Tignes and Val d’Isere – All You Need to Know
The world famous ski mecca of Espace Killy in the French Alps is comprised of the Val d’Isere and Tignes resorts – two absolutely unmissable locations for anyone with the slightest taste for the white stuff. What’s more, Tignes and Val d’Isere are without a shadow of a doubt two of the best resorts in the Alps for year-round fun and games, with tons of pursuits stretching right through into the summer.
Even on paper, the resorts need little selling – more than 156 ski runs spanning 300 km of pistes and close to 90 ski lifts delivering the intrepid to their starting points. In addition, you’ll also have access to two snowparks, two glaciers, 45 km of cross-country runs and even a slalom stadium! The lowest point in the ski area is 1550 metres and the peak rises to 3550, making it a 100% sure-fire bet for some of the best powder around.
The season in Tignes begins as early as September when the glaciers become available for skiing, while the pistes across the rest of the ski area open in November and carry right on through until May. Val d’Isere on the other hand also runs from November until May, but then reopens for summer glacier skiing in late June. When Tignes and Val d’Isere say they’re year-round resorts, they don’t half mean it!
Winter vacations in Val d’Isere and Tignes are both absolute dreams come true. The region as a whole is a textbook example of a place that despite having been purpose-built for tourist hordes is still beyond charming and traditional in every way. What’s more, this is also one of the best places in the French Alps for any travelers on strict budgets, as literally all pockets are catered for from shoestring weekenders to budget-busting millionaires.
The lift system is as expansive as any you’ll find the world over and delightfully well-organised and car-free resorts make the safest choices for families travelling with children.
For those on the lookout for pure relaxation and the usual picture postcard alpine setting, chances are Val d’Isere will be the better of the two options. The resort was once the tiniest of villages a century or so ago, but by 1935 had already begun making a name for itself as a premier haunt for skiers the world over. And of course, the 1992 Winter Olympic Games transformed the place like never before.
Val d’Isere is a great place for high-quality and low-priced self-catering options, therefore is an excellent choice for families and those with limited money to blow.
With regard to Tignes on the other hand, this is the place best suited to those who take their skiing and boarding a little more seriously. It’s one of those delightful places where first-timers can’t help but feel they’ve travelled to a different planet when they arrive and while it isn’t what you’d call the prettiest in terms of accommodation and tourism developments, the skiing is world class and the hospitality is off the scale.
Photo Source: farm6.staticflickr.com/5135/ – upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/