When to go

 

BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The slopes are empty and our prices low. Not even Val d’Isère can absolutely guarantee good snow, but it has been fantastic for the last two years. The World Cup circuit is confident: some the first races of the season are held in Val d'Isère with the men's Slalom and Giant Slalom scheduled for 14-15 December 2013 and the women's Downhill and Giant Slalom 21-22 December 2013. Our chalets open on 8 December, with guests booking their own easyJet/BA flights (the sooner you book the less it costs), and our first charter flight is on 15 December. For our pre-Christmas special, 15-22 December, there will be no-one around, it costs less than staying at home, and you’ll have time for Christmas shopping when you get back!

 

CHRISTMAS

A proper white Christmas, such as most British children have only dreamt of. You bring the presents and we provide the tree to lay them round, the log fire, turkey, Christmas pudding, mince pies, mulled wine, etc. The slopes are still surprisingly uncrowded, the resort is 'en fête' with events and processions, and our prices are around 25% cheaper than the following week.

 

NEW YEAR

This is a wonderful time to ski, as long as you go somewhere with enough pistes and lifts to handle being fairly busy. Val d’Isère has a vast ski area and 16 lifts from the valley floor. Revellers love the partying on 31 December; skiers love the empty slopes a few hours later. A few very fit people enjoy both! The French all leave at the start of January and you will have five days skiing with no-one around.

 

JANUARY

Our favourite month. It can be fractionally colder than other months, but this high above the clouds cold weather tends to be sunny, and it is often the sunniest month. It can snow every day, but that’s true of any month. What is certain is that the slopes are empty (with almost no schools on holiday), the snow is the squeaky perfect stuff everyone skis well on, and our holidays are distressingly cheap.

 

FEBRUARY

The classic month to go skiing. It’s logical: there will almost certainly be more snow than in January, the temperatures will be similar but the days longer and the sun stronger. British schools' half-term is 16-23 February, and the French split over four weeks, to 16 March, but child-phobics needn’t worry: there is still half an acre of snow per skier. And the more children there are, the more space everyone else has, because ten kids in a little snake occupy less snow than a single adult male in a racing snowplough after a big lunch. Val d’Isère is the ideal resort for children, as long as you book their lessons early.

 

MARCH

The sun in March is stronger than in the Med in midsummer, and Factor 60 is a must. There will be perfect winter snow on the upper runs, and the first spring snow off-piste. Towards the end of the month, the lower pistes can be soft in the afternoons, but they are groomed back to perfection every night, and very few schools are on holiday for the final week this year. Long sunny lunches on the terraces of the Fruitière, Trifollet or Edelweiss aren’t great for one’s skiing or silhouette, but excellent for the morale…

 

APRIL

This is when Val d’Isère stands out most from other ski resorts. The sun is incredibly powerful, but in our high, narrow, north-facing valley the snow lasts exceptionally well. Indeed, April showers falling as rain lower down fall as powder here, and April sometimes brings more fresh snow than all the other months put together. Off-piste, the warmth transforms it into exhilarating spring snow in a day or two, though there’s still winter snow on the glaciers. Some people stop for long lunches in the sunshine; others ski until the last lift. The French haven’t really noticed that Val d’Isère and Tignes offer such good skiing in April, and the slopes are not busy.

 

For a list of festivals and events which may help you decide when to come to Val d'Isère, please see the Après-ski page.