Even though the end of winter is in sight, before you stash the skis and start waxing up your surfboard, how about one more turn around the slopes for good times’ sake? If you’re looking to see out the season on a high note, perhaps it’s time to put everything you learned this year into practice and head to Tignes in the Tarentaise Valley.
Not only is Tignes one of the most snowsure high altitude resorts in the Alps, its proximity to the Grande Motte glacier and the absolute smorgasbord of awesome off-piste trails means that, if you give it all you’ve got, you’re probably going to learn a whole lot more before the week is out, as well!
If you’ve got the skills, Tignes has got the thrills…
Terrific Tignes – The Resort
Tignes is actually a collection of five separate villages: Val Claret, Le Lavachet, Tignes le Lac, Tignes les Boisses and Tignes les Brévières. Along with neighbouring Val d’Isere, Tignes goes under the banner of the Espace Killy ski area.
Even though it’s not quite a pumping party town like some other resorts in the Alps, there’s a very healthy après scene (mostly concentrated in Val Claret and le Lac), with plenty of bars, restaurants and live music events to keep you happy when you’re not on the slopes.
Advanced Skiing for the Experts
Tignes has a reputation as a cracker of a resort for intermediates – which it is. But those in the know also know that advanced and expert skiers don’t go lacking either, with some excellent black runs close to the resort and a host of off-piste trails, some of which are accessible by the lifts.
Grand Motte: It’s a glacier so you know it’s going to be good, but nothing prepares you for the views, crisp high-altitude air and magic moguls of the reds and blacks of Grand Motte – 1350m vertical drops, that’s got to be fun! The bonus is that if you do it early you may even have the glacier to yourself.
Toviere/Les Brévières: If you’re confident on ungroomed runs (go on, push yourself!), from Tignes le Lac head up to Paquerettes for a wild, bone-shaking ride back down. Also in the same area, Piste H from the top of Tommeuses takes you down a magnificent wide, steep black that’ll clear out any remaining cobwebs!
L’Aguille Percée: Don’t even give yourself time to catch your breath (well maybe just a little) before you head over to the heart-stopping 10km black La Sache run. Hold on tight and you’ll believe you can fly as you scream from the top of L’Aguille Percée all the way down back to Tignes Les Brévières. Extreme awesomeness.
Head Over to Val d’Isere: Take advantage of the proximity to the neighbours and carve up a few of the slopes over in Val d’Isere, for good measure. At Solaise, you can warm up on the blues, then take a deep breath and take on the beast that is Arcelle. You might consider Le Fornet a little tame, but actually, the Signal and Forêt runs (red and black respectively) both offer some pretty gnarly challenges.
If you fancy pitting yourself against an Olympic run, Face, over at Bellevarde, will give you a good run for your money, and getting some air off the steep moguls of Epaule du Charvet is about as much fun as you can have on skis. And the crowd went wild…
Off-Piste and Off the Richter
While there are numerous off-piste trails around the areas mentioned above (on the Grand Motte Glacier, Tovière and between Tignes and Val d’Isere) special mention goes to Les Orielles de Mickey, in the Massif du Lavachet area – and even if your French isn’t great you might be able to get the jist of the translation (Mickey’s Ears).
But don’t let the cute name fool you – there’s nothing cute and cuddly about this little frozen white mouse! Head up the lift to the top of Tovière, then the only way is down, down and down some more – with some slopes as steep as 45°. Think you can handle it without squeaking? Be our guest…
There is also an awesome powder trail at Couloir du Chardonnet and the jaw dropping Vallon de la Sache off-piste section – which not only provides stunning views but also a 900m vertical drop. Go on without your stomach… it’ll meet you at the bottom.
Tip: We know you’re an expert, but if you have some friends that aren’t quite as skilled as you, they can still come along to Tignes! This blog post will help convince them…
How to Get to Tignes
Getting yourself to Tignes for an action-packed ski break is simple. From the UK a number of airlines offer direct flights to Turin (TRS), Geneva (GVA) and a number of other nearby airports that service the French Alps. The flight is under two hours and once you land, Shuttle Direct makes getting the rest of the way easy with a convenient airport transfer to Tignes.
Make a booking online before you leave home and you can choose from a fixed price shared or private transfer. The picturesque road journey to the resort takes around 2.5-3 hours from Turin and Geneva, and your ski equipment can come along on the ride for free.
Where to Stay:
Le Grand Pré 1: Well-sized, well-priced and well-facilitated – what more could you want for your ski break in Tignes? If the answer is plenty of space, proximity to the ski lifts and bars and restaurants practically on the doorstep, Le Grand Pré 1 delivers.
Les Hauts du Val Claret: If the name doesn’t convince you the spacious apartments, proximity to the slopes and fabulous views of Les Hauts du Val Claret just might. Situated in a perfect spot just a short walk from the sports centre, shops and all the bars and restaurants, this is a great value option in the heart of Tignes.
Le Prariond 2: Just 50m from the ski lift and within walking distance of everything in the resort, Le Prariond 2 offers homely, spacious accommodation to lay your head after a big day on the slopes. With ski storage onsite, a convenient free ski bus and great views across the slopes, you’re also just a short distance from the nearby sports centre.
About Shuttle Direct:
If you’re looking for a fast, friendly no-nonsense service from the airport to Tignes, Shuttle Direct is one of the most trusted providers of ski transfers in Europe. Whether you prefer a private ride to the Alps or a cost effective shared one, we have a service to suit any budget and group size.
Make a quick and easy online booking through our website and our team of experts can take care of your onward travel requirements to and from the airport or train station of your choice.