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The French Alps ski specialist

Client Review: Tignes December 2023

image Thursday, 07, March, 2024


The large, well-linked high-altitude resort of Tignes boasts 300km of skiing, with its varied terrain, easy ski access and excellent lift system. From complete beginners to thrill-seeking off-pisters, Tignes offers something for everyone! Our loyal client and her family chose the resort for their December 2023 ski trip, read all about it below! 

“Hey kids – don’t forget to pick up lunch!” enthused a father at the Eurotunnel Flexiplus lounge.   At daybreak near Dover the excitement was mounting as families set off on their pre-Christmas ski holidaysWhat teen would fill their Flexiplus bag with porridge and a salmon sandwich, when they could choose festive cakes, crisps and a gingerbread Christmas tree?!   Once we’d picked up treats and hot drinks it was time to head back to the car for the short tunnel crossing, which we barely noticed, being happily engrossed in a festive episode of “I’m sorry I haven’t a Clue!”. 


After an overnight stay in Beaune, we looked forward to the first sighting of snow-capped mountains, which came soon after Chambéry.   As we paused at Super U in Bourg Saint Maurice for our food shop, my husband and daughter jumped in surprise when who should pop up behind them at the cheese counter but le re Nl himself!   


Considering that Tignes is one of the highest resorts in Europe, the drive up the mountain was straightforward, with barely a hairpin bend to negotiate, and scenic views of other ski villages such as Villaroger (Les Arcs) and Sainte Foy along the wayBefore long the road meandered through a beautiful forest of snow-covered treesOur excitement mounted as the vast Lac du Chevril came into view and we crossed the dam high above the pretty village of Tignes les Brévières.   

On arrival at Ynycio, a newly built, slopeside residence in Tignes Val Claret, the first challenge was parking the car. This involved reversing it into a lift, roof box and allWe were then shown to our two-bed duplex apartment, which, despite being on a low floor, had a superb piste and mountain view We also had the luxury of our own private sauna Stepping out on the balcony at dusk, the entrance to the underground funicular railway looked intriguing. We looked forward to taking the funicular and cable car to the Grande Motte glacier later in the week. We also spotted a few chairlifts starting just below the residence. Finding ourselves on the same level as the ski room, and having access to door-step skiing made Ynycio the perfect base for our family of enthusiastic skiers.    

We were fortunate that the week began with three days of sunshine and excellent early season snow conditionsThe first day’s mission was cruising the wide slopes of Tignes in search of L’Aiguille Percée, with the final ascent being on a slow older chairlift, allowing plenty of time to admire this amazing rock formationOnce at the summit, the view through the eye of the needle towards Tignes Val Claret far below was truly spectacularWe then enjoyed the long descent to Tignes les Brévières, passing some impressive icicles on the gentle forest run just above the villageWe gradually made our way back via Tignes le Lac, pausing for a crêpe at a kiosk in the main squareContrary to what your teen may say, you do not need to take the Chardonnet drag lift to get back to Val Claret.  It was only after I had completed the steep icy ascent that the children confessed that this drag lift was accurately marked difficile on the piste map!  Whereas higher up, the Col du Palet draglift was more straightforward, and we enjoyed a few laps on it later that afternoon. 


Being based in Val Claret we also had quick access to the Val D’Isère ski areaThe highlight of the week was heading up to the Glacier du Pisaillas via the legendary Leissières chairlift, which gives an exhilarating roller coaster sensation as it crosses the ridge from the Solaise area and swoops down the other side.  

As we climbed further on the Cascade chairlift our daughter exclaimed “Oh look! There’s a T Bar! – I’ve seen them on TikTok and always wanted to try one!”  Taking my first T Bar ride in twenty-five years, high on the glacier, felt a world away from the well tracked pistes in the central part of the ski areaWe all loved doing multiple runs on the glacier before skiing some of the Solaise pistes on our way back to Tignes.  


Later in the week, the weather turned wintry with fresh snow, sometimes accompanied by high winds.  This gave us the opportunity to enjoy longer lunches in cosy mountain eateries, starting with a visit to the original Folie Douce.  It did not fail to live up to expectations, with its fascinating ornate interior of chandeliers and flying horses.   The self-service restaurant was unsurprisingly more expensive than some of the others we tried, but the food was delicious, from the charcuterie and salads to the pasta dishes and frites.   On another snowy day we paused to have lunch by a roaring fire at a slopeside pizzeria in La Daille, before skiing down to take the Funival mountain railway. 


After long days on the slopes, we looked forward to heading to the Ynycio pool area each evening.   Once we’d warmed up in the steam room or sauna, we enjoyed relaxing in the atmospheric outdoor jacuzzi, and chatting to other familiesAt dusk the piste was illuminated by the multicoloured lights of Coco Rico barWe then watched the snowploughs heading up the mountain as night fell. 


On the final Saturday the sun came out again. Whilst some members of the family made the most of being able to ski the fresh snow on the quieter changeover day, the others drove the car down to Tignes Les Brévières, where we all met up for lunch at La Bouida at the foot of the slopes. It was hard to leave the Alps after an exceptional week skiing in Tignes Val D’Isère for the first time.  Whilst much of the holiday was spent cruising round on intermediate pistes, family members had also enjoyed a few challenges along the way, from skiing La Face de Bellevarde Olympic run on a sunny morning, to negotiating an unpisted red mogul field in the fog.    We loved it all from the excitement of the mountain funiculars, to the stunning scenery and the variety of ski itineraries available.   

If you're ready to book your next ski holiday or if you need some advice on where to stay, call us on 023 9283 9310 or request a quote and we will find you the perfect Alpine holiday! Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get all the latest news and deals.

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