From exciting ice driving to the best hiking spots, as well as beautiful hotels and fantastic nightlife, Val d’Isere in France has a lot to offer both on the slopes and off them. Val d'Isère, a commune of the Tarentaise Valley in southeast of France lays 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the border with Italy. The view is literally breathtaking. Along with Tignes, the area forms a part of “Espace Killy” and famous as the “Most Beautiful Ski Area in the World.” You can reach Val d’Isere from the nearest airport, Chambéry or from Geneva. You can also take the train from Bourg-St-Maurice. There are regular buses run from the station.
1. Skiing at Bellevarde
Skiing is the main activity at Val d’Isere and Bellevarde is the right place to start. Bellevarde, with a summit of 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles), is the most famous of Val d’Isère’s many and varied slopes. It has easy access with a high quality cable car, the Olympic, with 24-place carriages. The Olympic can reach the top in just six minutes; it makes the cable car as one of the largest and most efficient in the world.
There are many official ski schools with different degree of skiing levels that fit your needs. So, whether you’re a first timer or an advance player, kids or adults, you will be spoiled with 18 different official ski schools scattered around Val d’Isere. So gear up and get ready to pump your adrenaline at Bellevarde.
Oxygen Ski & Snowboard School
Address: Vanoise National Park, Galerie des Cimes, 73150 Val-d'Isère, France
Website: Oxygen Ski & Snowboard School
2. Snowboarding at Val d’Isere Snowpark
Freestyle snowboarding is another options to try other skills on the snow. The brilliant Val d’Isere Snowpark has a large number of facilities to try freestyle snowboarding, including a number of rails and jumps that suit all levels. It is located on the other side of Bellevarde and it is easily accessible via the Olympic cable car, followed by either a drag lift or another gondola.
Val d'Isere Snowpark
Website: Val d'Isere Snowpark
3. Head off the beaten track to the Prariond Valley
At more than 2 kilometers (1.3 miles) altitude, the Prariond Valley offers some brilliant trails through a breathtaking landscape. It also hosts a refuge that welcomes a small number of hikers to stay each night. Along the hike, you will be granted with wildlife environment, with its large range of flora and fauna. The Prariond Valley is home to one of the largest colonies of the endangered Pyrenean ibex in France. So put on your snowshoes and head out to Prariond Valley!
Foret du Fornet
Website: Foret du Fornet
4. Biking from Val d’Isere to Tignes
There are days when you have enough ice related activity during your holiday. Check out the mountain biking starting from Val d’Isere to Tignes! Val d'Isere is now linking up with Tignes Bike Park. You can start by taking the Olympic gondola and the Solaise and Borsat chairlifts on Bellevarde mountain. The lifts link you up with another 2 in Tignes, so you can have around 150 kilometers (93 miles) of mountain bike trails to try out. And they are all FREE! You just need to put down a 5 Euro deposit when you collect the ticket from the main lift pass office.
Mountain Biking Holiday
Website: Mountain Biking Holiday
5. Pump your adrenaline with white river rafting at Haute Isere River
The Northern Alps are full of great rivers that offer lots of opportunities for various rafting experiences. Pump your adrenaline by venturing down the Haute Isere River on a raft. It does not require any particular technical skills, nor to be extremely fit. White water rafting is accessible to all who love the natural environment and whoever feel adventurous. It’s important to follow all the requirements and guidelines from the rafting operator. Have fun and enjoy the amazing scenery!
River Runners (Coureurs de Rivieres)
Address: route d'Hauteville, 73700 Bourg-Saint-Maurice / Les Arcs, Tarentaise, Savoie, Rhone-Alpes, France
Website: River Runners
6. Catch the Alps from the sky with Marine Air Sport
Another activity that is a must at Val d’Isere is the microlight flight with Marine Air Sport. For 80 Euros, you will set out flying up to 3 kilometers (10,000 feet) above the Alps for 12 minutes. You will take off from the top of the ski lifts above Val d'Isere. You will be granted with breathtaking view across the mountains, valleys and lakes while flying. Don’t forget to wear windproof warm clothing, face scarf and gloves. And if you take a camera (and you should), strap it it securely at your wrist.
It’s an experience you will never want to miss!
Website: Microlight Flight
7. Apres ski at Cocorico
After a day full of skiing, it’s time to go for après ski at Cocorico Bar. Open from 2 to 8 p.m. every day, Cocorico is located right at the foot of Solaise and the Face de Bellevarde, a perfect après ski place with spectacular views. Now, you maybe wondering what is après ski. Après ski is a French word for “after ski.” It’s a general phrase to describe the social activities that take place after a day spent hitting the slopes. Cocorico is famous as one of the best apres ski bar in Val Disere. Its atmosphere is great with awesome music; it has DJ players, live music, large beers and, of course, dancing on tables outside.
Cocorico Val d'Isère
Address: Place du Rond Point des Pistes, 73150 Val-d'Isère, France
Website: Cocorico Val d'Isère
8. Relaxing spa at the Aquasportif Centre
After a few days of adrenaline activities, reward your self with a relaxing spa at Aquasportif Centre. You can get one free entrance with your lift pass. The Aquasportif Centre is an indoor sports center with activities such as the cardio and weight zone, yoga, wall climbing and even a golf simulator. There is also a beach world, which is perfect for children to spend their time playing water. At this center, the spa world offers a haven of well being with three traditional and infra-red saunas, steam bath and three jacuzzis. The 250 square meter (2,700 square foot) Spa World will revive and refresh your inner energy.
Address: 149 route du col Les Saisies, 73620 Hauteluce, France
Website: Centre Aquasportif
One of the best family holiday experiences!Val d’Isere offers high adrenaline activities with complete levels from beginners to experts. Suitable for all ages, it is one of the best family holiday experiences. Come and pay it a visit!
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