Tignes Ski Resort

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Tignes ski resort in the Tarentaise valley, France.
Tignes ski resort in the Tarentaise valley, France.
Powder at Tignes.
Powder at Tignes.
La Grande Motte stands tall over Tignes ski resort.
La Grande Motte stands tall over Tignes ski resort.
Tignes is linked with fabulous Val d
Tignes is linked with fabulous Val d'Isere ski resort.
A tiny portion of the Tignes off piste freeride terrain.
A tiny portion of the Tignes off piste freeride terrain.
The early bird catches the corduroy at Tignes; dropping into Val Claret.
The early bird catches the corduroy at Tignes; dropping into Val Claret.
Despite some big crowds, there are always fresh lines at Tignes.
Despite some big crowds, there are always fresh lines at Tignes.
Tignes off piste skiing is super fun.
Tignes off piste skiing is super fun.
Enjoying the high life in the Tignes village of Val Claret.
Enjoying the high life in the Tignes village of Val Claret.
The Tignes lift system moves a huge amount of skiers very efficiently.
The Tignes lift system moves a huge amount of skiers very efficiently.
Tignes skiing.
Tignes skiing.
Tignes chutes below the Grande Motte.
Tignes chutes below the Grande Motte.
Tignes gets a little bit of snow!!
Tignes gets a little bit of snow!!
Tignes 1550 village of Les Brevieres with avalanche debris on the piste!
Tignes 1550 village of Les Brevieres with avalanche debris on the piste!
Tignes 2100 villages of Le Lac & Le Lavachet.
Tignes 2100 villages of Le Lac & Le Lavachet.
Tignes highest village, Val Claret.
Tignes highest village, Val Claret.
Tignes 1800 village, Les Boisses.
Tignes 1800 village, Les Boisses.
Tignes off piste skiing.
Tignes off piste skiing.
Wear your party pants at Tignes - Val d
Wear your party pants at Tignes - Val d'Isere's La Folie Douce.
Solitude in the Tignes off-piste on an otherwise busy day.
Solitude in the Tignes off-piste on an otherwise busy day.

Tignes Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Tignes

Tignes3.5/54
Tignes3.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    50%
Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing Tours

Interlinked Ski Resort

Val d'Isere

    Tignes Trail & Piste Map
  • Tignes Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,550m – 3,456m (1,906m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    7 - 10m+
  • Lifts (78)
    11 Gondolas/cable cars/funiculars
    41 Chairlifts

    Summer Skiing - 6 lifts for skiing
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Winter: Early Oct 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 - 12km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Tignes only
    Adult - €35 to 52
    Child - €28 to 42
    Adult over 74yr - Free
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Tignes-Val d'Isere
    Adult - €50 to 62
    Child - €41 to 50
    Adult over 74yr - Free
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Summer Skiing (2020) Tignes
    Adult - €35
    Child - €28
    Adult over 74yr - Free
    Child u/5yr - Free
    Tignes - Val d'Isere (Espace Killy) Ski Trail Map
  • Tignes - Val d'Isere Ski Trail Map
    Tignes Summer Ski Trail Map
  • Tignes Summer Ski Trail Map

Tignes Ski Resort France

It is no exaggeration to suggest that the combination of Tignes & Val d'Isere rightfully hold a place at the very top of the list of best ski resorts in the world. Tignes ski resort in France has the size, elevation, lifts, snow & accommodation that make it wonderful for all skiers & 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 when compared to the belle resort village of nearby Val d’Isere. However, if you can overlook the mix of wide high-rise apartment blocks, complete lack of trees, high priced food & underwhelming nightlife, you will find in Tignes an incredible combination of modern lifts, seemingly endless snow, impressive array of fun intermediate runs and vast, adventurous off-piste freeride terrain.

The Powderhounds eyes made popping sounds when we visited Tignes! Yours will too.

Pros & Cons for Tignes Ski Resort

Pros

  • World class on-piste terrain for all levels of skier on a massive scale.
  • Most reliable snow in France, with majority of terrain over 2000m elevation.
  • Modern lifts & facilities.
  • Immense off-piste & backcountry terrain for all levels.
  • Fabulous range of expert & extreme ski options.
  • Lift pass linked to Val d’Isere (super value too!).
  • Widespread ’ski-in’ accommodation available in the upper mountain villages.
  • Particularly good après ski.
  • Relatively easy to get to via train and bus.
  • Villages in splendid alpine surroundings.

