Tignes - introduction
Tignes is the archetypal purpose-built ski resort: located at high altitude, it provides easy access to the Grande Motte glacier, is surrounded by terrain that could have been created for skiing and the majority of the accommodation is ski-in/ski-out.
For committed skiers keen to make the most of the extensive intermediate slopes and world-class freeriding in the vast Espace Killy ski area, and rate snow-sure conditions over classy accommodation and rocking nightlife, Tignes is the place to be.
However, the brutal way in which the resort was conceived in 1952, by the flooding of the old town of Tignes and construction of the Chevril dam, is still reflected - in places - in the architectural style.
The resort encompasses five villages: Val Claret, Le Lac, Lavachet, Tignes les Boisses and les Brévières. The first three are clusters of apartment blocks in a treeless bowl at the base of the main ski area. The last two are smaller, more attractive communities below the main resort linked by lift to the ski area. Free buses link all five villages until midnight.
While it may not have the old buildings of neighbouring Val d'Isere, Tignes is benefiting from a sustained makeover, with old buildings being renovated, new-builds taking more traditional form and the introduction of its first designer hotel. Over the past five years the resort has become significantly more attractive, and continues to do so..
Tignes is passionate about the environment, using bio-fuel to power its snowcats and piste-bashers, installing chemical-free snow cannons, spreading gravel rather than salt on the roads, banishing cars to underground car parks and providing free shuttle buses.
- Excellent ski terrain for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders, with world-class freeriding
- Snow-sure thanks to its high altitude and glacier skiing
- Access to the vast Espace Killy ski area is quick and easy
- Accommodation is much cheaper than in neighbouring Val d’Isère and is largely ski-in/ski-out
- The town's architecture is not quite a match for the spectacular natural surroundings
- Fairly tame nightlife
- The majority of the ski area is above tree level, making for tricky bad light days