Val d’Isère is an attractive resort with a vibrant atmosphere and incredible skiing. Sitting at 1,850m, the high-altitude resort forms part of the Espace Killy ski area which offers 300km of skiable terrain and is often regarded as having the most reliable snow in the Alps. Val d’Isère also has a glacier – The Pisaillas glacier, allowing for year-round skiing, which reaches up to 3,300m and boasts panoramic views across the Isere Valley.
Benefitting from an efficient and extensive lift system and linked to the neighbouring resort of Tignes, there is much terrain to explore. Best suited for intermediate and advanced skiers, Val d’Isère offers some thrilling runs and off-piste skiing but also has ample beginner-friendly areas. In this guide, one of the leading ski lesson booking platforms, Maison Sport, explores the ski area in Val d’Isère and its suitability for skiers of all abilities.
Val d’Isère Ski Area
The ski area in Val d’Isère is made up of three main areas; Solaise and Bellevarde, which can both be accessed directly from the town centre and Fornet, which is accessible from the Solaise area or the villages of Le Fornet and Le Laisinant. The ski area in Val d’Isère consists of 166 runs, of which 14% are green, 40% blue, 27% red and 19% black.
Beginner Skiing in Val d’Isère
Despite its reputation as a resort for intermediate and advanced skiers, Val d’Isère has plenty of great nursery slopes and wide, gentle runs suitable for beginners. The excellent snow conditions are great for learners and there are two main nursery slopes, one in the village and one at the top of the Solaise gondola. Once you progress from the nursery slopes, there are designated beginner areas to explore, such as Verte and Madeleine. The easier runs in Val d’Isère tend to be at higher altitudes with the pistes becoming more challenging as you ski back down to the resort, so we advise taking the lifts back down if you are still building confidence. Val d’Isère benefits from some incredible ski instructors who can take beginners to the best areas for their ability and help them advance their skiing technique quickly.
Intermediate Skiing in Val d’Isère
Val d’Isère is an excellent resort for intermediate skiers looking to challenge themselves and progress their skills. With plenty of blue and red runs to explore, adventurous, intermediate skiers will be spoilt for choice. The Solaise area is a great spot for lower-intermediate skiers, with plenty of wide, rolling blues to cruise along. More advanced intermediate skiers should head to the Bellevard area and ski down to La Daille. One of our favourite runs in this area for intermediate skiers is the OK run. Despite its average-sounding name, the thrilling red run is a famous World Cup downhill course and is a great one to tick off your bucket list! There are plenty of challenging blues and reds to push yourself on in Val d’Isère, however, the grading system leans towards the more challenging end of the scale compared to other resorts in France, so do keep this in mind when planning out your route and don’t let it knock your confidence!
Advanced Skiing in Val d’Isère
Val d’Isère has a well-earned reputation as a prime resort for advanced skiers. With almost 20% of runs in the resort being black, there is a wide array of challenging terrain to explore. Perhaps the best-known run in Val d’Isère is La Face. Host of the men’s downhill run during the Olympics of 1992, it’s widely known as one of the most iconic black runs in the Alps. What makes this such a challenging run is not only the steep incline of 71% and almost 1,000m vertical descent but also its tendency to become incredibly icy in the afternoons. Due to this, we recommend tackling this piste in the morning, while the snow is still soft and a bit more forgiving! If you slip on the ice on La Face it can be hard to stop! For an even more challenging run, head to Epaule du Charvet. The long, ungroomed mogul descent will surely get your heart racing and quads burning!
Off-piste Skiing in Val d’Isère
Val d’Isère is a playground for advanced skiers and is home to some of the best lift-served off-piste skiing in Europe. From steep chutes to snowy bowls, there is much off-piste terrain to discover. One of the most popular off-piste areas for experienced skiers is the Col Pers, which starts on the Pissaillas glacier and descends into the Gorges de Malpasset, ending at the Fornet cable car. Accessed from the top of the Olympique cable car, Le Banane is another popular off-piste route in Val d’Isère, with an exhilarating 900m vertical drop! If you are venturing off-piste we recommend heading out early if you want fresh tracks, as L’Espace Killy is incredibly popular for off-piste skiing. When skiing off-piste, it is important to book a local guide or instructor who is equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to keep you safe. Explore local guides in Val d’Isère on Maison Sport.
Book Ski Lessons in Val d’Isère with Maison Sport
No matter your ability, Val d’Isère has something for every type of skier. To make the most of your trip, we recommend booking an instructor who can help you discover the best runs to suit your skill level and enhance your experience on the slopes! Book an expert ski instructor/guide in Val d’Isère on Maison Sport today!