Don’t give in to Fear Of Missing Out. Here’s our handy guide to some unmissable activities in Tignes, Val d’Isere, Les Arcs, La Plagne, La Rosiere, St Foy.
CHARTER A CHOPPER
Try a helicopter return off-piste adventure with Evolution 2. Ski untracked slopes to otherwise inaccessible off-piste with their qualified instructor and, as the chopper lands to whisk you back to resort, you’ll feel a million dollars for just €99 (all safety equipment included).
DISCOVER A NEW RESORT
It’s less than an hour’s drive away, so why not spend a day in La Rosiere? It’s the sunniest resort and you can ski over the border into Italy for a pasta lunch. Next-door Sainte Foy offers a change of pace, the chance for fresh tracks and some tranquil off-piste tree skiing. You get discounted or FREE day passes in each when you present your Espace Killy or Paradiski ticket. Read more here.
Dance on the tables at Val d’Isere’s hottest new apres venue, Cocorico. The ski-in party terrace under the Solaise lift was so popular last year they’ve doubled its size and added another bar. Later, just move downstairs to superclub Doudoune and throw some shapes to the best international DJs – this season kicking off with Radio 1’s Danny Howard. Your eyes do not deceive you – the club has been completely redesigned around a gipsy circus/enchanted forest theme for this season.
UNWIND YOUR MIND
Don’t forget to take advantage of the fact that you get free entry to the Tignes’ La Lagon swimming pool, or the Centre Aquasportif in Val d’Isere with any two-day or longer Espace Killy ski pass! Treat yourself by upgrading to the Spa and let the sauna and jacuzzi unwind your mind.
DANCING ON ICE
La Rosiere’s indoor ice rink in Place des Eucherts has tiered seating, a sound system and lighting effects. Try your hand at skating or ice hockey, or leave it to the pros and catch the local team’s weekly matches – they’re quite a spectacle. Tignes’ ice rink also has a hockey pitch as well as a games area and fun zone. Show your two to six-day liftpass and get free skate hire! Both resorts offer ice disco evenings each week. Val d’Isere has a family-friendly ice rink in the centre open 7 days (weather dependant).
GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Acquaint yourself with Tignes’ lesser-known town, Le Lavachet. Just hop on the circular shuttle that also goes through Le Lac and Val Claret, and get off before Brasero bar. You’ll see another side to Tignes, hang out with the locals and get great value food and drinks. Read more about Tignes Le Lavachet in our article here.
Go shopping in Val d’Isere. The pretty main street has some chic boutiques and if it’s specialist ski gear you’re after, this resort has it all. Time your trip to coincide with Thursday’s Night Light events, when the village is lit up and transformed into a pedestrian-only zone full of family entertainment, music, magic, ice sculptors and concerts. Read more here.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
These mountains aren’t just for planks and boards. Push your limits and try a new adrenalin activity like bungee-skiing, microlight flying, ice driving or ice diving, with Oxygene Val d’Isere.
COME BACK IN SUMMER!
Don’t leave without booking a return trip in summer; the Alps are an adventure playground all year round! Downhill bike trails criss-cross the pistes, and all the chairlifts are FREE for biking and hiking! Cycle the famous Tour de France route up the Col de l’Iseran. Hike to isolated mountain refuges. Dive into activities around Tignes lake; water slide, blob jump, kayaking, paddle boarding, zorbing. Dare to climb Val d’Isere’s cliff-face Via Ferrata. You can even ski on the glacier. Book a family holiday with Mountain Adventure Camps, or an adrenalin-filled stag or hen do with Alpine Antics.
And a few extra ideas:
Bun-J Ride: Practice your aerial manoeuvres on Tignes’ new Bun-J ride. Attached by a bungee cord on either side, riders speed down a runway, hit the air over a 40-metre drop, try some tricks and travel back down a zip wire. Wait at the bottom for your stomach to catch up with you.
Top Of The World: Get the funiculaire from Tignes Val Claret up to the Grande Motte glacier for jaw-dropping views on the terrace at the Panoramic. Bag a deckchair and watch the world ski by. Or have a look round the restaurant’s new interior décor shop and buy a souvenir of possibly your highest ever shopping trip at 3032m.
