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A large apres ski party at La Folie Douce in Val d'Isere

Val d'Isère is in a class of its own when it comes to snow sports. Part of what was formerly called the Espace Killy ski area, it links with neighbouring ski resort Tignes - opening up a virtually unrivalled range of pistes to enjoy during your ski holiday.

In addition to 300km of runs for all abilities, almost 25,000 acres of off-piste terrain, and easy access to the Grande Motte Glacier, Val d'Isère also has plenty to pique the interest of non-skiers - think ice diving and snowshoeing, plus helicopter rides over the Alps. Travelling on a budget? Catch the state-of-the-art Solaise gondola to the top of the mountain instead for equally memorable views.

When the lifts close, unclip your skis and get ready to enjoy Val d'Isère's epic après scene, from restaurants with jaw-dropping outlooks which serve up tasty local bites (fondue, anyone?) to buzzy nightlife venues, including the original Folie Douce.

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Val d'Isère ski resort

If you're after a picture-perfect backdrop for all your post-ski selfies, you can't beat Val d'Isère. Despite being completely refurbished in the 90s, the resort still retains its traditional Alpine feel. It's littered with charming chalets, hotels and apartments, plus the après scene is legendary.

Val d'Isère is split into three main sections: the village centre (also known as 1850 due to its altitude), La Daille (home to a super smart gondola opened in 2019) and Le Fornet (a chocolate box Savoyard village). Around the main resort and across the valley you'll also spot a handful of pretty hamlets to ski through or stay in.

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Val d'Isère centre

This is the very heart of Val d'Isère and where you'll find the majority of the accommodation, après ski venues and ski hire shops. Its lofty position means there are slopes you can access straight from the village which almost always have good snowfall. In the centre itself, there are lots of beautiful buildings to admire, including Val d'Isère's picture-worthy Baroque church.

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La Daille

Located just below Val d'Isère centre, La Daille is the first village you drive through when you pass through Tignes on the way up the mountain, and it's easily reached by shuttle bus from the village centre. Its mix of runs for every ability makes it a good choice for at least one day of your ski trip, plus the La Daille gondola is the access point for those hoping to spend an hour or so soaking up the buzzing après scene at La Folie Douce Val d'Isère.

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Le Fornet

This picturesque hamlet to the east of the main village is easily reached on skis or on the free shuttle bus, which connects the two in under 10 minutes. Dotted with attractive chalets, Le Fornet is additionally the jumping off point for numerous backcountry ski adventures, especially in the Col d'Isère.

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Val d'Isère après

As well as formidable skiing, Val d'Isère has a reputation for awesome après ski. It's the location of the original Folie Douce whose sun terrace you'll find packed with a lively crowd most days of the week during the winter.

In Val d'Isère itself, ski-in, ski-out après bar Cocorico always draws a crowd with its live bands, drinks deals and table dancing. Petit Danois on the north west edge of the village has more of a pub vibe - think pool tables, pints and a menu featuring burgers and buffalo wings.

If you're after somewhere casual for a quiet drink at the end of a tiring day of skiing or snowboarding, Chez Jules is a cosy drinking hole in the heart of Val d'Isère that's run by Jules, a former competitive skier.

Restaurants in Val d'Isère

Whatever you're craving during your daily mountain adventures, you're bound to find it in Val d'Isère. The resort is home to a wide mix of restaurants, from La Luge at the Hôtel Le Blizzard with its rustic alpine interiors to the slick two Michelin star L'Atelier d'Edmond located in Le Fornet.

For a little bit of history while you eat, head to La Grande Ourse opposite the main ski lifts in Val d'Isère centre. It was the first ever restaurant in the resort and serves up some mouthwatering local dishes from its cosy dining room and heated sun terrace. Another great place for local bites - think gooey fondues and rich stews - is La Casserole.

And, finally, if you've got your mind set on some high quality cuts of meat, don't miss Le 1789 where you can tuck into 1kg of some seriously tender beef ribs paired with a bottle of rich red French wine. Travelling in a particularly large group? Have us book you a table in advance.

Val d'Isère nightlife

If you want to let your hair down on your group ski trip, Val d'Isère doesn't disappoint. Dick's Tea Bar is a real stalwart of the resort's nightlife scene that's been around since the late 70s. You'll find it on Rue du Parcs des Sports in the centre of the village and it blasts out great tunes until 5am most nights.

Alternatively, head back to fun Petit Danois for their late night live music sets or make a beeline for the Doudoune Club that's known for hosting world-class DJs like David Guetta and Roger Sanchez. If you're more of a cocktail kinda group, La Baraque is a cool bar restaurant on the northern edge of Val d'Isère with live bands playing from 7pm til 11pm.

Mountain bites

Need to refuel on the mountain? There's a great selection of eateries scattered across the Val d'Isère pistes.

Those hoping to tackle La Face will want to consider treating themselves to a gourmet burger (fillings include foie gras, smoked salmon and duck confit) at the atmospheric, La Peau de Vache. As well as delicious food, cosy interiors and friendly staff, it also has two resident labradors called Charlie and Nemo who are always up for finishing off your meal.

If you've got your eye on some of the slopes near La Daille, Les Tufs has a lovely sun terrace where you can enjoy a pizza or tempt your tastebuds with some local specialties. Another high altitude eatery with fantastic views is Le Signal at the bottom of the Fornet gondola. Alternatively, Bar de l'Ouillette in the Solaise ski area overlooks a lake and has a menu of French favourites like croque monsieurs and crêpes.

Keen to party at the Folie Douce? Next door is where you'll find La Fruitière - the perfect spot to line your stomach with a five cheese platter or a big bowl of French onion soup.

Val d'Isère for non-skiers

A BMW car driving on Val d'Isere's ice race track

Groups with people who aren't confident skiers are in luck as the resort offers up numerous options when it comes to non-skiing escapades.

Test your endurance outdoors with adrenaline-rushing activities like ice diving or snowshoeing. Those with a need for speed might prefer hitting the snowy roads on an ice driving adventure or going cross country on the back of a skidoo. After a more quintessentially alpine experience? You can't beat an afternoon whizzing through snowy forests on the back of a dog sled or an evening spent by the fire at a wilderness camp.

When it comes to unforgettable off-piste experiences for those flush with spending money, why not consider a scenic helicopter ride or a paragliding lesson over the valley?

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Ski Holidays in Val d'Isère

Searching for somewhere spectacular to stay on your ski holiday? Val d'Isère accommodation is some of the best in the Alps, with plenty of beautiful ski-in, ski-out chalets and five-star hotels featuring unbeatable views and luxe extras.

If you're keen to book a Val d'Isère chalet, you'll find dozens of options for larger groups, plus budget ones you can share with other skiers. There are also a handful of Val d'Isère apartments ideal for smaller groups looking to cater for themselves.

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