© Chloe Riddle
Activities in Val d'Isere
Discover the top Val d'Isere activities
The main draw for people coming to Val d'Isere in winter is, of course, skiing and snowboarding. However, there’s a whole host of other activities to do in Val d'Isere in the summer as well as in the winter. So, whether you're just looking for something to do when the lifts close or you simply don't ski, we promise you you'll have no time to get bored here!
What to do in Val d'Isere?
Val d'Isere is an outdoor activities paradise. The Alpine town and its surrounding mountains offer hundreds of things to do for every ability and every age. Some activities are perfect for solo travellers while others are more suited to romantic couples. Families and groups will also find a wide range of things to do in Val d'Isere. From relaxing to full on adrenaline, from child friendly to adults only, from outdoor fun to bad weather indoor activities, there is something for everyone in Val d'Isere.
Top things to do in Val d'Isere
Below are our three favourite activities in Val d'Isere but there are plenty more to choose from. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration – you'll see that there are plenty of alternatives to skiing and snowboarding in Val d'Isere.
1. Winter sports, skiing & snowboarding: Skiing and snowboarding are probably the most popular activities in the Espace Killy. But we're not talking about lift-assisted, downhill skiing and snowboarding only – there's a whole host of activities that involve boards strapped onto your feet including ski touring and split boarding, cross-country skiing or telemarking. But there's much more than just skiing and snowboarding in Val d'Isere in the winter. The Espace Killy mountains are the perfect setting to go snowshoeing and husky-dog sledging, while the ice skating rinks in Val d'Isere town centre will keep the whole family entertained.
2. Mountain biking: Many people would argue that it's actually mountain biking that's the number one activity in Val d'Isere. The Espace Killy trails and bike parks are considered the best in the world and attract hundreds of enduro and downhill biking aficionados every summer to its almost 150 km of tracks that meander through lush forests to reach stunning mountaintops with breathtaking views. An experience not to be missed!
3. Walking, hiking & running: In the summer, the Espace Killy pistes turn into meadows and deep-forested trails to explore on foot. From easy valley strolls to gruelling trail running climbs, everyone can explore the Val d'Isere valley's beautiful sunny landscapes.
Climbing in Val d'Isere
Val d'Isere is a great place rock climbing for both beginners and experienced climbers. Experienced climbers can tackle the mountain side rock and enjoy the fantastic views (just make sure you have all the right gear and safety equipment). For beginners there are a number of adventure companies or mountain guides who can take you out on your first climb and show you the 'ropes'! Learn all the technique and skills in the safe hands of a well-trained mountain guide. Climbing is also a great activity for all the family, just check with the guide beforehand what their minimum age is.
How much does it cost to go rock climbing in Val d'Isere? Rock climbing course prices in Val d'Isere start at around €45 per person for a half-day group lesson and up to €400 for a full-day climbing private guide.
If you don't fancy climbing outdoors, or you're new to climbing and want to give it a go in an indoor centre, then Val d'Isere has somewhere for you to go. The sports centre has seven routes graded from 5a to 6c on its 12-metre vertical indoor climbing wall. Climbing equipment is normally provided, or you can bring your own and insurance is normally needed before you hit the climbing wall.
If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary, then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb. Following marked routes through the mountains you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. Suitable for adults and children over the age of eight, guides can be arranged on request and there are a number of adventure companies who can organise your via ferrata experience. Beginners can take their first steps at Roc de Tovière, behind the residential buildings in La Daille, where you will find some fairly easy routes on which to find your head for heights. There are more challenging routes at the same site, which leave from the same point but then branch off into longer routes. If you feel like pushing yourself you can try the tougher route 'Via Ferrata des Plates', which leaves from behind the Pierre et Vacances building.
How much does it cost to try out Via Ferrata in Val d'Isere? You can hire all the essential equipment, including helmet, harness and "cows tails" at most sports shops in resort – it'll set you back around €20. If you're a beginner, you should also book a mountain guide or instructor. Prices for Via Ferrata group lessons in Val d'Isere start at around €45, with private guides charging around €220 for a half-day.
If you want to try something different in Val d'Isere, other than hitting the slopes, then why not try ice climbing. This is a fantastic sport, whether you are an experienced climber or a beginner, you can have a go at ice climbing on a 40m wide and 200m high ice waterfall. Although it sounds like a very specialised sport, ice climbing is suitable for everyone. Some knowledge of ropes and basic climbing skills will give you a head start, but if you are a complete novice then your guide should be able to teach you from scratch.
How much does ice climbing cost in Val d'Isere? Ice climbing prices in Val d'Isere start at around €250 for a half-day group course.
Culture and guided tours in Val d'Isere
If you want to know more about the region of Val d'Isere and its history, head to the Musée Val d'Histoire, located in the heart of the resort.
