© La Folie Douce
Spring is officially in the air as we enjoy longer sunnier days. Don't forget your sunscreen!
The Easter holidays bring families back to the valley for a short end of season break in the mountains. The warmer spring days also brings a party-vibe to the town and the sun / snow conditions obviously warrant a longer lunch break on a sunny terrace to top up the tan, and après-ski seemingly starts a little earlier.
To make the most of the longer sunny days we like get out on our touring skis and split-boards, get away from the lifts, and find that last bit of untouched snow. Also, whilst some locals are brave enough to bring out their bikes for a quick trip into town, in general it's still too cold and icy to risk any road biking adventures.
Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout April.
What are the weather and snow conditions like?
As winter draws to a close for another year, the snow on the lower slopes is usually much heavier by midday. The temperatures rarely dip below freezing, usually falling between a low of -3ºC and a high of 5ºC, plus there's still the chance of snow as April averages four eight days snowfall, and therefore a powder day isn't out of the question.
What's on in Val d'Isère in April?
Adventure and Discovery film festival
Running since 1996, this three-day film festival will showcase some of the best new adventure and travel documentaries of the past year. Each film is followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers so you can gain an insight into their stories. The screenings are free to attend.
Léo Taillefer invites you to join him in the Manchet valley for a great day of adventure as the world's top riders will be offering an exceptional show throughout the day. Look up and you'll see paragliding acrobatics and speed riding as well as skiing and snowboarding. If you're up for it, you can race the BANKS slalom or take a two-seater parasail flight. To finish the day there is a big party with guest performers.
Alternative winter sports
It doesn't just have to be piste based adventures you take part in. Ski-touring and split-boarding have become extremely popular in recent years, and there's nothing that gets the heart pumping like gaining altitude under your own steam. When it's a 'white out' you'll find us changing tack entirely, pulling on some raquettes (snowshoes) and venturing forth into the wilderness on one of the many snowshoeing routes around the valley, all the while dreaming of tomorrow's bluebird powder day.
School holiday skiing
Easter is a popular time for families so the slopes are noticeably busier as soon as the holidays begin. Fortunately, the Tignes-Val d'Isère ski area is so vast, that even in high season you can find quiet slopes and minimal lift queues. Here are our insider's top tips for the school holidays:
- It will be almost impossible to book private lessons over this period, group lessons are the best option. Make sure to get your ski and snowboard lessons booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- If you're not in ski school, be an early bird. Arrive at the lifts before they open so that you get up and away before the ski school classes set out around 09:15.
- Ski over lunchtime. The slopes are calmer between 12:00 and 14:00 while the French take a leisurely lunch break.
- Pre-book your lunch and avoid the queues. Some restaurants offer a Click & Collect service. It's the best way to avoid the queues and make the most of your time in the mountains.
- Seek out the peripheral areas. Try to avoid the busy main ski areas closer to the resorts and head to the edges of the valley. A bit of exploring never hurt anyone and you may find quieter lifts outside the main hubs.
- Get off-piste. Competent off-piste skiers can book a local mountain guide and explore the vast off-piste areas in the valley or even go touring to find complete solitude in the backcountry.
Bars and clubs
There is still time to enjoy one of our legendary après-ski parties before the season comes to an end, and the only good thing about the ski resort closing is the end of season parties.
La Folie Douce in doing what it does best, usually throws not one, but two end of season parties. So you can expect loud music, plenty of dancing on tables, live performances, and more than likely someone spraying expensive Champagne wildly into the crowd whilst posing for the perfect Instagram shot.