• Slope and chalets at Val d'Isere.
  • Village of Val d'Isere at night.

Gateway City: Geneva
Transfer Time: 3.75 hours
Via: Motorcoach

Beginner: 14%
Intermediate: 45%
Expert: 41%


  • DISPLAY AMMENITIES (roll over icons)
  • A Best of the Alps Resort
  • Chic Shopping
  • Casino
  • English Spoken
  • Expensive
  • Family Resort
  • Fine Food
  • Fly Luggage
  • Glacier Express
  • Haute Route
  • High Season Lines
  • Long Season
  • Lots to do
  • No Cars
  • Olympic Resort
  • Party Town
  • Skier's Resort
  • Summer Skiing
  • Very Scenic
  • World Cup Races
  • X Country

Val d’Isère

For centuries Val d’Isère was a long-forgotten hunting hamlet for French royals, trapped in a dead-end valley, fringing the tree-line, surrounded by steep mountains. Snow-filled forever-winters forced subsistence-level living on the poor, local farmers. Then in 1929 Jacques Mouflier came to town; their first skier. He suggested developing tourism and the rest is skiing history. The sprawling town was re-designed for the ’92 Olympics. An investment, completed a few years ago to the tune of 200MM Euros, expanded the village so the pedestrian area connects to the town’s major lift complex. The result: Val d’Isère is an ever-more appealing, harmonious and better organized resort. So good reason it’s a Brit favorite, and always in the top ten of the world’s ski resorts.    

Val d’Isère’s natives nurture their babies into champions: Henri Oreiller, the Goitschel sisters, and, of course, Jean-Claude Killy. Their Olympic golds came from extensive training on the pistes in that dead-end valley. In 1938 the first Solaise lift was installed. In 2017, a subsequent Solaise high-speed, 7-minute gondola with heated seats, increased capacity by 40%. Then engineers literally flattened that mountain, building a restaurant, lodge, picnic area, and children’s playground at the top, all with great views of the famous ‘Face de Bellevarde’ downhill run. Today Val d’Isère, combined with Tignes, has 75 up-to-the-minute lifts linking 159 runs totaling 190 piste miles. The area, six times the size of Vail, covers more than 25,000 acres and averages over 40′ of snow a year. Terrain and facilities are impressive enough that besides the Olympics, they hosted the ’09 World Championships. From 18/19, a new high-speed gondola whisks dancing queens directly from La Daille up to the ever-popular Folie Deuce!


Hotels in Val d’Isère


This small 17-room hotel, opened in ’13, is truly a family affair. It’s in the village’s historic center where the Mattis family’s great grandparents opened the town’s second hotel and the name refers to the five grandsons who helped them. Today the youngest generation manages this unique hotel. It has three or four rooms per floor so a family or group can reserve one for themselves. They have in-house ski rental and a children’s playroom. Décor mixes antique with the new, colorful with the exotic, in this cozy, comfy, cozy family hotel.

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  • Exterior of Hotel Christiania in Val d'Isere.
  • Lounge in Hotel Christiania in Val d'Isere.
  • Bath in Hotel Christiania in Val d'Isere.
  • Suite in Hotel Christiania in Val d'Isere.


The Christiania’s high standards earned it a fifth star in ’12. It’s ski-in and out, rare in European resorts, and very central. The recently redone, well-appointed 69 balconied rooms have rustic-alpine furnishings. They have a fireplace in the sunny lounge; a pool with sauna, hammam, and hydro-therapy spa; and fine-quality cuisine. Then there’s Philippe Bertoli with his son, Bastien, and their guest-friendly staff – no wonder the hotel’s top-rated. A hard-to-beat combination, here or anywhere!

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