Guide To Skiing in Tignes
Tignes is one of the most popular ski resorts in the French Alps. This guide reveals everything there is to know about planning a trip to the slopes.
The world class ski resort of Tignes is a popular destination choice for ski holidays of all kinds.
Whether you’re looking to put your skills to the test on some serious black runs, fancy a more chilled out ski down the slopes or are just here for the Apres Ski vibes, a Tignes ski holiday has something for everyone.
If you’re planning a trip to the mountains then look no further than this expert guide, full of insider knowledge from the best slopes to look out for to the best time of year to visit.
Where is Tignes?
Tignes ski resort is located in the Tarentaise Valley of the French Alps. Known for having one of the highest skiing areas and the longest ski season in Europe, it’s one of the most popular and well-loved ski resorts on the continent.
Alongside its neighbour Val d’Isere, Tignes shares the expansive Tignes-Val d’Isere ski area in which skiers will find over 300 km of pistes just waiting to be explored.
Located around 4 hours away from Geneva airport, this is a ski resort that’s well and truly in the depths of the mountains.
Tignes ski resort is made up of multiple villages, with the highest resort sitting at 2100m above sea level and even the lower villages boast altitudes of up to 1850m making it higher than most ski resorts.
Tignes has the longest ski season in Europe and the slopes are usually open from November right through to May, meaning you have plenty of time to pay a visit.
Above Tignes sits the Grande Motte Glacier which rises all the way to 3450m. A trip up here provides skiers with a 360 view of the French Alps. Thanks to its altitude, the mountain offers the chance for skiing on the glacier all year round.
The Tignes Ski Resort
Tignes ski resort is made up of multiple areas including Val Claret, Tignes 1800, Le Lac and Le Lavachet.
The resort was purpose built with the aim of ensuring skiers and borders could wake up as close to the slopes as possible meaning there is plenty of ski in ski out accommodation to choose from.
The multi-area resort quite literally offers something for everyone and each village has its own feel from family friendly fun to vibrant Apres Ski vibes.
If you fancy some time away from the slopes during your trip then there are plenty of options from swimming in the Le Lagoon pool to the Bun J Ride, a thrilling experience that’s part ski jumping, part bungee jumping and part ziplining all in one.
As the Glacier allows for skiing all year round, you can even pay a visit to the resort during the summer months if you want to avoid the cold. There’s also a range of other activities to enjoy such as mountaineering, mountain biking, paragliding and more.
Tignes is also home to one of the most iconic ski landmarks, the Eye of the Needle. A striking rock formation with a hole straight through the middle, the landmark sits at 2800m and is instantly recognisable from the James Bond film A View to Kill, which saw 007 ski jump straight through the centre.
Tignes - Ski Areas
Whilst Tignes ski areas are bursting with slopes for you to enjoy (more on those in a moment) it’s also conveniently connected to neighbouring Val d’Isere meaning you have access to over 300 km of runs and expanses of snow to enjoy.
Espace Killy is the name given to the combined area of Tignes and Val d’Isere. With over 300 km of slopes on offer, it’s a skiers paradise.
Within the area you’ll have access to high altitude skiing and plenty of runs for all abilities along with a vibrant Apres Ski vibe.
There are around 154 downhill pistes in the area to choose from including 21 green runs, 67 blues and an impressive 29 black runs.
The Orange run, which is actually a red run, is a popular route that starts off as a wide open piste before turning into a tree lined run down into La Daille.
Blue run Diebold is the perfect cross-area run that will take you from Val d’Isere back towards Tignes.
The Glacier Du Pissaillas meanwhile offers some of the most breathtaking views in the whole area thanks to the fact it borders both the Vanoise National Park and the Italian Grand Paradiso National Park, making this one of the only mountains you won’t actually want to leave the top of…
A village resort based at the bottom of the Tignes dam, the area is connected to the Tignes-Val d’Isere ski area via a gondola and then chair lift.
Given the location and the extremity of the ski equipment required for this resort, it’s typically a quieter area offering a relaxed ski holiday experience which naturally brings cheaper prices.
That being said the area is home to an excellent nursery slope that’s located at the foot of the main mountains and ideal for complete beginners who may not be interested in packing in too much skiing to their day.
Skiing in Tignes - By Ability
A Tignes ski holiday is a popular choice for skiers of all abilities and for good reason, the resort is bursting with slopes ranging from beginner friendly greens right up to expert level blacks.
Skiing In Tignes for Beginners
Both Val Claret and Le Lac have convenient learning zones for beginners to get to grips with their skis safely and confidently. Over on the Val d’Isere side of the mountain you’ll find some great green options including Verte and the Bellevarde area.
If you feel ready to push yourself further then the Grattula chair is a great blue run to choose. Be sure to go steady on the resort return though as the slope includes a couple of steeper sections.
Skiing In Tignes for Intermediate Skiers
Tignes is one of the best places in the French Alps for intermediate skiers. The long blue run atop the Aiguille Percee is the perfect quiet slope to put your skills to the test whilst the Genepy run down from the Glacier is one of the area’s most popular choices.
A cross over into Val d’Isere is always popular for intermediate skiers, although be aware that the descent into the resort itself can be tricky. Whilst there head towards the Solaise mountain for an array of great intermediate-friendly slopes.
Palafour is the perfect warm up run for intermediates who want to get re-acclimated with the slopes at the start of a ski holiday. The long, wide piste has plenty of fun jibbing spots off the side too.
Skiing In Tignes for Advanced Skiers
There are some great long, adventurous black runs to enjoy within the Tignes ski resort. For a steep descent that’s sure to thrill even the most seasoned of skiers, ski the Sache all the way down from Aiguille Percee to Les Brévières.
Many of the other black runs in the area have been converted into ungroomed ski routes, Golf and Campanules are two of the most popular and exhilarating options.
For a spot of off-piste skiing, advanced skiers should head over to Val d’Isere where the trees above Le Fornet and the Banane off the Bellevarde both offer great off piste terrains.
Our shared service covers the vast Tignes ski resort with stops at Tignes Les Brévières, Tignes 1800, Tignes Lavachet, Tignes le Lac and Tignes Val Claret.
Our specially trained alpine drivers will take you safely through the mountains giving you the chance to enjoy the breathtaking views before you get ready to hit the slopes.
Guide to Skiing in Tignes
Tignes is one of the most popular and well loved ski resorts in the French Alps, with many skiers choosing to return to its slopes season after season.
With an array of different areas and villages to explore, each bursting with slopes for all abilities, it’s not hard to see why the resort remains so popular.
The fact that skiers can, in theory, ski in the resort all year round, is simply a bonus.