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
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’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’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
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 restaurant Gigi.
Where to Stay in Val d’Isère
In the center of Val d’Isère, perched on the edge of the ski slopes, sits Mademoiselle, a 5-star resort overlooking the majestic summits of the Vanoise mountains. The property invites those enamored with the mountains to live their own fairy tale. Inspired by the medieval period, Mademoiselle conjures up the architecture of the most beautiful residences in the Alps from long ago. A grandiose and separate world, the hotel is as luxurious as it is welcoming. The property also boasts a nearly 4,000 square foot Guerlain spa, magical children’s kingdom, cozy ski salon, gallery of boutiques hosting iconic brands, and four restaurants.
Another unique option in Val d’Isère is the Refuge de Solaise. This 5-star ski resort is nestled at an altitude of over 8,300 feet. From here you can take in a gorgeous sky of incredible purity, hanging over infinite landscapes of snow and ice. A stay at this hotel is about living in harmony with the light, surrounded by spectacular panoramas in an environment far removed from the hustle and bustle of the world below. The 16 rooms and four apartments offer views over the village, the valley and the mountains as far as the eye can see. The restaurant has a spacious feel with its extensive size and Alpine décor that blends beautiful local materials to create a warm yet understated look.
The Holidays in the French Alps
An Enchanted Christmas and New Year’s Eve 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!
On New Year’s Eve, enjoy a street party followed by fireworks. A festive time to visit Val d’Isère indeed!
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 Fabulous Skiing in Val Thorens, A Five-Star Ski Vacation to Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Valley, and A Ski Vacation on the Mythical Val d’Isère Slopes.