Very Val d'Isere

I did 5 season in Val d'Isere before heading over to the 3 Valleys so I hope I am qualified to write a review.

Where to start? The skiing is amazing. There is no doubt that it is an off-piste mecca. I spent one December virtually living in La Fornet (located at the top of the Valley) where I skied powder every day until I couldn't feel my legs. The downside is that there are a lot of freeriders in resort so the powder does get tracked very very quickly so you need to be up early and willing to hike to keep enjoying the freshies. 

On piste in Val is a bit of a mixed experience. I think that if you are on holiday then you will have no problem but I did find that the slopes of Val quickly got a little boring and I was pushed towards Tignes for the better slopes. My favourite piste run in Val is the OK/Orange which runs down the side of the Funicular. The only problem is that it is often closed for one of the many racing events that they hold there. If you have read about Val then you could not fail to read about 'La Face' - a black bumps run that takes you back down into town. Do not be fooled by the easy access to the Face - many intermediates get caught out and end up taking a very long time to get home.

Off the piste and you are spoilt for choice. Val has many bars and clubs which should all be visited. There is a very heavy drinking culture so it is not for everyone. My favourite bars are the Blue Note (say hi to Matt and Jo) and the Pacific (large screens for all the sport). 

Resturants are predictable but ok. My favourite was the 1789 restaurant - try the large slabs of meat they cook on the open fire... delicious!

I often get asked about the people in Val. There is a myth that it is quite snotty - this is confirmed in peak weeks but in other weeks I think that Val is just like any other resort.

I hope that I have been of help and that my review fills in a few Val gaps. I enjoyed my time there but I would recommend thinking about what you are looking for from a week or season before taking the Val plunge. If you decide YES then don't hold back and get involved, if you decide NO then come and join me in Courchevel! 


Val d'Isere

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