Travel: Double the fun at half the price; Big is beautiful at Val d'Isere.
NOT ONLY IS VAL d'Isere one of the very best ski resorts in the world, it is also one of the biggest, most dramatic and most beautiful.
If you've been there you want to go back. And if you haven't been, you want to go - or at least any self-respecting skier should do.
Val (as its thousands of Irish and British fans call it) is an old farming village that has grown bigger and bigger over the years that have seen its reputation soar. But it still retains the atmosphere of a real French village.
If it's a bit noisy and busy for your taste than the old satellite village of La Daille, just 10 minutes from the centre of Val d'Isere, is quieter
But it's not the scenery or even the much hyped nightlife that brings the skier here. It's the stunning terrain that offers just about everything to just about every type of skier
This is what sets Val d'Isere apart from its rivals.
The area now known as l'Espace Killy links Val d'Isere with Tignes and incorporates 310 kms of ski runs
Named after Jean Claude Killy, a native of the area who ruled the downhill skiing championships for many years in the sixties and seventies, l'Espace Killy is simply overwhelming.
Gentle winding trails for beginners, wide open glacial bowls for intermediates and any number of blacks or off-piste opportunities for the adrenalin junkies make it a skier's paradise.
You can spend a week here and not have to do the same run twice.
Because of its altitude and position in the French Alps, Val traditionally hosted the first downhill race of the world cup season because of its brilliant snow record.
This week Irish ski specialists Ski McNeill have a special offer of a week's skiing in Val d'Isere and l'Espace Killy, staying at the Hotel Champs Avalins in La Daille, for just sterling pounds 369 per person.
The offer includes half-board accommodation, flight from Belfast on January 11, transfer to resort, lift pass and ski and boot hire.
Many holidays in the resort later in the season will cost you more than twice that much.
The Club Hotel Champs Avalins is conveniently located in La Daille at the foot at the express lift which rises to Bellevarde just above Val d'Isere.
La Daille's selection of bars and restaurants are less expensive than the centre of Val.
A regular bus links La Daille to Val, running until two in the morning and brings you right into the heart of the village to offer you Val d'Isere's famous apres ski and shopping.
For further details contact Ski McNeill on 028 9066 6699 from Northern Ireland or on 1800 409 495 from RoI or read more about it on their website on http://www.SkiMcNeill.com
ON THE PISTE: There are slopes and runs to suit every standard of skier at France's top resort; UP AND AWAY: Val d'Isere enjoys stunning views over the mountains