Tignes has been described as one of the most unappealing resorts in the Alps, the “ugly duckling” of the Tarentaise valley. It was indeed built before the French learnt that purpose built ski resorts can also be pleasing on the eye and it is definitely more functional than charming but is it really that bad?
Tignes Le Lac is often said to be a bleak, stark village with apartment block after apartment block with a distinct lack of atmosphere, and I’ve once even heard the Palafour building in Le Lac compared to a cruise ship that has just barged in and parked up in front of the Lake. However I think the benefits of this world famous resort massively outweigh the negatives of the “unattractive treeless bowl”.
The appeal is in fact simple. The resort is one of the highest and snow sure in the Alps. Tignes is highly likely to have one of the longest, if not the longest, seasons in the entire Alps. The resort is part of the extensive Espace Killy ski area meaning it’s difficult to become bored on your ski holiday as there are plenty of runs to play about on. Tignes also has a fantastic glacier, the Grande Motte allowing year-round skiing. Not too many resorts can offer such a luxury. The lifts are fast efficient and large queues are rarely a problem.
Tignes has long been overshadowed by its famous neighbour Val d’Isere. Val d’Isere is known as the “good-looking” and more “popular” of the two, but the prices to stay there reflect this. Tignes is a lot better value for money and can also be a lot less congested. Most of the Chalets in Tignes are ski in-ski out as access to the slopes is right on your doorstep, wherever you are staying in Tignes. There is accommodation for every type of holiday maker and the range of luxury catered chalets in Tignes is ever increasing.
It is unfair when people say the villages in Tignes lack charm and life entirely. There is a scattering of beautiful French restaurants around Le Lavachet, Le Lac and Val Claret which are all very traditional and welcoming. The night life is not as “crazy” as Val d’Isere but there is enough in Tignes to cater for most people’s idea of “apres-ski”. If you want a few beers on a sunny terrace you can, and if you want to dance the night away until the early hours in the morning you can do that too.
Tignes has obviously taken note of people’s criticism and is currently undergoing a facelift. Old purpose built hotels are being renovated to match the Alpine style most other resorts boast and the new builds are following suit. Over the last couple of years the resort is slowly becoming more and more attractive. Hopefully, this means Tignes will eventually gain some of the credit it undoubtedly deserves.
For more information on chalets, hotels and holidays in Tignes, take a look at the Alpine Answers website or give us a call on 020 7801 1080.