The Espace Killy ski area is home to the neighbouring resorts of Val d’Isere and Tignes, and has proven itself a very popular destination with Brits over the past 10-20 years. With over 300km of varied terrain the skiing remains the biggest draw, but for many visitors the choice between the two resorts often comes down to which one offers better nightlife.

Val d’Isere is an up-market resort and as such offers a high number of relaxed bars where you can have a more civilised drink, as opposed to the normal rowdy après-ski scene. That said, there’s no shortage of booze-fuelled bars and clubs for those who want to really cut loose.

The après-ski in Val D’Isere is focused on the famous Folie Douce, located at the top of the La Daille gondola. It’s on the pricey side but for carefree, table-top, foot-stomping après ski it’s way ahead of the pack. For something a bit lighter on the wallet, Café Face sits down in town and its beers start from as low as 3 Euros each.

A Folie Douce apres ski session in full flow.

Photo courtesy of Kai Hendry on Flickr

For those looking to party into the evening, Val centre offers many great bars serving up a wide variety of cocktails and beers. The Petit Danois and Saloon bars are open until all hours, and sit right in the centre of town. The Petit Danois is the place for live music whilst Saloon is more DJ-based. If you venture on through the resort you will find the sports’ themed Pacific Bar, offering a more relaxed atmosphere and popular among sport-loving Brits. More upmarket venues include hotel bars such as Blizzard, which offers a low-key sophistication popular among discerning visitors. Night owls can make their way over to Dicks Tea Bar or Doudonne until the early hours.

Tignes sits over the other side of the mountain ridge and, unlike its more traditional neighbour, is a purpose-built resort. Off-peak dates in the student-capital of Val Claret bring a lively ‘rowdiness’ to proceedings, with students bombarding bars such as Saloon and  Drop-zone in droves! Venues such as the Melting Pot Club and the rather more French-influenced Blue Girl Bar are also popular choices all winter long. A lot of chalets in Tignes are based in the calmer area of Tignes Le Lac, and this provides good entertainment for an evening with a good range of live music. Après-ski in bars such as Loop Bar (based just off Le Rosset beginner slopes) is good fun, and families can let the kids play on the beginner slopes while they enjoy a well-earned beer in the afternoon, in full view.

Skiers based in the Lavachet area can find a couple of good bars close to slopes, ideally placed to enjoy a few après ski beers. They stay open until around 2am - Scotty’s and TC’s. Both these bars generally offer relatively good prices and deals.

The nightlife here is different to Val D’Isere and it’s generally a lot more rough and ready. In a nutshell, Val d’Isere and Tignes both offer boozy après and a good selection of bars to enjoy, but Tignes falls short in the sophistication stakes. There’s really very few places for discerning visitors to enjoy sophisticated cocktail soirees – for that, you need Val.

With its swankier bars and up-market reputation, Val D’Isere can sometimes feel like a place to see and be seen, whilst Tignes is a place to let your hair down and dance like no-one’s watching! But whichever of these two iconic resorts you prefer, there’s no debating the quality of the pistes and terrain they offer.