Espace Killy

Embrace space

Made up of two of the world's best ski resorts, Espace Killy links the two well known resorts of Tignes and Val d’Isère. Whatever ability you are, it has plenty on offer for everyone.

Fast Facts

Resort height: 1800m

Highest lift: 3550m

Ski runs: 158

Pistes

KM: 300km

Longest run: 10km

Cross Country: 44km

Region Info

No of lifts: 88

Snow parks: 2

Slalom Courses: 9

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Regardless of which of these two iconic resorts you prefer, there’s no debating the quality of the pistes and terrain on offer.

Emma Hunter

The name given to the combined ski domain of Tignes and Val d’Isere.

Named after France’s Olympic downhill skiing champion, Jean Claude Killy, The Espace Killy is located in the Tarentaise area of the Savoie department in the Northern Alps. Offering over 300kms of piste skiing and some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery, it's not hard to see why it is one of the most popular ski regions in the world. Due to their location against the peaks of the Italian border, the Tignes and Val d'Isere ski area is one of the most snow secure ski regions in the entire Alps, and conditions normally allow for good skiing right to the end of the season (end of May).

The Espace Killy ski area is set largely above the tree line, so neither resort has many narrow, tree-lined runs. Nearly all of the skiing in the area is above 1850m and there are two glaciers (one in Val d'Isere and one in Tignes). A good spread of green, blue, red and black runs makes the area ideal for groups of mixed abilities.

Of the two resorts, Tignes is probably thought of as being most suited to beginners. With the exception of la Sache that runs down to Brévières below the dam (descent of 1198m) and Paquerettes on Tovières, there are plenty of gentle runs that can easily be accessed from the resort centre. Most of the runs at Tignes are not too difficult and many are long and wide and give the impression of being less crowded, ideal for beginners and intermediates.

The ski area in Val d'Isere can be broken up into three areas, namely Le Solaise, Bellevarde and Le Fornet, all varying in style and complexity. The steep valley of Val d’Isère means that certain runs are difficult especially at the bottom. Intermediates that lack confidence may prefer to use the lifts to come down from Bellevarde or Solaise.

Runs

Green: 20

Blue: 68

Red: 40

Black: 27

Airport transfers

Chambery 2h 15m

Grenoble 2h 30m

Geneva 3h

Lyon 3h

Off-piste and parks

There is also an abundance of off piste on offer and two of the best snow-parks in the Alps for anyone who is looking for some freestyle action.

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The two villages of Val d'Isere and Tignes differ in image and feel.

Val D'Isere has retained its authentic mountain domestic architecture and is known for it's apres scene; Tignes is purpose built and whilst it's not going to win a beauty contest, it's super practical. What Tignes lacks in beauty it makes up for in ski convenience.  Most of the chalets, hotels and apartments are very well located many being ski out. There are 3 main villages to choose from in Tignes, Lavachet, Lac and Val Claret, all have excellent fast lifts and lift queues are rarely a problem. Après-ski in Tignes is further from the pistes and is less at the heart of what the resort is about.

Val d’Isère has a longer history and architecture more appropriate for alpine surroundings. There are three main villages along the main road coming up from the valley below, La Daille. Val d’Isere centre is home to some wonderful family run 4 and 5 star hotels. While the ski chalets, hotels and apartments are not nearly as convenient for ski access as in Tignes, the bus system in Val d’Isere is one of the best. There are 9 lift access points along the valley and lift queues are rarely a problem. When it comes to après-ski Val d’Isère is way ahead of Tignes. The first La Folie Douce club, synonym for the après-ski scene in French Alps was opened here. Val d’Isère has wider selection of restaurants, bars and clubs. It's no coincidence that the more fashionable Val d’Isère tends to be more expensive than it's practical neighbour.

Val d'Isere Apres picks

La Folie Douce

Dicks Tea Bar

La Petit Danois

Cocorico

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Advanced skiers will love the challenge of the black runs that are on offer in the Espace Killy. The legendary Face de Bellevarde in Val d'Isere is one of the toughest runs in the area and another must try for advanced skiers is the OK piste- site of the annual World Cup men’s downhill.

Emma Hunter
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