Espace Killy Ski Area Overview
Two iconic ski resorts set in majestic Alpine scenery, snow-sure high-altitude skiing on 300km of pistes and 158 runs for enthusiasts of every stripe ̶ it simply has to be the Espace Killy ski area!
Now often referred to as Tignes-Val d’Isère after its terrific twin resorts, this expansive ski area is served by 90 lifts that make pristine powder accessible to skiers of all aptitudes, while the fabulous facilities and accommodation are suited to solo travellers, couples and groups of family and friends. Easy to reach from Chambery, Geneva and Lyon, the hospitality at Espace Killy makes it a home from home for snowsports enthusiasts from all over the world.
Val d’Isère is the first-choice ski resort for most Brits and when you consider its 1850m altitude, access to slopes over 3400m just under the summit of Pointe du Montet and amazing après-ski, it’s easy to understand why.
Meanwhile, Tignes comprises five fabulous resorts that range from 1550m – 2100m, each with its own delightfully distinct ambience, and it benefits from year-round snowfall, outstanding accommodation, bars, shops, restaurants and off-slope activities for all ages.
Whether you’re an absolute beginner finding your feet on nursery slopes and easy green runs, an intermediate comfortable with cruisey blues or tricky reds, or an expert yearning for blockbuster black runs and off-piste action, Espace Killy has it all.
Skiing in Espace Killy
Espace Killy is named after French downhill skiing legend Jean Claude Killy, a triple Olympic Champion in 1968 and World Cup titlist in 1967 and 1968, who was raised in Val d’Isère.
With 300km of high-altitude pistes (many of which are well over 3000m), its complement of 158 runs offers something for every type of skier, from beginner to keen intermediate and savvy expert. Here are a few skiing highlights in Tignes and Val d’Isère:
The Grande Motte Glacier is the jewel in the crown at Tignes. At a height of 3,656m, you can access it via the Val Claret funicular, then the Grande Motte cable car. You’re afforded panoramic views of Mont Blanc and the Vanoise National Park from the top, and a selection of black, red and blue runs to take you back down.
The Tignes ski terrain has 26 runs for advanced skiers, 67 for intermediates and 22 for beginners. There are plenty of cruising red and blue runs for intermediate skiers which allow you to sweep down the slopes from the top of the glacier to the bottom of the valley, building your confidence in this magnificent mountain playground.
L’Aiguille Percée is another Tignes hotspot ̶ after taking in the beautiful views when you get off the lift, take the long, luxuriant Corniche blue piste back down the mountain ̶ this run is more of a Rolls Royce than a Ferrari, but it’s brilliant nonetheless.
At Val d’Isère, some of the most welcoming runs for novices are the Solaise slopes, which have three moving carpet lifts and are accessed from the comfy Solaise Access Gondola. Meanwhile, La Daille is another favourable area for beginners, and more than half of the runs are either blue or green in Val as a whole.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous (and have the ski skills to match), the Olympique jumbo gondola at Val d’Isère will deposit you at Bellevarde, where the slopes reach 2827m. Here you’ll find the rapid, rolling OK run, as well as the legendary La Face.
There are several off-piste opportunities in Val d’Isère, one of the most famous of which is the Charvet Tour, which is accessible from the Grand Pré lift. You’ll also find off-piste at Le Fornet, which is one of the quieter areas in the resort and often has plentiful fresh powder.
As you can see, the skiing choices at Espace Killy are deep and diverse, so you’ll always find slopes suitable for your level and it’s an excellent pick for groups of friends and family with mixed abilities. The lift network is also efficient and fast, therefore whichever resort you choose to ski in, there’s a wide choice of slopes on your doorstep.
Snowboarding in Espace Killy
With two terrific snowparks and plenty of adventurous natural off-piste arenas to explore, Espace Killy is brilliant fun for boarders:
Tignes has a 1400m boardercross and a Boardercool area if you’re up for competitive challenges, while Val has an Acticross area that’s more suited to chilling out with family.
The halfpipe in Tignes is one of the finest in the Alps and if freeriding floats your boat there are nine ‘Naturide’ environments.
At the Swatch snowpark in Tignes and DC Valpark in Val d’Isère, there are both gnarly and gentle rails, jumps and obstacles to suit boarders of different styles and abilities, as well as airbags where you can practice your jumps safely while you build your confidence.
