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Val d'Isère family holidays and breaks

Snowboarders relaxing Snowboarders relaxing © Agence Nuts - Val d'Isere Tourist Office
Carnival atmosphere in Val d'IsèreCarnival atmosphere in Val d'Isère© Agence Nuts - Val d'Isere Tourist Office
Summer  Summer © Agence Nuts - Val d'Isere Tourist Office
Toddlers playing in the snowToddlers playing in the snow© Agence Nuts - Val d'Isere Tourist Office
Winter evening  Winter evening © Agence Nuts - Val d'Isere Tourist Office
Flying Time 1.75hrs
Carbon Footprint 0.72 CO2
Timezone GMT +1
Currency Euro

Today

Overview

Val d’Isère offers great family skiing holidays at a snowsure altitude, and a pleasing town – a long-time Brit colony – to go with it.

Val d’Isère’s slopes are part of the 300km Espace Killy shared with Tignes – the resorts have a seamless join rather than being connected at the edges. Val’s skiing goes up to 3,300m on the Glacier de Pissaillas, while Tignes’ reaches 3,455m on the Grand Motte glacier – the latter is particularly good for enthusiastic youngsters, with easyish runs all the way down.

In fact, while there’s challenging stuff from end to end, the endless pistes are wonderful for families, even if there are some steep bits above town. Beware that Val constantly underplays its runs, though, so watch out when exploring with children.

Ski schools take children all around Val d’Isère's mountains, so they can get the most out of the area. Mums and Dads can dash around and barely ski the same run twice during a holiday. It’s not always convenient, with a lot of the accommodation needing a bus hop to one or other of the base areas, but it’s simple enough going up and down the road.

Things to do with kids in Val d'Isère

There are two main entrances to Val d’Isère's skiing. In the centre of town is the nursery area – big and busy but a great place for even the youngest tot to start out. Trouble is, there’s not much to progress on to, with steep runs coming down from the Solaise area to one side, and the Bellvarde – and fast skiers criss-crossing with timid beginners – to the other. Once you’re past that first hurdle, though, there are places to go: the La Daille area 1.5km or so from town, with a big, rugged apartment complex near the base, is a good family spot.

The Funival underground funicular takes you to the top of Bellvarde, from which a sometimes steepish but comfortable red run weaves all the way back down. Or you can take chairs up for some easy cruises, or meander over to Tignes, where you’ll find lots of simple slopes (as well as plenty of exciting ones), all of them snowsure. If you want to experience Val’s skiing but feel it might be a little over the top, Tignes’ Val Claret area has plenty of space to learn and is packed with family apartments right on the slopes.

Val d’Isère has a swimming pool and sports centre, and there’s an ice rink at the beginner slopes.

Eat

From Michelin-starred establishments to humble bistros serving traditional mountain dishes, Val d’Isère's 70-plus restaurants cater to everyone. Because of the large Brit family presence – you’re as likely to hear an English voice as French – there are lots of pizza and pasta options, even though a vast number of holiday-makers eat in their chalets.

When to go to Val d'Isère

The Val d’Isère ski season lasts from the end of November to late April.

Cost

As a guideline, at the time of writing a week a week with Mark Warner (see Accommodation tab) started at £597pp.

By Nick Dalton

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