Espace Killy: 300 Km Of Slopes; Two Leading Resorts
The Espace Killy Ski Area, set in the French Alps, comprises the two big-name ski resorts of Tignes (2100 metres) and Val d'Isere (1850 metres). It offers a total ski area of 300 kilometres with a wide choice of terrain (22 green runs, 61 blue, 46 red, and 25 black). It also boasts 44 kilometres of cross-country skiing, two terrain parks, and two glaciers (Pissaillas Glacier and Le Grand Motte Glacier).
Val d'Isere is located just five kilometres from the Italian border. This famous resort is known for its well groomed slopes and reliable snowfall. It also played host to the 2009 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The resort centre is lined with traditional Alpine chalets and offers a lively après ski scene with a good selection of bars and clubs.
The Val d'Isere snowpark is situated on the Bellevarde/Le Daille sector (2500 metres) and can be reached by the Daille mountain railway or the new Bellevarde cable car. The park is home to hips and jumps, hand rails, a fun box, rainbow, several single or double high and low rails, one boarder cross for all levels, and a recreational area with music and barbecue facilities. The snowpark has two draglifts, one three-seater chairlift and a rope tow.
Beginners and children can enjoy learning to ski up on the higher pistes. Ski schools offer plenty of English-speaking instructors. A free shuttle bus runs between the villages of Val d'Isere and Tignes every five minutes.
Tignes is made up of five villages: Val Claret, Tignes le Lac, Le Lavachet, Tignes Les Boisses, and Tignes-les-Brevieres. The first three are neighbouring resorts set at or around 2100 metres, while the latter two are located further down the valley.
Tignes is also home to the Le Grand Motte Glacier, set at 3030-3455 metres, which offers a good choice of terrain with blue, red and black runs. It is open between mid-June and the end of August; access to the glacier is via an underground funicular as well as chair and drag lifts.
Tignes offers an après ski scene to suit all tastes with a wide choice of international restaurants, traditional street cafes, lively bars, and all-night clubs. Other winter activities in Tignes and Val d'Isere include ice climbing, heli skiing, ice karting, snowmobiling, and ice diving.
The Espace Killy Ski Area can be accessed via the surrounding airports of Geneva, Lyon, Chambery, and Grenoble. The closest railway station is located in Bourg St. Maurice, 30 kilometres away. If driving, the following alpine passes are closed during winter: Petit St Bernard, Iseran, and Mont Cenis.