Thanks to the extensive lift network which connects Val d’Isère with neighbouring Tignes, the resort boasts easy access to more than 300km of slopes which range from challenging pistes for advanced skiers to gentle slopes geared towards intermediates and beginners. Experienced skiers should check out La Face, a notoriously challenging black run that was built for the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympic Games.
This resort also has an electric après-ski culture with a dizzying array of top Michelin-star restaurants and bars. One of the most iconic après-ski spots is La Folie Douce which is located at the top of the Daille Gondola and has bars, various eateries and, of course, live music.
The centre itself has plenty to offer too including a huge themed sports centre with swimming pools and sports courts. For some indulgent rest and relaxation, there are several spas scattered throughout the resort where you can treat yourself to a restorative treatment or simply switch off and relax - try Le Refuge de Solaise (the highest hotel in France!).
In Val d’Isère, new plots for development are becoming increasingly rare following the cancellation of the resort’s latest urbanism plan and its location which prevents it from spreading outwards. Though new-build stock and high-quality renovations are extremely limited, leading the higher prices, demand for prime properties in Val d’Isère remains unwavering, meaning that properties purchased are set for high liquidity and capital appreciation if you decide to resell in the future. Thanks to the resort's international renown, investors who decide to rent out their property can expect good returns if they market their properties well.
According to the 2021 Alpine Property Focus report from UBS which examines the property market across 41 key Alpine resorts, Val d’Isère saw prime property prices rise by 4.1% between 2020 and 2021, the highest price increase in the French Alps.
Whether it’s the piste-side area of Legettaz or the peaceful hamlet of Le Fornet, the one thing that connects them all is the care that has gone into preserving the authenticity of the resort
Even though Val d’Isère is a mature resort, it never rests on its laurels and always pushes boundaries. The best example of this is the €200m ‘Le Coin’ forthcoming regeneration, which is a huge undertaking that will redesign around a fifth of the resort. In addition to redesigning an area which is currently dated in terms of architecture and design, it will also bring two new hotels, a bus station, restaurants, cafes and shops.
Investment is also continuously made in ski lift infrastructure. Over the last few years, investments include a €10m brand new gondola from La Daille to the Folie Douce, which tripled the capacity and halved the journey time. Then more recently, the former cable car summit at the top of the Solaise is now the new highest hotel in the French Alps. Called Le Refuge de Solaise, the hotel features a pool, a restaurant, 16 rooms and jaw-dropping views – it’s the latest sign that this resort continues to push the entire ski resort development sector forward.
Whilst skiing in Val d’Isère dates back to the 1930s following the opening of a drag lift on the Solaise pistes and the resort’s first cable car, the resort’s history stems back to the Middle Ages and its 17th-century church still stands today at the heart of the village.
Thanks to its challenging terrain, Val d’Isère has hosted a number of major skiing events such as the 1992 Winter Olympic Games and the resort has produced a number of Olympic champions. One of the most famous residents is Jean-Claude Killy, the triple gold medalist after which the Espace Killy ski domain was named.
A Famille Plus resort, Val d’Isère is a great choice for families thanks to its infrastructure and plethora of child-friendly activities on and off the slopes such as ice skating, swimming and dog sledging. There are two ski areas for beginners in the resort and there is also a good selection of ski and snowboarding schools.
For some fun away from the slopes, you can go husky sledging, hire a skidoo or go for a alpine walk. The Manchet Valley route is great as it is suitable for the whole family and there is a complimentary bus back to the village from Le Manchet if desired.
Though summers in Val d’Isère are not as busy as those in resorts of a lower altitude, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy during the warmer months such as hiking, cycling, horse riding and tennis. In addition, it is possible to ski on the Grande Motte glacier in neighbouring Tignes.
Around 2 hours 45 mins from both Grenoble and Geneva.