The Vanoise National Park is located in the heart of the Savoie region. Created in 1963, it was the first French national park and it covers a large territory where you can find a stunning mountain landscape with lakes, and beautiful vegetation. It is also well-known for its population of Alpine ibex, as well as many other animals like chamois, marmots and more than 100 species of birds.
Experience the beautiful mountain scenery with these lovely gentle animals. Guides will take you on a donkey trek around Val d'Isere giving you an opportunity to explore the Val d'Isere mountains in a fun and different way. The perfect activity for children as these timid animals take you on a journey through the mountain terrain.
Take the family into the Manchet valley and discover the Ferme de l'Adroit. It's open in summer and winter, and you can buy some of the delicious cheeses they produce on site.
Spend the evening dining in a yurt in the forest and finish the night with a drink by the fire and torchlit sledge ride back down the mountain. This is suitable for anyone over 14 years of age and offers a unique evening experience in the wilderness of Val d'Isere.
How much does it cost to do a wilderness camp in Val d'Isere? It's approximately €70 per person.
Cycling and mountain biking in Val d'Isere
Val d'Isere offers challenging mountain roads where to cycle while enjoying the stunning scenery. However, riding in the Alps is much more demanding than your favourite local route back in the UK. The roads around Val d'Isere are the setting for some of the most gruelling sections of the Tour de France but they can be tackled by enthusiasts as well as professionals. To gain the most from your riding in the area it goes without saying you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. You do not need to be a super man or woman but the ability to ride comfortably for up to three to four hours in the UK should see you enjoy the mountain routes.
How much does it cost to go cycling in Val d'Isere? Once more, cycling prices in Val d'Isere are a matter of your personal wants and needs. If you've brought your bike with you, then you can just get on the road and challenge your fitness as you climb some of the Alps most famous mountain 'cols' at no cost. Those in need of wheels will be glad to know that renting a carbon road bike starts at around €45 per day.
Val d'Isere is a Mecca for mountain biking, with varying terrain and fantastic views it is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts. With the whole of the mountain area to explore, Val d'Isere is definitely a great place for biking as the different and varied terrains suit bikers of all levels. Whether you enjoy a leisurely cycle around some of the lower level trails, or a day's hardcore downhill mountain is more your ‘thang’, Val d'Isere definitely has something to suit all tastes.
How much does it cost to go mountain biking in Val d'Isere? Mountain bike prices in Val d'Isere depend on what you need. If you have all the gear and all you want is to access the trails, then you'll only need a mountain bike lift pass. Then there's bike hire – renting a hardtail or full-suspension mountain bike for a day starts at around €70, and about €350 for a seven-day electric mountain bike hire. Finally, you may want to get a private guide to show you around the local trails – expect to pay around €45 per hour.
Fishing in Val d'Isere
If you fancy a spot of fishing whilst in Val d'Isere then there are a few local and nearby lakes where you can catch some fish and enjoy the Alpine scenery. There are many altitude lakes in the area and a multitude of small rivers near Val d'Isere. Some of the most famous are the l'Ouillette or the La Sassière lakes, perfect for trout fishing. You must, however, ensure that you have the correct fishing permit and are aware of the local fishing regulations.
Fitness and swimming in Val d'Isere
A public gym & fitness classes can be found at the main sports centre in Val d'Isere. It comprises 320m2 of weights and cardio equipment.
How much does gym access cost in Val d'Isere? Expect to pay around €15 for one entry to the gym or €35 for the whole week.
Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Val d'Isere. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. In summer and winter you should be able to find somewhere to take a dip, so don't forget your towel and your swimming costume or shorts.
How much does it cost to go swimming in Val d'Isere? Swimming pool access prices in Val d'Isere start at around €6 for adults.
Facilities to play indoor football and basketball are available at the multi-activity sports hall in the sports centre at Val d'Isere.
Flying in Val d'Isere
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up. Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available in Val d'Isere (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snow-capped mountain tops, glaciers and alpine forests of the Alps.
How much does it cost to explore Val d'Isere by helicopter? Helicopter tours in Val d'Isere start at around €100 per person for a 10-minute flight.
If you’ve never tried paragliding before, then Val d'Isere is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as 'parapenting' in France, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is to give you the experience of flying. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep you airborne for longer.
How much does a tandem paragliding flight cost in Val d'Isere? Anyone can take part in a tandem paragliding flight, even if you've never paraglided before. You'll be attached to an instructor who'll take care of the wing, so you just need to relax and enjoy the views. Tandem flights start at around €90.
