Sunday, January 23, 2022
Tignes Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Tignes

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Tignes is a world-class resort comprised of five towns. It’s located high in the majestic Savoie Alps, and it has assured snow, a busy après scene, and some of Europe’s top slopes. Because it is a purpose-built resort, it misses some of the old-world charm experienced by its neighbors, but the range of chalets, hotels, and flats to suit all budgets more than compensates. Best of all, Tignes is part of the Espace Killy ski region, so you can experience glaciers and spectacular vistas without paying the high prices of Val d’Isère.

Tignes is a great destination for groups since it has a vibrant après-ski culture with a variety of pubs and restaurants to pick from. Tignes is popular with families since it offers family-friendly activities like as swimming pools and ice skating rinks. There are several family-friendly hotels and high-quality ski schools to assist children in learning the fundamentals of skiing.

Tignes is part of the Espace Killy ski region in the French Alps, with ski terrain ranging from 1550m at its lowest point to just under 3500m at the glaciers’ highest point. This height ensures that there will be enough of snow, and with 300 kilometers of pistes, there will be plenty of space to enjoy the ski area.

The Espace Killy’s 300km of pistes are served by 90 ski lifts and funicular railroads that take you to the glaciers. There are 20 green pistes, 67 blue pistes, 41 red pistes, and 26 black pistes, as well as two snowparks, making it popular with skiers of all abilities.

There are 47 ski lifts, a funicular train, a cable car, 24 chairlifts, and 19 drag lifts in Tignes alone, allowing you to ski over the 150 kilometers of pisted terrain. The ski area of Tignes is divided into four sections: La Grande Motte Massif, Palet/L’Aiguille Percée, Toviere, and Les Brévières.

Tignes info card

Resort Altitude2100m
Highest Lift3450m
Total Piste300km
Longest Run10km
Directions of SlopesN,E,S,W
Uphill Capacity149425
Total Lifts89
Gondolas/Cable cars10
Chairlifts45
Drag Lifts34
Snow Parks2

Best time to visit Tignes

Tignes has a longer winter season than most other resorts due to the Grande Motte glacier. The glacier is often open from the end of September to mid-May, although the major Tignes ski vacation season, like the rest of the ski world, runs from early December to mid or late April. In the summer (June – September), lifts allow access to the glacier until 1:30 p.m.

Tignes is a difficult resort to surpass in terms of snow quality — with its high altitude, exceptional snowfall, and the presence of the Grande Motte glacier, the Espace Killy is regarded as one of the Alps’ most snow-sure ski vacation locations. While nature does a great job of keeping the powdery slopes in good condition, superb grooming technology and more than 300 snow cannons help to guarantee you have the best slopes possible. The slopes face north, south, east, and west, so no matter what time of day or year you go, you can find sunny slopes to enjoy all day.

If you want to escape the noise and bustle of the slopes, book outside of the peak weeks of Christmas and February half term, when a cheery throng of families flock to Tignes during school vacations, and when hedonists descend on the resort to party at New Year’s.

Snow conditions in Tignes

Tignes has virtually always had great weather. The resort features summer and winter skiing on its glacier region, and the resort’s high altitude (2100m) generally means a lot of snow on the ground for much of the winter, especially in the upper elevations.

Some west-facing courses are affected by the afternoon sun; however, this is not a major issue since there are high-quality snow-making equipment in place. Some slopes may turn slushy at the end of the season, although this isn’t a major issue. Check out the Tignes snow history, which also includes the current snow report, prediction, and webcams.

Tignes Village

Tignes is made up of four villages: Val Claret and Tignes Le Lac, which are encircled by the major skiing area and are marketed as Tignes 2100. Tignes 1800 and Tignes Les Brevieres are located farther down the mountain, each having its own slopes, and you must use a few ski lifts to get to the main area.

The official name for Val Claret and the major resort of Tignes le Lac, including its neighborhood Le Lavachet, is now ‘Tignes 2100.’ The former location of the old army barracks and a little run-down town named Tignes Les Boisses, down the mountain near the dam, is now a glistening new small resort called Tignes 1800. Tignes Les Brevieres is located below the dam (a shortlived effort to re-christen it Tignes 1550 seems to have been abandoned).

They are all purpose-built high-altitude resorts, however Tignes Les Brevieres hides this better than the others. All have contemporary rapid lifts to carry you up the mountain, and you can return to all of them via piste at the end of the day. Tignes 1800 and Tignes Les Brevieres are a little out of the way, but the North facing slopes above them provide some of the greatest skiing, and it only takes a couple of lifts to get to the main ski area. Except for Tignes Les Brevieres, all settlements are connected by a free bus service.

