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The Coolest Ski Resort in the Alps?

Nestled among the Alps in southeastern France,is often described as the most beautiful ski area in the world. It’s high altitude of between 1850 and 3500 metres means that snow coverage is consistently good. It is also renowned for its chalet architecture and the quality of its après ski entertainment.

Location Val d’Isère sits at the head of the Tarantaise valley. This area, at the heart of the Savoy region of France is renowned for the quality of its ski resorts. Val d’Isère is part of the Espace Killy ski area along with neighbouring Tignes. Val d’Isère is a mere 5 kilometres from the Italian border and a few hours drive from Geneva in Switzerland. Geneva is one of the four airports visitors are likely to use to access the resort. The others are Grenoble, Chambery and Lyon. With several choices of airport, visitors should have no trouble finding a flight to the region from most major UK airports. From all four arrival points, visitors can transfer to Val d’Isère by minibus, hire care or public transport. Geneva is the furthest away, taking about three and a half hours by car to reac h the resort. Pistes Val d’Isère has over 300 kilometres of ski runs, 10 000 hectares of off-piste skiing, and two glaciers. Most of its pistes sit above the tree line so receive consistent snowfall, and are served by 99 lifts. There are three main areas, the most famous of the mountains is Bellevarde, which features the downhill run for the World Cup each December. You can access this mountain directly from the centre of town by gondola. A cable car from the town will take you to the Solaise Mountain, which is generally comprised of gentler pistes. The third area is the Col de l’Iseran, which is topped by the Glacier de Pissaillas. Visitors to Val d’Isere can access the L’Espace Killy area, comprising Val d’Isere and neighbouring Tignes, it is the highest extended ski domain in the world. Accommodation For the authentic Val d’Isère experience, visitors should book a chalet. Fortunately there are properties to suit every pocket, from luxurious lodges with outdoor hot tubs to cosy hideaways with open fires. Opting for a family ski chalet in Val d’Isere provides flexibility and adds ease to your holiday through having everything contained under one roof.  The resort is also well served by hotels, with everything from five-star designer accommodation to family-run guesthouses, most of which have a bar and a dining option. A third option is to rent an apartment in a complex, some of which come with heated swimming pools. Entertainment There are around 70 restaurants in the town, from Michelin-starred luxury through to traditional bistro fare. There are also a host of bars, from the relaxing basement Taverne d’Alsace to the energetic Folie Douce. For those wishing to dance the night away, Dick’s Tea Bar, Doudoune and Graal are the most popular discos. Other Activities For non-skiers, or those taking a day off from the slopes, Val d’Isère has a range of other activities on offer. A sports centre opened in 2009 includes two pools, a spa, sauna, gym and climbing wall. The town also boasts an ice rink. There is a cinema and several art galleries, as well as a museum that outlines the history of the region. Back on the mountains, ice climbing, snowmobiling, glacier walking, husky sledding and a designated nature walk from Le Fornet to Pont St Charles, offer snow bound activities. Thrill seekers can try paragliding or take a helicopter tour over the mountains for a jaw-dropping view of the region.   This article is brought to you by VIP SKI, the providers of luxury ski holidays in Val d’Isere, among other popular European ski resorts.