Indoor activities in Val d'Isere
Catch the latest films and releases in Val d'Isere on your holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Skiing and snowboarding in Val d'Isere
Downhill skiing & snowboarding
Lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities in Val d'Isere. So much so that we could write several guides dedicated to them... and, in fact, we have! Take a look at our Ski Areas, Pistes and Parks Guide where you'll not only find a lot of information on the Val d'Isere ski area but also links to many other articles: Ski Lifts Guide, Best Pistes Guide, Snowparks Guide, Beginner Ski Areas Guide, Advanced Ski Areas Guide, Off-Piste Ski Areas Guide, Ski Itineraries Guide and even a guide on the best places to go skiing when the weather is bad.
However, lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding aren't the only things you can do in Val d'Isere while having a pair of skis or a board strapped to your feet.
Ski touring & split boarding
Whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down or tackling a backcountry route, ski touring and split boarding allow you to get off the beaten path while working a sweat up the slopes. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around or, if you've got all the necessary knowledge, you can head out in your own group.
How much does it cost to go ski touring or split boarding in Val d'Isere? It depends. Ski touring prices in Val d'Isere range between €60 per day if you’re only renting the gear and around €400 if you’re also getting a guide for the day to help you explore the backcountry. Of course, if you already have the equipment and the local knowledge, ski touring in Val d'Isere is free!
Val d'Isere has six different track loops of 20 km total, for you to take to the snowy tracks and enjoy the wild nature and magnificent views of the Vanoise. Access is via the free bus, Solaise express chairlift or cable car, and you can choose from yellow, blue or red runs.
How much does it cost to go cross-country skiing in Val d'Isere? You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops in Val d'Isere, with cross-country rental prices starting at around €15 per day. You may also want to book a group or private lesson to learn the basics, in which case prices start at around €180 for a six-day group lesson.
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached to the binding at the toe so, to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
How much does it cost to go telemarking in Val d'Isere? It depends. Telemarking prices in Val d'Isere range between around €40 if you’re only buying a ski pass for a day, plus around €70 if you’re adding one-day gear rental, and around €90 if you’re also getting a private instructor for an hour to teach you the basics.
Heliskiing & heliboarding
Heliskiing is not permitted in France but there are a couple of companies in Val d'Isere offering panoramic helicopter rides that include heliskiing. They pick you up in resort and take you over the border into Italy or Switzerland from where you will ski down accompanied by a mountain guide. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
How much does it cost to go heliskiing in Val d'Isere? Perhaps unsurprisingly, heliskiing is one of the most expensive activities on this list – after all, you’re swapping the lifts for your very own helicopter! Prices start at around €300 per person and include the helicopter ride and a guide to go with you as you ski down the remotest areas in Val d'Isere.
Modern winter biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting that tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Val d'Isere you can try your hand at this Olympic sport. If you like cross-country skiing but want to add another challenge, then biathlon is the perfect way to escape into the natural, quiet surrounding mountains and then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one, but it's fun all the same.
How much does it cost to try out biathlon in Val d'Isere? Biathlon lessons usually start at around €150 for a half-day and they include all the equipment but for the cross-country ski rental, which starts at around €15 per day.
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier – you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow.
How much does it cost to try out speed riding in Val d'Isere? Beginner speed riding lessons usually start at around €100 for a half-day group lesson and they include the wing but not the ski hire – high-end ski hire for advanced skiers starts at around €30 per day in Val d'Isere. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski... whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Val d'Isere that offers this service.
Snow and ice activities in Val d'Isere
Snowshoeing or, as the French call them, "raquettes à neige", is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions and a wonderful way for non-skiers to explore the mountains in and around Val d'Isere. Either set out on your own or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and discover the hidden parts of the ski area. The trails will take you to places from where you can enjoy stunning views or explore forests where local fauna such as chamois, wild goats and deer roam free.
How much does snowshoeing cost in Val d'Isere? If you don't know the local area well, we recommend you get a private guide or join a group on a snowshoe expedition – it may seem safer than skiing but you'll be exploring backcountry trails where the avalanche danger is high so it's better to go with someone who knows what they're doing. These outings start at around €30 for a half-day. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, but you can also hire them from most ski hire shops in Val d'Isere starting at around €10 per day.
This is one winter activity that doesn't require a lot of expensive equipment, just grab your sledge and head for the nearest snow-covered hill!
How much does it cost to go sledging in Val d'Isere? You can rent a sledge at one of the many local ski hire shops for as little as €5, while most of the sports shops in Val d'Isere will also have them for sale. Several activity companies also offer you the chance to sledge at night, down the ski slopes.
Be in charge of your own sledge and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths in winter. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, you set off following the guide’s team. There are also child-dedicated rides. It's a very popular winter activity, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is a must.
How much do husky rides cost in Val d'Isere? Husky-dog ride prices in Val d'Isere start at around €100 for a half-day, with discounts for kids.
In Val d'Isere you can enjoy ice skating. It's a fun thing to do with the family, or in a group if you want to do something a little bit different for apres ski. Perfect for children and families and those who just want to enjoy the beautiful mountain views whilst playing around on some skates. It's an outdoor rink, open from 15:00 to 20:00 every day.
