Tignes is an internationally renowned resort. Known for being a sporty destination, it is also famed for its events, cosmopolitan clientele and off-piste itineraries. A high-altitude resort (from 1,550 to 3,456 metres), it’s open from autumn until early May, for skiers who just can’t wait to ski on the Grande Motte glacier.
How do you get to Tignes?
Tignes resort is 3 hours from Lyon, and 2 hours from Grenoble and Annecy by car. You can see real-time traffic conditions using the resort app.
Once there, you’ll need to park your car. You’ll find some parking next to your accommodation, but we recommend booking a space beforehand at one of the covered car parks. That saves you from spending ages clearing your car of snow, only to discover that you’ve actually just cleared the next car along! The hotels usually have some covered parking spaces available, so remember to enquire when you book.
You can get to Tignes by train from the terminus at Bourg Saint Maurice station. Complete your journey on one of the regular bus lines, or in a taxi.
During your stay, get around on foot or use the shuttlebuses that run 24 hours a day in December (under normal circumstances).
Our tips for Tignes’ best ski runs
During your stay, we’d like to suggest this beautiful full-day itinerary through the Tignes and Val d’Isère ski areas. Going all the way to the Pissaillas glacier, this circuit guarantees runs as beautiful and varied as the landscapes they’re in.
Start with the Chaudanne detachable chair lift and the Bleuets red run to enjoy the early morning sunshine. Then take the Tovière gondola lift and ski down the Creux and Edelweiss blue runs. Head towards the Marmotte chair lift and the legendary Face de Bellevarde.
Enjoy a little rest on the Solaise gondola lift before climbing aboard the Madeleine chair lift where the steep and technically challenging red Arcelle run awaits. Next, it’s an ascent on the Manchet Express. The Flacier and Leissières chair lifts will then take you towards Pissaillas glacier and the famous Col de l’Iseran. Leave the sector via the Vallon (blue) and Forêt (black) runs to Le Fornet. Then it’s time to tackle the return journey to Tignes, and the fastest way is to take the Laisinant chair lift. Ski down Piste L then traverse Laisinant to get back to the centre of Val d’Isère.
Energetic skiers will love taking the Solaise gondola lift again to try out the Rhônes-Alpes black run. Others might enjoy a bit of rest on a terrace while they wait for them.
Then, head back via the Rocher de Bellevarde summit and the Tommeuses chair lift. Round the day off by going to the top of the Grande Motte to admire the views before enjoying one final descent on the Glacier, Rimaye and Double M red runs. Beware, last to get to the bottom has to get the first round in at Cocorico!
For a really great trip to Tignes, you owe it to yourself to explore the ski area’s most beautiful panoramic views. We’re thinking of the Sommet de Tovière with its 360° panorama, as well as Aiguille Percée, a geological curiosity that’s worth seeking out and which, in a two-minute walk up from the ski patrol cabin, offers stunning views over Mont Blanc and the Sachette Valley. Finally, Grande Motte summit, at an altitude of 3,456 metres, is unmissable!
Here are two of our favourite ski runs:
- La Sache. A wild, difficult black run, for good skiers only!
- Génépy. An undulating blue run that’s perfect for practising your carving technique.
We love the Pala’fou toboggan! It’s always an amazing laugh and a real thrill. With a head lamp fixed to your helmet, your jacket zipped all the way to the top, your gloves on tight… you’re off on a pretty demanding descent! Perfect your braking techniques and spray anyone behind you with snow, master some very tight turns…. Use your cunning to be the first to the finish line. Available to anyone over 1m 40cm in height, we recommend going at the start of the week to have the run to yourself.
Saturday is a day for relaxation at the Lagon aqua and well-being area. With a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, it’s the perfect way to relieve stress and tension, and soothe aching muscles.
Finally, we’ve discovered THE place for those who are always on the go: the Tignes-le-Lac sports complex. You can challenge your friends to a game of squash, tennis or basketball. Get started with indoor climbing or hone your skills, or even take a yoga or dance class. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Our top spots in Tignes
We’ve decided to share a few of our favourites, because we’re nice like that.
On the slopes, we love a terrace lunch, so head to Lo-soli / Alpages des Chaudannes. You can either take the time to enjoy lunch in the restaurant, or go for the self-service snack bar to get your skis back on even faster.
In the resort, our favourite has to be Ferme des 3 Capucines in Lavachet. An authentic farm where you can enjoy a delicious cider and Tomme cheese fondue. A unique experience!
Finally, we all love a drink together after a day’s skiing. If you follow the resort’s ski instructors, you’ll see they generally head to Palette de Boulélé! A great atmosphere guaranteed.
© Photography : Cande – STGM