Often regarded as the ‘poor cousin’ to swanky, neighbouring Val d’Isère, Tignes ski resort has gradually shrugged off this label to become an innovative, modern resort with a long season and high, snowsure pistes. The Grand Motte glacier can be skied in July and early August too, and Tignes has a lively summer scene. The main part of the resort is at 2100m, so in the winter the season-long snow cover does what it can to soften the effect of the brutal concrete apartment blocks. The upside: you are on top of the world amongst the excellent pistes, the downside: bleak, treeless landscape.
Tignes alone has 150km of piste, and with Val d’Isere’s pistes this goes up to 300km – excellent, varied, snowy pistes for all abilities, and heaps of off-piste too. In 1952 the Lac du Chevril was created in order to generate hydro-electric power, resulting in the original village of Tignes being submerged. The new Tignes was created higher up the valley, built on a beautiful plateau complete with glacial lake flanked by majestic peaks. Further down are two outposts, Tignes les Boisses (Now Tignes 1800) and Tignes les Brévières, which are friendly, with tree-lined runs and a little more atmosphere but a little less convenience.