Val d'Isere: a Christmas winter wonderland
Skiing over Christmas is an idyllic concept for many of us. What could be better than waking up in a winter wonderland, heading off to the slopes for a full day of skiing before coming back to the chalet for a well-earned festive supper? Val D'Isere is one of the resorts in the French Alps, where you can do just that.
Hitting the slopes in early season is immensely rewarding, and coupled with that little bit of extra festive cheer makes for the perfect Christmas. What's more, crowds and prices are lower than you would think. So what about the snow? How much of a risk is booking a Christmas break? Well, in Val d'Isere, the risks are low thanks to the location, which is anything but low!
The resort is set at a height of between 1,850 and 2,100m, while the slopes are between 1,550m and 3,455m (Espace Killy) high. The Tignes glacier opens from early autumn, with the rest of the resort following suit in the last weekend of November. By the time you arrive for your festive break, Val d'Isere will have been going for a good month and thanks to its snow system (one of the largest man-made snow systems in Europe), you will definitely have snow one way or the other!
Off the slopes, the resort is a wonderful place in which to spend Christmas. The festive lights go on at the beginning of December, and you'll be able to enjoy Christmas concerts, markets and live music throughout the festive season. Many restaurants have a special Christmas menu available on Christmas Eve: make sure you book in advance to avoid the disappointment of missing out. Christmas Eve is rather special in Val d'Isere, with street parades and an impressive carol concert, including a special visit from Father Christmas. After all the festive fun in the resort on Christmas Eve, what better way is there to clear your head than by heading up to the slopes the next day? All ski lifts are open on Christmas Day - so it's just like any other day!
Val d'Isere is served by several airports, including Geneva, Chambery, Lyon and Grenoble, with transfers by bus, taxi or shared mini bus available. You can also get there by train; check out both the daytime and overnight Eurostar services.
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