french winter ski guide val d'isère

French Winter Ski Guide: Val d’Isère

Val d’Isère is a perfect winter destination for both beginner and advanced skiers. You’ll find over 300 kilometers of ski runs in this winter paradise, which are best explored with a private guide. Besides skiing, Val d’Isère is home to great nightlife, dining, and wonderful hotels. Don’t miss this charming Alpine town with its baroque church along with stone and wood chalets. Read on to discover our French winter ski guide featuring Val d’Isère.


French Winter Ski Guide: Val d’Isère

How to Get to Val d’Isère

val d'isère ski guide

You can get to Val d’Isère by either plane, train, or automobile. Because of unpredictable winter weather, we recommend either flying into a neighboring airport or taking the train and letting us arrange a private transfer for you. There are four international airports near Val d’Isère: Geneva and Lyon, which are a three hour drive, and Chambéry and Grenoble, which are a two hour drive.

You can also take a high speed train (either TGV, Eurostar, or Thalys) to the Bourg-Saint-Maurice station, which is a 45 minute drive to Val d’Isère.

What to Do in Val d’Isère

val d'isere what to do

Val d’Isère is known for skiing. To make the most of your experience, we recommend getting a three-day ski pass and booking a private ski instructor. Skiers of all styles and levels will enjoy the fabulous slopes, including beginners and kids. There are also plenty of other winter activities besides skiing including ice skating, fat tire biking, sledding, hand skiing, ice driving, ice climbing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and paragliding.

After you’ve finished skiing, be sure to partake in a favorite French pastime, the après-ski. Whether you want to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine or have a refreshing glass of Champagne or beer, you’re sure to find plenty of people enjoying themselves. There are famous restaurants on the mountain like La Folie Douce or charming places in the center of the village where you can partake in the fun.

Children can enjoy ice skating, the bowling alley, the movie theater, or the Aquasportif Center.

val d'isere

Val d’Isère Private Ski Guide

Discover the best snow and the best restaurants without having to look at the piste map with an official ski Guide! We can arrange a private ski guide to accompany you daily. Our Ski Guides know the ski areas inside out as well as where the snow conditions are best. They’ll be sure to take you to slopes best matched for your experience. Another bonus is whenever you’re with an official ski guide, you get lift queue priority!

Where to Eat in Val d’Isère

where to eat in val d'isere

You’ll find a wide range of restaurants in Val d’Isère from gastronomic options to casual brasseries, mountainside restaurants and more.

When in the French Alps, we always recommend trying the local Savoyard cuisine. Cheese and potatoes are the stars of many of the dishes including raclette, a melted cheese scraped off from the wheel and typically served with potatoes and meats, tartiflette, a gratin-like dish made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, onions, and lardons, and fondue, a melted mix of Comté, Beaufort, and other local cheeses that you dip bread into using a fondue skewer. In Val d’Isère, two great places to try the local Savoyard cuisine are La Corniche and Le Barillon.

La Table de l’Ours is regarded as one of the best restaurants in the area. This Michelin-starred restaurant offers fine dining in a warm, inviting chalet atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to warm up by the fire after a long day of skiing.

For wonderful views, don’t miss the mountaintop café La Tête de Solaise.

Where to Stay in Val d’Isère

hotel les barmes de l'ours

In Val d’Isère, our favorite hotel is the Hôtel les Barmes de l’Ours. The 5-star hotel is set just at the base of the celebrated Face de Bellevarde run, which was immortalized during the 1992 Olympics. Guests will be able to enjoy meals at several restaurants in the hotel, including the Michelin-starred La Table de l’Ours, La Rôtisserie for meat lovers, and Colin Savoyard which specializes in the regional cuisine.

There are plenty areas within the hotel for the whole family to enjoy including a kids club, bowling alley, game room, swimming pool, spa, cigar cellar, and Sofa Bar which features a lovely fireplace. You’ll find everything you need to hit the slopes at the hotel’s own ProShop. For repeat guests, the hotel can even store your skis between seasons.

christmas in val d'isere

An Enchanted Christmas in Val d’Isère

Being on the mountains is always magical, but especially during Christmastime. Each year, Val d’Isère offers a special week of events and activities all centered around the Magic of Christmas. You might see Père Noël on the slopes or parading through town in his sleigh. It’s a memorable highlight for both young and old!


We hope our French winter ski guide to Val d’Isère will help inspire a trip. With the winter ski season upon us, don’t hesitate to contact French Side Travel to start creating your custom itinerary. We offer a whole host of itineraries based in the French Alps including a Ski Trip in Luxurious Courchevel and the Three Valleys, World-Class Skiing and Partying in Chamonix, and A Week of Chamonix Skiing with the Family

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