Val d’Isere Ski Holidays

Val d’Isere Ski Holidays

The French ski resort of Val d’Isere is one of the world’s great ski destinations. Set in the Alps, close to the Italian border at the southernmost point of the Haute Tarentaise valley, the resort is twinned with adjacent Tignes to form the celebrated Espace Killy, one of the planet’s most exhilarating and varied ski areas, including unlimited off-piste skiing. The resort opens in winter between the end of November and May, with summer skiing aided by snow machines offered on the Pissaillas glacier.

Val d’Isere’s international reputation has attracted championship and recreational skiers since the 1950s to its six ski areas set on the two core mountains, Solaise and Bellevarde. The slopes face each other and provide in excess of 150kms of groomed slopes in a total of 70 trails. The differing areas of Le Fornet, Le Chatelard, Legettaz, La Daille, Centre and Le Laisinant are organised to allow skiers to plan their day according to their ski slope preferences and the demands of the weather. A total of 97 lifts are provided.

Set at an altitude of between 1,550m on the valley floor and around 3,500m, trail lengths vary slightly, with the 1,850m trails from Bellevarde and Solaise merging at the centre of the village. The 1,785m La Daille trail boasts long, wide runs and the unspoilt 1,930m Le Fornet still retains its Haute Tarentais character, starting at the resort’s highest point. The steep slopes of Bellevard give an adrenaline-boosting experience, with the lower slopes leading skiers through a forest of larch trees. Although Val d’Isere gives great skiing for everyone from beginner to expert, those with more experience will gain the most from this vast terrain.

Modern chairs and gondola lifts give access to the trails, divided into three areas: Glacier de Pissaillas/Col de l’Iseran, Bellevarde and Solaise. A six-person chair lift runs to Solais and Iseran and the 30-person futuristic gondola runs from the village to the summit of Bellevard and is the fastest way of getting to most slopes. Chair lifts take the same route, offering fresh, cold air as a bonus. The steep slopes between Le Fornet and Solaise can also be approached via another fast six-person chair lift, while the Laisinant Express and La Daille to Bellevard are served by an underground funicular.