Tignes3.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
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Tignes Ski Resort
Tignes Ski Resort


Tignes Ski Resort France

Well groomed runs, consistently good snow, high alpine glacier skiing, long season and a huge ski area combine to make Tignes ski resort in France perfect for all skiers and snowboarders.

Despite the main resort area being high up in the French Alps at over 2,100m, Tignes does not quite stack up on beauty compared to the belle resort of Val d’Isere nearby. However if you can overlook the mix of long high-rise apartment blocks, complete lack of trees, and underwhelming nightlife, you will find a good combination of modern lifts, seemingly endless snow (especially on the Grande Motte Glacier), and an impressive array of fun intermediate runs. More importantly Tignes also has exciting off-piste descents and the resort now hosts some of the best European extreme snowboarding and freestyle events.

The Powderhounds will be reviewing Tignes in season 2017/18.

Tignes Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Overall Tignes is best suited to skiers who want to build on existing skills. There are few beginner slopes and the ski area is mainly made up of long cruiser intermediate runs as well as accessible and inspiring off piste lines for more advanced skiers. Over 10,000hectares of off-piste terrain exists in the Tignes-Val d'Isere resort area.

The general ski area can be broken into four main sectors: La Grande Motte; La Tovière/Lavachet; Palet/Aiguille; and Percée/Palafour.

Tignes is very proud of La Grande Motte glacier. Skiing on the glacier is wide open, and the run under the cable car is a good intermediate test of stamina, whilst experts can go off piste over into the Palet sector. Many skiers come to Tignes and never leave this section of the mountain since there is so much variety. On the expert slopes there is often avalanche danger, so check with guides. There is a six minute, underground funicular (cable train) from Val Claret to the glacier which then connects to the Grande Motte cable car. All of the runs on Grande Motte are north facing.

The skiing in La Tovière/Lavachet area is a steep 600m vertical drop back into town. There are some great off-trail runs over the back side of Lavachet into Val d’Isère (you will need an Espace Killy pass to get back though) or around the cliffs back into Tignes. To get to Toviere take the Aeroski gondola from Tignes-Le-Lac.

Palet/Aiguille and offers cruisy terrain under the Col du Palet, with tougher intermediate runs down from the Aiguille Percée. Experts have tonnes of off-piste possibilities, but for more scenic and relaxed skiing in good weather, head towards Tignes’ famous geological attraction, the ‘eye of the needle’ - a completely natural rock formation that sticks out from the Aiguelle Percee peak.

The Tignes snowpark is 2.5km long and the largest in the world. The terrain park includes a quarterpipe, halfpipe, boardercross course, an air bag, plus jumps and table-tops for skiers and snowboarders alike.

Night skiing is also available in Le Lac, Le Lavachet and Val Claret.

Interlinked with Val d'Isere

Tignes is lift, piste and ticket interlinked with Val d’Isère (formerly known as Espace Killy). The combined ski network features 300 km of runs linked by 102 lifts.

Summer Skiing and Snowboarding at Tignes

The all round nature of the Tignes ski resort continues into summer. From late June to early August, 6 lifts access 20km of piste trails on the Grand Motte glacier.

Where is Tignes Ski Resort?

Tignes lies in the Tarentaise Valley in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, not far (at least as the crow flies!) from the border of Italy, 12 km by road from Val d’Isere. Closest major centre is the town of Bourg St Maurice.

By Air: The two main airports near Tignes are Lyon (220 km) and Geneva (170 km). Flights to Chambéry (140 km), Grenoble (160 km) and St. Eienne (290km) are less regular.

By Train: Eurostar runs a ski service twice a week from London to Bourg-St-Maurice. Daily TGV train services also go to Bourg-St-Maurice station from which there are regular bus or taxi transfers to Tignes (Val Claret), which take approximately 45 minutes.

Tignes by Road: If you allow for €50 tolls and more traffic during school holidays, getting to Tignes from Calais using the French motorways (‘autoroutes’) is comfortable, straightforward and takes about 9 hours.

Nearby Ski Resorts

Tignes is broadly part of the legendary skiing region called the Tarentaise. A festival of wonderful French ski resorts, from mega resorts to 'secret stashes', are within an hours drive of Tignes. The world's largest fully interlinked resort the 3 Valleys (Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens), huge Paradiski (Les Arcs and La Plagne) plus the small La Rosiere (linked to Italy's La Thuile) and excellent Sainte Foy are all close  by.

Tignes Hotels and Accommodation

At the base of one of Europe’s largest glaciers, La Grande Motte, there are two main settlements right next to the slopes, Val Claret and Le Lac. There are also two smaller and quieter villages further down the mountain, Les Boisses and Les Brevieres. All of these villages are linked by a speedy and regular free bus service.

Most powderhounds stay in one of more than 15,000 self-catering apartment beds, as there are less than 20 Tignes hotels offering around 1,500 pillows.

Val Claret is the highest village and located at the foot of the mountains surrounding Tignes. It is the perfect place to stay if immediate access to the lifts and piste to door skiing is your number one priority. Val Claret’s location adjacent to lifts facing in all directions means that the first lift and fresh tracks are a distinct possibility.

Tignes-Le-Lac is situated next to a lake and uses a one-way road system to keep traffic through the centre to a minimum. Most of the hillside accommodation is only a few minutes walk to the lifts which will take you up towards Val Claret.

Les Boisses and Les Brevieres are linked to the main ski areas by lifts and can be returned to via skiing. Both offer a cheaper option than staying in the main villages, but they are smaller and quieter with fewer services and less nightlife.

See all Tignes Accommodation Listings - options for lodging only

Tignes Activities

Tignes is one of the increasing number of ski resort locations that offer heli-skiing. More information on Tignes heli-skiing is coming.

Tignes has plenty of other activities on offer if you need a break from the slopes including ski-jöring (being pulled along the snow by a horse), paragliding, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and dog sledding. There is even an ice diving club?!

Why Ski or Snowboard at Tignes?

It is advanced skiers and boarders who benefit most from what Tignes has to offer. At first glance there seems only to be a handful of black runs, but Tignes is an abundance of off-piste skiing, including some excellent lift-accessible off piste, that really makes Tignes so popular with skilled skiers.
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Tarentaise Valley Ski Safari DETAILS
8 Days | 7 Nights | 7 Skiing | 3+ Resorts
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,882
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski some of the most famous ski areas in the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000 metres in untracked powder even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Tignes here

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Europe Ski Resort Ratings

    Tignes Trail & Piste Map
  • Tignes Trail & Piste Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,550 – 3456 (1994)
  • Average Snow Fall
    7 m+
  • Lifts (102)
    10 Gondolas/cable cars/funicular
    44 Chairlifts

    Summer Skiing - 6 lifts for skiing
  • Ski Hours
    Winter: October to early May
    8:45am - 5:00pm

    Summer: Late June to early Aug
    7.15am - 1:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 300km
    Longest run – 10km+
    Advanced - 18%
    Intermediate - 25%
    Beginner - 57%
    Off piste - 10,000ha
    Summer skiing - 20km
  • Lift Prices (Day Ticket 17/18)
    Tignes - Val d'Isere
    Adult - €57
    Child - €46 Child under 5 - Free

    Summer Skiing at Tignes
    Adult - €25
    Child - €20
    Child under 5 years - Free

    Tignes Summer Ski Trail & Piste Map
  • Tignes Summer Ski Trail Map

    Espace Killy Trail & Piste Map
  • Tignes - Val d'Isere Trail Map