Tignes can be overshadowed by its famous neighbour Val d'Isère, but Tignes visitors have a lot of the better slopes on their doorstep...
Together, Tignes and Val d'Isère make up the Espace Killy ski area. But while those who book a Tignes ski holiday will find they've got easy access to great skiing, what Tignes doesn't provide is much in the way of charm. There's a growing number of good chalets, hotels and apartments in the resort, but Tignes is still a pretty bleak place, purpose-built and set high above the tree line. Like many purpose-built ski resorts, the accommodation is broken up into several 'villages' which means the après-ski energy never quite coalesces into a proper buzz.
Tignes is set in a long, high, u-shaped bowl with skiing on three sides and the added bonus of a glacier at the top. Beyond that, to the east, lies a big area of flatter terrain separating it from its neighbour, Val d'Isère, two more valleys and another glacier. Does that sound like a lot? It should - and it's not just the quantity we're talking about, but the quality too. Tignes is where you'll find many of the better pistes, especially for intermediate skiers, and because they're all at a decent altitude the quality of the snow is usually good. For those who are ready to venture off the groomed trails there's a good progression in the difficulty of the off-piste too - culminating in some challenging routes down the Grande and Petite Balmes above the village of Val Claret.
Finally, freestylers will be more than happy in Tignes. There's a half-pipe above the main ski resort, and a great terrain park over towards Val d'Isère.
Geneva, Grenoble, Lyon and Chambery airports all provide access, but the Geneva transfer can take over four hours if the traffic's bad...
You can also take a Eurostar train straight from London St Pancras to Bourg St Maurice, in the valley below Tignes, twice a week. Normal French rail services are pretty good too - and of course you can always drive yourself if the budget's tight.
Tignes has something for everyone and is particularly well suited to advanced and intermediate skiers and snowboarders...
With loads of snow-sure slopes for intermediates to wind down and some fantastic off-piste, the Tignes ski area does not disappoint. Beginners may struggle to make the most of it, though.
With its purpose-built vibe, nobody could call Tignes a beautiful resort. But it does offer great value for money...
Compared with Val d'Isère, Tignes' nightlife is seriously underpowered. There are plenty of places for a drink, but many of them are tiny, and very few of them have the energy of bars such as Le Petit Danois, the Moris, or Dick's in the neighbouring resort. In many of the bars favoured by Brits, Premiership and Champions League football often kills what little atmosphere there is stone dead. The solution is simple, though: if partying is important, bring enough of your friends to create your own buzz.
For dinner, food tends to be traditional French and/or Savoyard (ie lots of cheese). The first-floor restaurant at Hotel L'Arbina in Tignes-le-Lac is the class act in the resort, while Le Grenier which, as its name suggests, was once a barn, is also recommended.
Your non-skiing partner won't thank you for bringing them to Tignes. There's a great pool and sports centre in the centre of le Lac, but Tignes is such a ski (and snowboard)-mad kind of place that anyone who's not on the slopes is going to feel left out. The shopping is limited too. Outdoor activities include skating and dog-sledding.
7/10 Cost of living
Tignes is at the cheaper end of the Espace Killy - although you still pay a premium to stay in this highly rated area. Prices are rising too - these days, everyone wants to stay in high-altitude, snow-sure ski resorts, and Tignes is one of the best known of these. Still, there are good budget apartment and hostel options here too.
6/10 Attractiveness of the resort
It depends whether or not the sun is out. On a clear day, the Tignes bowl is eye-wateringly beautiful. When it's cloudy, the lack of trees and the apartment blocks make Tignes seem very bleak.