Ok. You know it: Val d’Isère is one of the most awesome resorts in the Alps if you’re planning on heading to Europe for a winter ski break. But the great range of on and off piste skiing across the hugely varied terrain of the Tarantaise Valley at your toe tips is just the beginning of the fun. Because the other thing you know to be true is that all that means next to nowt if the après action doesn’t measure up – but it does. Oh yes, it does!
Whether you’re looking for a pre-party whistle wetter, a pumping pub vibe for a few quick and dirty bevvies, or some thumping beats to take you into the wee hours, here are a few tips to help you get down around the town – getting back up again is your own business…
Straight From the Slopes
When lack of light, bad weather or sheer exhaustion signals the end of your day on the mountain… well, not quite! You don’t have to slog it back to the resort to get your hands on some primo après action. It’s boots on and gloves off at these three hot spots!
La Folie Douce: You don’t even need to be skiing on the mountain to enjoy the hospitality of La Folie Douce, with plenty of plain-clothed intruders heading up the La Daille gondola to rub shoulders with the ‘real’ snow pros coming off the slopes. This is a classic place to ski in and wobble out on the last gondola at around 5pm, with big fun to be had on the terrace with live bands, DJs and plenty of brewskis.
Bananas: If you make it a little further down the mountain before you feel the need for a pre-party pit stop, Le Bananas bar and restaurant is renowned as the coolest place in town. Situated at the base of La Face, this is one of the most popular bars in the resort for very good reason – hit it at happy hour and get as many beers, shots and cocktails for your buck as you can handle!
Cocorico: Looking for a little live music to finish off your day? Head to the terrace at Cocorico, at Rond Point, for an afternoon of beats, beers and plenty of punters for company. The Olympic gondola is close by if you’re on a promise back at the resort, or you can stay on and take to the tabletops, with DJs spinning tunes until about 8pm.
Sinking Some Pints
If you’re on a break with old mates or keen to make some new ones, these are the best places to shoot the breeze and get some serious rounds in.
Cafe Face: This is the sister bar to La Folie Douce, so you can rely on cheap drinks and laidback fun. Café Face, at the foot of the Face de Bellevarde, is an institution in the resort and their happy hour rates as the best value anywhere in the Alps. Come for a few heart starters or stay on until 2am, with live music, DJs and a good serving of the ‘in crowd’ to keep you social!
The Fall Line: If you’re at that in-between time when you need a bit of a chill out before you hit the party proper, the Fall Line is the place to come for some live music, a few drinks, a game of pool or a bit of down time on the very comfy sofas. It’s a great venue to meet people and set up some late night party plans for later on, with plenty of the cool crowd stopping off to see and be seen.
Moris Pub: For live music and a friendly British vibe, the Moris Pub is open 4pm-1am to help you grease the wheels of a long night ahead. The perfect place to line your stomach with a hearty dinner and a few cheeky drinks just for fun (gravy flavoured vodka anyone?), you’ll feel like you never left home!
Strutting Your Stuff After Dark
When it’s time to get down to the serious business of drinking, dancing and playing Last Man Standing (oh, you know that one?), Val d’Isère’s club scene is not going to be outdone by anyone!
Dicks Tea Bar: Famous throughout the French Alps as not just the biggest but the undisputed best, Dick’s Tea Bar is café extraordinaire by day (from 9am for brekkie), affable bar and restaurant until 11pm, and full-throttle clubland until 5am. Who says you can’t be all things to all people? Everyone, but everyone, ends up at Dick’s at the end of the night, so you may as well give in to the inevitable early. You know you want to.
Doudoune: If you want to practice your French gibberish, Doudoune is a popular late-night hang out with the locals, and you can catch some pretty high-profile DJs strutting their stuff until 5am. If you don’t like crowds, thumping bass and sweaty dance floors, steer clear, but if you’re not quite ready for your pipe and slippers, you’ll love it. Just don’t expect to remember much in the morning.
Party Hard in Val d’Isère
If you’re looking to do some serious damage on the social scene when you come off the slopes, Val d’Isère is rated as one of the best après scenes in the Alps. There are more bars, clubs and watering holes than you can poke a handful of ski sticks at and these ones are but a few – discovering the rest we’ll leave up to you.
How to Get to Val d’Isère
Getting to Val d’Isère is easy; the most popular way to arrive is by air, with a regular service of scheduled flights into nearby Geneva Airport from the UK and an onward journey by road of about 2.5 hours. If it’s more convenient from your port of departure you can also fly into Chambéry, Grenoble or Lyon, which are between 2-3 hours away by road.
If you’re travelling by rail, the closest stations are Bourg-Saint-Maurice or Lyon Saint-Exupery. You can then continue on by road to the resort, which will take around an hour and three hours respectively.
Whether you come by air or train, the most convenient way of ensuring safe, fast and hassle-free onward transport to Val d’Isère is with a pre-booked shared or private transfer with Shuttle Direct. Book online before you leave home and your arrangements will be confirmed – we’ll carry any ski equipment for free as long as you advise us at the time of booking.
Where to Stay:
Langley Hôtel Victors: Looking to ski all day and party all night? Then the Langley Hôtel Victors is your perfect home from home in Val d’Isère. Just a couple of minutes’ walk from the ski lifts and set right in the heart of the resort action, everything you need is at your fingertips including a lively onsite bar, free Wi-Fi, ski storage and a hearty continental breakfast to get you started.
La Galise: If you’re looking to ski Espace Killy, La Galise makes an ideal ski-to-door base. With comfy chalet-style rooms, free Wi-Fi and a warm, friendly ambience, you can relax with a game of billiards, enjoy a drink and good company at the onsite bar, or take a stroll to all the après action of the resort.
Les Seracs: The authentic, laidback chalet-style accommodation of Les Seracs offers one of the most picturesque vantages in the region, overlooking Chevril Lake. There’s a free shuttle service to the ski lifts, ski storage, free Wi-Fi, and a great bar and snooker room for some after-ski socialising. All that and some of the best skiing and views in Europe – job done!
About Shuttle Direct:
For many years Shuttle Direct has been the number one trusted provider of airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa. With a wealth of experience operating ski transfers and a range of services to suit any budget or group size, there’s no better way to ensure safe, hassle-free onward transport than with Shuttle Direct.
Book your travel arrangements online with our easy-to-navigate system and let our friendly and efficient team take care of the rest. For the fastest, most cost-effective transfers to and from any train station, cruise port or airport, Shuttle Direct has you covered.