The ski domain in Val d’Isere
Good for: Families Groups Off-piste Non-skiers
Val d’Isere has been lived in from the earliest parts of modern history. However, it was between the 18th and 20th centuries that the village’s potential was discovered and became the resort that it is today. In terms of landmarks, the Church of Saint Bernard de Menton was built in 1664. Named as such because Saint Bernard is the patron saint of mountain dwellers and over the ages, the church has come to be a symbol of the village’s strength and soul. The first hotel was built in 1888 (Auberge Morris), further hotels were to follow in 1900 and in 1919, immediately after the Great War.
The Val d’Isère that is recognisable today came into existence in the early 1930s although it was tough to make it so, due to the precarious positioning of the town. Transport was infrequent up the mountain at best. The first cable car link was installed in 1940, which contributed to improvement of pre-existing, dire access routes. Gondolas were installed in 1967, linking the resort with another nearby, Tignes. The village was re-vamped in the late 1980s coinciding with the Winter Olympics in 1992 which were held in nearby Tignes. It was also at this time that the first funicular route in France was installed.
The resort is surrounded by small “satellite” hamlets which not only house the locals’ but also provide accommodation for tourists. The hamlets are: Le Cret, Le Joseray, Le Chatelard, Le Legattaz, Le Laisinant, Le Daille and Le Fornet.
Food and Drink
The Alpes region is well known for its abundance of meats’ and cheeses and also its wine production, particularly dry, white wine. Food specialities include:
– Fondue is melted cheese or cooked meat, generally beef)
– Raclette is a thick, melted cheese sauce which can be poured over meat, salad, potatoes etc.
– Tartiflette is a dish of potatoes, melted cheese and bacon (very popular).
– Pierre-chaud, not so much a dish but a style of cooking that involves cooking meat on hot rocks.
– Fricasée de Caïon is a dish that is becoming increasingly more popular. It is a slow-cooked pork casserole – thoroughly warming after a day on the slopes!
– Assorted goats’ cheeses.
Drink Specialities are primarily dry white wines such as: Chignin, Crépy, Rousette de Savoie, Seyssel and Ayse.
Val d’Isère has a wealth of restaurants and bars throughout. Whether you would like to eat in an informal surrounding but still enjoy good food, there are restaurants such as “Auberge Hubert” or “Le Samovar” or enjoy gourmet food at a place such as “La Table de L’Ours” or even if you just want to relax after a long day in preparation for a long night at places such as “Saloon Bar” or “M Bar”, Val d’Isère has it all.
There are a variety of activities, both winter and summer to enjoy throughout the course of the year. Although primarily being a winter resort, there is of course skiing and snowboarding with over 700km of ski and snowboard runs.
Organised events include:
White Battle (March): A freestyle ski and snowboard competition that takes place at the foot of the slope of La Face.
La Scara (April): An alpine ski race for the kids!
Musicaval: Classical Music Festival which draws scores of visitors every year.
Accessibility has been a perennial problem for Val d’Isère and even today with all the modern advances in transport, it remains a problem today.
AIR: The nearest airports are: Chambéry (2.5 hours), Lyon (3 hours) and Geneva (3.5 hours) which have hire-car availability all year round.
RAIL: During the winter season, Eurostar has a service that runs to the foothills of the Alps which take roughly 7 hours from St. Pancras International terminal in London.
BUS: This seems to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to get to the resort. Buses will take approximately 4 hours to get to the resort from the aforementioned airports but the cost can vary from €70 for a single ticket to €102 for a return ticket and requires the minimum of effort.
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Val d’Isere. We have a large network of agents in the French Alps. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: flat, chalet, gite or B&B we will do our best to find a property in the French Alps matching your requirements. To find out more about our selection of properties for sale in Val d’Isere do not hesitate to contact us.