Avalanche Training: Most resorts have DVA training zones, where you can practice using your avalanche safety equipment free of charge before venturing off-piste. Tignes’ ski patrol host free advice sessions – ask at their cabin on the lake under the Toviere. Les Arcs’ Avalanche Park is free to access any time and snow patrol members are on hand for advice. Check in resorts for more details.
Ice Driving: Pretend you’re Jeremy Clarkson as you try to control a car at speed on an icy track. Adventure specialist Evolution 2 offer the experience in Tignes. Or visit the Val d’Isere Ice Driving School, where you have the alternative option of trying to drive a piste basher!
Face Your Fears: It’s been described as more of a survival course than a downhill course, so you’ll need nerves of steel to follow in Bode Miller’s tracks down Val d’Isere’s Face de Bellevarde. The renowned 1992 Winter Olympics run is one of the steepest in the world.
Frolic At The Folie: Apres in the afternoon at the legendary Folie Douce in the hills above Val d’Isere. You’ll hear it before you see it – the party starts with cabaret, DJ, singers and even a horn section, from 3pm. Follow your ears and you’ll find people dancing on the tables with abandon. This is high altitude clubbing at its best and new for this season is a sparkly glass VIP area. Just don’t forget to get the last lift back!
Man vs Meat: Cosy restaurant 1789 is Val d’Isere’s best kept secret. We recommend the cote de boeuf – a huge slab of meat cooked to your taste on an open fire in front of you. Elastic-waisted pants a must.
Slip N Slide: Rediscover your inner child on the 3km-long toboggan courses at Les Arc 1800 and the Arc 2000 Rodeo Park. Or sign up at the Evolution 2 Tignes Le Lac desk for a traditional ‘paret’ sledge down the Palafour – a thrilling 45-minute ride with over 300 metres of vertical descent – after the last lift on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Eskimo Experience: For a cool night out with a difference have drinks, dinner and even stay overnight in the igloo villages in Les Arcs (near 1850) and La Plagne (above Plagne Village).
Water World: Les Arcs’ brand new 3,800sqm Aqualudique water park at 1800 boasts pools, spa, waterfalls, water jets, children’s games – and a huge glass wall with a spectacular view of Mont Blanc.
Cool Runnings: Reach speeds of up to 130km/hr on La Plagne’s Olympic bobsleigh track – one of only 7 in Europe. Drive your own Bob Raft or Speed Luge, or get in behind a professional for a faster ride. Around Christmas and in March you can even book a ride piloted by Olympic medallist and world champion Bruno Mingeon!
Life’s A Beach: You wouldn’t usually expect to find a beach bar complete with sand, DJ and deckchairs, at over 2000 metres. But in April, six of La Plagne’s summits will be decked out with different chilled themes, also including a Zen area with Tai Chi and Jacuzzi!
Ciao Bella: Take advantage of La Rosiere’s proximity to Italy by popping over the border for a pasta lunch. It’s just over an hour’s fairly gentle ski to La Thuile, in Italy’s Aosta Valley. On your way, stop off at La Clotze to savour some true Italian après as well as a great view of the Ruitor Glacier.
Heli-skiing: From La Rosiere or Sainte Foy it’s a quick trip into Italy for heli-skiing (illegal in France). Fresh tracks guaranteed.
Take A Tour: Get to know La Rosiere at the start of your holiday on one of ESF ski school’s free guided tours every Sunday afternoon. A qualified instructor will tell you about snow cover, what the resort’s 160km of slopes has to offer, and where’s best to find a mulled wine.
Going Off-Piste: Sainte Foy is famed for its off-piste skiing. A great introduction to it is to take a guide and explore the stunning backcountry routes through the historic farming hamlet of Le Monal.
Vertical Insanity: Face the fearsome north face of Sainte Foy’s La Fogliettaz and its 1700m of vertical descent. It’s around an hour’s hike to the face from the Aiguille chairlift but when the steep 50 degree slope comes into view, you won’t regret it!
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