Snowboarding in Val d’Isere

March 17, 2017

I just spent a week in Val d’Isere and it was one of the best snowboarding trips I’ve done in a long time. We had (mostly) incredible conditions with a ton of fresh powder. And I once again found myself eating my weight in baguettes while in France….


We flew into Grenoble and arrived into Val d’Isere after a 3 hour bus ride to find it snowing, much to our delight. The snow fell all night, and we awoke to blue skies and fresh powder – aka “the dream.” From there on out the weather turned, and the snow came again but this time did not let up for over 2 days. In the space of 48 hours, around 5 FEET of snow fell, which is more than they had all season so far. As you can imagine, this made for some fun runs, but also some perilous ones. On the second day of snowfall, most of the mountain was shut down, and all of Tignes was closed after an avalanche fell across a blue piste run. Thankfully no one was hurt in the avalanche, but it certainly shook us up a bit for the rest of the trip. By the end of the week, the sun had come out again and we enjoyed some really fun off piste powder runs as well as a few beers in the sun.

bluebird powder day

We had a couple really beautiful days on the powder riding off piste

Then the weather turned bad. Most of the mountain was shut this day.

The boys on the last day

Partying at La Folie Douce


On to the good stuff, eh? I’ll start with the airport – which was not the best place for vegans. We flew out of Manchester, and our terminal only had a few dining options. The restaurant we went to (already forgot the name!) didn’t have any vegan options, so I made up my own dish using sides. What I ended up with was a hash brown, mushroom, avocado sandwich. Not too bad actually! If I’d had time before we left, I probably would have made my own pack up though.

I made myself a chip butty one day.

Salads, chips, beer

I’ve been to France quite a lot in the past few years, so I know not to expect much in the way of vegan food. Most meals on the mountain consisted of salad, chips and beer, and sometimes a baguette. Not that I’m complaining too much, as it’s a pretty solid vegan lunch, but it would be nice to have more options. That said, the Folie Deuce does make a mean ratatouille. They also have other veggie options but no other vegan ones.

We booked a chalet hotel through SkiWorld this year, and for a £35 supplement they will make you vegan meals all week. Breakfast tended to be the same thing every day – either porridge or cooked mushrooms and tomatoes. One day I did get a hashbrown though so that’s nice! Each evening I was served a 3-course vegan meal and it was something different every night – and it was all really good (apart from one meal on the last day): risotto, ratatouille, filo parcels, creamy soups, chickpea curry…. and loads of veg. Oh, and all the baguettes and wine you could stomach. They even made me a vegan flapjack for afternoon tea after getting in from the slopes. So needless to say, I did not go hungry and was impressed by the meals they put together for me. My only complaint was that the dishes were sometimes a bit dry, especially as I’m big on my sauces. If you book with any of the big ski tour operators including Ingham’s and Crystal, they are all usually very amenable to catering for a vegan diet for a small fee.

In the town of Val d’Isere itself, there are a few places you can get a vegan meal. For our one night out, we headed to L’Arbre de Vie which translates to “The Tree of Life.” On the menu they had one vegan option which was a veggie stir fry, and a veggie option of a falafel burger which could be made vegan as well. I went for the veggie stirfry. It was good, but far too healthy for a meal out. It was also something I would make at home on a weeknight so for €16 it was not worth it. The chips I had on the side were good though!

There is a great vegan-friendly cafe in the village called Arctic Cafe that does lots of veggie and vegan options. We stopped in there one afternoon for a juice and coffee but didn’t get to sample the food unfortunately. Some of the dishes they have on offer include avocado toast, courgetti, soups, veggie burgers, sandwiches, vegan bowls and more.

We had a late lunch one day at Le Petite Danois where Andrew and I split a falafel burger. We made it vegan by swapping the yogurt for guacamole and it wasn’t bad. Nothing to rave about, but definitely edible. They also do a veggie breakfast, falafel wrap and a chickpea sweet potato curry (which appears to be vegan from what I can tell). In addition to the food, I really enjoyed this bar for the apres ski – they have good happy hour specials and a live band on from 5-7pm. Most people go straight from the slope to the bar so there is a lot of dancing in ski and snowboard boots!

There is another small takeout nearby to Petite Danois which attached to Bar Alex and has an incredible sounding tofu steak burger on the menu, but unfortunately they were closed the one day we wanted to go there for lunch.

In all we had an amazing trip and I’m already looking forward to next year. I don’t think we’ll ever get that lucky again with the powder, but one can hope!

Check out my video below for some highlights of our trip 🙂

  • Vance Harvey March 17, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Lindsay…thanks for your email…interesting as I was in Val D’Isere last week as well – got home on the 11th; we also went with Skiworld and stayed The Lodge – bit past the Moris Bar going out of the village on the left.
    Glad you had a great time cos we did as well – all 22 of us from a property group.
    As a vegan and gluten free Skiworld provided very well for me….but I didn’t have to pay any surcharges for being vegan, and haven’t in past years.
    We must have missed each other on the pistes and at The Folie….but maybe we passed each other on the piste – I ski and don’t do boarding.
    It was noticeable that the food in the mountains was much better than 2 years ago; every restaurant seemed to have lots of great salad to choose from – I had a huge salad one day at Le Marmotte restuarant – bit further down from the top of the Olimpique lift – which was excellent for about Eu9; we skied around Le Fornet several days on the glacier,and ate at the Cascade restaurant which was good.
    On the chalet staff’s day off we went to Le Caserole for dinner – and although there wasn’t one veggie dish on the menu they did a huge salad for starter followed by a jacket potato with a big dish of diced veg… same for a colleague who is veggie, not vegan…. so that was great service; they actually understood what a vegan is 🙂
    I also went into the Artic Cafe on the main street…as also did other members of our group…great place to eat.
    Last year we all went to Lech in Austria, and the restaurants there were excellent; some of them have vegan menus which is quite unusual.. so I can recommend that and the area is fantastic for skiing.
    Nice to share experiences with you…:)

    • lindsay March 17, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      Hi Vance – thanks for sharing! That’s so funny – we were in a chalet past the Moris Bar too but on the right. I think your chalet was the one that had the quiz night? We didn’t go in the end – decided to head to town instead 🙂

  • Vance Harvey March 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Lindsay….yes our chalet had the quiz night on the Thursday, but most of our lot didn’t participate as we were to busy eating and drinking – me my vegan foods they did for me.
    Pity we didn’t know all this in advance as we could have met up…so near and yet so far away 🙂