Val-d'IsèreIt is on the border of the Vanoise National Park created in During the Diserr Winter Female bodybuilding abs workoutsval disere Face de Bellevarde was the site of the men's downhill race. Other alpine skiing events held during those games included men's giant slalom and alpine combined. The Pissaillas Glacier offers summer skiing, as well as the usual winter fare. Snow cannon are placed on certain slopes to accommodate heavy val disere. There are both groomed slopes and backcountry off-piste skiing.
Val d'Isère - Ski resort in France- Ski in Val d'Isère in the French Alps
CNN — It was once a rustic, cut-off farming village high in the French Alps, but Val d'Isere has evolved into one of the world's best-known ski resorts attracting everyone from ski bums to billionaires. The Savoyard hamlet, with origins back to the middle ages and centered around a 17th century church, is now a glittering international destination and hosted the blue-riband men's downhill at the Albertville Winter Olympics.
The Games brought with them a desire to "re-beautify" the fast-growing town and restrict development to a more authentic alpine style. Val d'Isere now offers a mix of tradition and sophistication for an eclectic clientele. The town is the childhood home of triple Olympic skiing champion Jean-Claude Killy, who gave his name to the combined area's former moniker L'Espace Killy -- a high-altitude, snowsure white wonderland for all, from non-skiers and beginners to helmeted hardcores.
Val d'Isere shares an extensive ski area with neighboring Tignes in the French Alps. The two areas together offer 78 lifts -- the first was built in -- and kilometers of groomed slopes, and a wealth of off-piste opportunities for the adventurous, in France's Haute Savoie region close to the Italian border.
Val d'Isere's skiing is spread across a number of valleys, starting with the Pissaillas glacier above the Le Fornet sector at one end, and incorporating the Solaise and Bellevarde areas as you head towards Tignes.
The pistes, a varied mix for all abilities, include the challenging Olympic downhill run "La Face de Bellevarde. The steep, twisty "La Face" run, which ends near the middle of town, is graded as a black run for intrepid visitors with strong legs. The infamous "La Face" was created as the downhill run for the Winter Olympics. The various hamlets that make up Tignes sit in a high, treeless bowl, with lifts fanning out below the Grande Motte 3, meters.
Skiing stretches up to the Grande Motte glacier -- reached by an underground funicular railway and cable car -- at 3, meters. Beneath the water of the Lac du Chevril below Tignes lie the remains of the old village, including a 17th century church, submerged when the hydroelectric dam was built in With the modern lift system, confident, mileage-hungry intermediates can travel from the far end of Le Fornet to the top of Tignes' Grande Motte in a morning, despite a distance of about 10 miles.
The area's location near the Italian border ensures a micro-climate which delivers bumper snowfall in most years, but "Val" has a man-made trick up its sleeve to help out. Its snow-making facility -- dubbed the "Snow Factory" -- is the biggest of its kind in Europe and tops up the natural deliveries of the white stuff with artificial snow over about 40 per cent of the ski area.
The facility can pump out 2, cubic meters of snow in an hour, enough to cover a football pitch with a meter of the fluffy stuff. The ski area stretches from the Italian border to the top of the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes.
Val d'Isere's first hotel opened in to cater for summer visitors, but the remote valley, cut off for most of the year by snow with only a rough mule track as access, had to wait until the s for winter tourism to take off.
Val d'Isere is also one of the heartlands of the chalet holiday, and boasts myriad top-notch lodges such as Chalet Husky and the Eagle's Nest. According to the tourist board, about ,00 fondues are served each season, which represents 60 tonnes of cheese. Val d'Isere was a rustic hamlet centered around a 17th century church before winter sports took off. For refined diners, L'Atelier d'Edmond in the outlying hamlet of Le Fornet has become a culinary hotspot in recent years.
This rustic restaurant created from an old farm building, won a second Michelin star for chef Benoit Vidal in Vidal's authentic cooking is a nod to the old Savoyard ways, infused with Mediterranean style.
Decent on-mountain options include Le Signal, a homely, high-quality joint above Le Fornet, while lower down the blue Mangard piste is the impressive L'Edelweiss.
The stylish La Fruitiere , with its white enamel milk churns and zinc pipes, is another high-class spot above La Daille. Val d'Isere's nightlife can be rowdy, starting with outdoor dancing in ski boots to live music and DJs at La Folie Douce above La Daille and ending in the institution that is nightclub Dick's Tea Bar , founded in Val d'Isere is home to myriad luxury chalets, such as Chalet Husky pictured.
Val d'Isere has undergone significant redevelopment in the last few years, notably with a new gondola to the top of the Solaise area to simplify access and create a new day lodge with cafes and picnic areas. A new hotel is planned for the old cable car station. The popular cycling climb up to the Col de l'Iseran, the highest paved pass in Europe and snowbound in winter, takes riders towards Italy. The climb has featured in seven editions of the Tour de France, from to The nearest railway station is Bourg-St-Maurice, a minute drive down the valley.
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