Tignes-le-Lac, Tignes Val-Claret and Val d'Isère in particular form the Espace Killy, one of the legendary ski areas of the French Alps. A domain that will be very popular again as the February school vacations are in full swing. A perfect destination when it comes to waxing your skis, buying your sun cream and choosing your ski resort for the 2022 season.
Tignes is skiing... all year round
Tignes shows several aspects under the benevolent eye of the Grande Motte glacier, the mountain villages and the modern residences around the ski slopes. Here skiing is king, even in summer on the glacier, but also all outdoor activities from paragliding to mountain biking through fishing. Between Tignes Val-Claret and Tignes-le-Lac, here are two quality resorts to put down your bags in winter. The ski resort of Tignes is nestled in the heart of the Vanoise National Park and its landscapes are breathtaking in winter and summer. From 1 550 to 3 656 meters... Its ski area is twinned with that of Val d'Isère, giving rise to a vast space composed of different playgrounds for skiers on piste, freestyle, freeride and freerando. It is also possible to practice cross-country skiing, as well as a wide range of winter sports and summer outdoor activities. It is one of the few places where you can still ski in summer, thanks to the Grande Motte glacier. At the top of Tignes, the glacier culminates at 3 656 m of altitude. Ski on almost eternal snow with 20 km of trails and 750 m of vertical drop. The most daring try the bumps or the snowpark. Pedestrians can access the different viewpoints, via the cable car or the chairlift, and enjoy the altitude restaurant. Tignes is truly the sports resort par excellence.
Tignes is also known for its lake of Chevril with its famous dam with Hercules (the largest trompe-l'oeil in the world) painted on the buttress. The lake engulfed Tignes in 1952 in the name of the future of France and its industrial development and the first hydroelectric dams. 400 people were displaced. The church of Tignes-les-Boisses, built between 1950 and 1952, recalls the dimensions and characteristics of the former drowned by the EDF dam. The power stations fed by this dam produce more than 900 million kWh per year. At its inauguration in 1952, it was the largest in Europe with its 180 m high vault, nearly 300 m long and more than 40 m thick at the foot. It is still the highest dam in France.
Val-d'Isère and its legendary Olympic track
Val-d'Isère, known as the city of ski champions, offers a still magnificent landscape of mountains. In the heart of the old village, marked by its architecture anchored in the pure Savoyard traditions of old stone and wood chalets with slate roofs, new constructions have been integrated without altering the original soul of Val. At the bend in an alley, an old man is resting on a bench under the shelter of a century-old awning, a cat sleeping next to him. The baroque church is worth a visit. In the next street, the tourist and sports life is in full swing. These are the two faces of Val'.
It has long been the ideal ski resort. It was the birthplace of Jean-Claude Killy who, after winning numerous Olympic and world titles (for the younger ones who didn't know it), gave his name to the ski area of Val-d'Isère and Tignes. We could add other champions, such as the Goitschel sisters, who are still unknown to those under 20, Ingrid Jacquemod, Clément Noël or Victor Muffat-Jeandet. Skis on their feet before they could walk, or almost, these skiers had and still have enough to train. Two glaciers, 300 km of runs, 10,000 ha of snow, a one hectare snowpark. Do you want more? Famous slopes such as the Olympic face of Bellevarde which hosted the 1992 Albertville Olympic Games and the 2009 Alpine World Ski Championships. Strong emotions guaranteed! Other sensations are possible with snowshoeing.
Val-d'Isère is also the kingdom of mountain biking with a fun mountain biking area in the village that offers a series of trails to play and learn techniques while admiring the panoramic views of the mountains, but also numerous escapades for off-road two-wheelers. Cycling is always in the limelight, with cycle touring stations on the Iseran pass route, with 17 km and 920 m of difference in altitude for a nice contemplation of the Alps road and a nice sweat. In summer too, endless hiking on the steep slopes and in theVanoise National Park, of which the Iseran pass is a strategic passage
But if the ski champions are numerous in the area, Savoie also rhymes with gastronomy and Val-d'Isère also has its champions in this field! Let's mention the local boy, Patrick Chevallot, MOF pastry chef (best worker in France), a title he won in 1993. In 1997, he took over the Maison Chevallot from his parents. Another champion, this time in the kitchen, is none other than the starred chef Benoît Vidal, who lives in Le Fornet, a small hamlet of Val-d'Isère nestled at the bottom of the valley, where he has opened his restaurant l'Atelier d'Edmond. A great way to end the day!
When is the best time? If you can enjoy the two resorts all year round, it's obviously in winter that you'll be in a hurry. The ski area opened on Saturday, November 27, 2021 and will close on Sunday, May1, 2022 for Val d'Isère and Sunday, May 8, 2022 for Tignes.
How to get there. By plane (Grenoble, Geneva or Lyon airports), by train (Bourg-Saint-Maurice station, about 30 km from the resorts) or by car
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VAL D'ISERE TOURIST OFFICE - More information on the website
OFFICE DE TOURISME DE TIGNES - More information on the website
ESPACE KILLY - More information on the website
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