DC Valpark is situated at a lofty 2500m high and has 40 kickers and six lines, while the Tignes snowpark has an uber-cool ‘shoot my ride’ system that records your run on video from several angles so that you can share it on social media or review it to iron out your technique.
Snow Conditions in Espace Killy
With 60% of its 300km of slopes being above 2500m, Espace Killy has a reputation as the most snow-sure area in the Alps. Here’s the lowdown on snow conditions here:
Espace Killy is on the northern side of the Alps, but because it’s close to the Italian border, it benefits from snow arriving from the southeast, an advantage that rival resorts like La Plagne and Courchevel can’t claim. Furthermore, glacier skiing and a long season that lasts from November right through until May bolster this area’s claim to peerless snow reliability.
At Val d’Isère, many of the slopes are north-facing and retain their snow right through the season, while the high altitude and microclimate created by its geographical position means there are low temperatures even in the spring, so you’ll enjoy fresh powder even when other resorts are winding up their operations.
You won’t find many trees in Tignes, therefore it’s a little exposed during particularly bad weather, but there’s some shelter in the area above Les Boisses, while if you’re caught in poor conditions in Val, the woods above La Daille are the best place to shelter from the storm.
On extremely rare occasions when snow conditions are poor, you’ll still find quality powder at the Grande Motte Glacier and the long Double M run down to Val Claret is usually very reliable even when conditions elsewhere aren’t as pleasant as expected.
Official snow stats for the most recent season at Val d’Isère show a 618cm total snowfall, a total of 45 snowfall days, 42cm largest snowfall, 109cm average base depth, maximum base depth of 168cm, 232cm average summit depth and maximum summit depth of 347cm.
The most recent snow stats for Tignes reveal a 949cm total snowfall, an impressive 51 total snowfall days, 60cm biggest snowfall, 265cm maximum base depth, average base depth of 123cm, 340cm maximum summit depth and average summit depth of 197cm.
Apres Ski in Espace Killy
Tignes and Val d’Isère are famed for their off-slope social scene, so if superb après-ski is one of your prime considerations when booking a ski holiday, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
As the sun sinks slowly over the mountains, the night time economy cranks into gear, with bustling restaurants, buzzing bars and bouncing nightclubs keeping everyone entertained into the wee small hours. Here are a few hot après-ski spots where you can tantalise your taste buds, slake your thirst and bust a few outrageous moves on the dancefloor:
Lip-smacking restaurants in Tignes include Mendikoa, which serves local, Spanish and vegetarian fare, the chic décor and gourmet dining at Le Kaya are always worth sampling, and there’s lovely takeaway or delivery pizza from La Pizz’ de Tignes.
At Val d’Isère, La Table des Neiges is commended by the Michelin Guide for good cooking and specialises in wholesome dishes like braised saddle of lamb with a soft spiced gravy, L’Atelier d’Edmond boasts two Michelin stars and a gorgeous vintage chalet setting, and Le Pier serves sumptuous selections like smoked trout with braised artichokes in a cool contemporary setting.
The Boot Room & Le Moose in Tignes Les Brevieres are two establishments which have kickstarted many awesome Alpine nights out over the years. The Boot Room is a comfortable and friendly pub during the day which becomes busier into the evening when live bands often entertain the patrons, then sister bar Le Moose is a short stagger down the road and the party continues here long into the night here, with thumping tunes, table-top dancing and other shenanigans ̶ leave your inhibitions at the door!
Dicks Tea Bar in Val d’Isère serves delicious food during the day, then takes a brief late afternoon siesta before reopening in its second incarnation as one of the most iconic nightclubs in the whole of the French Alps. If you like powerful cocktails and all killer no filler dancefloor bangers, this is most definitely the place to be. The party proceeds until 4am, so don’t plan any early morning skiing the morning after the night before.
Le Hibou in Val d’Isere is a more relaxed chillout spot to head for your first few beers after an exhilarating but tiring session on the slopes. A funky soundtrack, fab food and comfy décor mean this is always a popular venue with locals and visitors alike.
