When you wake up in Val d'Isère, you almost don't want to do anything but sit outside your balcony and be in awe of the mountains that surround you. In winter everything is covered in snow which creates a lovely winter wonderland, and in summer the lower mountains are overgrown with grass and look like they're covered with a soft green fabric. You can hear the birds singing, the marmots whistling and every now and then you might be lucky enough to even spot an eagle high up in the air.
 
While our cookery school students are busy with cooking lunch and dinner for everyone, our non-cooking guests have every opportunity to explore Val d'Isère and its surroundings. The free village bus will take you to either end of town from La Daille up to Fornet, but also to the Manchet valley where you can find the Parc du Sports with lots of organized activities. Every half an hour there is also a bus all the way up to Lac Ouillette where you have the most beautiful views, can go for a stroll around the lake, have a coffee at the little restaurant that's run by a lovely French couple and if you like you can even buy a fishing permit.
Weather allowing, Lac Ouillette is also the location for our weekly barbecue when our students have most of the afternoon off and we all meet for dinner in this stunning scenery! Train your eyes and spot the marmots that blend in with the landscape around them.


Going back into town from Lac Ouillette you could also stop at Pont Saint Charles, access the National Park from there and hike up along the wonderful gorge until you come to the refuge. It's about an hour's hike one way and you won't regret the tiring walk as the views you get are truly amazing. This is also an area where you are most likely to spot Chamoix and Bouquetins, the famous mountain goats.

Not up for hiking? Jump on one of the free lifts and go up the Bellevarde mountain and enjoy the scenery from there. Fancy some skiing? Then go to Tignes Val Claret and buy a day pass for the Funiculaire. It'll take you all the way up the glacier where you have open lifts with a total of 20km runs.

But if you prefer to simply sit on your balcony, read a book and enjoy the views in the summer sun, wait until your cooking friends are serving lunch or dinner - then you should do exactly that. Enjoy your holiday, enjoy the sunshine and the summer magic of the mountains all around you.