First thing to note is that Tignes is a huge resort, the Espace Killy ski area (Tignes and Val d’Isère) translates into 300km of runs, 78 lifts and a mad 3200 hectares of off piste. The Grande Mott glacier looms over the resort at 3456 metres, it’s open almost all year round so you can enjoy skiing in the summer season as well as dabbling in other outdoor activities such as mountain biking and rock climbing. The resort covers four villages starting with Val Claret at the top, then Le Lac, Lavachet and Brévières down the bottom. There are free busses that run between these areas at all hours of the day so travel in between is nice and easy. Tignes is well loved by its seasonaires whom keep coming back year after year, and a few of them have come together to spread their wealth of knowledge on the resort for you here in this guide.
If there’s one thing Tignes doesn’t lack, it is bars.
In the heart of Le Lac, Loop is always a seasonaire go to, good music, not too pricey and the staff are always friendly. They also have a loyalty card which offers you 10% back on every purchase, so when it gets to the end of the week you can see exactly how much you’ve enjoyed the sesh (and sink a few free pints, too). Saloon in Val Claret is a safe bet as well, beer pong with lots of seasonaire parties and events get pretty loose. Le Moose in Le Lac (formally Underground bar) can be a bit of a wild one - cheap drinks and a great vibe, the staff are a riot… ask for a Tequila Pomme it will change your life, or ruin it, 50/50 on that one. Moose had a big revamp over the summer, including the addition of a pool table and bigger bar area.
Brévières has two great bars in the form of The Boot Room and Le Moose. Both are managed by the same people, as Le Moose in Lac, which pretty much guaranties a good time – but they are a bit of a ballache to get back from so bare that in mind if you’re after an après or late night boozer.
A lot of great memories of the antics on season have started in these bars. Plenty of opportunity to buy that steezy park rat that you were eyeing up at apres a beer or two. Trust us, that’s almost all it takes to get them into bed.
Tignes, and subsequently it’s bars, is also a bit of a hub for pro riders. One of us may have had one too many tequila’s and failed to recognise one of these pro skiers... after having a flirt and jokingly telling them to “fuck off,” after our pro told them that they skied, they still managed to walk away with their number, turns out people in the snowsports community are pretty easy.
If you were looking to not go all out there’s also Cave du Loop, which is right next to Loop. Cave plays host to lots of cocktails and wine, which, as we’ve found out, may lead to it not being such a quiet night. Lavachet has the brilliant Box bar and the boys in there will take good care of you.
There’s some pretty epic bar crawls to be done round Tignes. A favourite is to start in Lavachet and go: SoBar, Box, Brasairos, Le Queue De Cochon and then walk over to Loop, Cave De Loop, Marmots and then up to Le Moose. That is if you’re still conscious by then.
There are three clubs in Tignes, Jack’s in Le Lac, Melting and Blue Girl, which are both in VC. Jacks Is the go to after close down in the bars, so it is v seasonaire heavy. That being said, it changed hands last season, so we don’t know if it is reopening yet. Melting is the go to after a night in Saloon, big fans of drum and bass in there. If you’re really after a big one you’d head over to Blue Girl afterwards, with poles dotted across the room there is plenty of opportunity to let out your inner stripper. The ultimate seasonaires test was doing the Dirty Treble: Jacks, Melting then Blue Girl. Why so named? Because you’d feel a new level of grim the day after. The shuttle bus that runs around resort continues through the night at reduced hours. Allowing plenty of opportunities to check out all the bars the resort has to offer.
Events and Live Music
There’s something going on almost every night in every bar. Loop has held some great events, including hosting Sunset Sons, who started out playing in both Tignes and Val D before being signed. SoBar have some good ones like karaoke night and prosecco night. Marmots in Le Lac generally had something on at both après and in the evening. It’s fair to say every bar will have at least something going on each week. Sunday Rum day in Queue De Cochon, Craig Day Rave day on a Monday in Le Moose, Tuesday was Queens of the Snow Stage, Ballad night in Box Bar… you get the idea. Some live acts to watch out for are Queens of the Snow stage. They play all throughout Tignes and are firm seasonaire favourites. Absolute mosh pit madness when they play Killing in the Name! Weatherman sounds is an awesome DJ too, big jungle beats. Kommissar is a Tignes legend and not to be missed, he plays in venues all over the place but can be regularly found in Loop.
