Part of the Espace Killy ski area, Val d’Isère has long been a firm favourite with British and French visitors alike. The central village retains a lovely alpine feel, with attractive stone and wooden chalets. The centre has a wide array of bars, restaurants and shops and the skiing is extensive, snow sure, and suits skiers of all abilities. Val d’Isère’s potential as a winter tourist destination was realised in the early twentieth century with the first cable car installed in 1940.
The town is made up of a number of hamlets from the budget La Daille to the more traditional Le Fornet. Farm building conversions can be found in Le Cret, nestled in the hillside between La Daille and the centre while much of the accommodation in Le Chatelard, Le Joseray and La Legettaz offers skiing to the door. At the top of the valley, Le Fornet (and nearby Le Laisinat) has a picture postcard appeal with traditional Savoyard chalets dotted around the hills offering chic and exclusive accommodation as well as glacier skiing and a vertical descent of 1500m back into the village.
Getting to Val d’Isère can be a mission on snowy winter roads, and rarely less than 3 hours from Geneva airport or 2 hours from Chambery. The Eurostar runs winter services to Bourg St Maurice if you have travel time to spare.
Val d’Isère’s most obvious appeal is direct access to one of the world’s best ski areas. With neighbouring Tignes, it is part of the Espace Killy ski region with over 300km of pisted ski runs. The terrain is varied and the off piste extensive and easy to reach giving options for all levels of skier.
The Col d'Iseran is a popular uphill slog for would-be Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froomes while summer skiing is offered over the peaks in Tignes.
Similar to Méribel, Val d’Isère has been a popular choice with British buyers, whether investing in a cheap and cheerful apartment or a more palatial ski-in/ski-out chalet. Prices at the high end reflect the resort’s popularity as a winter destination and also the improvements to infrastructure and facilities. There is little land left for development due to the valley’s topography so new-build chalets are rare, with more resale availability.
Tignes, Ste Foy, Villaroger (La Plagne, Paradiski), Bourg St Maurice
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