Tignes is situated at the end of the Haute Tarentaise valley. In the summer months, access to Italy and the Maurienne valley is possible thanks to the nearby cols (Petit Saint Bernard and Iseran) – but in winter, the cols are closed to cars. Tignes lies in a snowy “cul-de-sac” meaning there is just one road in and out. The journey up from Bourg Saint Maurice is fairly long and winding – but spectacular! Watch out for the glaciers high above the road just before Les Brévières that then give way to the dam holding back the icy waters of the Lac du Chevril.
Flying to Tignes
The two largest airports that serve Tignes are Lyon and Geneva. The approximate transfer time from these airports to resort is between two-and-half to three hours. From Geneva, if you are following directions from a GPS navigator, be warned that many people have ended up going through the Mont Blanc tunnel towards Aosta in Italy only to find themselves stuck because the Col de Petit Saint Bernard is closed in winter. Follow directions to Chambéry, Albertville, Moutiers then Bourg Saint Maurice. There are also flights that come into Grenoble and Chambéry. These provincial airports have shorter transfer times, but fewer companies fly there.
- Chambery to Tignes 142km, transfer time around 2hrs
- Geneva to Tignes 200km, transfer time around 3hrs
- Grenoble to Tignes 210km, transfer time around 2.5hrs
- Lyon St Exupery to Tignes 220km, transfer time around2.5hrs
Taking the train
Bourg Saint Maurice is the nearest town to Tignes. It has a train station served by the Eurostar direct and Eurostar via Paris services. There are also TGV’s from Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble and Chambéry but research this carefully in advance because the routes are not direct and not always regular – you can look into timetables via the SNCF website. The transfer time from Bourg to Tignes is around 40 minutes. There are taxis available from Bourg as well as buses. In addition to this, there are a number of private transfer companies, many of which are British run.
The distance from Calais to Tignes is approx 1000 kilometres. The average journey time is around 11 hours. If you are docking in at Cherbourg allow for an extra journey time of around 2-3 hours. The parking in Tignes le Lac, Val Claret and Lavachet is available in underground car parks bookable on arrival or in advance via www.tignes.net. The cost for a week’s parking is approx 75 Euros. Some hotels also have private parking spaces for their clients. In Tignes les Brévières there are two car parks, which are open-air and free of charge. In Tignes les Boisses (1800) there is also free parking (open-air).
Getting around resort
Once in resort it is easy to access facilities in the three highest villages – such is the convenience of purpose built resorts! There are regular free buses. If you are staying in les Brévières and wish to head up to the other villages by means other than skiing, please note there are no bus services which link this village to the others. You are, however, able to get on the chairlift “Brévières” which takes you up to les Boisses. From Boisses you can get the free bus to Tignes le Lac. This service is only available during the day (approx every 30 mins) so not a viable option for the evening.