Legendary skiing and a fun ambiance combined – that’s what awaits at the end of your Mountain Drop-offs private transfer from Geneva Airport to Val d’Isere! We reckon if you’re a fan of skiing or boarding you should hit the slopes of this resort at least once in your lifetime – and like many, once you’ve had a taste, you’ll want to come back for more!
Your journey from the airport will take around three hours, culminating in an impressive 32km climb up the mountain road from Bourg St Maurice, past the Chevril dam, where those transferring to Tignes turn off. Heading along the lake you arrive at La Daille – the gateway to the renowned ski resort that is Val d’Isere.Guide section
Val, as Val d’Isere is affectionately known, very much has something for everyone. It can be the most expensive ski resort ever if you splash the cash staying in one of the 5* establishments, eating out every lunchtime and evening. Or you can do Val d’Isere on a budget staying in a self-catering apartment that’ll be small, functional but probably right across the road from a fantastic piste. It really is that sort of place.
It hasn’t always been a bustling resort though. Val d’Isere was originally a set of isolated hamlets cut off in winter and home only to a handful of hardy Avalins and Avalines (the name for Val d’Isere residents!). All that changed in the early 1930s when a rich industrialist visited and decided it would make a great place for that leisure pursuit they call skiing…
Indeed, you have to look closely these days to find evidence of the original village (it’s around the church just after La Daille and before the modern Val village centre in case you were wondering) and there have been some head-scratchingly ugly blocks built, but in essence, Val d’Isere has managed to keep it’s Savoyard mountain charm, all whilst being a convenient, well-laid out and functional ski resort too.
And to maintain that mountain village feel, parking on the streets is banned during the entire winter season, so those heading up to resort in a car have to leave it either in the open air parking in La Daille or one of the municipal carparks within Val itself.
We don’t have to spell out what a faff it is to dig your hire car out after a week’s snowfall, so we think you’ll agree it’s much easier to book a Mountain Drop-offs transfer to Val d’Isere and back to the airport. And what’s more, once in resort the Red, Blue and Green bus lines keep you connected all day and pretty much of all of the night too, for free.
If you’re thinking of staying in Val d’Isere, here’s our guide to the various hamlets. Mountain Drop-offs offers transfers from Geneva Airport direct to each and every one of these areas.
* Le Fornet – at 1950m this is the last outpost of Val d’Isere and probably it’s best kept secret, with the Michelin starred Atelier d’Edmond restaurant, fabulous skiing and linked by navette to the main resort too, this is a great choice for a chilled out hols
* Le Laisinant – just below Le Fornet, this hamlet is very quiet, but does offer direct access to the col d’Iseran ski area via the Laisinant Express chair and there’s piste L to bring you back home too. There are some nice family-sized self-catering apartments here
* Le Joseray, La Legettaz and Le Chatelard – these hamlets are all in the Vallon du Manchet and although not quite as easy to get directly up the mountain, there’s a lovely cruisey and long blue piste (Sanchons) back home from the Bellevarde side of resort
* Centre Village – this is where all the action is, with the main snow front, the tourist office and the direct access to the Solaise ski area. Pretty snow sure too at 1850m.
* Les Carats – the newest area of resort near the superb Aquasportif water centre and the Bellevarde Express, the number of posh new chalets built here has dubbed it millionaire’s row and it’s where you’ll find the five star Hotel les Barmes de l’Ours and it’s accompanying Michelin-starred eatery
* Le Cret – sitting on the hill side above La Daille, this is where you get superb views of those World Cup downhill ski pistes and slalom stadium.
* La Daille – full of residences such as Pierre et Vacances, this is the first ski area in Val d’Isere that you get to as you arrive from Geneva on your Mountain Drop-offs transfer. It’s not the prettiest, but it offers easy access to excellent pistes and you are just two lifts away from being able to drop over into the Tignes ski area.
Of course, Mountain Drop-offs doesn’t just drop you at the entrance to resort or outside the tourist office, we will take you right to the door of your accommodation (or as near as we can drive to!) no matter which of the hamlets you’re staying in and pick you back up again to take you back to the airport.
Where do we start when it comes to recommending the best places to ski in Val d’Isere? Once again, Val d’Isere has something for everyone when it comes to the skiing and boarding on offer.
Are you starting to get your snow legs? Head to any of the five lifts that are completely free (Legettaz drag at Le Joseray, Savonette drag, Village chair and Rogoney chair around the snow front areas and Les Landes drag in La Daille) to practice.
