One of our team and her family took a trip to Tignes in the French Alps last July. From watersports to walking on a glacier, it's the perfect family-friendly destination. Discover what Summer in Tignes has to offer below....
Our journey to the Alps started on a Friday evening, where we set off in two separate cars towards Folkstone. Getting through the FlexiPlus system couldn’t have been easier! We just simply followed the signs, checked in on the automated system, headed through passport control and then straight into the FlexiPlus lounge. Here we could enjoy free sandwiches, drinks, crisps, cakes and hot drinks from the Starbucks vender. After we stocked up on food and drinks, we waited in the priority lane to board the next train, then the journey through France began!
A relaxed 10-hour drive and couple of stops later, we finally had made it to Tignes 1800. We checked into our apartment at the Kalinda residence and took in the beautiful mountain views from the balcony.
Kalinda is situated in the small little village town of Tignes 1800, right next to the church, with a stunning view through the valley behind. We had a 3-bedroom apartment for the week; the master bedroom had an ensuite with a walk-in shower. Off from the other two bedrooms there was a bathroom with a shower over a bath and a separate WC.
After we had fully settled in, we headed down to one of the two bars in Tignes 1800 in the evening. We had a drink whilst some of us tried to stay awake after a long day. The bar also had a takeaway pizza next door which most of the family got to enjoy (if you’re not gluten free like me!).
Waking up from a good night’s rest, we made some breakfast, got the fresh pastries from the Spar shop downstairs and planned out what we were doing for the day. First on the agenda was to get the Tignes Card. This gave us activities to enjoy throughout the week, some activities were unlimited and some you had restrictions on. However, we didn’t even have the time to do all of them in the 7 days we were there!
Booking the Kalinda accommodation meant that we were offered the Tignes Card at a discounted rate, which was brilliant! The process was very simple and the ladies down at reception were very helpful. For ease of use, we decided to load our cards under one name. Once the receptionist had sent us an email with the link to the Tignes App, we were able to download it and get set up. Through the app you can look at how many activities you have left, any events that are on during the week and book certain activities too.
Once the Tignes cards were sorted, we headed up to Tignes Le Lac via the free shuttle bus. It was so handy for us whilst we were there, we used it every day to get between resorts. The buses run every half an hour from 8am to 8pm.
As a family we had never taken a holiday in the French Alps before, this was a completely new experience for us, so we planned out our entire week. The first full day we went for a walk around Tignes Le Lac to get our bearings. We caught the gondola from the centre of the village to the viewpoint of the Mont Blanc, Grande Motte Glacier. From the top, you can either take a walking route down, choose from one of the many mountain bike routes or like us take the easy way back down on the gondola. We ended our little excursion by treating ourselves to a Galette from the market that is there every Sunday and Thursday.
Throughout the week we had many activities booked which also meant we could make the most of the gorgeous weather. The boys did some exhilarating (but a bit scary) mountain biking one morning whilst the rest of us walked around the lake in Tignes Le Lac.
All of us enjoyed a water sports day on the Tuesday. We hired some kayaks, a pedalo and some stand up paddle boards. The ones who were brave enough, went on to the Acroland Slides (not included in the Tignes Card). There are three different levels to the slides, and you have two choices of whether you want to go down on a bodyboard or on your back and be flung into the air. It took me a while to build up the courage to go on the slides, but it was a lot of fun! Very tiring but definitely worth it for the thrill seekers.
We are an active family and always have been growing up, as you can imagine there are quite a few different interests between all of us. A few of us were really eager to go and see the Tour de France come through one of the nearest towns. This was definitely one of those experiences you don’t get to do very often, if you get the opportunity to, I highly recommend seeing it. They have the big convoy carnival that comes through about an hour before the cyclists do. The convoy is a big parade of lots of different sponsors (you also get free stuff thrown at you!). Watching the cyclists come through was brilliant however it wasn’t for very long, they zoomed passed very quickly!
The rest of the week we were doing more activities, which included some archery and mini golf. A couple of us even went back up the Glacier of the Grande Motte, being above 3400m was an incredible experience, the views were out of this world, and you could see for miles.
They have recently introduced E-Scooters in Tignes Le Lac, this and walking were our modes of transport around the resort, which was such a fun way to get about. They cost €0.30 a minute and do get some speed behind them too, we reached 22kmh!
Whilst we were in Tignes, France was celebrating Bastille Day on the Thursday. There were lots of activities going on down in Tignes Les Brevières during the day, and in the evening, they had some live music and some fireworks. We went down to watch the fireworks, enjoy the live music and indulge in some candy floss!
The last day we all pretty much split up and did what we fancied doing, some of us when to the driving range, some went for a walk… We then all met up back at the apartment for a final swim and steam room in the spa.
Most of the evenings we used our self-catering apartment and cooked our dinner meals in the apartment. Down in Bourg Saint Maurice there are a couple of big supermarkets which were great to stock up food for the week, with a wider range of choices and a lot cheaper than going to the little Sherpa shops in Tignes 1800.
On our last night we stumbled across a little restaurant tucked away at the entrance to Tignes Le Lac, which seemed untouched by tourists. The menu was fantastic and had a wide range of traditional French dishes like Raclette and Tartiflette. It was a pleasing note that they locally produced their own cheese with their own cattle; you could taste the difference… trust me!
I went for a lovely suckling pig with mashed potato which was easily the best pork I have ever had. The others had the Tartiflette, Raclette and a Venison with mash and vegetables, all with great reviews. This local French restaurant gave us a final authentic taste of the French Alps in the best way.
This was an incredible holiday and I would definitely recommend a summer holiday in the Alps, especially for families who like a wide range of activities!
If you're ready to book your next mountain 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.