The après ski scene in Tignes has grown gradually over the years and now enjoys somewhat of a buzz on the weekends during the long ski season.
Lo Terrachu (tel: +33 479 400 348) is a popular option, especially when punters can take advantage of its outdoor decked area during sunny days. The Loop Bar (tel: +33 479 091 589; www.loopbartignes.com) is equally popular, with live music, resident DJs, good beers on tap and a late opening time (0200).
After the bars have closed, cheesy nightclub Jack’s Club (tel: +33 479 065 484) in the bowling centre has late-night dancing until 0400.
There’s now around 70 cafes and restaurants in Tignes to get those taste buds tingling.
Couloir in Val Claret (tel: +33 479 063 264; www.couloirbartignes.com) has risen to be the most popular venue in the resort (book early) with an international menu and a reputation for excellent service.
In Le Lavachet, La Ferme des Trois Capucines (tel: +33 479 063 510) serves up superb French cuisine in a converted traditional wooden farm building and is very popular.
Other options in the resort include the Jam Bar (tel: +33 479 002 105; www.jambar.fr) for excellent Italian fare (and Italian coffee) and Tignes Cuisine (tel: +33 984 583 904; www.tignescuisine.com), which boasts an eclectic menu that includes both Chinese and Indian dishes.
Alternatively, head up the mountain via funicular or snowcat for a traditional Savoyard dinner, then ski or sledge back down by torchlight. Further details are available from the tourist office (tel: +33 479 400 440).
Beyond the slopes:
Outdoors, visitors can try ice diving, dog sledding, skijoring (being pulled along on skis or snowboard by a horse), ice skating or mountain biking on snow. Then there’s horse riding, ice climbing, paragliding and even an ice-driving circuit. The most unique attraction at this resort, however, is the ice grotto at the top of the Grande Motte funicular with its glistening ice sculptures.
Back at the base is the Tignespace sports centre (tel: +33 479 400 440), which offers basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, squash and a climbing wall. The on-site auditorium is a good place to hear live music or see staged performances, and there’s a cinema in Val Claret and a bowling alley in Le-Lac.
All ages will enjoy splashing about in Le Lagon (tel: +33 479 402 995), an indoor aquatic and wellness centre incorporating a 25m (82ft) pool, a ‘fun pool’ with water slides and a lavish spa.
Tignes has families covered with good on-and-off slope childcare and lots of fun activities once the skiing day is through.
The dedicated children’s ski school Les Marmottons (tel: +33 479 065 167; www.lesmarmottons.com) has its own specially marked areas and accepts children from age two-and-a-half to 10. Lessons are available in English. Caro Nonou (tel: +33 661 539 698) in Tignes-le-Lac meanwhile can provide non-ski childcare.
In the evenings, the children’s toboggan runs are always a big hit, while Le Lagon’s (tel: +33 479 402 995) ‘fun pool’ can keep non-skiing kids entertained throughout the day. Additionally, a bowling alley and cinema are also available within the resort.
Tignes is no shopping mecca, but there are a reasonable number of ski and souvenir shops in which to seek out the perfect accessory or gift.
Visitors here can hunt for bargains in the ubiquitous Intersport sports shops (Tignes-le-Lac and Val Claret) with rack upon rack of ski gear and clothing. Snowboarders will also enjoy checking out specialist stores Snowpark (tel: +33 479 065 500) in Tignes-le-Lac and Black Cats (tel: +33 4 7906 4246) in Val Claret.
Take to the skies with a helicopter sightseeing flight over Tignes and the Espace Killy as a whole, which boasts magnificent mountain scenery. Flights are available through Evolution 2 (tel: +33 479 083 529; www.evolution2.com).
There is a good choice of accommodation close to the slopes, mostly made up of catered chalets and a wide selection of apartments in all price ranges. The few hotels in Tignes are concentrated in Tignes-le-Lac and are mostly 2- to 4-star rated.
Hôtel Le DômeTelephone: +33 479 226 591 | Website: http://www.hotel-ledome-tignes.com | Cheap
Linked to the other villages by a free bus service, the 2-star Hôtel Le Dôme has 14 rooms, a cosy restaurant serving local dishes and a small bar. Parking is available on site.
Hôtel Le LévannaTelephone: +33 479 063 294 | Website: http://www.levanna.com | Cheap
Located at the foot of the slopes in Tignes-le-Lac, the pretty wood-clad Hôtel Le Lévanna has a restaurant with a terrace and a cosy bar. This 3-star option also has designated parking space for guests.
Hotel Le GentianaTelephone: +33 479 605 246 | Website: http://www.hotelgentiana.com | Moderate
Founded in 1964, this beautiful, family-owned, chalet has spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi as well as a high quality on-site restaurant. Other facilities at the Hotel Le Gentiana include a swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
Hôtel Le Ski d'OrTelephone: +33 479 065 160 | Website: http://www.hotel-skidor.com | Luxury
This 4-star hotel has modern rooms with balconies, as well as an on-site spa area with a sauna, hammam and Jacuzzi. The on-site restaurant serves gourmet local fare every day, as well as a seafood buffet on Thursdays, while the bar is a good spot for a relaxing drink at the end of the ski day.
Les Suites du NevadaTelephone: +33 479 416 830 | Website: http://www.les-suites-du-nevada.com | Luxury
Having recently been upgraded, this is Tignes' first 5-star hotel. Situated in Val Claret, the all-suite accommodation here is complemented by a luxury spa, a chic bar and a gourmet eatery.
Hôtel Les CapanulesTelephone: +33 479 063 436 | Website: http://www.campanules.com | Moderate
A traditional Savoyard family-run hotel located a short walk from the slopes, the Hôtel Les Capanules is renowned for high service standards. Facilities here include a small spa area.