A big seasonaire night out was the infamous Bass Station, held in Jacks. No one ever actually remembers the whole night, but when we piece together all our stories it’s pretty epic. (Here’s to hoping Jacks still lives).
Towards the end of season there’s a free open-air festival held by Tignes called Live in Tignes. Live acts playing on a stage set up on the piste behind the Maison de Tignes in Lac. They’re mostly all very French acts, but the vibes are always good and it’s particularly interesting to watch a dude beat some mirrors, nope not joking, that happened.
[Rumours have surfaced that Bass Station has been moved to Melting Pot, and Jacks hasn't lived to see another season]
Loop has the best bar terrace in Tignes, it’s a real sun trap. Added bonus: you can watch everyone stack it down Trolles (notorious black run), whilst you’re sipping on pints. They also put a DJ out there on sunny days, followed by a band inside later. There’s a Coco Rico opening in Tignes this winter, which is going to be a game changer for sure, and will likely take over the title as the best place to long arm a pint between 4 and 5pm. If the weather’s not great, head to Marmots just off Palafour lift, easy go to straight off the piste and there are some great happy hour deals too. To top it off there's also a Folie Douce within one lifts distance from a few points in Tignes, be careful when having an afternoon sesh here though, the last lift back to Tignes closes earlier than you'd think so double check it before you accidentally commit to a much longer journey home.
Tignes Cuisine in Le Lac is great for noodles or a wrap after a hard day on the hill, real comfort food. Le Snacky’s, next to Tuff’s lift in VC, cheap and easy place for lunch or dinner and opens late for a drunken kebab. There’s also Moe’s and Royal Kebab for the early hours stumble home. For a real treat head down to Brev and go to The Boot Room; chicken-nugget-stuffed-crust-pizza, nuff said.
For those who miss home, Brasario do a Sunday Roast dinner that hits the spot, with a glass of wine or beer included in the price. ‘Marmots have the best burgers in Tignes’, sometimes considered a controversial statement, but we’re standing by it.
For a sit-down meal head up to Couloir in VC or Le Queue De Cochon, they do some really good food. Great for a first date or somewhere to take the rents when they visit. There’s also le Refuge which do a mouth-watering raclette for the cheese fans out there.
R & R
For the down days there’s still plenty to keep occupied. Le Lagon in Le Lac has a big pool with swimming lanes as well as waterslides. If you just wanted to chill, the spa is huge and very good; steam rooms, sauna and hot tubs with a lie down area overlooking the lake. Discounts available if you have a season pass.
TignEspace is the indoor sports centre where you can play badminton, table tennis, football, climbing etc. a fun way to spend a white out. There’s a cinema in VC, husky sledding on the lake, ice diving under the lake, microlight rides, paragliding, and the Bun J jump. A real favourite last season was the pala’fou, a 3km toboggan run next to Palafour, which opens when the lifts close.
Tignes hold lots of competitions during the season. From pro events like Half Pipe World Cup final, held in March, to seasonaire comps such as Step Up - two big booters are built in a natural bowl at the top of Tov lift, and everyone just sends it. Those watching can bring up some bevs and find a spot on the hill, whilst a DJ keeps the party going. Then there’s the Box Jam, held in Lavachet right outside Box bar, for convenient hydration. Normal set up of a few rails and a little kicker, it’s a super chill day and everyone can have a go. Tignes Throwdown is the big air event held in Tignes Park, one of the best by far; BBQ on the hill, bevvy’s and some of Tignes best park rats going atomically big. All these events provide a feel good factor by supporting charities and dishing out some pretty rad prizes. All of these comps go down in March and April so if you’re looking for some sendy entertainment whilst in resort this is the time of year to go visit.
