The original town of Tignes was submerged by the Lac du Chevril when it was dammed in 1952. The resorts that became modern-day Tignes are spread over Tignes Les Brevieres (1550m) at the foot of the lake, Tignes Les Boisses (1800m), Tignes Le Lac (2100m) and Val Claret (2300m). With the exception of Les Brevieres they could not look more different from neighbouring resort Val d’Isere with their modernist buildings and apartment blocks. This is a ski-in ski-out resort, purpose built to take advantage of the amazing topography around the Grand Motte and Tignes glaciers. Having said that, some new development is underway that is more in keeping with the traditional Savoyard look as well as for buyers with deeper pockets.
Tignes has been built to suit both families and groups. If nightlife is your most important consideration then Tignes Le Lac and Val Claret are the place to be. However, if you are more suited to a quieter life then you may be happier in the lower hamlet of Lavachet which is home to ski in/ski out chalets and apartment complexes and is much quieter than the upper two resorts. Tignes sits on a plateau and has been built around a lake making the resort truly special, with breathtaking scenery and one of the highest lift systems in Europe to enjoy the view. Famous for its large glacier, Le Grande Motte, which gives Tignes both summer and winter skiing, thus extending the ski season considerably. Dual season activities apart from skiing include tobogganing, ice skating, hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, parapenting, fishing, a watersports centre and horse riding.
1550m – 3500m altitude means an early snow season starting in October
Glacier skiing on two glaciers during the summer
High altitude hiking
Ideal group resort as there is a very busy apres ski scene
Family friendly resort with ice rinks and a swimming pool
1hr 40 minutes from Chambery airport, 3 hours from Geneva airport
Tignes has an impressive reputation for high altitude skiing and combined with its proximity to Val d’Isere this makes it a very popular winter destination. Tignes is part of the Espace Killy ski area linking it to Val d’Isere which offers 300km of skiing reaching from Tignes Les Brevieres across to the Pissaillas glacier above Val d’Isere. There is a chairlift from Val Claret or a gondola from Tignes Le Lac connecting Tignes to Val d’Isere across the Toviere ridge separating the two resorts. There are some spectacular descents from Le Grande Motte glacier above Tignes both on and off piste with a starting point at 3,456m altitude. As a result, many the ski runs in Tignes are long and slightly steeper than average. Tignes is also famous for its outstanding powder skiing and steep couloirs which start from Le Grande Balme and La Petite Balme in the southern end of the valley and attract top quality skiiers from around the world to take up the challenge.
There is a large snowboarding park which has been designed to suit all abilities and is one of the highest altitude snow parks in Europe with the exception of the separate snow park that operates on Le Motte Glacier in the summer. In total there are 150kms of pistes in Tignes with 74 runs and 2 terrain parks all accessed via 39 lifts as well as the ski terrain in Val d’Isere. All 5 resorts that make up Tignes are linked by an infrastructure of buses.
Tignes offers a huge range of summer activities and has the added benefit of summer glacier skiing with easy access via the Perce Neige funicular, only a 7 minute journey. Once on the glacier there are 20 kilometers of summer skiing at an altitude ranging from 3000 to 3456m. There is also a snow park situated at the top of the glacier. Because of the big lake in the centre of Tignes there are a large number of water based activities such as sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking as well as a water sports centre, Acroland, with giant slides and water jumps. Canyoning, white water rafting, rock climbing, high altitude walking and glacier walking, paragliding, tennis, the world’s only free-to-ride mountain bike park – there is even a golf course! You will not be stuck for things to do.