The glacier resort of Tignes in the magnificent Savoie Alps is widely recognised as one of Europe’s, if not one of the world’s most comprehensive ski destinations. With only a half-hour ski or 15-minute drive to the established resort of Val d’Isere, a holiday in Tignes really gives you two resorts in one.
The Espace Killy is France’s largest ski area, and is certainly one of the most snow-sure resorts in the Alps, meaning the resort and lift system is always open in the second week of May. Whilst increasingly popular with all nationalities Tignes has at the same time been able to maintain its original French Alpine ambience.
The Grande Motte glacier – a symbol of Tignes
The main resort, built at 2100m is set beneath the beautiful twin peaks of La Grande Motte (3656m) and La Grande Casse (3852m). The easily accessible Grande Motte glacier provides skiing for 10 months of the year; as a result it has become one of the most respected summer destinations for national ski team training. During the winter the ski area is transformed and Tignes slopes cover over 300kms (190 miles) of marked pistes. And with 20 green to 14 black runs and easily-reached off-piste, the skiing is suitable for all standards and ages. There are also two great snow parks in the area: one in Tignes and one in Val d’Isere.
The Grande Motte can be reached by the state-of-the-art funicular or by a long two-stage quad-chair – both routes start in Val Claret. The train only takes five minutes to reach the ‘Panoramic’ mountain restaurant; from there you catch a cable-car raising you to 3456m, the top of the glacier.