Worldwide Ski ResortsFranceTignes

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Overview

The resort of Tignes is in fact an amalgam of villages with Tignes le Lac at its centre. It is in reality a fairly ugly place with a strange mixture of traditional and modern architecture that does not quite work, although recent development has seen an improvement. Tignes forms part of the Espace Killy and shares its slopes with Val d’Isere. It benefits from an excellent range of accommodation from superb catered chalet options; right through the whole range of hotel grades to good value self catering apartments.

Profile

The resort stands at 2100m and provides access to a huge 300 km of pistes within the Espace Killy region. It has 97 lifts that are generally modern and efficient. Locally, there are 150 km of piste and 48 lifts. It enjoys an excellent snow record, although in warmer seasons some of the south and west facing runs do suffer from exposure to sun, but there are always plenty of alternatives to be explored. It is a resort that attracts expert skiers. Not because of the pisted runs, as frankly none of the blacks are that impressive, but Tignes is famous for its off piste opportunities and has some of the best slopes in the world. Many have lift services and there is a massive selection, including areas that suit reasonable intermediates.

All levels of intermediate skier will find a wealth of sport at this resort. The local slopes provide great intermediate pistes, although they can get crowded. Snowboarders flock to the resort attracted by the wide pistes and free-riding off piste country, although the terrain park is reportedly not of the best standard. Cross country skiers benefit from 40 km of trails that traverse some very scenic countryside. Beginners have a choice of good nursery slopes, although the progression runs are not that conveniently placed. There is a wide choice of ski schools at Tignes, but their individual qualities have received patchy reports. Child care facilities have received poor recommendations.

Mountain Information

A disadvantage of this resort is that the pistes (with a few exceptions) are above the tree line and are inclined to be bleak and exposed. As a result, bad weather often leads to partial closure of much of the lift system which can be frustrating. The high point of Grande Motte contains some of the best intermediate skiing with a good variety of blue and red runs as well as some excellent long pistes that lead back to Val Claret and the village.

On the opposite side of the valley, L’Aiguille Percee and Col du Palet contain some great intermediate cruising country. For those experts who want a thrill, the Sache black run from Percee is something special and some of the most spectacular off piste country of Vallons de la Sache is also to be found here. First class restaurants are common across the mountain, many of them specialising in local Savoyard cuisine.

Apres Ski

Surprisingly, Tignes does not have a great reputation as an après ski Mecca. There are plenty of bars here and the early evening crowd tend to head for Val Claret. In the village, the Loop and the Alpaca Lodge have a good reputation and the British contingent tend to favour the Fish Tank.

Resort Information • Tignes

Resort Height Resort Height 2100m
Top Station Top Station 3450m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1550m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 1900m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 22
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 21
High Capacity High Capacity 5
Opening Dates Opening Dates Dec - May
Rating Expert Rating Expert 10
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 10
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 7
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 6
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 9