Here’s our guide as to why we’re loving Val d’Isère this year…
With its spanking new, state-of-the-art Solaise gondola accessing a new beginner area, complete with a North-American-style Day Lodge, Val d’Isère should firmly be on the radar as a top choice for all levels of skiers. As one of the highest resorts in Europe with a huge variety of terrain, Val lays claim to having one of the best snow records in the Alps making it an excellent choice for early and late season skiing. The new Solaise lift comes complete with WiFi and heated seats, not that you’ll be on them for too long as it reaches the top in just 7 minutes. There aren’t many resorts with a beginner’s area at the top either, this means beginners can enjoy the best view and snow too. The Day Lodge at the top of the Solaise lift features a moving postcard, mini cinema, café, toilets (with probably the best view we’ve ever seen from a toilet window!) and ‘air’ beanbags and deckchairs so skiers can chill and take in the view. Val’s excellent snow record is thanks to the high altitude as well as having Europe’s biggest snow making facility (you can also tour the factory!).
Altitude – Base to Summit: 1850m – 3480m
Skiable Area: Espace Killy – 300km including Tignes
Getting There: 2 ½ hour transfer from Geneva
Favourite Run: Grand Pré – an absolute dream of a cruiser
Favourite Lift: Known as the ‘Up and Over’
Eating: Brimming with over 60 bars and restaurants you are spoiled for choice. Our top picks on the mountain are La Tete de Solaise and La Fruitière
Après: La Folie Douce and Cocorico’s are the top spots in Val – you can either party on the mountain at La Folie Douce then navigate your way home or get down early and then party at Cocorico’s
Don’t miss: Popping into Maison Chevallot for a delicious home-made pastry or cake
Val d’Isère has a “Famille Plus” label meaning it is very family friendly. There are some restaurants in the village that are good for children (Sur La Montagne is an easy-going child-friendly restaurant with toys). There are slow-skiing zones (for beginners and children) and various events are child-friendly like the torch lit descents, fireworks and organized shows every Wednesday. Also make sure you try sledging down the mountain in a yooner or an airboard on the nursery slope.
Kids will have a ball in our Explorers Club splitting their time between the club, playing in the snow and learning to ski if they’re over three years old. Or let one of our Private Nannies come to your chalet to look after your little ones, they’ll tailor a plan to your children to ensure they’re having just as much fun as you are.
Our partner ski schools offer top-level instruction, our top picks are the British-run Progression Ski School and Oxygene.