All images courtesy of Tignes Tourisme – photos all copyright of Andy Parant & Tignes Tourisme
Tignes has one of the world’s biggest and most snow sure ski areas in the world with the Grand Motte glacier ensuring late season skiing until May.
Tignes is made up of several areas – The main area is comprised of the village of Tignes-Le-Lac (2100m) connected with Tignes Val Claret (2100m), a large frozen lake in the middle of the valley divides the two areas. Further down the mountain you will find Tignes Les Boisses (1850m) & Tignes Les Brévières (1550m).
Val Claret and Tignes Le Lac villages are lively hubs, with restaurants and shops, while the more traditional resorts of Tignes Les Boisses & Tignes Les Brévières offer a true taste of Savoyard France.
300 Km (linked with Val d’Isere)
1,500 M – 3,456 M
Grand Motte Cable Car – 3,456 M
Green 21%, Blue 38%, Red 30%, Black 11%
Chambery 2 hrs 45 mins,
Geneva 3.5 hrs,
Tignes has 4 different nursery slope areas and is a excellent choice for beginners and children. There are free lifts for beginners in main Tigne-Le-Lac, Tignes Val Claret Tignes Le Lavachet and Tignes Les Breviere, all easily accessed from your ski accommodation.
Tignes has a good range of ski schools, babysitters and private nannies coupled with excellent nursery slopes, so it is perfect for children. In Tignes Val Claret ESF run Piou Piou, the children’s beginner ski area, with a magic carpet lift and inflatable figures to ski between, starting from 2.5 years.
Located in the French Alps near the Italian border, Tignes has one of the best snow records in Europe, thanks to its high altitude setting at 2100 metres and the Grand Motte glacier reaching up to 3,456 metres, offering skiers access to great snow until early May.
Situated in the vast Espace Killy, the ski area offers 300km of runs shared with neighbouring Val d’Isere. In the summer, the area offers golf, bike trails, lake activities and ski runs on the Grande Motte glacier until late August.
The skiing in Tignes is exceptional with the ski area offering a range of slopes for all abilities, brilliant nursery slope areas and some great slopes for steeps skiing. The resorts are all effortlessly interconnected by one of the fastest lift systems in Europe.
Part of Tignes appeal is it’s close proximity to its more cosmopolitan neighbour in Val d’Isere, with its excellent on slope apres ski venues, such as the Folie Douce, offering quick and easy access back to Tignes.
The layout of Tignes is rather tricky to get to grips with, as it is comprised of a group of villages dotted over the mountainside. The main purpose built resorts of Tignes-Le-Lac (2100m) and Tignes Val Claret (2100m) sit on a plato with a large frozen lake in the middle of the valley connecting the two resorts. Located opposite the glacier Tignes Val Claret offers quick access to high-altitude skiing on the Grand Motte.
Further down the mountain you will find the more picture perfect traditional Savoyard villages of Tignes Les Boisses (1850m) & Tignes Les Brévières (1550m).
Each village has it’s own individual style with excellent ski-in/ski out accommodation and a range of great restaurants, shops and bars in the more lively areas of Tignes Le Lac (2100m) and Tignes Val Claret (2100m).
Tignes Les Boisses (1850m) & Tignes Les Brévières (1550m) are set away from the central hub of Tignes but are well linked into the main ski area with their own lifts. The villages are far more traditional with a few local french restaurants serving delicious Savoyard cuisine and a few fun local bars.
Don’t be put off by Tignes reputation for challenging terrain. Tignes has 4 different nursery slope areas to choose from and is an excellent choice for beginners and children, with endless long, cruisy greens, blues and reds to whip around the vast ski area once they progress.
The extent of the skiing in the vast Espace Killy, shared between Tignes and neighbouring Val d’Isère, offers one of the biggest ski areas in France. There’s also a world-class fast, comfortable lift network to whisk you around the slopes.
It’s true that more experienced skiers will be particularly excited as the off piste terrain is amongst the best in the world, so skiing or boarding with a fully qualified local guide is essential.