Tignes Spirit in Lavachet and Black Cats in VC are the usual hits. Both have a wide range of gear and both do servicing. Tignes Spirit have a local’s card which has a whole bunch of added bonuses, such as one free machine wax and 30% off any full price item. The guys in there are crazy knowledgeable and will help you out no end. They also happen to all be pretty good riders if you’re ever lost for someone to shred with. The guys in Black Cats are the same, easy going and real knowledgeable, and great deals for seasonaires.
For food shopping the best place hands down is Carrefour in Lac. It’s open till 10, the only one that stays open that long and is by far the cheapest. It also has lots of odd bits you’ll inevitably forget to bring from home, like adaptors and batteries. Check out the two-euro bottles of champagne, affectionately known as trampagne. There’s also three-euro litre and a half bottles of sangria if trampagne isn’t for you. Of course, if you’re looking for new threads the AfterJam store can deliver resort wide.
Tignes as mentioned has a huge ski area, so there’s something for everyone. From the top of Grand Motte into VC is a favourite. A wide, long and often pretty empty, you can let fly and get some big turns in at the bottom. Palafour or Grattalu, both are fun runs to play on, lots of side hits and little lips to mess around on. Both are blue meaning there can be a lot of slow moving traffic, so try not to clothesline someone’s kid. Then there’s Trolles, early morning just as it’s been pisted is best. Wide, steep and empty, bliss. Can’t forget though, with Val D only one lift away you’ve got quick access to La Face (the black run used for some world cup downhills), and a strong favourite – Orange. Orange is just off l’Olympique lift and lays host to some huge rollers you can throw some crazy stuff off, just try and miss flying into the ski school conveniently parked right underneath them.
Tignes has plenty of off piste to keep you happy all season. For those who just want to dip their toes; under Palafour lift, it’s located slightly to the left closer to the main run. There’s some good powder but also some hidden jumps if you want to get sendy and have a soft landing. Hidden Valley just past Folie is unreal, but you need bare snow or it’s pretty sketchy, so make sure you hit it after there’s been some good snowfall. For those wanting more of a challenge there’s the Fingers by Trolle’s and Lavechet wall on the other side. The Fingers are notorious in Tignes, and if you can slay them you’ll get mad props from any of the locals.
They were talking about getting a new designer in for the Tignes park this season which would be rad. The main park up by Grattalu has plenty of scope for progression and enough to keep the big boys happy. Last season there were some big booters and a nice rails section with some great lines. The small park offers lots for beginners and intermediates to play with too. Tignes park is super chill, and there’s always some one to ride with. Last season there were some great groups of guys and girls sending it and pushing each other, so you’ll never lack for mates. There’s also the big super pipe which is used for the World Cup tour and the air bag down the bottom in VC which is free to use if you want to nail down those trip corks you haven’t stopped talking about all season.
So many places around Tignes are more than suitable to build a back yard booter. We used to build a kicker out the back of Home club building in Lavachet and set up there on sunny days.
Brev is a bit of a hidden gem, with the new lift running till midnight I think there’s going to be more nights out down there. For those who like trees, the runs down there have a few good lines.
The Tignes app is also super useful, it sends notifications on lift closures and has the shuttle bus time table on there. Finally, if you’re ever tempted even slightly by the prospect of first lifts, try and make sure you get the Funi up to the very top – hitting the runs back down for the first time after a big dump of snow is pretty heavenly.
Knowledge supplied by these three reprobate seasonaires: Sam Hayward, Lucy Spence, and Kiri Snell - all AfterJam ambassadors with different roles out in resort. One managed the infamous TiBar out there, and the other two drank in said bar a lot. When their love for the sesh eclipses that for skiing so often it sometimes makes you question the real reasons people love seasons so much.