Val d’Isere, France

Rightfully regarded as one of the best ski resorts in France, Val d’Isere is hugely popular amongst skiers of all walks of life. The mix of traditional Savoyarde style village, classy upmarket areas with michelin star restaurants and stylish shops, and some of the best skiing in the Alps mean the resort has an enduring appeal.

With over 300km of skiing, between 1850m and 3455m, the Espace Killy offers a superb amount of snow sure skiing for intermediates and experts. Together with Tignes, Val d’Isere is one of the best options around for early and late season skiing. The resort draws high end clientel and seasonaires in equal measure, with the famously lively nightlife and the glacier skiing at Tignes.

Mountain restaurants like the Edelweiss are excellent, offering traditional character and sunny terraces in out of the way corners of the slopes. The centre of the resort has plenty of high fashion and technical shops, while bars like Dick’s Tea Bar are resort institutions that bare visiting at least once.

The Espace Killy ski area is famous for its challenging skiing and extensive pistes. From the infamous Face de Bellevarde downhill run to the more accessible beginner and intermediate runs, this ski area has some of the most snow sure skiing in Europe. Although the area is best for expert skiers, intermediates and beginners are well equipped, with 55% of the slopes green and blue runs.

For experts, not only are there some advanced slopes on piste, but the off piste in Val d’Isere and Tignes is superb, with accessible powder available for those looking for more challenging skiing. La Face is used for the men’s downhill world cup run, and there is a superb restaurant just off the side of the run that serves great local food.

Over in Tignes, the skiing is open most of the year, with summer skiing available on the glacier. The slopes are a little gentler, leading down to the frozen lake. The ski tranquil zones on Bellevarde and Solaise are perfect for families and learners, while the Oakley ValPark is popular amongst teenagers.

With a large amount of regeneration in Val d’Isere, the bulk of opportunities here are new build properties, and there have been a number of luxurious, high spec apartments in the centre of Val d’Isere that proved popular amongst buyers. There are a number of chalets slightly further from the centre of the town, each with superb facilities including spa and wellness areas.

Property in Val d’Isere doesn’t come cheap, be it a seven bedroom chalet or a three bedroom apartment. There is a more reasonably priced development in Tignes Les Brevieres though, which boasts a good position in one of the prettier areas of the resort. The development has completely renovated a traditional Savoyarde style building, creating chic new apartments.

Known primarily for the summer skiing on Tignes Glacier, there is nevertheless a wide variety of activities that can be enjoyed during the summer months. The glacier skiing was once open year round, but these days, the mountain is shut for a short period in order to properly maintain the mountain. When the summer season starts, there are a number of ski improvement courses and race training circuits available.

When the morning of skiing is over, you can head for Tignes le Lac where there is a leisure area complete with tennis courts, basketball, volleyball and football. From afternoons sailing, windsurfing, canoeing or pedaloing around the lake, to heading over to the golf course for a round or two in the stunning high Alpine scenery, there’s no shortage of apres ski activities.

The area is also home to traditional activities like hiking and mountain biking, with a number of routes in both Tignes and Val d’Isere. Over in Val d’Isere, the luxurious leisure centre boasts a number of different pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam baths.

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