Tignes ski resort, which along with neighbouring Val d’Isere forms the expansive Espace Killy area, has a reputation as one of the best high-altitude resorts in the French Alps for intermediate and advanced skiers. A longer season and the opportunity to take on the mighty Grand Motte Glacier give it an edge, and for anyone looking to take their skills to the next level, there’s a lot to like about Tignes. Ski these slopes once and you just know you’ll be back… |
On the Doorstep
At 2100m the resort sits above the tree line, which means that while the pistes might not be as picturesque as in some other parts of the French Alps, there’s guaranteed snow for a lot longer. Not only that but it’s good quality powder; so if you’re looking to shred, the mountain’s your oyster! In the immediate Tignes ski area alone there’s a whopping 150km of networked pistes, serviced by a cable car, funicular railway, 47 ski lifts, 19 drag lifts and 24 chair lifts. So you’re going to be busy.
There are plenty of lengthy well-groomed runs (38 blue and 17 red) that are absolutely perfect for skiers and snowboarders to get their teeth into. Because of the fantastic lift system, getting up Grand Motte is a cinch, and the long, wide run from the top is a dream for anyone with reasonably good skills looking for a challenge. For confident skiers, the black run down to Brévières is breathtaking in all the right ways and there’s also a fantastic snowpark for those looking to cut loose on some freestyle action.
While it’s not the best place in the Alps for absolute novices, if there are newbies in the group there are several beginner slopes closer to the resort.
If you want make full use of an Espace Killy lift pass (2-15 day passes available for use over the 77 lifts) you’re in for double the fun – literally. The Val d’Isere-Tignes ski area makes for a combined 300km of slopes and more than 10,000 hectares of supreme off-piste terrain. Val d’Isere sits at a lower elevation than Tignes, but it offers an impressive choice of terrain and runs of varying levels, which bumps up the overall offering to 25 black, 46 red, 61 blue and 22 green runs across the Espace Killy area.
The Val Snowpark in Val d’Isere is right underneath the Mont Blanc chairlift and offers another string to the bow of this exceptional winter playground. The snowpark caters for all abilities so makes for the perfect day out for a group of mixed abilities, from beginners to experts. You’ll be able to bump, barrel and freestyle to your heart’s content!
For those planning a ski holiday with a group at various skill levels, it’s hard to beat Tignes. Ski-in ski-out accommodation, a lively après scene, plenty of snow and a massive smorgasbord of groomed runs and off-piste opportunities combine to create one of the most appealing resorts in the French Alps.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. With a range of accommodation options in resorts such as La Plagne, Les Menuires and Tignes, ski enthusiasts looking for a holiday of a lifetime are never disappointed by the team’s expert knowledge and recommendations.
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