Cons

  • 90% of the terrain is above tree line, so there is very few places to hide when the weather is poor & visibility is low.
  • Despite the trail ratings, real novice & beginner piste trails are negligible in number & best in Val d’Isere!
  • A lot of competition for off-piste powder in easy to get to locations.
  • Eating & drinking out can be expensive in the upper mountain villages.
  • Surprisingly few restaurants & bars on the slopes/peaks away from the villages.
  • Some piste trails are grossly overcrowded & get icy & bumped up by lunchtime – particularly trails leading to or from Val d’Isere.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Majority of accommodations are self-contained apartments.
  • Four villages – no big, lively centre.
  • High altitude villages (i.e. Val Claret, Le Lac) can be extremely cold in mid-winter!

Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Tignes is one of those ski resorts where the trail map simply does not convey the vastness, complexity & quality of the terrain available. The sound of your popping eyes will continue all the way up on the gondola from the bottom of the resort at Les Brevieres to the cable car at the top of the resort on the Grande Motte glacier - a vertical of typically European proportions - a lazy 1,906m.

See the Tignes ski trail map here.

Whilst there are relatively few ‘real’ novice slopes (but plenty near the boundary with Val d'Isere), the ski area has 57% of its trails rated as beginner. Many of these are in fact lower intermediate runs which combine well with the numerous long, cruisy intermediate runs. After a storm, the last terrain to open is usually the high elevation (3,459m) sector on the impressive Grande Motte

Accessible & inspiring off-piste freeride lines for more advanced skiers are everywhere, as are some challenging black piste trails. Ranging from open alpine bowls to extreme couloirs, the freeride terrain in the region is immense, however there are also a fair few people to compete with to harvest a few fresh lines. From our experience, if unfamiliar with the resort, a local guide can usually sniff out a few untracked powder runs days after a snowfall with little effort.

A testament to the quality of the snow & terrain at Tignes is that it has the longest ski season in France. From late June to early August, 6 lifts access 12km of piste trails on 700m of skiable vertical high on the Grande Motte glacier for summer skiing. Opening again from mid-October through to the end of November, the glacier provides quality autumn riding until the entire resort opens for the winter season all the way through to May.

See our Tignes Skiing & Snowboarding page for more information.

Interlinked with Val d'Isere

Tignes is lift, piste & pass interlinked with Val d’Isère (the ski area formerly known as Espace Killy). The combined ski network features 300km of runs linked by 78 lifts plus over 10,000ha of diverse freeride terrain.

See the Tignes-Val d'Isere ski trail map here.

Where is Tignes France?

Tignes lies in the upper Tarentaise valley of the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. Not far (at least as the crow flies!) from the border of Italy, the resort is only 12 km by road from Val d’Isere. The closest major centre is the town of Bourg St Maurice, about 30km by road north of the resort.

The two main international airports near Tignes are Lyon Saint Exupery (LYS) (220 km) and Geneva (GVA) (170 km). Flights to Chambéry (140 km) & Grenoble (160 km) are less regular and only serve flights from limited UK & European origins. Whilst public transport can get one to the area, the quickest & most efficient mode of travel is via a private transfer. Search & book direct transfers from the airport to Tignes here.

Regular TGV, regional & Eurostar trains connect Tignes to locations like Lyon St Exupery airport & as far away as London via the train station at Bourg-St-Maurice. Regular bus (route T15) or taxi transfers connect to Tignes, all the way up to Val Claret & taking approximately 45min. Search & book train tickets to Bourg St Maurice here.. Buy bus tickets at Bourg St Maurice from the Belle Savoie Ex[ress office in the train station building.

If you allow for extortionary road tolls & higher traffic volumes during school holidays & on weekends, getting to Tignes from anywhere in western Europe is straightforward. The final road up the valley from Bourg St Maurice to Tignes isn't in great condition considering the magnitude of traffic it carries during winter, so a bus may be the safer option for most overseas visitors.

See our Travel to Tignes page for detailed information on the best ways to get to the resort.

Tignes Accommodation

There are two typically French Alps ski resort upper mountain villages at Tignes, Val Claret & Tignes -Le Lac. By typically French, we mean visually challenging! Two smaller (& quieter) villages are further down the mountain, Les Boisses & Les Brevieres. All are linked by piste trails, ski lifts and a regular free bus service. The typical accommodation in Tignes is self-contained apartment & chalet/holiday home, although there are a small number of hotels available (mostly in Le Lac).

