Our recommendations for making the most of your time skiing and staying in Val d’Isère…
While most of our partner hotels have in house ski hire shops that can kit you out with everything you need for your stay we also have a couple of ski rental specialists that we also work with. We will talk you through the best options as part of our pre-holiday concierge service.
If you are looking for a specific ski, or would like to choose from a wide range of products then we can’t recommend Snowberry highly enough. Their expert fitters will collect you from your hotel, kit you out and then deliver you equipment right to the hotel ski room – what’s not to love! With prices starting from €58 for six days hire with their low cost range and equipment from their Premium range that is replaced every single season.
The number one ski school for families – Oxygene ski school have taught countless F&P little ones over the years and we just love their approach to learning for kids – the only thing that matters is that they are having fun! With a fab team of instructors they are not just for the kids – adult groups, private lessons and off-piste guiding are also available.
The Development Centre (TDC)
The team at TDC have all your technical needs covered with advanced ski clinics, off piste courses, group and private lessons. This small team of English speaking instructors will take your skiing to the next level whether that is dropping in to a couloir or getting your confidence back on the blue runs.
Bureau de Guides
Val d’Isère has some of the best off piste terrain to be found anywhere in the world and who better to show you around and keep you safe than the infamous French alpine guides. You will be guaranteed a day of fun, adrenaline and technical skiing in spots only known to those who know where to look. Book up to six of you with a guide for the day and make the most of the whole mountain.
You can choose between a Val d’Isère only pass and the larger Espace Killy area which covers Tignes and Val d’Isère combined. The price difference isn’t that much so we recommend you go for an Espace Killy pass, even as a beginner – Tignes is very accessible to skiers of all abilities.
Prices start at €315 for a 6 day adult pass (correct for the 20-21 season) with family passes available for 2 adults and 2+ children up to the age of 17 (18-22 year olds can also ski on the family pass if skiing as a family and children are still in full time education. Family passes are also available for 1 adult skiing with 3 children).
Pedestrians can access a wide range of lifts meaning non-skiers can still enjoy the mountain and join friends and family for lunch with a view.
Under 5s and over 75s ski for free!
We recommend purchasing Carre Neige insurance with your ski pass. This fantastic insurance option covers for mountain rescue both on and off-piste and also ambulance journeys and any medical treatment required following an accident. Full details available on www.carreneige.en
Note that as per our booking terms and conditions you need to ensure you have full insurance cover for your trip.
Our favourite pistes
The Val d’Isère and Tignes ski area make up the Espace Killy – one of the most extensive and varied ski resorts in the world. There is so much to see and do and something for every preference and ability. We have been skiing in Val d’Isère for over 25 years and have come to know and love every inch of the mountain, some of our favourite spots are as follows:
One of the main ski areas in Val d’Isère with slopes that offer something for all – the fantastic green run – the Grand Pre, to the infamous black run, the Face. The snowpark here is under the Mont Blanc chairlift and there are several links to the Tignes terrain.
This is for those of you who are beginners or simply want to warm up their ski legs on the first day. The pistes are wide and easy, ‘hero skiing’ we like to call it! It gets the sun most of the day with lots of hot chocolate stops.
This area is often forgotten as it takes a couple of lifts to get there but it is worth the effort. The slopes are often empty, the scenery stunning, the pistes are rolling and the off-piste (especially in the trees) is untouched.
Home to some great early morning pistes, fantastic runs home, the Folie Douce and the gateway to the Grand Motte.
Make a day trip of it and ski over to Tignes. Here you’ll find the Grand Motte (glacier) which offers some of the finest piste skiing and views around. The glacier is a spectacle in itself. The ski area is made up of bowls of blues, mogul fields and challenging reds. Make sure you ski to Tignes La Lac and Tignes Le Breviere.
Val d’Isère boasts its very own free beginner’s chairlift and a few drags lifts on the nursery slopes. From here you progress to the Solaise area for gentle blues and can come back down to resort in the cable car.
Val d’Isère has some of the most extensive and varied off-piste available in the French Alps. There is tree skiing in Le Fornet, couloirs and faces within the ski area, and over the back is the vast expanse of the Vanoise National Park. The safest way to explore these areas is with an instructor or guide from our recommended ski schools.
