The Post Office is just round the corner off the snow square in Val Village, or if you already have a stamp there are post boxes (they’re yellow, not red!) in several places around town including outside the pharmacy on the main street. The post from the post boxes is usually collected quite early in the morning, so your letter may not be picked up until the next day - if you’re in a hurry take it to the Post Office.
With so many people relying on plastic these days, none of the banks in town offer a foreign exchange facility. You can withdraw cash in Euros though at the cash machines outside any of the 4 banks in the main street or in front of the Post Office. At busy times such as New Years’s Eve, the machines can run out of cash so get yours in plenty of time!
Dr Alan Griffiths has now moved to the Medival medical centre, opposite the Spar on the outskirts of the village. If “Doc Al” isn’t available you may see his partner Dr Cuny who also speaks perfect English. Medival is superbly equipped and has the facilities to treat many serious injuries which might otherwise mean a trip to hospital in Bourg St Maurice.
If you are unlucky enough to be taken off the mountain in a “blood wagon” after an injury, the pisteurs who bring you down will take your skis or board to their office at the Service des Pistes and you will have to go there with proof that your insurance will cover your rescue costs to claim your kit back. The Service des Pistes is at Rond Point des Pistes – just go up the steps next to the bus stop on the Solaise side and round the back of the building at the top.
Just because you’re in a ski resort, don’t drop your guard – if your skis are stolen it can end up both expensive and inconvenient! If the worst does happen though, you will more than likely need a police report for your insurance company. You get this from the Gendarmerie which is at the top end of town on the way to Le Fornet, just opposite the supermarket. From the bus stop opposite the Tourist Office, get off at the second stop.
If you can’t live without your Times or Telegraph in the morning, the local newsagents in the main street now sells today’s English papers along with a reasonable selection of your favourite magazines.
For many years we had no dentist here in Val d’Isère – not great if you develop toothache during your holiday which would only be made worse in the cold air! However we do have a local dentist now, in the Medival building opposite the Spar petrol station. From the town centre, get the bus in the La Daille direction and get off at the second stop after the bus station.
If you’ve left your lights on and run your battery down, or it’s been very cold and the diesel in your car has frozen, your car may well not want to start when you go back to it. Fortunately Stefan at Auto Garage Val d’Isère in la Daille has an industrial sized battery charger and, if worst comes to worst and your car still won’t start, a tow truck as well.
There are several free short term parking places in and around the centre of town where you can stop for anything from a few minutes to two hours (make sure you display the European Blue Disc showing your arrival time) but you can’t park on the street on a long term basis.
For longer term parking there are outdoor car parks at La Daille, Le Laisinant and Le Manchet and the Parking du Centre/Val Village, Parking du Bellevarde and Parking de la Daille which are all covered. For 3 days or more you can reserve your parking in advance on www.parkingvaldisere.com.
We strongly recommend you buy your ski boots here in Val d’Isère rather than at home, for many reasons including the fact that if you buy in resort the shop is on hand to carry out all of the inevitable fine tuning and personalisation for a perfect fit. Bootfitting is not about “selling boots”, it is a complicated skill that takes years to learn properly.
Surefoot (in the main street between the 2 roundabouts) is a dedicated bootfitting lab, fitting boots is all Wilkie and the team here do, and it’s their passion as well as their job. This is where long term locals get their boots fitted – what more can we say? For a detailed article on Surefoot and the bootfitting process.READ MORE
Snowberry, at Rond Point des Pistes, specialises in looking after English speaking clients and has been voted “Best Ski Shop in Europe”.
They have over 700 brand new pairs of skis for the 2015/16 season spread over 120 plus models as well as a cheaper option using skis that are only 1 season old – still newer and in better condition than equipment you’ll pay twice as much or more elsewhere!
They also have a fleet of brand new Landrovers and will come and collect you at the door of your accommodation and take you to the shop to be fitted and a free overnight storage facility for your equipment just across the road from the nursery slopes.READ MORE