Get £50 off by booking in advance
Book self catering apartments before 30th April 2016 and get £50 off per person.
Geneva: 3 hrs 30 mins
Grenoble: 3 hrs 30 mins
Train transfer (approx.): 40mins
Those who have been lucky enough to ski in Tignes many a time will be sad (or maybe not) to hear that the old rickety 2-seater chairlift out of the village has now been replaced with a brand new 18-person gondola (Boisses), which will whisk you up to the heights to meet the rest of Tignes skiing. The resort’s commitment to the environment (which has been top of its priority list since its conception in 1952) is still in evidence though, as Tignes ski resort maintains plans to improve energy-efficiency (and high skiers-per-hour rates) by replacing several old lifts with just one new one, so you can ski Tignes with an even bigger smile on your face.
Tignes ski resort: high, convenient, snow-sure and hard-core – just a few of the fitting superlatives to describe Tignes skiing. If you are looking for excellent snow, the resort’s altitude of 2100m will provide this whether it’s November or April. This height also grants access to beautiful wide pistes, hugely varied terrain and some of the best lift-served off-piste in the world. Ski Tignes for a place where sport comes first and stopping for lunch is considered a weakness. Don’t ski Tignes if you’re looking for a chocolate box village – the purpose-built resorts of Le Lavachet, Le Lac and Val Claret will disappoint here, although the views across the lake are beautiful, especially as the sun peeks over the peaks at sunrise or when lit up at night. Instead, head down to the old village of Les Brevières or Tignes 1800 for a little rustic alpine charm and a few trees. Tignes ski resort’s planners should also be praised for the convenience the resort offers, no Tignes chalet is too far from a piste or lift and the 24 hour bus service means you can pick your runs and never have to worry about how you’ll get home (just don’t get stuck on the Val d’Isere side after lifts close as this will cost you). Most Tignes chalet guests prefer first lifts to late nights but you will always find a few friendly seasonnaires living the ski hard/party hard dream of an evening. If you take your skiing seriously, you definitely need to ski in Tignes this season!
Tignes skiing is high, snow-sure and awesome. Everyone will find something to please but the resort really comes into its own for intermediates to experts. All five of the villages have their own free nursery slopes to get beginners up to speed. The best are in Lavachet and Val Claret. From there, you can take the Fresse lift up to the gentle rolling greens of the Ski Tranquille zone or join the snowboarders practicing their jibs over by the Palafour lift in Le Lac. Intermediates, after making a tour of the valley on the lovely blues starting at the Chaudanne lift and finishing at the Paquis or vice versa, should head straight for the Grande Motte and feel the thigh-burn coming down the lovely fast wide red slopes. The Palafour is also a perfect place to play or practice your carving down from the top of the Grattalu chair. Don’t forget the obligatory photo-stop at the eye of the needle. If you can hold your nerve, Trolles, the black piste back down into Le Lac, will definitely get the adrenaline pumping. Advanced skiers have the choice of a number of excellent challenging blacks – go for gradient on the Sache, bumps on Silene or sheer speed on Descente. The lack of trees leaves plenty of open powder fields between the runs and there are also plenty of well-tracked off-piste itineraries to sample. Hire a guide to get the most out of the area and be aware of the risks of skiing off-piste – perfect for perfecting your technique are the Naturide and Le Spot areas, which are patrolled but un-pisted areas for fans of skiing au naturel. In numbers, Tignes ski resort offers 6 slalom stadiums, a mogul field, two half-pipes and a beginner/intermediate snowpark (plus the Val Park over in Val d’Isere) to get your skis into.
In both Tignes and Val D’Isere we only sell the full area pass that covers the entire Espace Killy area. The neighbouring areas are so well connected that even first time beginners will benefit from having the option to cover the entirety of the ski area. In both Val D’Isere and Tignes the lift pass also allows free access during your stay to the swimming pool in your chosen resort.
The best après-ski starts about 3pm up on the slopes at the Folie Douce bar, where the live DJs and champagne-spraying barmen get the crowds jumping, just don’t miss the last Tommeuse lift back to the Tignes side of town (which stops before the music does). Otherwise, après-ski in Tignes ski resort is generally rather a subdued affair, although there are a number of establishments waiting with jugs of cold beer to welcome you off the slopes and even a few live bands to enjoy. Loop Bar, at the end of the high street in Le Lac, is one such place or come over all français at L’Embuscade Cafe or Le Bar à Vin. Down in Lavachet you’ll find Scotty’s and TC’s on the way back to your Tignes chalet or check out Val Claret classics, Saloon, Couloir or Drop Zone. Snuggle up with the three bears and a delicious hot chocolate at Grizzly’s or sup a coffee at Le Kfe Lounge also in Val Claret. Things generally start to warm up about 9pm after the Tignes chalet guests have had their dinner, with live bands and late-night dancing at Jacks Club in Le Lac and Blue Girl or Melting Pot in Val Claret.
The ski hard/play hard mentality of Tignes ski resort doesn’t leave much time for admiring the scenery and as such, most non-skiing activities are generally focussed around the lake. Try ice skating, cross-country skiing, husky dog sledding on top of it or be a bit more adventurous and go ice diving under it. You could even float down to land on it from the top of the mountain with a spot of paragliding. The Lagoon wellness centre, designed to fit inconspicuously into the rocks, has swimming pools, water slides, a spa and a fitness room to enjoy (one visit free with your lift pass). There is a bowling alley and a cinema for when it’s really cold out or you could always pick up some new ski gear in one of the resort’s many excellent ski and board shops.
Tignes ski resort delivers a cosmopolitan selection of eateries with everything from fast food to haute cuisine, Mexican to Asian food, plus of course all your local Savoyard favourites. Head to the top of the list Upstairs at L’Arbina for superb seafood, oysters and foie gras. The Clin d’Oeil serves exceptional and quirky locally sourced Savoyard food, while both the steaks and the cocktails are enormous at La Poutrerie. The kids will enjoy dinner at Le Fromagerie where you can watch the farm animals having their tea through the windows. For the best value perfect pizzas, head to L’Arbina or La Place, which also does mean yet reasonable Savoyard classics, stick with the classic burger and French fries at Aspen or Loop Bar or nip next door to take-away extraordinaire, Tignes Cuisine, all of which are also good places for lunch.
Up on the hill, mountain restaurants tend to be a little on the expensive side, especially on the Val d’Isere side, but the well-linked lifts and convenient ski-through villages mean it is perfectly possible to drop down to resort level for a pit-stop (although most who ski in Tignes view stopping for lunch as a weakness so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a table). Le Panoramic at the bottom of the Grande Motte glacier offers great table service, value and Savoyard classics, plus a few surprises such as grilled lobster. Lo Soli, on the Corniche piste, serves up exceptional Italian fare or let yourself be tempted by the smell of fresh waffles and crepes that drifts across from La Tovière restaurant at the top of the Aeroski lift (also accessible to pedestrians).
This winter we are delighted to offer a private nanny service in partnership with t4 Nanny in Tignes. For more information on t4 Nanny and what they can offer during your family ski holiday, please see our t4 Nanny page.
Book self catering apartments before 30th April 2016 and get £50 off per person.
Make the most of this great discount for the Easter period. Self catering can give you the flexibility you desire on your ski holiday.