9 Reasons to book an Easter Ski Holiday in Val d’Isère

Easter is one those holidays that seems to creep up and catch you off guard; the shoulder season that has people ‘umming and ahhing’ over where to go and what to do. Spring is one of the most glorious times of the year in the French Alps and Easter is all to often overlooked when planning a ski holiday. Yet higher ski resorts, such as Val d’Isère in the l’Espace Killy, consistently deliver snow-sure pistes and stunning bluebird days. And given it has been one of the best ski seasons we’ve ever seen with enough snow on the ground to last until next season, this year, in particular, is an idyllic time to head to the mountains. If you are not already convinced, here are 9 reasons that will make you want to book an Easter Ski Holiday to Val d’Isère.

    1. Snow-sure piste, long lunches & sunny terraces: one of the best things about spring skiing are the milder temps, blue skies and sunshine; the perfect conditions for late extended lunches that last to après-ski.L’Etincelle: Val d’Isère is packed with great lunch spots but on a recent trip, we tried lunch at the new L’Etincelle located at the bottom of the Solaise gondola and the slalom stadium. A fabulous spot to watch the world go by, the restaurant has a massive outdoor terrace ideal for a late lunch or après-ski beverage. We were there on a blustery snowy afternoon and sat inside by the large panoramic windows that overlooked the piste. We all commented how we would be back to soak up the sunshine at this impressive destination.  Chef Pierre Yves Casanova’s menu caters for all tastes and is a refreshing change-up to the traditional Savoyard cuisine that can be frequently found on the mountain. There is a variety of fish and grilled meat dishes, fresh salads, wholesome pizzas, homemade pastries and desserts, along with some great sharing snack platters that can be paired with a wide selection of wines from the cellar. Everyone in our group had caught sight of the incredible pizzas coming from the kitchen when we first arrived and we looked no further. Topped with quality ingredients such as prosciutto, black truffles, buffalo mozzarella & homemade pesto – we were not disappointed. Our eyes were bigger than our tummies and the temptation of their scrumptious desserts was too much to resist but we did not regret a moment of our decision. All I can say is arrive with an empty tummy and make the most of dining at L’Etincelle, it is a great addition to Val d’Isère’s culinary scene. Open every lunchtime and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. *Private of room & wine cellar available for exclusive use. Booking recommended. Click here for more info>>

      La Peau de Vache: For the ultimate traditional experience, head to La Peau de Vache (AKA ‘The Cowhide’) at the top of the Bellevarde Express chair. With a cosy and inviting ambience, this place is renowned for its epic burgers and hearty Savoyard cuisine. For something lighter, opt for the goat’s cheese salad. As spring approaches, a BBQ is set up on the terrace. Complemented perfectly with a cold beer, watch the brave and fearless skiers tackle La Face of Bellevarde from this great vantage point. Don’t expect to get a table on the impromptu off chance, this restaurant is a firm resort favourite and booking is essential. To make the most of this restaurant’s generous hospitality, book a late lunch for the second seating at 2 or 2.30pm. The be prepared to consume plenty of Genepy and be there all afternoon till sunset!! Open daily for lunch, snacks and drinks from 09:00 to 17:00, there is a late opening on a Tuesday until 23:00. For bookings call  +33 4 79 06 11 29.

    2. Spring snow is ideal for younger families: Spring is the probably the best time of year to head to Val d’Isère and in particular for those with younger families. In contrast to the often harsh temperatures that can be experienced during the February Half Term – which can be very uninviting for little ones and parents alike – spring weather delivers more frequent bluebirds days and sunshine. After all, there is nothing more tiresome that layering up a crying 4-year-old like a Michelin man and offloading to them to ski school in bitter winds and sub-zero temperatures. The slightly softer spring snow tends to also be more forgiving for learners and no-one can complain about fewer crowds to contend with. Fortunately, the slightly warmer spring weather does not impact the quality of snow in Val d’Isère. It simply provides a more enticing day-time average of perhaps 3°C  opposed the brutal -20°C+ temp experienced mid-season. Val d’Isère’s glacier skiing and high altitude domain deliver snow-sure pistes right through to May. Given there is currently a 6m base and March has brought even more snow, if there was ever a season to hit the Alps for Easter, it is now!

