• YSE skier
Val d'Isere Christmas
Val d'Isère gentianes
YSE chalet staff

WHEN TO GO

BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Pre-Christmas the slopes are very quiet, it costs less than staying at home, and you’ll have time for Christmas shopping when you get back!

Val d’Isère’s Snow Factory can make enough snow to cover Wembley stadium six inches deep every hour. So even if the real stuff doesn’t come, Val d’Isère will cover its slopes. The World Cup circuit is confident of this, and the first major races of the season are held in Val d’Isère: the men’s Slalom and Giant Slalom on 10-11 December 2017 and the ladies’ Super Combined and Downhill on 16-17 December 2017.

Our chalets open on Wednesday 6 December 2017. You book your own easyJet or BA flights (the sooner you book the less it costs), while we provide the transfers between Geneva and Val d’Isère. Our first charter flight is on Wednesday 20 December 2017, so guests travelling on Wednesday 13 December book their own flight to Geneva on 13 December and we fly you back to Gatwick on 20 December. Ski passes in early December are around £150 per person for 6 days including Carré Neige, a saving of nearly £100.

CHRISTMAS
A proper white Christmas, such as most British children only dream of! Our Christmas week is Wednesday 20 December to Wednesday 27 December 2017. You bring the presents and we provide the tree to lay them round, the log fire, turkey, Christmas pudding, mince pies, mulled wine, etc. The slopes are surprisingly uncrowded, the resort is ‘en fête’ with events and processions, and our prices are around 25% cheaper than the following week.

NEW YEAR
This is a wonderful time to ski, as long as you go somewhere with enough pistes and lifts to handle being busy. Val d’Isère has a vast ski area and 16 lifts from the valley floor. Revellers love the partying on 31 December. Skiers love the empty slopes a few hours later. A few very fit people enjoy both! Our New Year holiday is Wednesday 27 December 2017 to Wednesday 3 January 2018: 7 nights, with 6 days’ skiing.

JANUARY
Our favourite month. It can be fractionally colder than at other times, but this high above the clouds cold weather tends to be sunny. It can also snow every day of course, but that’s true of any month. What is certain is that the slopes are quiet (with almost no schools on holiday), the snow is the squeaky perfect stuff everyone skis well on, and our holidays are distressingly cheap. Our first January holiday is Wednesday 3 to Wednesday 7 January 2018: 4 nights, with 3 days’ skiing. Prices start at £380 per person.

FEBRUARY
The classic month to go skiing. It’s logical: there will almost certainly be more snow than in January, the temperatures will be similar but the days longer and the sun stronger. British schools’ half-term is 11-18 February 2018, and the French holiday is split over four weeks up to 4 March. But child-phobics needn’t worry: there is still half an acre of snow per skier. And the more children there are, the more space everyone else has, because ten kids in a little snake occupy less snow than a single adult male in a racing snowplough after a big lunch.

MARCH
The sun in March is stronger than in the Med in midsummer, and Factor 60 is a must. There will be perfect winter snow on the upper runs, and the first spring snow off-piste. Towards the end of the month, the lower pistes can be soft in the afternoons, but they are groomed back to perfection every night. Long sunny lunches on the terraces of the Fruitière, Trifollet or Edelweiss aren’t great for one’s skiing or silhouette, but excellent for the morale…

APRIL
This is when Val d’Isère stands out most from other ski resorts. The sun is incredibly powerful, but in our high, narrow, north-facing valley the snow lasts exceptionally well. April showers falling as rain lower down fall as powder here, and April sometimes brings more fresh snow than all the other months put together. Off-piste, the warmth transforms it into exhilarating spring snow, though there’s still winter snow on the glaciers. Some people stop for long lunches in the sunshine; others ski until the last lift. The French haven’t really noticed that Val d’Isère and Tignes offer such good skiing in April, and the slopes are not busy. This winter we will continue our holidays to Sunday 30 April 2018.

For a list of festivals and events, which may help you decide when to come to Val d’Isère, please see the Après-ski page.