Overview of Tignes
Tignes ski resort is a purpose-built ski resort located in the heart of Tarentaise Valley, offering dependable snow conditions for all ability of skiers.
If you’re looking for a purpose-built French Alps ski resort offering excellent ski conditions throughout the season and facilities for skiers of all abilities, Tignes is where it’s at. This high altitude resort in the heart of the Tarentaise Valley is part of the world-famous L’Espace Killy ski area and shares over 300km of perfect pistes with neighbouring resort Val D’Isere.
Tignes has a wide selection of on and off-piste activities for visitors of all ages and tastes and comfortable accommodation that’s suitable for families, friends, solo skiers and couples, all within easy access of the slopes.
The resort comprises five villages set at different altitudes – Tignes Le Lac, Tignes Val Claret and Tignes Le Lavachet are found high above the tree line at 2100m, while Les Boisses and Les Brevieres are lower down the valley, at 1800m and 1550m respectively. Every village is equally well-connected via regular shuttle bus, so wherever you stay, you can easily access all of the resort’s fab facilities. With voluminous snowfall all year round and ambient apres-ski that includes fine restaurants, bars and clubs, Tignes is a terrific resort for all types of snowsports enthusiasts and every element is designed to make Alpine activities and culture as warm, welcoming and inclusive as possible.
Part of the beauty of Tignes is that each of its villages has a uniquely brilliant atmosphere and, since we’ve spent lots of time there over the years, we can easily advise on which one will satisfy your group’s requirements.
When you want a French ski resort that has everything, Tignes is practically perfect.
Skiing in Tignes
With a main ski season that usually lasts from late November to early May, a central resort height of over 2100m, and a proud tradition of well-kept pistes over varied terrain for all aptitudes of ski enthusiasts, Tignes has a well deserved reputation as a world-class ski resort. Here’s some more interesting information on skiing in Tignes:
The entire resort is snow-sure thanks to its high altitude, but the slopes of the Grande Motte Glacier are of a particularly high standard and this is where you’ll often encounter fresh powder. This glacier is easily accessible by cable car and funicular, it offers diverse skiing terrain and after you’ve filled your boots for the day you can ski all the way back to your accommodation with ease.
Because Tignes is part of the L’Espace Killy Area, you’ll have access to 300km of pistes, 90 ski lifts, 2 terrain parks and 2 glaciers.
There are several free lifts for beginner skiers and ski schools help first timers progress at a fast but manageable rate so that they can make the most of their snowsports holiday. As a novice, if you’re enjoying the gorgeous sweeping runs of the Grande Motte by the end of your ski holiday, you’ve made excellent progress and with the expert guidance available this is a realistic target.
The Tignes ski area features 22 green runs for beginners, 67 for intermediates and 26 for advanced skiers. For intermediate blue and red run skiers, there’s a huge variety of cruising runs that allow you to swoosh from the top of the glacier down to the valley floor, passing stunning scenery on the way.
Tignes also offers plenty of exciting black run and off-piste challenges for advanced skiers – the Lavachet Wall, Mickey’s Ears and the Fingers have thrilling vertical drops and there’s a brilliant backcountry skiing tour from Tignes to Les Arcs if that’s your bag.
It’s evident that Tignes has something special to offer every type of skier and an expert ski community that supports novices as they progress their passion – whether you’re a raw recruit or a mountain master, you’ll feel completely at home here.
Snowboarding in Tignes
If you’re a keen snowboarder, Tignes has lots of roomy freeride areas and plunging couloirs and chutes, but its biggest attraction is that it hosts one of the world’s largest snow parks, complete with half-pipe and quarter-pipe. Here’s the lowdown for boarders in Tignes:
Tignes is one of the most welcoming French Alps resorts for snowboarders - from the sport’s first sparks to its current flames, boarders have been actively encouraged to come here and diversify the snowsports community.
Grande Motte Glacier can enable snowboarding in Tignes up to 11 months a year, with summer boarding available from mid-June to September – easy lift access to Val d’Isere further extends your powdery playground even further.
