Val d'Isere/Tignes

The Espace Killy stretches from Le Fornet in Val d'Isere to the villages below the dam at Tignes - Les Boisses and Les Brevieres.

Some claim that this is the best ski area in the World and with two large glaciers, renowned off-piste skiing and a superb lift system it has a great deal to offer.

Don't be fooled by the grading of the runs - this area is noted for the toughness of some of its skiing, although I have noticed that some of the old reds have been upgraded to blacks.

In good conditions, the area is an off-piste mecca but take a guide to get the best out of it.

The beginners' slopes have been much improved, in recent years, but this is a resort best suited to advanced/intermediate skiers.

Links between the various areas are fast and efficient. The free bus service that links all the parts of Val is superb and runs until about two in the morning.

For swift access to the slopes stay in La Daille or Le Laisinant, which now has an express chairlift, giving access to the Le Fornet and Solaise areas.

This year (2009) there was an extensive programme of free activities. The multiglisse was fantastic for kids and adults, with a different type of sledging every weeknight. There was a street carnival on Thursdays, with clowns and ice sculptors and music. This was also the case in 2011.

The VIP lift pass is worth getting, as it gives a discount on lift passes and a free entry to the new swimming pool and leisure centre, depending on the duration of the pass. Passes can also be recharged on line and are completely hands free.

If you're skiing with children the Acticross area, off the Vert and Mont Blanc green runs, is a bit of fun with a gunbarrel, tunnel and skier-cross course.

Me above Tignes

This is me above Tignes