A guide to Tignes
Tignes shares the same extensive ski area (previously known as Espace Killy) with its neighbour Val d'Isère but they could not be more different. This is a young, sporty, purpose-built resort but with 33,000 guest beds it is nevertheless a serious ski destination: snowsure, and functional. With a long season, it is one of the best resorts in the Alps for an Easter or late-season skiing holiday. The three main villages are set above 2000m, Le Lavachet, Le Lac and Val Claret. Le Lac is considered by many to be the best base with a village feel around the snow front and shops and restaurants, here you will find the popular Lagon aqua and wellness center. Val Claret is equally good as a base for quick access to the high-altitude slopes. At the very bottom of the resort below the dam is Tignes-les-Brévières at 1550m, dating back to the 13th century.
Check out our blog: What’s so good about Tignes, the seasonaire’s view
Property in Tignes
Traditionally dominated by smaller apartments, the property market here is evolving. A few apartment buildings have been entirely refurbished and new projects are being developed and selling off plan with larger more family friendly units and high quality facilities. Ski-in/ski-out chalets are being built in Tignes 1800. Luxurious chalets come up for sale from time to time in Les Brévières where the new gondola has considerably improved access to the Tignes ski area. This is a highly varied market but most properties are 1-3 bedroom apartments and are generally close to the ski lifts. The snow in Tignes is about as good as it gets, that drives high occupancy rates for owners who rent out their property. And, there are plenty of older apartments that are ripe - and priced - for renovation. Prices can range from around €100,000 for a small studio up to €2m for something really special. The best new-build chalets, according to figures from Cimalpes, sell in the €18-23,000/m2 range, while a renovated chalet might be €18-23,000. 3 bedroom or larger apartment prices are in the €12-15,000 range, smaller units vary between €8 and 12,000/m2.
Tignes ski area
300km of piste and 94 lifts mean business. Wherever you look there are terrific places to ski: broad, confidence-boosting pistes, wide-open freeride terrain, and great options for all abilities. Tignes’ altitude means its snow is almost always in good condition, especially up on the Grande Motte. Most of the skiing is above the treeline and with many wide groomed pistes Tignes is perfectly suited to intermediates. There is a huge terrain off-piste to be explored and of course making the most of the entire Espace Killy ski area. It is a long way over to Le Fornet and there are plenty of great runs to enjoy there and back.
Après ski in Tignes
Being rather spread out, it all depends where you plan to party. You can of course start at the Folie Douce, on the Val d’Isère side, just don’t miss the last lift. You may well ski down to Tignes-le-Lac, in which case the Loop bar and Moose are popular venues. Grizzly’s by the piste in Val-Claret is considered one of the best anywhere in Tignes for a drink as the lifts start to close with a firepit surrounded by carved wooden benches. For live music later in the evening, The Couloir is the place to go; Le Studio is a friendly venue for cocktails
Eating out in Tignes
While not considered a gastronomic destination, you are in France, exceptions can be found. Up on the mountain Lo Soli is a big mountain restaurant at the top of Chaudannes chairlift from Tignes-le-Lac. They do good stews, there is a fireplace to sit by to warm up, or a sunny terrace. One of our favourites is Le Panoramic at the top of the Grande Motte funicular with good quality self-service, a smart restaurant area (now with a Michelin star), and a big terrace if it is warm enough. Tignes-le-Lac is popular at lunchtime with plenty of choices.
For an evening meal La Ferme des 3 Capucines is famous for Cote de Boeuf. In Le Lavachet, Le Bouchon Montagnard gets good reviews. Save up for a big treat at the Michelin-starred Ursus in Val Claret; or while in Les Brévières, Restaurant L’Armailly is known for its wine cellar and good menu.
Summer in Tignes
If the winter season wasn’t enough for you, Tignes offers summer skiing on the Pisaillas glacier on Grande Motte, usually open for 6 weeks around July. For more seasonal activities, Tignes has a lot to offer. 160 kms of Mountain Biking trails can be explored in the Tignes-Val d'Isère Bike Park with choices of blue, red and black runs, many lifts are open in the summer and connected by free shuttle buses. A circuit all the way down to Brévières is popular and some new e-bike routes have been created where the lifts don’t go.
Hikers are in for a treat, the possibilities are endless in the Vanoise National Park with thriving communities of marmots, chamois and ibex, the mountain flora is unique, the landscapes breathtaking. Or take a guide up to the summit of the Grande Motte glacier, equipped with a harness, crampons and ice pick.
Other summer activities include road Cycling, Horse trekking, Paragliding, Canyoning, Rafting and Kayak, Via Ferrata, Tennis, Mountaineering and Climbing. Golfers will find their happy, the 18-hole Tignes golf course is 2100 m above sea level, which makes it the highest in Europe, by the lake, in a unique setting.
For more details on Mountain Biking in Tignes, check out our blog: Where to go Mountain Biking in the Alps.
Other Destinations in the French Alps
Alpe d'Huez Chamonix Courchevel Courchevel La Tania Courchevel Le Praz Courchevel Moriond Courchevel Village La Toussuire Les Deux Alpes Les Gets Les Menuires Megève Méribel Méribel Les Allues Méribel Village Méribel-Mottaret Morzine Paradiski Pays du Mont Blanc Pralognan-la-Vanoise Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise St. Martin de Belleville Val d'Isère Val Thorens