Lifestyle Ete 23 Esther Vittot 1Lifestyle Ete 23 Esther Vittot 1
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Top 10 must-dos in Val d'Isère this summer

Many people have only visited Val d’Isère in winter, but there’s so much to discover here in summer too. As it slowly emerges from the melting snow, the little village reveals all it has to offer in summer and the mountains are festooned with a colourful array of wild flowers. A feast for the eyes that beckons you to explore the great outdoors as you take to the hiking trails in search of new sensations and gaze at the beautiful green peaks… This summer, come and enjoy a breath of fresh air and discover the mountain way of life.

1- Go hiking in the Vanoise National Park

The beautiful landscape of the Vanoise National Park can be explored all year round, to discover the fauna and flora along the multiple footpaths. Located just outside Val d’Isère, it offers a variety of trails and spectacular views of Italy and the surrounding peaks. There are itineraries suitable for hikers of all levels, revealing the region’s rich plant life (more than 1,200 species), crossing typical villages with flagstone roofs and leading to the highest summits of Savoie. The Park complies with strict standards that provide wildlife with a peaceful habitat, which is why it isn’t unusual for hikers to spot ibex, chamois, marmots, black grouse or ptarmigan.

  • Check out the Grand Paradis Vanoise Nature Trek itineraries that link up the Vanoise National Park and the Grand Paris National Park on the Italian side.
  • Did you know that the GR®5 long-distance hiking route crosses Val d’Isère? Section 43 of the itinerary leads from Val d’Isère to the Cuchet Refuge! Find out more.
  • Join a guided tour to find out more about the local flora and fauna, or explore along the 7 Chapels trail.
  • To explore even further, you can purchase a hiking guidebook at the Tourist Office (€9.50), or from our online shop.

        2 - Discover the village and its history

        Go for a walk in the narrow streets of the traditional village of Val d’Isère, taking the time to stop and admire the stone buildings, the typical little restaurants and the superb steeple dating from 1664! To find out more, why not join one of our guided walks, when a passionate expert will tell you all about the history of Val d’Isère which was once a tiny mountain village. Have you heard of the Val Pesto Gastronomy Tour? This brand new concept is an invitation to explore the village and the surrounding area from a completely different angle! You’ll cycle along the trails, stopping here and there to try our delicious local specialities! Speaking of which, don’t forget to visit the Adroit Farm or the dairy cooperative to taste their fabulous cheeses, as well as the Maison Chevallot for their wonderful pastries. The gourmet experience is a must in Val d’Isère, so check out our complete list of restaurants, here. During these two months of summer, soak up the feel-good vibe with the events and entertainment organised in the village! High Trail Vanoise, Naturons-Nous, Fête du Vieux Val, Foire Savoyarde Avaline… A fabulous mix of sports and opportunities to explore the region, try local specialities and join in with all sorts of festivities! Check out all our summer highlights.

        Find out all you want to know about the history of Val d’Isère

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        3 - Stay overnight in a mountain refuge surrounded by marmots

        If you’re hiking, why not take this opportunity to spend the night at one of the guarded refuges of Haute Tarentaise? Completely rebuilt, the Prariond Refuge has been designed with the environment and sustainability in mind. This charming refuge with a wooden decor offers beautiful views over the Prariond valley and makes a good starting point for hikers wishing to follow one of the Grand Paradis Vanoise Nature Trek trails. Just an hour’s walk from Val d’Isère, heading towards the Manchet valley, you’ll find the Fond des Fours Refuge nestled among the vegetation in a mineral landscape between Pointes des Lorès and Pélaou Blanc, a stone’s throw from the Plan des Fours lakes. If you’re up early enough, you may well see the chamois and marmots that reign here. After nightfall, astrology enthusiasts can enjoy a little star-gazing in ideal conditions, far from any light pollution.

        Take a break in the great outdoors at one of our two guarded refuges

        4 - Visit the Iseran Pass and the Pisaillas glacier

        Considered to be the highest mountain pass road in the Alps, at 2,770 metres the Iseran Pass is one of the legendary stages of the Tour de France cycle race. From Val d’Isère or Bourg-Saint-Maurice, rise to the challenge of the Route des Grandes Alpes to explore a region of outstanding natural and cultural heritage. Seasoned athletes who enjoy a challenge might choose to cycle up the road, but the rest of you can reach the pass on a gentle climb by E-Bike. From the top, the panoramic view of the Maurienne glaciers will take your breath away, before you ride down to Bonneval-sur-Arc, a charming village listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

        In the Pisaillas sector you can even ski in June! At 3,300 metres, this is the highest part of the ski area. There are six slopes on the glacier, of which three are open to the public, the other three being reserved for official training sessions. After a session on the slopes, head for the Cascade restaurant, the perfect place for a refreshing break and a bite to eat on the lovely sunny terrace!

