Tignes is a group of five villages that form a high-altitude ski resort tucked away in the French Alps, in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. With nearby Val d’Isère, it’s part of the ‘Espace Killy’ ski area, linked by a network of lifts.
The motto in Tignes is “you can ski before and after everyone else” as the resort offers both summer glacier skiing and a winter season stretching from September to May so is one of the most dependable winter destinations in France. With 150 kilometres of runs and such a long season, Tignes really does have something for everyone, but intermediate and advanced skiers are especially well-served.
To enjoy the Glacier views and reach the peak, the resort has a high-speed inclined cable railway, the Grande Motte Funicular that leaves from Val Claret and takes skiers, hikers and sightseers up to the Grande Motte Glacier at 3032m. The journey of 3484m takes between 6-8 minutes and can carry up to 280 passengers at a time.
Once at the top, a visit to Le Panoramic is a must! Located right at the top of the Funicular and situated on the Grande Motte glacier, this restaurant serves gourmet lunch specials with breath-taking views and the steaming, rich hot chocolate is the best we have ever tried!
Finally, you can't go without a trip to Tignes Lac (2100m). A visit to the viewpoint to admire the glittering, stunning lake is an absolute must. It’s also hard to believe that the lake is home to the original main village of Tignes and deep on the lake bed lies the remains of a submerged village. This was the original ski village until 1952, when it was flooded as part of a hydro-electric power scheme which created the new "Lac du Chevril" over the old site.
Trying out the local dishes is a vital part of any trip and the joy of traditional ‘alpine cuisine’ is that it’s not only a rich, hearty and homely affair, it is also great for sociable al fresco lunches on a sunny mountain terrace or cosy evenings round a log fire in a snug pine cabin after a good day’s skiing or walking. Tignes offers a range of regional specialities and here are some of our favourites:
A dish of melted local cheese served in a communal pot over a portable stove heated with a candle, and eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. There are also dessert options made of melted chocolate into which you dip fruit. Try La Casserole in Val-d'Isère, a traditional alpine restaurant for a selection of fondues and lighter, Bourguignonne dishes.
A half-moon of rich cheese that you melt in front of a small table-top grill and spoon over your plate of potatoes, meats, salad and pickles.
An-ever popular dish in the mountain restaurants, this heavy dish consists of potatoes layered with rich cheese, cream and pieces of bacon. Try Coeur des Neiges for this speciality.
We stayed at the beautiful Insta-friendly five-star Les Suites Du Nevada, Maison Bouvier Collection. Chef Jean-Michel Bouvier is passionate about mountain cuisine, (also owning Le Panoramic). The hotel encapsulates ‘mountain chic’, with each room clad in wooden beams, four poster beds and breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains.
We flew from London Heathrow to Geneva with British Airways and after only two hours in the clouds, we arrived to views of the stunning snow-tipped French Alps. The transfer to the village of Tignes takes approximately 3 hours and you pass through beautiful Annecy if you fancied a pit stop!