Val Claret

This is Tignes’ highest settlement, situated at the base of the La Grande Motte, a glacier-clad peak that provides the best skiing in the area. Its lifts extend in three directions, bringing you up to La Grande Motte, the Col Du Pallet (the starting point for many ski tours), or the ridge that runs between the Col De Fresse and Toviere, from where you may descend to La Daille, which is part of Val d’Isere. If you want to be the first up the mountain and develop new tracks, Val Claret is the place to be. Even if you’re not a skier, you’ll enjoy the convenience of always being close to a lift or slope. Because off-street parking at the underground car park is required, the resort is mainly automobile-free, and there is no through-traffic because Val Claret is at the end of the road. Accommodation choices vary from catered chalets to hotels (four star, three star, and two star options), although most people rent an apartment and self-catering, as is the case throughout Tignes. However, Val Claret has one flaw: it is frequently cold, both literally and metaphorically. The resort is often in the shadow in December and January. It’s also much above treeline, making it a desolate location to be in a snowstorm. The high-rise buildings in Val Claret are not all unsightly; in fact, some of them are rather beautiful if you prefer contemporary architecture, but the community as a whole is practical rather than appealing. While there are pubs and restaurants, many of its inhabitants prefer to take the bus down to Tignes Le Lac, where there is a wider range of options. Fortunately, there is a very fine free bus service that operates until late at night.

Tignes-Le-Lac and Le Lavachet

Although the Tignes tourism board has officially included this whole region within Tignes 2100, most people still refer to it as Tignes Le Lac since it is located adjacent to the lake (which is normally frozen over during the winter) and the hamlet is dominated by the Maison de Tignes-Le-Lac. This spectacular structure, which faces the resort, provides information services, sells lift tickets, and contains the bus and coach station. A one-way street system does a good job of restricting traffic through the center to a minimum.

Tignes-Le-Lac is divided into four zones: Le Lavachet, Les Almes, Le Rosset, and Le Bec Rouge. Because Le Lavachet is the biggest and furthest from the lake, it is sometimes referred to be a distinct community. Whether you stay here or in the surrounding areas, you have a choice of hotels, chalets (usually two or three stars), or flats. The majority of the lodging is within a few minutes’ walk from the big lifts that climb both sides of the valley. If you wish to ski on La Grande Motte, you must first descend to Val Claret by the Aeroski or Paquis lifts (or take the bus). Parking is required in places like Val Claret. Le Lac, as a whole, offers more restaurants and nightlife than Val Claret and is generally a little cheaper to stay in. It is also the location of the majority of non-skiing related activities. Tignes Le Lac is the natural focal point of Tignes.

Tignes 1800 (Tignes Les Boisses) and Tignes Les Brevieres

When the valley was dammed in 1952, the old settlement of Tignes vanished under the waters of Lac de Chevril. As a consequence, Tignes Les Boisses and Tignes Les Brevieres were developed nearby in a more traditional manner than the higher-altitude communities. They are connected to the major ski areas by lifts and may be reached at the end of the day by skiing. Traditionally, they were viewed as smaller and calmer outposts with fewer facilities and less nightlife than the big resorts and provided a cheaper alternative to vacationing in the larger resorts. Both, on the other hand, have received significant investment and now feature sleek contemporary apartments, chalets, and hotels, as well as significantly quicker lifts linking them to the main ski area. Tignes Les Boisses was renamed Tignes 1800 as part of this investment, and the name seems to be staying. A daily bus service connects Tignes 1800 with Tignes 2100. (though there are not so many services late at night). Les Brevieres is a little more remote, but it adds to its village-like charm.

Tignes Ski Resort

Tignes, together with Val d’Isère, comprise the ski area Espace Killy, named after Olympic champion skier Jean-Claude Killy. Two glaciers and more than 300 kilometers of runs await you here. The distance between the valley station and the ski area’s highest point, the Grand Motte Glacier, is a massive 1,900 meters. The views of Lac du Chevril add to the uniqueness of this resort. Many people may be unaware that the lake also has a distinct secret: until 1952, the ancient settlement of Tignes was situated where the lake is today. The decision was subsequently taken to dam the Isère and turn it into a lake, forcing the hamlet to uproot and migrate. Tignes is currently a well-known ski resort on a global scale. There are 154 trails in all, with something for everyone’s ability level. Tignes seems to provide practically limitless chances for skilled skiers, with 41 red runs and 26 black-rated routes. The Grande Motte Glacier (3,656 m) towers above the ski area, enabling skiers and snowboarders to carve turns all year.

Tignes alone has a number of base stations. To get to the glacier, take the Tovière gondola to the Tovière peak (2,704 m), ski down to Val Claret, and then take the cable car up to the glacier. The glacier region is dominated by red and black-marked lines, with numerous nice blue runs on the bottom half of the ice. The Génépy and Cairn paths down into Val Claret are very beautiful, and the trails on the Aiguille Percée are a must for expert skiers. Tignes and Val d’Isère are linked by the Rocher de Bellevarde (2,827 m).

There is something for everyone here, from difficult terrain to a variety of novice runs. Children may improve their talents on various practice slopes around the valley, and the Swatch Snowpark, located between the Col du Palet and Grattalu lifts, is a freestyle playground. On top of the boxes and rails, there is a huge air bag for practicing those difficult feats. Additional air bags may be seen in the lower sections of the Carline and Millonex courses as well. You may also race your buddies on a bordercross course beside the Col du Palet lift.