Want to try your hand at skiing as fast as Killy or Maier? Make sure you ski the fine clutch of world-famous downhill pistes that Val d’Isere boasts. Try the ‘Face’ black run off the Olympique cable car that whisks you directly from the village centre to the Rocher de Bellevarde summit at 2827m. This is where the men’s skiing events took place in the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics. Then head over the other side down to La Daille via ‘OK’ and ‘Orange’ pistes that have also hosted many a FIS ski event too.
It’s a whiteout day? Do circuits in the trees taking the Daille cable car back up so you’ve got time to dry off before you next foray into the freshly fallen fluffy stuff. Bit of powder hound? Start off gently with the easily accessible powder off the Cascades Express chair near the summit of resort on the Glacier de Pissaillas. There’s also the Col Pers into the nature reserve, but this is best done with a guide leading the way.
Fancy practising your ollies and your Japan airs? Then head to the snowy bowl between the Toviere and Bellevarde summits where you’ll find the snow park, with the Bozetto drag, named after adopted Val d’Isere son and snowboarding Olympic medal winner Mathieu Bozzetto.
And just because you can, make sure you try the Aiglons, Mattis and Mangard pistes over in Le Fornet, as these use parts of the famous 13km mountain road that often features in the Tour de France – the Col d’Iseran – except of course in winter they are covered in snow as the road is shut. But don’t worry if you’re staying in Le Fornet, the last hamlet in Val d’Isere at the foot of the climb, as this part of the road stays open, so your Mountain Drop-offs transfer minibus will still be able drive right up there!
As a major ski resort Val d’Isere hosts some seriously big events. They attract big crowds and make the resort a lively place to be whilst they’re on. Often spectating at such sporting events is free, so if you’ve never witnessed professional ski racers flying down the hill, or those mega skilled freestylers busting their moves on the half pipes of Val d’Isere, this could be the moment to get in there! Here’s our selection of annual events that take place each winter season in Val
Criterium Premier Neige – 7-8 December 2018
The Premier Neige downhill alpine skiing weekend marks the start of the European ski racing season, attracting all the big players to do a first few turns in Val d’Isere’s celebrated pistes. Definitely worth watching if you’re on a early bird skiing holiday to Val.
Christmas Week – 22-29 December 2019
The magic of Christmas comes to Val d’Isere with a whole host of events and activities to wow all ages. Look out for the incredible snow sculptures around the main resort area, as well as at La Daille and Fornet. Head to Olympic square where the scene is set for Santa’s arrival on the 24th, ahead of magic shows, theatre, music and night time ski events every evening all week.
Festival of Light – 31 December and selected Thursdays
Launching on New Year’s Eve and then taking place every Thursday evening from the 10 January to the 7 March, it’s the Festival of Light in the heart of Val d’Isere. It’s being hosted by Airstar, a company that lights up events as varied at the Olympic Games, to Presidential parties. Join in the show and admire the colours and illuminations whilst sipping a nice glass of vin chaud!
Classicaval Music Festival – January & March 2019
Classicaval mixes classical music with stunning mountain settings. With a different musical director elected each year to take the helm, the programme includes everything from piano concertos to string quartets, playing in the rather lovely setting of Val d’Isere’s baroque church.
European Cup Skiing – 30-31 January 2019
If, suddenly, you seem to be surrounded by really, really good skiers, chances are you’re in Val d’Isere during the European Cup ski event this January. The runners will be taking part in a Giant Slalom on the Val d’Isere slopes. It’s always a great spectacle to watch and if you ding a cowbell in the stands, all the better!
Val in Love – 14 February
Ooh we love this one! Invite the one you love to share a romantic gondola lift ride for Valentines’s day in Val d’Isere! You’ll depart at 17:30 from the Solarise bubble lift, with a glass of Champers in hand. On arrival at the summit, you’re invited to a romantic aperitif evening at Lounge, where there’ll be a violinist to serenade all you romantic couples. Book at the tourist office, 50€ per couple.
Macaron Final – 27 -28 April
No, nothing to do with French president Emmanuel Macron, this is all about the delicious sweet treats also known as macaroons. This is the final of the competition that sees the best of the amateur macaron makers from all over France and beyond come to Val d’Isere to see if they can win the coveted title with their colourful and flavourful bakes.
Legendary skiing, high profiles events and a fun ambiance combined – that’s what awaits at the end of your Mountain Drop-offs private transfer from Geneva Airport to Val d’Isere. Everyone should ski in this most renowned on the French alpine ski resorts at least once in their life and we can take you right there (with your skis and boards carried for free, we might add!).