You think of Val D’Isere and imagine snow covered Alps, great pistes, amazing apres-ski spots, and the very best skiing and snowboarding options, but this locale is also home to a long list of non-skiing and summertime activities.
Things to Do in the Summer
Some of the best include:
Parc des Sports
Parc des Sports is in the heart of Val D’Isere and provides a staggering number of activities that include a playground for kids of many ages, the Aquasportif Center with many pool areas, an acrobatics school, tennis courts, and a wildly popular adventure course. There is also a wellness and relaxation area, a full gym with fitness coaches, a climbing wall, a spa with massage and beauty options, squash courts, and an innovative golf and driving simulator.
Biking & Cycling
Biking and cycling are popular activities in the region, and though there is a formal bike park in the resort area, the region is also home to Col de L’Iseran. This is the highest paved road in Europe and part of the famous Tour de France. Separating the Tarentais and Maurienne Valleys, it is not for the faint of heart, and could also be a nice drive rather than a cycling adventure. Mountain biking is one of the biggest activities here as well, and there are many paths in the mountains to explore.
Glacier skiing is also an option for those who never get enough of the Alps, and travelers to Val D’Isere can also easily reach the Pissaillas glacier from here. Even more exciting is the fact that the lifts are free during summer months in Val d'Isere (small fee in Tignes).
Nature reserves and parks are found here as well, and the Vanoise National Park is the very heart of this region. Only 50 years old, it is actually the country’s first national park and includes a huge range of terrain and natural areas. You can find marmots, chamois, more than 100 kinds of birds, lakes, flowers and other gorgeous sights here. It is also a hiking and mountain biker’s treasure.
Lac de L’Ouillette
Lac de L’Ouillette is in the heart of one of Val D’Isere’s three slopes, the massif de Solaise. Easy to reach by walking, via a lift, or by car, it is a popular destination for swimmers, picnickers and even photographers.
Mountain climbing is another popular summertime options, and the Via Ferrata is the spot for beginners. It allows you to climb, by rope, up the mountain. You follow marked trails and discover ladders, bridges and steps along with ropes, and you can even hire a guide to ensure the easiest and safest route.
Special summertime events include an annual electric and hybrid vehicle show that is open to the public and features hundreds of vehicles created by roughly 90 different makers. The summer months also find a “Vanoise”, or trail running race, that takes place mid-summer. This generally features several courses for different skill levels. There is also the La Foire Avaline each year, and it is often noted as a highlight of the summer as it emphasizes regional arts and crafts, local produce and foods of the Savoie and Italian Piedmont areas, and more.
Shopping is also a wonderful experience during the summer months too, and many of the unique shops remain open throughout the year. You can find everything from local cheese and pastry shops to different sports equipment vendors.
Scenic driving is a wonderful thing to enjoy during the quieter summer season. Whether you opt to hire someone to do the driving and allow you all of the sightseeing, or you take to the back roads and explore this gorgeous region, it is an experience tough to beat!
Don’t think of lovely Val D’Isere strictly as a winter destination. It offers a bounty of summer fun and pleasure and many amazing accommodations, restaurants, and experiences await.