Tignes is the surf shack to the Yacht Club of swanky, neighbouring Val d’Isère. Tignes ski resort is an innovative, modern resort with a long season and high, snowsure pistes and this is where the skiers come to ski, rather than to be seen. 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 that can close quickly when the weather comes in.
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.