If you’re an avid skier, you might have heard of Tignes. Tignes shares a massive ski area with Val d’Isere, a neighbouring resort, and is, therefore, a hugely popular destination amongst skiers and snowboarders. Combine the endless miles of slopes with the fact it has a season that lasts most of the year, and it’s easy to understand its attraction to so many skiers and snowboarders. Read on for additional information on this amazing resort.
The Tignes-Val d’Isere area covers 300km and offers a mix of blue, red and black slopes. For those more experienced skiers and snowboarders, there is also a chance for amazing off-piste experiences. The most spectacular descent of the area must be Grande Motte. This glacier is easily reached from Val Claret. The highest slopes here are even open for summer skiing and snowboarding.
The top cable car station can be found at 3,456m and is the starting point for the resort’s most breath-taking descent. From November, when there is enough snow, you can take the red piste 1,350m down to the funicular station in Val Claret. Be prepared for some epic burn in your thighs! Take your time on this descends to avoid over-straining your muscles.
The ski area is also home to a terrain park, ideal for freestyle ski and boardercross fun! You can even practice on the largest halfpipe in the French Alps – if you are truly brave and skilled. Obviously, if you’re only just learning, stay away from these facilities. It can only end in tears, pain and a hospital visit!
Although not necessarily renowned for its après ski and nightlife vibe, you will have plenty of options if you know where to look. For some of the cheapest beer around, head to Dropzone in Val Claret. There is a happy hour from 4 pm to 6 pm and it has DJs, live bands, and free Wi-Fi. If you are more looking for a night out, the Dropzone actually transforms into a nightclub from 10 pm onwards.
If you end the day at the Val d’Isere end of the resort, head to the famous La Folie Douce, located on the slopes above La Daille. On a sunny day, there can be thousands of people out on the slope listening to the DJ, enjoying some beers. It makes for a great atmosphere. For more local choices, take a peek this handy guide on Tignes’ parties and bars the city has to offer.
If you are looking postcard charm, such as wooden chalets and old medieval churches, Tignes is not the place for you. Unlike neighbouring resort Val d’Isere, Tignes was actually purpose-built. Despite efforts to refurbish some of the most hideous buildings, it’s not nearly as charming as some other of the French or Austrian resorts.
However, what it might lack in charm, it more than makes up for with accessibility to the finest slopes. Due to its purpose-built start, the location of Tignes’ main villages is ideal and you will have easy access to lifts. From Val Claret, it is a piece of cake to reach the Grande Motte glacier. Tignes Le Lac is just a stone’s throw away, and together these places would be the most convenient towns to find your accommodation. There are other towns further down the mountain, but they are more isolated in their location with limited shops and restaurants.
In Val Claret and Tignes Le Lac, you will have your pick of hotels or self-catered apartments. Self-catering apartments are ideal if you don’t mind cooking for your friends or family. If you’re looking for a little bit more luxury and some meals included, there are many mid-range and affordable hotels with half-board options.