Val d’Isere in the French Alps

Saturday, 14 June 2014 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

© André Payan-Passeron/cc-by-sa-3.0

© André Payan-Passeron/cc-by-sa-3.0

Val d’Isère is a commune of the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in southeastern France. It lies 5 km (3 mi) from the border with Italy. It is on the border of the Vanoise National Park created in 1963. During the 1992 Winter Olympics, the Face de Bellevarde was the site of the men’s downhill race. Other alpine skiing events held during those games included men’s giant slalom and alpine combined. Val d’Isère regularly hosts World Cup alpine events, usually for the men in early December, and hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2009. It is located in the Rhône-Alpes region with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambéry.

Skiing in Val d’Isère has its roots in the 1930s when a drag lift was built on the slopes of the Solaise. This was followed by an aerial tramway (cable car). Within the Tarentaise Valley you find the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. Most well known neighbour systems are Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne) and Les Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel, Val Thorens and more). A weekly lift ticket in Val d’Isère/Espace Killy gives you a choice to ski one day in each of the other two systems mentioned. There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create what would have been by far the largest ski area in the world. However that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.

© Philipendula/cc-by-sa-3.0 Face de Bellevarde © Jmex/cc-by-sa-3.0 © André Payan-Passeron/cc-by-sa-3.0 © André Payan-Passeron/cc-by-sa-3.0 © André Payan-Passeron/cc-by-sa-3.0 © André Payan-Passeron/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Face de Bellevarde © Jmex/cc-by-sa-3.0
The western and central areas of Val d’Isère are most recognizable by their “chalet” architecture, while in the eastern part of the town high-rise architecture dominates the landscape. Along with nearby Tignes the area forms part of the “l’Espace Killy“, the self-titled “Most Beautiful Ski Area in the World”.

The Pissaillas Glacier offers summer skiing, as well as the usual winter fare. Snow cannon are placed on certain slopes to accommodate heavy skiing. The ski slopes themselves are equipped with a high-volume gondola, able to transport standing skiers, the funicular Funival from La Daille via a tunnel to the top of Bellevarde, traditional chair lifts—some with windshields and many detachable, button/disc-pulls and tow-ropes. There are both groomed slopes and backcountry (off-piste) skiing. The slopes’ difficulty levels are particularly high. However, as in Tignes there are wide, easily-navigable pistes for those of the beginner-intermediate level as well. Its extensive off-piste facilities include guides for safety reasons; reviews are generally favourable. Tignes possesses more of the same, with a funicular shuttling skiers up through one of the mountains to the Grande Motte glacier. A free shuttle bus runs between the villages in the valley, providing free transport throughout the towns of Val d’Isère and La Daille.

Read more on Val d’Isère and Wikipedia Val d’Isère. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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