Val d’Isère is packed full of activities for the younger members of the family – from bowling at Barmes de L’Ours, to the climbing wall at the Aquasportif Centre, swimming, sledging, ice cart driving and an outdoor ice rink. Speak to our team for more ideas and tips on travelling to Val d’Isère with children.
Little Chicks Childcare
Little Chicks Childcare offers a professional, private nannying service that cares for your child whatever their age; whether they are new born or sixteen. They follow your child’s routine and tailor our activities to what your child enjoys to make sure their holiday is a fantastic one!
Barmes de L’Ours Hotel
For guests staying in our partner hotel Les Barmes de L’Ours the kids facilities are second to none. With a fab games room with table football, video games, pinball and more – there’s even a bowling alley that can be booked for anyone staying in Val d’Isère. This is a dream spot for older kids, especially on bad weather days when no one fancies skiing!
All of our Val d’Isère hotels have spa facilities with swimming pool, treatment rooms, saunas and steam rooms. One of our favourites is the beautiful Nuxe spa at the Hotel le Yule, 400 square meters of pure relaxation! The outdoor pool at the Blizzard hotel (only for hotel guests) is stunning if you like an outdoor swim with a view!
The Centre Aquasportif has a lovely spa open to everyone – with treatment rooms, infra-red and traditional saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzi. Prices start from €19 for one adult entry with €76 getting you six entries.
The Centre Aquasportif
The Centre Aquasportif right under the Bellevarde lift is a huge complex devoted to exercise and leisure. The facilities are amazing and your 6 day lift pass will give you one free entry in to the pool areas during your stay in Val d’Isère. There are lots of activities on offer:
- Exercise pool
- Kids pools
- Climbing wall
- Sports hall
- Squash courts
- Golf simulators
- Gym and weights room
- Spa and treatment rooms
There is so much on offer in and around Val d’Isère from a relaxing walk along the pedestrian tracks in the Le Fornet area, to adrenaline filled ice driving at the other end of the spectrum. Sledging, ice skating, swimming, a cinema, husky rides and horse riding are all available throughout the winter season.
The pedestrian lift access is phenomenal in Val d’Isère with lots of lifts accessible to the non-skiers and a huge array of the best mountain restaurants to join your friends and family for lunch with a view. Some of our favourite mountain restaurants are easily accessible for pedestrians opening up the ski area to all visitors to Val d’Isère.
Shopping and retail
Val d’Isère also offers a fantastic selection of shops with skiwear, fashion, interiors and local foodie delights on offer. There is a regular market in the resort centre selling local cheeses, charcuterie and lots more.
Check the events calendar for special events taking place in resort during your stay – the resort regularly puts on spectacular firework displays, torchlit descents and parades – particularly during school holidays. There are often travelling exhibitions, ice sculptures, photography shows and film festivals hosted by the resort – definitely worth checking out.
With Bourg St Maurice only a 40 minute drive from resort we at F&P prefer to travel by train. You can take a direct train from London St Pancras all the way to Bourg St Maurice every Friday night or Saturday – sit back, relax and watch the countryside whizz by while enjoying a picnic or some quiet time with your book.
Flights are also available to nearby Geneva (4 hour transfer), Lyon, Chambery and Grenoble with most major European airlines.
Driving to resort is also very possible with the access road to resort very well maintained – we would of course recommend that you are equipped with snow chains in case of heavy snow. It is approximately 10 hours from Calais to Val d’Isère (see below for information on parking).
We work with Snow Drone and Europe Transfer who provide luxury vehicles for up to 8 travellers from nearby airports and Bourg St Maurice station. Prices for a return transfer for 8 people from Geneva Airport start at €760 and minibuses have wifi, usb charging points and water provided to make sure your journey is as comfortable as possible. They are adding more and more electric vehicles to their fleet which puts a smile on our faces at Fish & Pips – travel in style in one of their Teslas!
Underground parking is widely available in Val d’Isère (definitely recommended if you don’t want to dig out your car after all that snow!) and can be pre-booked to guarantee your spot. Prices start from €76 for 7 days parking. Some of our partner hotels have parking facilities for guests so if you plan on travelling by car please speak to one of the team who will be able to advise.