Search & book Tignes ski accommodation here.

Val Claret is the highest village (2,150m elevation) located in a prime ski in ski out location. 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 provides exceptional first lift & fresh track possibilities. But with all that convenience comes a price and it is in euro - sometimes lots of them! Accommodation costs may be manageable, but even an ordinary espresso (very ordinary actually!) will set you back a pretty penny.

Tignes 2100 is situated next to a lake at 2,100m elevation! Previously referred to as Le Lac (because it is next to a lake of all things!), it is broken up into several smaller sectors, of which Le Lavachet has highest concentration of hotels in the resort. During winter, a one-way road system keeps traffic through the centre of the village to a minimum. Most of the hillside accommodation is only a short ski or stroll to the lifts, which will take you up, up & away!

Les Boisses & Les Brévières are linked to the main ski areas by lifts and can be returned to via the piste trails. Both offer affordable & more traditional option than staying in the two main upper resort villages. Both are generally quieter, with fewer services, less nightlife and particularly in the case of Les Brevieres, less winter sunshine, but intriguingly, higher avalanche hazard potential (long story – click on the Accom Info link below to find out!).

See our Tignes Accommodation Info page for more details on the best places to stay in the resort.

Ski Rentals, Guiding, Lessons & Clothing

Ski rentals are available in all the Tignes villages through our local partners. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Tignes Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

A mind-boggling array of ski instructors, mountain guides & ski schools ply their trade in the Tarentaise valley & Tignes is no exception. Guides can help find the best untracked powder at a busy resort. To narrow down the field, search & book a mountain guide, instructor & private or group lessons with the best providers via our Tignes Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

[AdListings Filter="Tignes Ski Rentals Clothing"]

Activities

Tignes has plenty of other activities on offer if anyone needs a break from the slopes. They include the extremities of mountaineering, paragliding, ice-driving, speed-riding (halfway between parasailing & skiing), ice-climbing, mountain biking on snow, micro-light flights & the comparatively lame snowmobiling. A new one for us was the crazy looking Bun J Ride - a combination of bungee & ski jumping. It is actually a great way to gain confidence in the air. There is even an ice diving club for those that can't get enough of the cold?! All the family will have fun on the night-time snow-tubing lanes at Val Claret too.

For a more genteel activity, one can try a scenic helicopter ride, snow-shoeing, horse riding, yoga, ice skating & dog-sledding. Aside from local hotels, a swimming & 'wellness' complex called Le Lagon is located next to the lake for the use of all resort guests. Entry if free with a multi-day lift pass.

If coming to Tignes for summer skiing, a whole host of other activities click in, not the least of which is riding atop the roof of the cable car up Le Grande Motte!

Nearby Ski Resorts

Tignes is part of the legendary skiing region called the Tarentaise. Whilst you may not feel the need to visit anywhere else, a festival of wonderful French ski resorts, from mega resorts to 'secret stashes', are within an hour’s drive of Tignes. The world's largest fully interlinked resort, the 3 Vallees (Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens), huge Paradiski (Les Arcs and La Plagne) plus the smaller La Rosiere (linked to Italy's La Thuile) and the fabulous Sainte Foy are all close by.

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed Tignes in 2018 & whilst it has the downfall that having too many humans bring, the resort is nonetheless impressive & worth several days to explore its many nooks & crannies. We are due to return in 2021. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of page on a mobile) to read its inciteful summation!

See how Tignes compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are currently skiing.

Tours in or near Tignes

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Tarentaise Powder Ski Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE SKI ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Discover untouched powder in some of the most famous ski areas of the world in Haute Tarentaise of France. An experienced guide will show you vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder, even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 7 people
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,480
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Tignes here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Tarentaise Valley Star Ski Tour
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
2 - 7 Days | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Ski some of the most famous ski areas of the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 4 people on a 3-day tour
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,275
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Tignes here

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Tignes Off Piste Ski Day
GUIDED OFF-PISTE SKIING
2-3hr, Half Day or Full Day
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Discover the off-piste secret spots of Tignes with an experienced local guide who will show you the best untracked lines around the resort & into the valley. Get your own group together for a custom 2hr, half day or full day tour, or inquire about joining another group. All abilities welcome.
Price p/p From price based on full day tour in a min group of 6.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 88
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See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Tignes here
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