Le Bananas is a brilliant place to meet family and friends for food, fun and games in Val d’Isère. Here you can spice up your life with Tex-Mex and Indian food during the day, enjoy cocktails at perpetual happy hour prices, dance like no one’s watching and have a heated game of backgammon ̶ don’t knock it until you try it!
The Marmot Arms in Tignes Le Lac is a traditional British-style pub with a fine selection of spirits, wine and local and international beers, cocktail hour between 4 – 6pm every day and it also serves a hearty breakfast every morning, which is the ultimate hangover cure if you’ve overindulged of an evening.
Facilities in Espace Killy
As you probably expect, facilities in Espace Killy are excellent and each resort always makes a sterling effort to ensure that every member of your group has a memorable time both on and off the slopes. The focus here is making everything your heart desires as accessible and convenient as possible, so that you can maximise your fun time and feel relaxed and recharged by the time you’re heading home.
Ski hire in Espace Killy There are numerous ski hire providers here, but rather than putting yourself to the trouble of organising all of the gear for your group personally, why not let Erna Low take the strain from your shoulders? We have excellent connections in all Espace Killy resorts therefore locating the best equipment for your skiing style and ability is simple and cost-effective. Please contact us if you’re interested in including ski hire in your package.
Ski passes in Espace Killy You can also arrange ski passes through Erna Low and we can often provide discounted early-bird deals, reductions for groups and free kids passes ̶ we’ll always minimise your ski pass expense in order to maximise your pleasure! Spa and Pool in Espace Killy A holistic ski holiday allows you to take care of mind, soul and body on and off the slopes and in Espace Killy there are plenty of spas and pools where you can unwind all the way, relax those tired muscles and indulge in all manner of beauty and wellbeing treatments. Many accommodation options boast in-house spas and gyms, but there are also first-rate facilities like the well-appointed Oxygen sports centre in the middle of Val d’Isère and Le Lagon watersports centre in Tignes Le Lac. Shops in Espace Killy You’ll find all types of shops in Tignes and Val d’Isère, from well-known supermarkets like Carrefour and Sherpa where you can pick up everyday essentials for stocking up your self-catering cupboards, to artisan patisseries selling mouth-watering treats, delis showcasing the finest local cheese and wine and chic boutiques where you can pick up everything from high-end mountain couture to designer underwear!
Facilities for Children in Espace Killy
Kids are well catered for in Espace Killy and if you want a family-focused holiday here, it’s a fine choice. There are plenty of dynamic distractions off the slopes and all levels of young skiers are ably supported on the pistes.
Ski schools in Espace Killy Ski schools in Val d’Isère and Tignes include **Oxygéne Ski and Snowboard School, ESF and New **Generation.
Many schools accept children as young as three years old, all instructors are highly qualified and trained to progress their charges in a supportive and encouraging manner and kids have fantastic fun developing their skills amongst other little learners.
Children’s entertainment in Espace Killy There are swimming pools, cinemas and bowling alleys in Espace Killy, as well as dedicated on-piste activities. For example, the Val Kids programme has a fun piste, toboggan run and kids skicross course, while over at Tignes, husky dog sledging, sledging and horse riding are all available.
Childcare in Espace Killy If you want a rare kids-free session on the slopes or romantic meal, there are several super childcare providers here ̶ Jelly and Ice Cream at Val provides CRB-checked nannies who will care for your kids at your accommodation and Les Marmottons Ski Kindergartens in Tignes Le Lac and Val Claret cater for 2 to 8 year olds at their dedicated facilities.
Accommodation in Espace Killy
You’ll find comfy and convenient accommodation options across all Espace Killy resorts. Here are just a couple of excellent examples:
L’Aigle des Neiges Hotel in Val d’Isère is set on the snow front with easy access to bars, shops and restaurants. The closest ski lift is just 250m away!
Hotel Le Taos in Tignes Le Lac has a Panoramic room with exquisite views of the snow-kissed ski area, a luxuriant lounge bar and beautiful suites with all the mod cons. This is the perfect bolthole for cosy evenings recuperating after adrenaline-fuelled days on the slopes.
As you can see, whatever your skiing or snowboarding ability and whether you want a fun family holiday or a wild time with friends, Espace Killy truly is one of the best ski areas in the world ̶ whenever you’re ready, we would love to welcome you home here!
Espace Killy Ski Area
We are experts in providing ski and snowboard holidays.