I have a real affinity with the Alps after having spent many winter seasons working there, and since having children I am keen to spend more and more time in these wonderful resorts. Val d’Isere is a favourite of mine, because what could be better when you have kids than to take them to a real winter wonderland for their Christmas holidays? Even if you’re not there for the big day itself, your kids will feel like they are in a magical chocolate box advent calendar from the moment they arrive!
Family Friendly Highlights in Val D’Isere
Magical Christmas Village
The whole village turns into a festive delight at this time of year and is the perfect destination for families wanting to get into the Christmas spirit. Here is a taste of what you can look forward to.
- Giant baubles hanging down the main street.
- Festive decorations hanging in the Tourist Office Square.
- Christmas reindeer on Olympique Avenue.
- Father Christmas makes an appearance on the stage on Christmas Eve.
- Live music (The Satin Doll Sisters) from 4.30pm on December 28th.
Choose to stay in this pretty resort in early December and you could witness the appearance of seven giant snow sculptures, which are built throughout the week starting on December 10th. Talented sculptors (or are they Christmas elves?) can be seen at work every day from 4-7pm, and at the end of the week the huge works of art, which reach over four metres high, stand in all their glory.
Father Christmas on the Slopes – Christmas Eve
- From 10am on Christmas Eve kids can meet Santa on skis at the ski lift on the Solaise run.
- From 10am-midday you can meet Santa on the Snowfront by the Village and Savonnette lifts.
- From 1-4pm you can meet Santa at the top of Solaise at the Lounge and Solaise cable car.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Get into the festive spirit on the night before Christmas and take the kids to get their faces painted at the tourist office (from 3pm), before taking them (at 5pm) to watch Santa arrive in the village on his sleigh, helped by all of his elves. Your children can even hand Santa their Christmas list, have their photo taken with him or just simply say hello!
If you choose to visit over the New Year, you and your family can look forward to a Festi Light evening. On New Year’s Eve and every Thursday from 10th January until March 7th, the village will be lit up by the Festi Light display. As lights twinkle along the main street, jugglers, musicians, DJs and ice sculptors create a magical ambience that your children will remember for a long time to come.
How to Get to Val d’Isere
The nearest airport to Val d’Isere is Geneva (GVA), a buzzing hub that is cerviced by a host of regular flights from the UK with airlines including easyJet and British Airways. With a flight time of only 90 minutes, this journey isn’t even long enough for the kids to get bored.
On arrival, you’re going to want to get the gang from Geneva to Val d’Isere as quickly as possible. Choose Shuttle Direct and you can look forward to a personal service, a comfortable journey and a seamless arrival at your final destination. This excellent transfer service has professional drivers who meet you on arrival and transport you in vehicles of adequate size to accommodate large families and all their gear. Book in advance so you can look forward to stress-free onward travel.
Where to Stay
Chalet Skadi – Village Montana – This is a top choice for families staying in Val d’Isere. Offering spacious apartments that boast communal living areas, all have fitted kitchens, a dishwasher and that all-important coffee machine. Décor is traditional and my children loved the cosiness of the chalet.
The highlight here is the spa where mums and dads can indulge in a massage, sauna or hammam, while the on-site ski pass sales point and ski hire shop are really convenient for families. All in all, Chalet Skadi is a great option for families with young children.
Hôtel Auberge Saint Hubert – Boasting a near perfect location only 150 metres from the slopes, this traditional chalet-style Alpine accommodation is an excellent choice for families. My favourite bit about staying at Hôtel Auberge Saint Hubert is definitely the welcome hot drinks and pastries that await when you get in from your day on the mountain!
Free Wi-Fi is available and is ideal for those afternoons when the kids need some down time, while the restaurant, complete with open fire, is a good option for evening meals. The Savoyard specials come highly recommended.
Another excellent facility is the ski storage, so there’s no need to worry about what you are going to do with lots of pairs of mini skis!
About Shuttle Direct
Our team at Shuttle Direct take great pride in the service we offer. Providing seamless transfers throughout Europe and North Africa, we have a reputation for offering a professional, personal and comfortable service. Accommodating families, large groups and individual travellers, we have vehicles of various sizes. Book in advance and look forward to hassle-free onward travel.