Val D’Isère ranks alongside St Moritz, Stowe and Cortina in the “famous names of skiing” category and is one of the very few in the world to stage World Cup, World Chamionship and Olympic competitions. However it is also in the world top ten for ‘ski area size’ as well as name-fame, sharing the huge Espace Killy with neighbouring Tignes. Add to that world class lift infrastructure and a vast array of apres ski activity and you have the archetypal world-class resort. ‘Val’ is very popular with the British, and has spawned purpose-built developments at out-of-town La Daille (1785m) , which boasts an ultra-modern funnicular, and le Fornet (1930m). Most of the men’s downhill events were staged here for the ’92 Albertville Olympics and the European leg of the World Cup season generally starts here in the first half of December.
The ski area above the world famous resorts of Tignes and Val d’Isère is generally regarded as one of the world’s best, with some regular skiers saying it’s so good, there’s no need to ski anywhere else.
Named after ‘local boy’ Jean-Claude Killy who won triple gold at the 1968 Winter Olympics, it’s a vast area of some 10,000 hectares, containing 300km of groomed pistes, extending over one of the biggest lift-served verticals on the planet – more than 2,000 metres of it and that ascending from high base village altitudes too.
Although best known for its incredible freeriding terrain and world-class racing slopes (Val d’Isère is one of just a handful of resorts to have hosted World Cup, World Championships and Winter Olympic downhill races), there is in fact plenty of skiing for every ability level, with well-designed nursery slopes, world-class terrain parks for freestylers and seemingly endless kilometres of wide sunny blue and red pistes for holiday makers.
Both Tignes and Val d’Isère are world class resorts of course, each with a good selection of bars, restaurants, shops and accommodation ranging from budget up to four star in Tignes and right the way to super-luxury in Val d’Isère.