This magnificent ski area encompasses two of France’s finest ski resorts – Tignes and Val d’Isere. IT was previously named in honour of French Olympic and World Cup ski champion Jean-Claude Killy. Officially the area is no longer known as ‘Espace Killy’, many people still refer to it as such. The distinction and legacy of both resorts will mean that the ski area will probably always hold onto it’s historically significant name.
The Val d’Isere + Tignes Ski Area features over 300km of pisted skiing over almost 160 marked runs. There’s fantastic snow from 1,785m to 3,428m all winter and a range of terrain from tree-lined pistes to high alpine powder bowls to vast glaciers, all accessed via 82 different lifts – chairlifts, gondolas, funiculars, T-bars and cable cars.
As probably the most famous of all French ski resorts, Val d’Isere is proud to puff out it’s chest and showcase why so many people consider it the best, for so many reasons. Both Traditional and modern, lavish and understated, Val d’Isere is an immersive experience you can’t help but go head-first into.
If you’re into après then you will be right at home here. Every season seems to herald the arrival of a new pretender to the throne, but the King of après in Val d’Isere is most certainly La Folie Douce – located on the mountain but also featuring a gondola from the base village for pedestrian access.
If you have enough energy after exploring the 150 or so pistes in the area, Val d’Isere is home to an array of shops, boutiques, bars, restaurants and even a Michelin starred bakery to keep you entertained. Careful not to liquefy your credit card on your first day on holiday!
Val d'Isere - ©andyparant.com
Snow is basically guaranteed all year round in Tignes thanks to the altitude of the resort villages of Le Lac and Val Claret at 2100m, plus the dedicated snow-‘farming’ on the Grand Motte glacier – allowing the slopes to be perfectly groomed for summer skiing at the top of the mountain.
Most accommodation is very close to either a piste or a lift, with many being true ski-in, ski-out properties. Chalets, apartments and hotels are superbly located in the purpose-built villages of Tignes, which makes getting out on the slopes as easy as rolling out of bed.
The two snow parks are a honey-pot for any freestyle skiers or snowboarders. As a past host of many Winter X-Games events, Tignes has a rich history in freestyle and continues to provide some of the best park facilities in France.
Tignes - ©andyparant.com