The glacier no longer offers skiing 365 days a year (but is open in all four seasons and in total for nearly 10 months). For eight months a vertical drop of 1400 metres is maintained, with the aid of snow-making if neccessary. The resort has five different base areas, the main one being Val Claret, with Le Lac and Le Lavachet nearby. Lower down the mountain is Les Boisses and a renovated old village Les Brevieres, at the lowest point in the system – 1550 metres (higher than many ski areas end, but with 2000 metres above it!). Night life isn’t as extravagant as you might expect for such a large resort, but there are plenty of spots for an après-ski drink or an energetic night out, live music or chilled fireside drink.
The Ski Area
The ski area above the world famous resorts of Tignes and Val d’Isère is generally regarded as one of the world’s best, with some regular skiers saying it’s so good, there’s no need to ski anywhere else.
Previously named after ‘local boy’ Jean-Claude Killy who won triple gold at the 1968 Winter Olympics, it’s a vast area of some 10,000 hectares, containing 300km of groomed pistes, extending over one of the biggest lift-served verticals on the planet – more than 2,000 metres of it and that ascending from high base village altitudes too.
Although best known for its incredible freeriding terrain and world-class racing slopes (Val d’Isère is one of just a handful of resorts to have hosted World Cup, World Championships and Winter Olympic downhill races), there is in fact plenty of skiing for every ability level, with well-designed nursery slopes, world-class terrain parks for freestylers and seemingly endless kilometres of wide sunny blue and red pistes for holiday makers.
Both Tignes and Val d’Isère are world class resorts of course, each with a good selection of bars, restaurants, shops and accommodation ranging from budget up to four star in Tignes and right the way to super-luxury in Val d’Isère.
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