"Tignes - snow capital of the world" Tignes by Chris_T

Tignes Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 64 photos

Tignes (and Tignes Les Brevieres) - France

I have a soft spot in my heart for Tignes (and especially Tignes Les Brevieres) - Les Brevieres means "the little" so its Baby Tignes to everyone else. Tignes has an amazing history since it used to be a village in its own right but the French Authorities decided they needed a hydro-electric dam and Tignes was the place to put it - so they built it, flooded the original village (which is still there to explore when they drain the dam - once every ten years) and hey presto, they had a power staion. Unfortunatley, a few years later they developed nuclear power and the Tignes dam now exists as a huge battery - it supplies power to the ski resort in the winter twhen they need lots and the, in the summer when the drain is low, they use excess power to pump all the water back up the mountain so they can do it all again next year - kind of a waste of a village....

Its a skiiers dream

I've travelled around quite a few ski resorts and I think I have to say that Tignes is probably one of the nest resorts the world has to offer - having said that, I've not been south of the equator yet so there may be some surprises in store. Tignes offers runs for all grades (although one thing about the whole area is that every run in Tignes or Val D'Isere is steeper than its counterpart anywhee else) - it also offers a great insight into the more French side of holiday life. To explain - Val D'Isere (which is in the next valley and linked to Tignes) is like Benidorm in the snow - full of plastered brits, Tignes - on the other hand - is essentially French and will give you a look at how the French holiday - don't get me wrong, there are plenty of brits thee and everyone speaks really good English - but the lifestyle is basically French.


Tignes is located in the Rhone-Alps about six miles from the Italian border (in fact, if you drive a bit down the mountain, take a right turn and drive all the way back up again, you can go straight into Italy - though not in the Winter cos its all snowed in...). Its about 2 1/2 hours drive from Geneva (3 hours by coach) and roughly the same from Lyons. Drive from Calais and you're in for a twelve hour ordeal - though its worth it when you get there., Once you're there you have no need to go anywhere else - there are 1500 kms of pistes, more nightlife, restaurants, hotels etc than you could ever require and you can even get things like jacuzzis, outdoor (really warm) swimming pools and fast food within a 500 m walk. If you like snow - this is the place.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Its snowsure, picturesque, fun and easy to get to
  • Cons:Brits.......and French people !
  • In a nutshell:Go and see it - you'll be struck...
  • Last visit to Tignes: Jan 2003
  • Intro Updated Mar 16, 2003
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