05 October 2022.

Val d'Isere, France

Val, as it is affectionately and more commonly referred to, is probably best known and admired by those who know it as one of the world’s premier ski resorts. Once a cluster of small farming hamlets Val d’Isere was transformed into the successful ski resort it is today by the local farmers who became hoteliers, shop keepers and ski instructors. And nowadays, Val d’Isere’s popularity as a summer destination is also increasing. Besides hiking and horse riding you can now ski in summer too, on the Pisaillas glacier from mid June to mid July.

The architecture in Val d’Isere is good a mix of old and new. Fortunately, the new tends to mirror the traditional savoyard vernacular, unlike some French ski resorts that have been invaded by concrete monsters from the 1960’s. The old can be quite interesting, some of it dating back to the early nineteen hundreds. The original settlement however, dates back even further than that, several centuries in fact.

The resort is spread out over a couple of kilometers with the hamlets; old world Le Fornet and purpose built La Daille lying at either end of the main village centre. Each area provides lift access to the mountain playground and offers its own selection of eateries and accommodation. The main village offers the most choice of any and some of the livelier nightlife spots.

Val d’Isere offers a bit of everything in terms of accommodation but does tend to be at the pricier end of the market. There are several four star hotels and numerous luxury chalets for those that like a bit more comfort while for those just looking for somewhere to rest there head at night there are a few descent two and three star hotels and numerous apartments to chose from.

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