One of our most popular resorts and with good reason as Tignes has so much to offer on the slopes and for non-skiers looking to participate in other winter activities. It’s one of the most snow sure resorts and the perfect destination for ski convenience due to its purpose-built set up which allows the ease of setting off to get the first lift, opening up its vast and endless skiing possibilities.
A firm favourite amongst our team and the resort we just keep going back to, here’s our 10 things to do when you’re in Tignes…
1. Ski to the eye of the needle
The eye of the needle or Aiguille Percée is Tignes famous rock formation and a great spot for amazing views of the valley. It’s a great spot to take some photos or have a spot of lunch before skiing back down. Take the long blue run Corniche back into Tignes Le Lac or the Sache black run into Les Brevieres where it is possible to ski a 1200 metres descent into the village. It’s also a must if you’re a James Bond fan as the rock formation featured in the Bond film A View to Kill in 1985 where Roger Moore skis through the eye of the needle whilst on the run from enemies.
2. Ski into Val d’Isere
Tignes is part of the Espace Killy ski area, linked with neighbouring resort of Val d’Isere, making up 300 kilometres of pistes. Val d’Isere offers a different feel to the purpose built Tignes. Its runs are more challenging and its village Savoyard in style, rustic and more pleasing to the eye. It’s a prime resort if you’re looking for advanced runs and legendary slopes such as the World Cup downhill red run ‘OK’ and the infamous steep black run ‘La Face de Bellevarde’.
3. Visit Lagon aqua & wellbeing centre
Located in Tignes Le Lac, the Lagon aqua & wellbeing centre is great for non-skiers and families. It has a 25m swimming pool, spa, exercise and gym area and pool based fitness classes including aqua gym and water polo. For kids, it offers waterfalls, water slides and a paddling bath.
4. Have a fondue at La Table en Montagne Restaurant
Situated in the five star Hotel Les Suites du Nevada in Tignes Val Claret, the La Table en Montagne Restaurant offers a gourmet dining experience with a combination of mountain and a contemporary feel. The cuisine is traditional Savoyard dishes and the meat and fish is cooked on hot stone tiles and served and carved at the table.
5. Go tobogganing
Opened in winter 2017, the Pala’fou is an exhilarating way to end the day. It’s a 3 kilometres toboggan run accessible from the Palafour chairlift in Tignes Le Lac and only opens after the lifts close.
6. Experience the thrills of ice driving
Ride with a professional driver, have some lessons or take special courses to improve or introduce you to driving on ice by a quad, buggy or a prepared car. Located in Tignes les Brévières, it’s an 800 metre ice track where you can learn to emergency break, turn, counter steer and skid with sessions lasting 25 minutes to 3 hours.
7. Go dog sledding
Explore the mountains the original way – transported by 7 or 10 huskies. You can either be a passenger and sit in the sled and admire the views or be the guide for the pack as you ride over the frozen lake.
8. Dance on the tables at après
Two of our favourites are the Loop Bar in Tignes Le Lac which serves great pub grub and drinks at reasonable prices. Enjoy happy hour from 4 to 6pm and live music as you dance on the tables on the sun terrace - this is the bar to go to during spring. A new one, expanding from Val d’Isere is Cocorico in Val Claret. It’s a lively venue with all the usual dancing on the tables and singing along to classics like Bohemian Rhapsody.
Photo: Facebook Cocorico Apres Ski Tignes
9. Ski off-piste down Les Orielles de Mickey
For advanced skiers and experts only and one to be tackled with a guide, the Les Orielles de Mickey is off-piste terrain with challenging couloirs. Its name comes from the previous telecom antenna which was reminiscent of the ears of the Disney character Mickey Mouse because of its two satellite dishes attached to the relay station at the top of the Pointe du Lavachet. It’s just at the top of the Toviere lift and overlooks the resort’s dam as you ski down into Lac de Chevril.
10. Party until the early hours
Two recommendations are Le Blue Girl situated in the basement of the Sefcotel building. It doesn’t close until 5am, so is ideal for extreme party animals that enjoy French Europop, techno and regular themed nights. Le Melting Pot is also a good one for electro, hip-hop and drum and bass and is located in Tignes Val Claret.