How much does it cost to go ice skating in Val d'Isere? A single entry to the ice rink in Val d'Isere is around €4, with skate hire costing around the same.
Val d'Isere does not have an official long toboggan run, it does however have a designated area for tobogganing located next to the nursery slope on the left hand side of the Savonette lift. The area is open everyday from 10:00 to 17:00 and it is the perfect place to take your children for some sledging fun.
How much does snowshoeing cost in Val d'Isere? The entry to the area is free and you can hire sledges of different sizes from many ski hire shops or sports shops in Val d'Isere.
Spas and massages in Val d'Isere
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. Unwind, relax and indulge.
Tennis and racket sports in Val d'Isere
There are a couple of places to play tennis in and around Val d'Isere. In Val d'Isere village there is a small sports centre with two grass tennis courts which is open from 10:00 - 20:00. The Manchet sport centre is open from 9:00 until 19:30 and has four clay courts & eight grass courts. There is a free shuttle bus to take you there from the centre of Val d'Isere.
How much does it cost to play tennis in Val d'Isere? Tennis court rental prices in Val d'Isere start at around €12 per hour, with rackets available to hire for €4.
Badminton & squash
The modern sports centre in Val d'Isere has a multi-activity sports hall where you can play badminton and there are two squash courts. You can rent all you need at the sports centre.
Theme parks, waterparks and aquariums in Val d'Isere
If you are looking for a fun filled group activity then Val d'Isere can provide just that with its paintballing course. Paintballing is a game where two teams play against each other to try and get the scarf located in the middle of the course without getting hit by a paintball from the opposing team.
How much does paintball cost in Val d'Isere? Paintball prices in Val d'Isere start at around €30 per person.
There are a number for children's play areas in Val d'Isere in summer, and one has a zip wire for some extra thrills.
Walking, hiking and running in Val d'Isere
Walking & hiking
In the summer months Val d'Isere is a mecca for walking and hiking in the beautiful Alpine mountains. As the snow melts and the sun begins to shine the mountains make an excellent place to head out on a hike or walk. Walking is the perfect activity for groups, families and friends. Pick from a number of routes ranging in difficulty, from easy child friendly walks to challenging day long hikes. Along the way enjoy the fantastic mountain views, beautiful scenery and wildlife that is normally hidden in the winter months. Check out our walking and hiking guide for more details on hiking in the Alps.
For a truly unique experience, clamp on your crampons and go hiking on one of the Espace Killy’s Grand Motte or Pissaillas glaciers. The breathtaking views and spectacular crevasses make this an incredible adventure. There are a number of glacial hikes, of varying difficulty, in this region of the Alps. Most mountain guiding companies will run organised excursions to the most accessible. To read more about glaciers and the environment please go to our Glacier Meltdown article.
Val d'Isere is a winter walker's paradise, with lifts giving access to the higher ground and a network of groomed trails in the winter, it's very easy to discover the resort on foot. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you set out as conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. You do not need any particular equipment, just a pair of sturdy boots and layers of warm clothing that you can take off or put on as necessary. A pair of walking poles will come in handy for extra balance on icy patches and for checking snow depth before you go striding forth. Top tip: buy grippers for your walking boots to prevent slipping which you can buy from most local Sport Shops.
Watersports in Val d'Isere
White water rafting
If you haven't experienced white water rafting before then this is a definite 'must try' on your list of activities to do! There are a number of trained guides in resort who will let you experience some of the best white water rafting available in the Alps. From the middle of May until September, the mountain rivers flow furiously as they are fed from the melt waters running off the glaciers high above the town. There are various options available from a three hour adrenaline rush to a full days excursion - this activity is guaranteed not to disappoint.
How much does it cost to go white water rafting in Val d'Isere? Prices start at around €40 per person for about two hours of white water rafting in Val d'Isere.
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allow you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of white water river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants.
Not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day. You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children but anyone over the age of about eight can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide, everyone can abseil down cascades, splash into pools and ride the river rapids.
How much does it cost to go canyoning in Val d'Isere? Canyoning prices in Val d'Isere start at around €55 per person, including all the equipment.
Hydro speeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river!. Using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard, be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids! This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting, but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down white water rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves. There's plenty of protection from the icy water elements as you'll be given a wetsuit, safety helmet and flippers. You will need to bring a towel, swim wear and if you wear glasses, a cord to keep them on. Guides will brief you with a safety demonstration at the beginning and there’s a vehicle to meet you at the end of the rapids that will shuttle you back to your starting destination.
How much does it cost to try out hydrospeeding in Val d'Isere? Beginner hydrospeeding courses in Val d'Isere start at around €45-€50 per person.