Cross Country:44km of trails,including 20km of tracks on the frozen Lac de Tignes
10 December 2017 (7 nights)
7 nights | Guide prices per person
Excellent Mark Warner Chalet Hotel L'Ecrin Du Val Claret. Facilities food and staff all excellent.
Ski Solutions Expert & Skier
27 September 2016
This is the perfect choice for a relaxed family ski holiday in Tignes. The staff couldnt be more charming, the facilities are perfect for kids and adults alike and after a day carving up the Espace Killy there is nowhere Id rather be than in front of the crackling fire in the lounge bar.
Consistently a favourite with Ski Solutions clients, the delightful L’Ecrin du Val Claret combines the excellent facilities of a four-star hotel with all the charm and character of an Alpine chalet.
Located in Val Claret, there are plenty of bars and restaurants close by and better yet you are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the exquisite glacier skiing on the Tignes side of the Espace Killy.
The chalet hotel’s spa is a relaxing haven in which to ease any aches or pains. It comes complete with beautiful pools, two saunas and two steam rooms, not forgetting a number of treatment rooms offering superb therapies.
Indulge in a truly first class menu at the hotel’s restaurant featuring Alpine favourites. From warming soups to cheesy tartiflette, the food at L’Ecrin du Val Claret is truly delicious.
The traditional bedrooms each room comes with a generous sized television, telephone and mini bar. The bathrooms have a heated towel rail and hairdryer, alongside separate WC. Some rooms have a balcony. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout your stay.
Tignes ski holidays offer a large and lively atmosphere with world class snow-sure skiing on the doorstep.
Tignes was created before the French discovered the benefits of making purpose-built resorts look attractive, although it has to be said that some attractive new buildings are being added. The renovated old village at the lowest point of the slopes is a favourite lunch spot and a friendly and nice place to stay.
Tignes lies at an altitude of 2,100m and the main settlement is at Tignes Le Lac, which also has a satellite suburb called Le Lavachet, but there is another satellite development along the road at Val Claret, at the foot of the lifts up to the Grande Motte. Getting between the various parts of Tignes is easy enough on skis during the day and Le Lac and Le Lavachet are within reasonable walking distance of each other. A shuttle bus service links Val Claret with the rest of Tignes. It runs frequently during the day, half-hourly after 8.30pm and hourly after midnight throughout the night.
Most chalet holidays and hotel holidays packaged by operators other than ourselves include in the price return charter flights and coach transfers to the resort. Many regional departure airports are also available. Please enquire for details. Additionally, many tour operators offer the option of rail travel to French resorts either by daytime or overnight Eurostar or overnight Snowtrain.
For clients travelling on tailor-made holidays with Ski Solutions A La Carte we are able to offer a wide range of scheduled flights from a variety of UK airports to suit personal preferences with such carriers as:
Swiss for Geneva or Zurich British Airways for Lyons, Geneva, Zurich, Salzburg, Turin or Venice There are several low-cost carriers which have widened the choice of departure points and destinations in particular from Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh which we are happy to book on your behalf as well as other scheduled airlines.
Easyjet for Geneva, Basle, