Tignes resort guide - a general overview
This resort guide to Tignes gives an overview of the ski area, the restaurants (both on and off the mountain), the apres ski scene and also the many nightlife options available to those that choose to take their ski holiday in this fabulous Espace Killy region ski resort.
Tignes is linked to Val d'Isere and their shared ski area has few rivals. Experts love the almost limitless off-piste terrain and the snow sure slopes of the Grand Motte glacier which offer year round skiing. However, although the Tignes ski area is extensive and suitable for all standards of skier it is in a rather bleak treeless setting, which means slopes can be liable to closure after a heavy snowfall.
The resort of Tignes has done much over recent years to improve the way it looks and really is vastly improved from the cheap purpose built resort that it started out as. The main road, which used to run through Tignes Le Lac, is now underground and gives the resort a much more 'pedestrian feel' and this along with the alpine style facelift given to the hotels of Tignes Le Lac has really improved the overall appearance of the resort. All four of the Tignes ski resorts (Val Claret, Le Lac, Lavachet and Brevieres) are fairly quiet at night although there are a couple of popular bars in both Tignes Le Lac and Val Claret. Tignes has plenty of very good ski schools to choose from offering excellent instruction, and there are great beginner slopes, especially for children.
2,100m - 3,488m
Level of skiing
- Snow sure
- Ski area
- Charm factor
- Resort layout
- Fine dining
- Short transfer
- Resort value
- Great snow record and very long season - the best in the Alps
- Huge terrain area suitable for all levels - particularly good nursery slopes in Tignes Le Lac
- Most hotels and chalet in Tignes are very close to the pistes or lifts and much is ski-in / ski-out
- One of the best lift systems in the world accessesing huge areas of off piste terrain
- Architecturally improved hotels. Tignes is also now largely pedestrianised
- Situated above the treeline means that the villages can seem bleak when the weather is bad.
- Apres ski and nightlife is a little limited
- Village architecture leaves a little to be desired although it is not as bad as you might think
- The transfer up the main Tarentaise Valley can be long on peak dates and in bad weather
Tignes Resort Restaurants
La Ferme situated close to the base of the Chaudannes chair lift is a gem and it's possible to eat here for lunch too tucked away on the piste and below the chalets. Tignes most rated restaurant is a modern yet traditional restaurant serving delicious local food. The livestock share the building and can be seen through the glass partition. The Campanules is reportedly very good and the Hotel Arbina in the centre of Le Lac provides no nonsense good food, value and service. In Tignes Val Claret the Caveau is great for a treat.
Tignes Mountain Restaurants
For a modern French resort the mountain restaurants in the Tignes (and Val d'Isere) area are pretty good. The Alpage (self service) and Lo Soli (table service) at the top of the Chaudannes chair from Tignes Le Lac are good. The restaurant at the top of Toviere is a good mid morning/afternoon pit stop (crowded at lunchtime). The Panoramic restaurant at the foot of the Grand Motte cable car is perfectly OK especially in warmer, sunnier weather when the large deck comes into its own. The restaurant under the Montana hotel is a good find, serving traditional Savoyarde food. In Tignes Les Brevieres the restaurants in the village (not those at the foot of the slopes) are well worth the ski down: Sachette and Etoile des Neiges.
Tignes Apres Ski
The apres ski scene gets better and better in Tignes every year, you just need to know where to find it. Tignes is split into 3 main areas - In Le Lac we recommend the Loop Bar which is always lively, Embuscade, The Alpaka Lodge Bar, Bagus Bar and finally Jacks Club (located inside the bowling alley). In Val Claret bars to look out for include, Grizzly's (with cow hide lounging areas), Crowded House, The Drop Zone, Saloon Bar, The Couloir later on the nightclubs Blue Girl and Melting Pot are always rocking. With quite a few chalets in Tignes Le Lavachet you will find convenient bars such as Scotty's, TC's Bar, Brasero, Le Lavachet Lounge and if you want to mix with some locals then the friendly Le Bouchon is the place to go.
Jacks in Le Lac has a pole for those that really like to strutt their stuff and the Blue Girl in Val Claret (suitable for a wider audience) are two venues that are particularly recommended. The Hotel Alpaka (Le Lac) bar has plenty of atmosphere but is dimly lit for a reason. The Loop Bar, Grizzly's and Couloir all double up as good after dinner bars that go on late into the night before heading back for a good night's sleep back at your hotel or ski chalet.