Things To Do in…Val d’Isere
So, you’re going out to the Alps and can’t wait to get those skis on and then sit back and then enjoy the refreshments of Après. Skiing is why most people visit this stunning part of the world but there’s also a lot more you can do here.
Here are a few of our favourite things to do when not on the slopes in Val d’Isere:
Photo credit: valdisere-ice-driving.com
First up, and keeping with the outdoor/adventure theme, is ice-driving. This is both a fun and useful activity as you’ll learn how to tackle the dangers of driving in the snow and ice but in a controlled and safe environment. Supervised by a qualified instructor, you’ll learn advanced driving techniques on both an 800m snowy, icy circuit with 16 turns.
Find out more at: valdisere-ice-driving.com
Spa & Wellness
Photo credit: Village Montana
Looking to relax instead? Val d’Isere has some of the best pampering in the Alps, with over 20 different centres offering everything from 5* spa experiences to a variety of massages and health treatments.
Don’t fancy braving the cold? Some massage companies will even visit you in your chalet, for the ultimate relaxer.
Find out more at: www.valdisere.com/activites/spa-et-bien-etre
The Eye of the Needle
This stunning rock formation sits at 2,800m and is a massive rock with a hole through the middle, hence the name. It’s also featured in the James Bond film, A View to Kill, where Roger Moore ski right through the eye of the needle. It’s a great place to stop and get a picture or have a picnic on your way through. You can get here by taking the Aiguille Percée chairlift up by Tignes Le Lac.
The Eye of the Needle – photo credit: Aiguille Percée
Après, it’s almost as popular as the skiing itself. If you haven’t heard of it, this is the bit where you stop skiing and have a well-earned rest, with a drink – or two – or sometimes a few more. The official line is: Après-ski, French for after ski, is a term for entertainment, nightlife or social events that occur specifically at ski resorts. The culture originated in the Alps, where it is most popular, and sees skiers stop at bars on their last run of the day while still wearing all their ski gear.
A few of the most popular après ski bars in the Val d’Isere are:
Busy from 2-5pm. On the mountain, get the ski bubble up to it, or ski to and from it
They have music and performers, and dancing on the tables in your ski boots is encouraged – it’s a lot of fun. It’s basically an outdoor club on the side of the mountain in the snow and can be a good sun trap in the Spring.
Photo credit: La Folie Douce
Set in the heart of Val d’Isere, at the bottom of L’Olympique gondola at Rond Point de Pistes, Coco Rico is a very lively place to continue any Folie Douce après. They have a live band playing classic anthems that you can sing-along to, followed by a live DJ to continue the party. It gets very busy once the band is in full swing, but there is always a great atmosphere.
Photo credit: Coco Rico
This is a local bar that also has live bands and DJs, as well as a couple of pool tables. It’s a great place to stop off during those colder days as it’s quieter during the day, before becoming a place where you can easily party late into the night. Keep an eye out for the Happy Hour to get some good value Red Erik beer!
Photo credit: La Petit Danois
French cuisine is some of the best in the world and you can try a whole host of the best dishes in Val d’Isere. Some of our favourites are:
Originally a Swiss dish, this is very popular in the Alps. As above, the cheese is held in place and melted onto a plate and then eaten with small boiled potatoes, dried meat and pickle vegetables. Serving this with white wine is popular, and local tradition – helping the sales of wine – believes that other drinks, such as water, will cause the cheese to harden in the stomach, leading to indigestion.
Also a Swiss dish, melted cheese is served in a pot in the middle of the table which is heated from the bottom. Then, using long-stemmed forks, bread, potatoes and a variety of vegetables are dipped into the cheese.
A dish of sliced potatoes baked in cream, imagine a lasagne but using potato instead of pasta and cream in place of the sauces.
Is a herbal aperitif which is popular right across the Alpine regions of Europe. This spirit is related to absinthe – although not as strong – and, traditionally served neat, it is an acquired taste as it’s less sweet than many digestifs.
Some of the best restaurants, bars and clubs in Val d’Isere can be found at: valdisere.com/guide-du-village/restaurants-bars-nights-clubs
Similar to paragliding, this has one main difference. Instead of jumping off a mountain, you ski off one instead. So, if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie and like the idea of freefall off the edge of a snow-covered mountain, then this is something can’t miss.
Find out more at: www.valdisere.com/en/activites/parapente
Photo credit: valdisere.com
So next time you fancy a quick break from the slopes, have a look at one of these alternative ways to enjoy Val d’Isere – and it could make going back to the snow even better.
If you’re looking for a role in the Alps, check out our latest ski jobs here.