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Tarentaise Powder Ski Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE SKI ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Discover the best snow & off-piste terrain in the world famous ski areas of the French Alps' Haute Tarentaise. Lead by an experienced guide, ski descents of up to 2,000m vertical through untracked powder, days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for your best dates & duration.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 6 people on an 8-day tour
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,290
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Val d'Isere here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Tarentaise Valley Star Ski Tour
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 4+ Ski Resorts
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Ski untracked powder in the most famous ski areas of the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000m vertical. Explore the 3 Valleys, Les Arcs, Sainte Foy, La Plagne & La Rosiere. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour on your best dates....
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min private group of 4 people on a 8-day tour
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,149
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Val d'Isere here

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Val dIsere Off Piste Ski Day
GUIDED OFF-PISTE SKIING
2-3hr, Half, Full or Multi-Day
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Ski & explore the massive off-piste terrain at Val d'Isere with an experienced local guide who will show you the best untracked lines around the resort & into the valley. Get your own group together for a custom 2hr, half day or full day tour, or inquire about joining another group. All abilities welcome.
Price p/p From price based on full day tour in a minimum group of 6.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 108
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See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Val d'Isere here
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