Its creation in the 1930s was a crazy gamble, since its location and climate meant it was far from an obvious tourist destination. But Val d’Isère swiftly attracted professional skiers and became a top competition venue. In the late 1970s, Patrice Leconte shot his film Les Bronzés here. Its success enticed even more people to the resort.
Since then Val d’Isère has deftly blended authenticity, elite sport and a sumptuous art of living. What is most impressive is that despite becoming a popular tourist spot, it has remained an idyllic home for its original residents. Many of them live in Le Fornet, a hamlet perched 2,000 metres above sea level whose name derives from the lime kilns that used to be commonplace here. Remnants of them survive to this day. Here Val d’Isère is in touch with its past.