If you’re a particularly proficient boarder, a number of national and international snowboard events are held in Tignes each year and pro snowboard teams hold regular promotional events and training camps, so it’s a great place to professionalise your passion.
If you want to practice grabbing big air before heading on the half-pipe, the main snowpark has an awesome airbag where you can build your confidence, and several small kickers and jibs where you’ll improve your general technique.
The snowpark’s ‘Shoot My Ride’ system records your run on several cameras – download it later to share a particularly gnarly run, or delete it if you wiped out!
Snow Conditions in Tignes
The Tignes section of the L’Espace Killy Ski Area covers 150 km spread across a huge crescent of mountains and the vast majority of it is above the tree line. Its altitude and geographical advantages mean that it’s one of the most snow-sure resorts on the planet – here’s some more handy information on ski conditions in Tignes:
The Grande Motte Ski Area is located at the head of the v alley above Val Claret in the Massif de la Vanoise and provides the most reliable snow in the region and the most elevated skiing, with the glacier at an impressive 3656m high. Accessible via rapid chairs and an underground funicular, there are plenty of on- and off-piste long runs here that take you all the way back down to the resort and it’s where you’ll usually find the best snow.
Over half of all skiing in L’Espace Killy is above 2500m and there are two glaciers. A remarkable snowfall record of 6m at a height of 2100m, and lots of snow making and north facing runs, mean that this is one of the most skiable places on the planet.
In inclement weather there’s some shelter available in the area above Les Brevieres and Les Boisses, but most of Tignes is quite exposed so skiing here during a storm definitely isn’t advisable.
In its most recent season, Tignes had a total snowfall of 949cm, 51 total snowfall days, a biggest snowfall of 60cm, maximum base depth of 265cm, average base depth of 123cm, maximum summit depth of 340cm and average summit depth of 197cm.
Apres-Ski in Tignes
Tignes welcomes all types of skiers, but its lively apres-ski scene means that you’ll find it particularly exhilarating if you’re a livewire in the evenings as well as on the slopes!
Many bars are busy from mid-afternoon when the first skiers pull up for a refreshing beer after a hard day having fun on the pistes, and as the night unfolds you can find hotspots offering everything from live music and DJs to exotic cocktails and tabletop dancing. If you’re a bon vivant, you’ll love the following eclectic Tignes spots:
Marmot Arms is a British-style boozer in Tignes Le Lac, located next to Residence Le Lac and opposite the Palafour Chairlift. There’s a great selection of beers, wines and spirits, cocktail hour is between 4-6pm each day and it’s open from 10am for breakfast.
Loop Bar is located at the bottom of Rosset and Trolles pistes and its busy terrace affords a spectacular view of the sunset over the mountains. As well as tasty breakfasts and lunches, live music, DJs and even comedians are on the menu, so there’s a little something for everyone at this vibrant venue.
La Flambee is the place to be if cosy and traditional ambience floats your boat. Nestled in Hotel Village Montana at the bottom of the slopes in Les Almes in Tignes Le Lac, it’s a wonderful place to sprawl out on a comfy fireside sofa and warm yourself up with a revitalising vin chaud.
Couloir is a classy spot to combine cuisine with cocktails, tapas and live music, and it’s bang in the middle of Val Claret. If you’re dining with a group of friends and seeking a self-contained night out under one roof, you’ll have the time of your life here.
Facilities in Tignes
Believe it or not, there’s even more to Tignes than some of the world’s best high altitude skiing, accessible accommodation and apres-ski – these core attractions are complemented by outstanding off-piste activities.
In terms of family attractions, you’ll find a cinema, swimming, bowling and ice skating in the resort, but adrenaline junkies can also satisfy their urges with bungee jumping and ice diving.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little special to enjoy a sumptuous meal, you’ll enjoy fine dining, superb service and breath taking views at restaurants like Lo Terrachu in Tignes le Lac, La Table en Montagne in Tignes Val Claret’s Hotel Les Suites du Nevada and the lovely L’Armailly in Tignes Le Brevieres.
Read on to find out more about the fantastic facilities in Tignes.