For those looking for a challenge, the 10km long ‘La Sache’ black run descends from the top of the L’Aiguille Percée and ‘the eye of the needle’, through a spectacular valley to Tignes Les Brévières at the base of the valley, where hungry skiers can take in a delicious and welcome lunch.
Whilst some resorts famed for their challenging skiing don’t have much to offer first timers, Tignes, by contrast, has excellent nursery slopes and a great choice of ski schools right on the doorstep. Tignes has 4 different nursery slope areas with free lifts for beginners in Tigne-Le-Lac, Tignes Val Claret Tignes Le Lavachet and Tignes Les Breviere, all easily accessed from your luxury ski chalets.
Beginners progressing on to green and blue runs have easy access back to resort, as they can easily taking one of the fast comfortable lifts back into the village.
The Tignes area offers an excellent choice of childcare with several private nanny companies available and skiing from as young as 2.5 years old offered in Tignes Le Lac at the Piou Piou kids club run by ESF.
There are half-a-dozen different ski schools offering snow kindergarten and ski school classes and a vast array of special classes right through childhood and teenage years, depending on taste and ability.
It’s also worth mentioning that Tignes Le Lac has great facilities for children and families off the slopes too including a brilliant public sports and swimming pool complex next to the slopes and an ice-rink.
No trip to Tignes is complete without a trip to La Folie Douce, the ultimate apres ski experience and now a world renowned brand. This spectacular apres ski venue serves up a daily on-mountain cabaret show and pumping Dj until the lifts close, what’s more it offers easy access back to Tignes main resorts.
The majority of apres ski and nightlife can be found in Tignes Le Lac with the ski-in/ski-out Loop Bar lively at apres ski with a great sunny south-facing terrace. Underground and Jacks are the perfect venues for those looking to let off some steam and dance the night away to live Dj’s.
Those staying in the more traditional village of Tignes Les Brevieres can enjoy apres ski in The Boot room, owned by an friendly English owner and Le Moose is perfect for later live music and of course some dancing on the tables.
A ‘must visit’ – Le Panormaic is located at an altitude of 3032 metres on the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes with breathtaking 360 panoramic views. The food is fine dining with a French flair. Inside it is beautifully furnished in a modern French style with plenty of fur throws and traditional wood-cladding. They only have two sittings a day, so booking is a must!
La Sachette in Tignes Les Brevieres is a traditional Savoyard restaurant with delicious French cuisine and a friendly atmosphere. It’s located on the bridge just as you arrive off the slopes down from Tignes, it’s best to note that it is a long run down, so you will need to take some time if you are planning to eat lunch here.
La Fruitière at Folie Douce (lafoliedouce.com) is located on the Val d’Isere side of the mountain and is a spectacular apres ski venue and on-mountain cabaret show. Located in the top station of the La Daille gondola, private dining rooms are available. The concept has been franchised out to other resorts but none beat this, the original.
L’Arti, Tignes Le Lavachet – It is well worth making the trip to L’Arti in Tignes Le Lavachet. A cosy and contemporary Savoyard style restaurant with modern cuisine served with French gastronomic flair. The ambience is extremely friendly and you will not be disappointed to go out of your way to dine here.
L’Armailly in the heart of Tignes Les Breviere offers a cosy savoyard ambiance like no other. The menu is homely but varied with dishes of lamb sweetbreads with parsley and garlic, tasty grilled meats and Savoie specialities.
The Coeur des Neiges, Tignes Le Lac serves up delicious French cuisine and tasty desserts in a modern French setting. The service is excellent and always extremely friendly, it is absolutely perfect for taking children out for dinner after a long ski day.
Snowcool is a small modern ski school offering clients the chance to develop free riding techniques. The school is run by a passionate team of qualified dynamic instructors. We recommend booking early if you wish to use this ski school.
Evolution 2 is established as one of the premier independent ski schools in the world offering first class tuition to children and adults alike and a varied programme of other activities including dog sledding, ski touring and heli-skiing.
British run New Generation (skinewgen.com) have more than 20 years experience operating the full range of ski instruction options including private lessons and off piste guiding. They run excellent ski schools for beginners and children.