Val d'Isère enjoys life as one of France’s premier ski resorts. Situated next to Tignes, its sister resort, they form ‘L’espace Killy’. Some visitors call it, ‘the most beautiful ski area in the world’. Residents built Val d’Isère’s first ski lift in the 1930s, and they have since refashioned their village in to a landmark on the skier’s map.
The Isère river flows through the village and brings plentiful water for the resort’s 320 snow cannons. To the south-west, the Vanoise National Park envelopes the village. And at night, chalet lights glisten in the snow and the mountain breathes the scent of fresh pine.
The winter season lasts from November to May, and is one of the longest seasons in France, bringing consistent and lengthy snowfall. As such, with great weather plus chalets and apartments priced at just €200,000, Val d’Isère attracts property investors. Demand is set to grow, with the French authorities to invest £170 million in the area between 2017 and 2022. Take a look at our detailed snow and weather report for Val d’Isère here.
Living in Val d’Isère
Val d’Isère and its 1,601 permanent residents welcome you year-round. When the summer sun appears and the snow melts away, you will find plenty to keep both yourself and any family busy. Surrounded by stunning ranges, many challenge themselves by cycling up the local mountains - or you might want to tick an item off your bucket list and hike the wooded. Nearby, you can uncover the secrets of the Vanoise National Park, and trek 2600m upwards to the beautiful Ouilette Lake. Tourists and locals alike agree there is something magical about watching the world go by from the serene Bellevarde mountain, where there is also a chance to spot a rare Alpine Ibex.
During the winter, Val d’Isère reveals itself as more than a ski resort. Many visitors enjoy a warm swim at the sports centre, while the more adventurous soar on a paraglider. For those that want to make a home here, you will find plenty of familiar amenities including a local gym and both squash and badminton courts. If you want to treat yourself, there are many fine dining restaurants either in the resort or in one of the local towns, including some awarded the prestigious Michelin Star.
If you ski regularly, Val d’Isère will not let you down. The altitude of the resort sits at 1,785 – 3,599 metres above sea level, keeping the temperatures low in the winter season but warm in the off-seasons. Annually you will find there’s plenty of the white stuff to go around, with 889cm falling in the 2017-2018 season. And with over 300km of well-groomed pistes and 79 ski lifts, you will enjoy a different skiing adventure every year.
You will notice many of your home comforts here; with hair dressers, book stores, cash points, supermarkets, sports shops, a post office, a laundrette, clothes shops and a pharmacy. The nearby Bourg Saint Maurice Hospital or one of the two medical centres will take care of any injuries.
Val d’Isère and culture
After you rush down the slopes, enjoy a warm welcome in the Val Morris History Museum, which suitably lives in the village’s oldest building. Admirers of art will appreciate the Galerie Jane Griffiths, which hosts works by Bouteiller, Combas, and Velickovic.
If you make your home here, head to the community centre and relax in the library, with book in hand, and watch the snow float by the window. The community centre is also home to an independent cinema, showing both indie and blockbuster films.
Investment potential in Val d’Isère
Why is Val d’Isère one of the crown jewels of French winter sports? It attracts skiers and investors alike because it collects snow like a basket. Westerly winds bring snow from the Atlantic and Easterly winds bring snow from the Italian Alps.
It powered through the 2016 World Snow Awards, where judges titled it the Ski Resort of the Year in the European and overall categories. In 2016, authorities installed a new Gondola system, which increased the number of seats by 40%. In 2017, they began to build a new guest arrival centre and an underground passage from town to the ski lifts. And by 2022, they will build 100 new luxury apartments.
Transport to Val d’Isère
You will reach Val d’Isère with ease. Arrive by plane at Chambery Airport (134km away) or Geneva Airport (180km away). Taxis and buses wait to take you to the resort. The train will get you to the closest station at Bourg-St-Maurice, where local taxis sit ready to transport you and your ski gear.
If you drive, it will take you around 3 hours from Lyon or Geneva. Please note that the Government closes the Iseran pass in the winter.
Many come to Val d’Isère for its resort culture and reliable snowfall and stay because it only gets better year on year. The world-class ski facilities match those found anywhere and investment continues to make them even better.