Ski Hire in Tignes
There’s a plethora of pro ski shops in Tignes where you can buy or rent skis, snowboards, boots, clothing and all other accoutrements, but pre-booking your ski hire gear with Erna Low is the most hassle-free option. Our connections mean that we can always find you the highest quality gear for the best price, from a supplier a short stroll from your accommodation.
Best of all, when you pre-book and include ski hire in your French ski holiday, there’s no need to queue to pick it up on arrival, meaning you can hot the slopes in the blink of any eye. Sounds ideal? contact our team to discuss your options or call us on 020 7548 2841.
Ski Passes in Tignes
When you pre-book your ski passes with Erna Low, you can usually grab a great early bird deal, family discount or child concession.
We can offer solo skier passes for any length of trip, family passes and deals for students – by sorting out your ski pass before you leave, you don’t need to queue when you get there.
Don’t worry if you didn’t remember to add ski passes to your package initially – message us online and we can easily amend your booking.
Spa and Pool in Tignes
Tignes is well appointed when it comes to places to swim, relax and embrace cathartic wellbeing treatments. Most accommodations have shared access to their own internal pool, spa and gym facilties, but there are other outstanding leisure options too.
For instance, the O des Cimes spa at Hotel Les Suites du Nevada has Turkish baths, hot tubs and a heated indoor pool, while Le Lagon watersports complex in Tignes Le Lac boasts massage jets, a wave machine, 25m pool, and a plush wellness area with steam rooms, sauna and hot tubs.
Shops in Tignes
With supermarkets aplenty in Tignes, you’ll never run short of essentials during your visit.
Sherpa le Lac sells farm-fresh local produce and everything from fruit to quality wine, while Carrefour Montagne is open from 7:30am to 10pm in winter and sells bread, groceries and drinks as well as hiring out fondue and raclette machines, while home delivery is also available. Finally, for the tastiest artisan pastries, coffees and snacks, pop into La Croissanterie du Lac at Le Bec Rouge, open from 7am to 10pm.
Facilities for Children in Tignes
Despite its entertaining apres-ski, Tignes is a family-friendly resort with plenty of activities for kids of all ages – see details below.
Ski Schools in Tignes
Ski schools and independent ski instructors are ten a penny in Tignes and many accept children as young as 3 years old – but there are also professional childcare options for even younger children who can’t be outdoors for the duration of the day.
New Generation Ski and Snowboard Group offers pioneering ‘pro teen rider groups’ for teens who want to learn snowsports away from their parents. Pro instructors take students on a 3 day intensive bootcamp that’s brilliant fun and covers freestyle skiing, ski racing and off-piste skiing as well as ski safety and avalanche training. New Generation also offers ‘whippersnapper’ groups for younger kids of aged 3 and over.
ESF Ski School, Tignes Le Lac has 200 instructors onsite and caters for skiers of all ages and abilities. ESF Club Piou Piou teaches children as young as 3 years old at Les Brevieres, Le Lac, Lavachet and Val Claret.
Entertainment in Tignes
There’s plenty to keep kids occupied in Tignes – they can try husky dog racing, sledging or tobogganing down the 3km Pala’Fou run, or horse riding along the stunning trails around the village.
Add the aforementioned pools, cinema and bowling, as well as skiing and/or snowboarding and you’ve got a heady holiday mixture indeed.
Childcare in Tignes
Kids from ages 2 and a half to 8 years old are capably cared for at Les Marmottons Ski Kindergarten in Val Claret and Le Lac, and ski lessons are aimed at children of all abilities, with teaching by English speaking instructors delivered in a fun and accessible manner. Morning or full day lessons are available and this includes access to two free ski lifts.
Tignes Mountain Info
The Tignes winter sports area is located at elevations of between 1550m and 3656m and it’s conveniently connected to Val d’Isere to create one of France’s largest ski areas, with 300km of slopes available.
The resort’s high altitude slopes are partially located on glaciers and offer snow-sure skiing and snowboarding for extended seasons. The pistes at the foot of the Pointe du Montet are 3428m high and those at Grande Motte top out at 3656m.