>> Val d'Isère Travel Guide <<


Val D'Isère is among the premiere ski resorts in the world and the skiing conditions certainly justify it. Located in the Savoie region of France in the French Alps, Val D'Isère is a mecca for European skiers and snowboarders.
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What to See

Slopes of Val D'Isère

Val D'Isère

Val D'Isère's church at night
Skiing and snowboarding in winter and hiking and camping in summer are quite clearly the things to do while in Val D'Isère. There are over 140 ski runs and over 90 ski lifts for you to make use of. One particularly spectacular ski lift is the Leissières, bringing you to the west side of the mountain, as it comes over the mountain and sets up the sheer drop below you.

You can wake up early, get a full day skiing, snowboarding or hiking in and still get back to your chalet or be drinking in one of the many bistros and bars by 5 p.m. Before you set out for the mountains and your day's activities, be sure to take a map of the resort so you do not get lost.

You can find out more about the present weather conditions in Val D'Isère and ski pass prices by visiting www.valdIsère.com

If Val D'Isère isn't enough for you then you can also ski at Tignes with your lift pass.

The old village

Shops in Val D'Isère
The old village is dotted with chic ski boutiques, cozy cafes, specialty food shops, nightclubs and restaurants. It is a pleasure, when on a break from the day's activities, to stroll through the old streets of Val D'Isère and window shop. You will also find a supermarket, a cinema and a street market on Mondays.


Val D'Isère's church in the day
The old church in Val D'Isère stands out quite clearly because it is the only one in town and makes a significant landmark. It dates back to the 11th century and provides a mass service, recitals and visitors can arrange to tour the church for a small fee.

What to Do

Rent equipment
There are a plethora of ski shops in town, so visitors benefit from the high level of competition between companies. We rented from "KILLY SPORTS", located in the center of town by the roundabout. Named after a former French skiing sensation, the staff in the store are helpful and the equipment provided is excellent at a reasonable price.

Go Skiing
Quite obviously one of the main things to do while in Val D'Isère.

Go Snowboarding
Another of those obvious activities.

Take lessons
For beginners as well as the more experienced looking to improve their skills, lessons are affordable and recommended. Schools offer lessons in a variety of languages and you can find out more about ski lessons by visiting any of the pages below:

Go hiking
During the summer, Val D'Isère and much of the Savoie region is transformed into a major hiking, orienteering and outdoor adventure center. You can hike and camp for days without running into anybody and anyone will be amazed by the mountain scenery, fresh water springs and alpine lakes.

Go Dining
There are numerous restaurants catering to the tourist crowd in Val D'Isère. Ranging from the standard take away to the standard 3 courses to the exquisite 3 courses.

If you are looking for a special venue and aren't too bothered by the price, le Chateau du Cret is the place. It is located in le Cret, a small village extension to the east of Val D'Isère. The restaurant is in a recently renovated 400-year-old chalet. Set over several floors, the dining tables are made of antique wood, the mood is warm and relaxed and the setting is frankly idyllic. One of a kind.

The standard meal consists of 5 entrees, we had pumpkin soup, foie gras, a saucisson plate, pasta in forest mushrooms, salmon and a specialty salad. As a mains you can choose from a range of about 6 dishes including lamb, beef and fish. The main course is followed by a variety of cheeses including the local ones and coffee and digestifs.

To accompany your meal you can choose a wine from the large wine list. If you are going to dine here, remember it isn't cheap, but you will never forget it. Bon appétit!

There are numerous bars, bistros, pubs and nightclubs to keep visitors busy during the night on their trip. Have a good time!

Go for a drink or snack in one of the many bars in town to sit back and discuss the day's skiing and snowboarding. There are French Bistros, English Pubs, coffee houses and teahouses to suit all preferences.

Other resorts
There are may other ski resorts in the French Alps, for more information on one of them, please visit our Courchevel Travel Guide.

What to Eat

Fondue Savoyarde
A local specialty, this fondue is made with the local cheeses Comté and Beaufort, kirsch, white wine, garlic and served with bread. Just dip your skewer with bread in and scoop out some delicious melting cheese.

A traditional dried French type of salami made from pork, beef, wild boar and virtually any other meat flavour you can think of. Terrific entrée for any meal and eaten with plenty of bread.

White wine from Savoie is very nice and being in the region, the prices will be too. Again, a wide selection of French wines is available at the supermarket and in restaurants.

Local specialty cheeses from Savoie include "Comte" and "Beaufort".

Foie gras
This goose liver pate is a delicacy. Served with a well-chilled sweet Sauterne, it makes for a delicious entrée but be careful, as it is quite expensive and heavy to digest.

Where to Sleep

You can find excellent hotels in France. Many of the main hotel sites will have listings for you in Val D'Isère. Find Val D'isere Hotels.

Search for and book a hostel in the Alps.

A great way to spend a vacation in the Alps. You can rent a chalet or cottage and enjoy your evenings after a hard days skiing by the fire at www.yseski.co.uk

How to Move

The two closest airports to Val D'Isère are Lyon's St-Exupery Airport and Geneva Airport. It's about a 3 hour drive from Lyon to Val D'Isère.

The national airline of France is Air France and you can find them at - www.airfrance.com.

There is a free shuttle service within the town of Val D'Isère that takes you from one end to the other should you end up at the bottom of the slopes away from home. Just Jump on and jump off.

If you wish to drive to Val D'Isère, drive slowly and carefully up the mountain to the resort. This is particularly important in times of rain, snow and extreme cold.

The town of Val D'Isère is quite small and most distances are easily walkable.

The Eurostar is a great way to get from the slopes of Val D'Isère to France's major cities like Paris, Marseille and Nice, and onto London, Amsterdam and Brussels at high speed.


You won't run into too many locals while in Val D'Isère as most of the people will be tourists in town for a ski trip or the masses of foreign students employed to serve visitors. When you do meet some of the locals, you'll find them to be helpful if you need assistance or advice.


You'll hear just about every European language in Val D'Isère and most people employed there speak English or German as a second language.

Time Zone
GMT +1


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