Tignes is an absolute must-see for freeride skiers. Off-piste skiing is available almost everywhere in this area. On nine “Naturide” runs, even novices may perfect their talents. These are avalanche-protected but otherwise un-groomed. Powderhounds may also check in at four information centers to obtain the most up-to-date weather and avalanche warnings. However, skiers unfamiliar with the region should only travel into the backcountry with the assistance of a mountain guide.

Skiing in Tignes

The ski region provides spectacular powdery terrain for skiers and boarders alike, with various pistes at a high altitude.

Beginners may hone their skills on the nursery slopes at Le Lac and Le Lavachet, which include mild, calm courses accessible by free beginner’s lifts. Another practical green is Le Bollin in Val Claret, and Grattalu is a great broad blue for players looking to gain confidence.

Tignes is fantastic for intermediate skiers, with miles of pristine blue and red lines, including the now-famous Genepy and Double M. The location of the stunning Grande Motte glacier is perhaps its major selling point. With 20km of snow-sure trails, it offers some of the greatest runs in the world for confident intermediates almost all year and nearly assures superb conditions throughout the winter.

Advanced skiers should also tackle the steep mogul runs at Toviere and Solaise, as well as the 10k La Sache. The amount of off-piste terrain, most of which is lift-served, is a huge draw for Experts.

There’s plenty of superb freeriding terrain, including nine safe but ungroomed places dubbed ‘Naturides,’ where riders of all levels can learn and refine their skills in a safe atmosphere.

Tignes is highly praised by Sno’s snowboarders, who like its large, wide pistes. At Gliss’ park, there’s a nice Boardercool area and a little boardercross (with airbag), as well as tough turns, whoops, and curves on Tignes’ 1400m boardercross.

The Swatch Snowpark, which features an airbag, rails, and nice jumps for beginners and intermediates, offers a clever “shot my ride” feature where your performance is videotaped and can be seen afterwards. During the summer, you can practice freestyling at high altitude at the Glacier Snowpark, and there’s also a XXL halfpipe (one of the finest in France) that’s included in the Winter X Games.

Tignes Apres Ski

While it is true that people who visit Tignes come for the serious skiing rather than the après ski, this does not do credit to the fact that Tignes has some of the greatest nightlife in the Alps, with 60+ bars/pubs and 4 nightclubs. Every hamlet has its fair share of venues to eat and drink, and with a shuttle bus service that runs 24 hours a day, you can enjoy your evening without worrying about the route home. Jam bar is modest but has a terrific vibe, while Loop bar has it all: live sports, world-class DJs, well-known comedians, and delicious cuisine. Cocktails and comfortable couches are available in the Couloir for a more refined environment. Tignes has it everything, whether you want a wild night of music and dancing or a peaceful nightcap to cap off a terrific day on the slopes.

Tignes has about 60 restaurants, including pizzerias, grills, and classic French eateries. Whether your day on the slopes has you needing a kebab at Le Tchüss or some nice dining (supported by live music) at Le Caveau, the many and diverse restaurants are guaranteed to fulfill any appetite.

While those on the slopes are obviously highly amused, Tignes is also famous for its outstanding selection of non-skiing activities. You may explore the breathtaking surroundings of Espace Killy by dog sled, horseback, snowmobile, or hang glider; attempt ice climbing or snow shoeing; or get a whole new viewpoint by ice-diving through a hole dug into the frozen lake. There are also two children’s sledding tracks that will keep kids engaged in their little bobsleighs. Tignes features a bowling alley, an ice rink, and a cinema. If you still have energy, there’s a bungee trampoline, swimming pool, and gym, as well as a football field and basketball, volleyball, squash, and table-tennis courts. Play a game of bridge or visit the museum, library, and shops if you prefer a slower pace of amusement.

Families in Tignes

If you’re traveling with children who are too little to ski, look for a hotel that offers daycare facilities. Hotel Le Paquis is a popular choice for families since it is within a few minutes’ walk from the ski school meeting spot. The self-catering Residence Le Telemark Apartments is close to the ski school meeting point and kindergarten, making it ideal for a low-cost family trip. Chalet hotels, such as Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percee, are popular family favorites because they provide a fantastic combination of traditional alpine charm in a sociable hotel-sized property – many offer family rooms where everyone can stay together, while the children play and make friends and parents enjoy other adult company in communal dining and lounge areas. Stay in one of our smaller ski chalets for a more intimate, homey atmosphere – if you can organize a party to match the number of beds, you may book a single occupancy.

Tignes is an ideal choice for family vacations since the ski area caters to all ages and abilities, with good nursery sections and a range of slopes that the whole family can enjoy together. Anyone who wants to learn or develop may enroll in group courses according on their age and skill, or they can spend quality time with a private teacher or guide. Gliss Park is ideal for young skiers and snowboarders, while the Swatch snowpark, which has a’shoot my ride’ feature, is ideal for freestyle teens. Non-skiers and those too young to ski are very well catered for, with a range of non-ski activities both inside and outdoors, as well as great kids clubs, nurseries, and daycare alternatives.

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