        5 - Try glacier hiking

        In the company of the Val d’Isère Mountain Guides, this unique form of hiking offers you the mountain experience at its purest. Early in the morning, the piercing cold will surprise you, but as soon as you attach your crampons, you’ll begin to understand what glacier hiking is all about above the village of Val d’Isère. You have two options: a one-day hike that most people can do, or a 2-day excursion on glaciers in France and Italy. Whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned mountaineer, we organise excursions accompanied by experienced guides, to offer you an enriching and safe experience, whatever your level.

        6 - Climb a mountain on a Via Ferrata trail

        If you enjoy a challenge and are not afraid of heights, we have a few suggestions to clear your mind as you climb the mountain! Check out our two Via Ferrata trails located just a short distance from the village! You’ll admire the view as you progress up an equipped rock face. There are routes for all levels from novice to expert, so take your pick and attach your harness. You can rent out the equipment and make your own way, or call upon the services of a guide.

        7 - Try MTB downhill on the trails of the Tignes - Val d'Isère Bike Park

        The immense MTB playground of the Val d’Isère & Tignes Bike Park has 230 km of trails that are open all summer. Just like the ski slopes, the trails are rated by level of difficulty – green, blue, red, black and even double-black, be they enduro or downhill trails, or uphill slopes for mountain E-bikes. Before tackling the dizzying descent of the Bellev’hard, a black slope that literally plunges down into the village, start gently on the long, green trails and the new MTB routes around the village. On the beginner’s zone at the foot of the Bellevarde, you can have a go on different types of terrain before heading into the MTB area. These trail sections are designed to help you progress and familiarise yourself with the techniques you’ll need to master on the downhill slopes.

        The Bike-Park: Is it for me? 

        Check it out!

        Find out all you want to know about the Val d’Isère-Tignes Bike Park

        Bike-Park info

        8 - Switch off for a sense of wellbeing

        Holidays in the mountains aren’t necessarily all about sport. Above all, this choice natural environment is an invitation to relax and switch off, far from the summer crowds, concrete buildings, busy roads and constant noise. So take our advice and make the most of the lovely setting to take a well-deserved break and enjoy a sense of wellbeing!

        Let us inspire you to find just the wellness activity you need:

        9 - Go paragliding

        Do you fancy flying over our beautiful mountains, or just taking your first flight in a two-seater paraglider? For your most beautiful flights, take your bearings from the Solaise summit! This summer, make the most of the free lifts from 29 June to 1 September, when walkers and paragliders can ride up the mountain on the Solaise gondola from 9.45am to 4.45pm non-stop. The landing zone is located in the Manchet Valley, where free shuttle buses can take you back to the bottom of the Solaise gondola lift (alight at the “Rond-point des Pistes” stop). If you fancy an evening flight, you can always take the last gondola and wait at the top until sunset, or drive up and park near the Solaise Refuge. Seasoned athletes might go for the “hike & fly” experience, in which case you can walk up the Arolle Millénaire trail, or via Le Plan.

        10 - Visit Ouillette Lake

        Without hesitation, in summer Ouillette Lake is the ultimate trout-fishing spot, at 2,510 metres above sea level! With its breathtaking panoramic view and its brand new restaurant & bar, La Plage de l’Ouillette, it is an absolute must this summer. You don’t need a fishing permit as anglers simply pay a fee when they get there! For children, there’s a play area near the lake as you walk along its banks to the left, with an Indian teepee and a swing. Be aware that swimming is not allowed. To round off  your day in style, stay at the lakeside to watch the sun go down and, if you’ve come well prepared, enjoy a picnic! But beware, we recommend you take warm clothes because at this elevation, it turns cold quicker than you expect after sunset.

        Must-do experiences in Val d'Isère

        If you agree that holidays are made for sharing, enjoying yourself and making new discoveries, take inspiration from us! May your craziest wishes come true!

        The Col de l'Iseran is open   The Col de l'Iseran is open  
        ☀️Summer season: June 29th to September 1st, 2024 ❄️ Winter season: November 30th, 2024 to May 4th, 2025
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