      family ski holiday
    3. Val d’Isère’s superb variety of terrain: Val d’Isère’s piste difficulty level is renowned for being particularly high and widely considered better suited to intermediate and advanced skiers. However, this is misleading. Val d’Isère’s appeal is that it does in fact harbour a variety of terrain to accommodate all abilities. If you’re a complete beginner, head to the nursery areas where a ski pass is not required. Take advantage of free beginner ski lifts or just practise on the gentle slopes without even having to use a lift at all. There are seven lifts in total that are free of charge – great for learning and developing confidence. Progressing onwards? Head for the long wide green runs extending from the top of the Borat Express and Grand Pre chair to the bottom of La Daille. For something a little more adventurous, explore the various rolling blues and more challenging reds of the Solaise. And for the fearless and brave, tackle the notorious black run on La Face de Bellevarde. Needless to say, if you are an adrenaline junkie there is some serious off-piste action to be found – Val d’Isère is a playground of some of the world’s finest backcountry.
    4. Trade your skis for snowshoes: Take the Solaise bubble on a pedestrian pass and head to the top of the mountain. Off the back of where the bubble exits lies a beautiful lake, Lac Ouellette. For those on skis, this can otherwise be accessed at the bottom of the Madeleine piste and chairlift. In the depth of winter, the lake is a frozen flatland of snow towered by white giants –  a spectacle in itself. However, come spring a new beauty begins to reveal itself as life creeps back to the mountains. A lovely activity for a sunny day, there is a path circumferencing the lake. It doesn’t take long and makes for a relaxed walk that all ages and fitness levels can enjoy together. If the snow is heavy, snow-shoes might be wise but good waterproof boots will suffice. Poles would be advisable but again they are not essential. Adjacently nestled on the lakeside you will find Restaurant Ouillette. Another popular spring sun trap, this fun atmospheric restaurant has a superb sun terrace dotted with brightly coloured furniture. You can choose from a variety of food and drink and the menu is unpretentious and reliably delicious. A great spot to while away the hours on a deck chair, it tends to be busy during warmer weather, so booking is recommended. Contact +33 4 79 41 94 74
    5. Easter Egg Hunt:  Head to the Savonnette nursery slope on April 2nd at 5.45pm for an ‘eggstra’ special family Easter egg hunt. Let your little ones test their legs and ski skills as they and find some delicious chocolate treats hiding on this gentle downward descent. *For children under 12 years old only.
    6. Alpine Easter Mass: For something a little different on your Easter ski holiday, join Val d’Isère’s local community at the 11th-century baroque church in the heart of the village as they celebrate Easter with a traditional Easter Mass at 8pm on Saturday, March 31st, 2018. The beautiful sound of a choir and alpine horns will echo through the mountains filling the air with the happy sounds of Easter.
    7. Find the Val d’Isère’s Eagle: Val d’Isère’s Eagle emblem is a fitting symbol representing the enormity of the resorts vast slopes and wild backcountry. The resort is committed to the conservation and protection of this majestic bird and to round up Winter 2017/18, they have instigated a fun campaign centred on ‘finding the Eagle’. Get involved and jump online to follow the clues on Val d’Isère’s Facebook page>>
    8. Val d’Isère’s 22nd International Adventure and Adventure Film Festival will take place at the Convention Center from Monday 16th to Thursday 19th April 2018. A highlight end of season event in Val d’Isère, it brings together a near 9000 spectators over four evenings of exhilarating adventures. *Free admission screenings. View more info here>>
    9. Save up to 50% on Val d’Isère’s most exclusive luxury chalets:  Now if all that is listed above is not enough to entice you to book your Easter Ski Holiday now, then an opportunity to save over 50% on some of France’s most exclusive luxury chalets surely should. Fully catered and staffed, these magnificent residences are destinations in their own right and feature everything from swimming pools and private spa facilities to grand pianos and biathlon laser shooting ranges. Find out more here>>
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