Skiing in Val d'Isere

Country: France

In a nutshell: Almost the perfect ski resort: high altitude skiing, an amazing ski area and classy, vibrant ski village

We like:

  • The epic Espace Killy ski area offers wonderful skiing for intermediate and advanced skiers
  • High-altitude skiing with two glaciers; one of France’s most snow-sure resorts
  • Some of the world’s best lift-served off-piste skiing
  • Great apres ski, which starts on the slopes at the famous Folie Douce and finishes much later in town
  • Val d’Isere is a classy village with a great range of shops and restaurants
  • The brilliant lift network makes getting around the enormous area quick and easy
  • Great for families; lots of activities off the slopes and some brilliant ski schools

We don’t like:

  • The transfer time is long and big traffic queues can form on Saturdays
  • The runs to resort are steep and challenging for beginners
  • The prices on the mountain for food and drink are expensive


  • Resort altitude: 1,850m
  • Highest lift: 3,450m
  • Lowest piste: 1,550m
  • Transfer time from most convenient airport: Geneva and Lyon – 2h 45m
  • Number of lifts:
    • Val d’Isere: 41
    • Espace Killy: 88
  • Number of runs:
    • Espace Killy
      • Green: 23
      • Blue: 66
      • Red: 40
      • Black: 27


  • Apres ski
  • Family friendly
  • High altitude
  • Big ski area
  • Traditional charm
  • Great for beginners
  • Great for intermediates
  • Great for advanced
  • Great for snowboarders
  • Great for foodies


Val d’Isere is a high altitude ski resort with some seriously good skiing, a great village centre, fantastic apres ski and some brilliant facilities for families. It’s a real all-rounder and is only let down by the long airport transfer and challenging skiing for beginners.

People return year after year for their Val d’Isere ski holiday, and with skiing this good it’s easy to see why. The resort has a great snow record and the high and predominantly north facing slopes hold their snow well. Throw in the lift link to Tignes and you have an almost unbeatable ski area.

There is some epic skiing for advanced skiers, including the legendary “La Face” black run and some wonderful off-piste skiing. Intermediates will love the cruisy blues on Solaise and the red runson the Bellevarde. Many of the reds have a blackish tinge to them, so skiers almost always return home better than when they arrived

Beginners are well catered for by the gentle greens on the Bellevarde and some great nursery slopes; the quality of instruction from Val’s many ski schools is also very high. The runs down to resort are steep and challenging, so timid beginners are better suited to taking the gondola down.

Val d’Isere’s apres ski is legendary, with the party starting up in the mountain in the afternoon at the Folie Douce. There’s a great range of bars, many of which have live music, in town and a couple of nightclubs open late.  There are plenty of relaxed, low-key venues for a cosy post-ski drink too.