Val d’Isere or ‘Val’ is the piece de la resistance of L’Espace Killy; a traditional French alpine village with centuries of of history and beautiful wood and stone chalets.
Skiing began here in the 1930s, but really took off after WWII. Today Val d’Isere is a lively resort split into three; the quiet villages of La Daille and Le Fornet, linked to the main town, with its designer shops, busy restaurants and a buzzing nightlife.
Val d’Isere is also a leading competition venue. It held several events during the 1992 Winter Olympics and has been chosen to host the 2009 World Championships.
The lift accessed skiing extends from 1850metres to 3456 metres and there is extensive offpiste skiing beyond that to rival anywhere in the world. The ski area of L’Espace Killy is large, very large; in total there is over 300km of piste skiing. It is these varied slopes with their challenging skiing that attracts all types of skiers, (See Piste Map).
Val d’Isere has something for everyone; gentle beginner areas with good progressive slopes on the Solaise sector, a fantastic snowpark on the Bellevarde sector, accessible off-piste in le Fornet, and cruisey tree-lined red runs in La Daille.
On the mountain the small log cabins are packed out at lunchtime. A great place for sunbathing on a the sundeck of the L’Ouillette Restaurant, with a great barbecue, situated at the foot of the Lac chairlift. Or try the livelier option of the world renowned Foley Douce / Frutier at the top of the La Daille bubble.
For a quick meal in the village, try the Billabong coffee shop, they do a mean burger, and you can catch up on all the latest surf fashion at the same time. Or stop off at Toccade for kekabs or burgers after a night out, open till very late.
Dining out; find a selection of Savoyard fondues and raclettes in the restaurants along the main street. Victors serves a fantastic menu in a modern setting and the Lodge has a taste varied menu at a reasonable price. For fine dining, treat yourself to the gastronomic delights of Michelin-starred Le Table de l’Ours (Hotel de Balme de l’Ours), the Blizzard Hotel, or Pier Paul Jack.
Val d’Isere is renowned for its apres scene, and there is a free efficient bus service which runs into the early hours linking Val d’Isere to the villages of Le Fornet and Le Daille.
Finish on the mountain at the Foli Deuce for the best apres in the alps. Back in town famous apres-ski hangouts include; the Morris, Le Petit Danois, Bananas, Warm up Bar, and the stylish Cafe Face.
The Saloon Bar is another lively spot later on in the evening, and is popular with resort workers. For a more civilized experience try the chic Pier Paul Jacks bar, Victors, or Blue note Bar. Finish the night off with a turn on the dance floor at Le Graal, or the infamous Dick’s Tea Bar, before going to bed and doing it all again tomorrow!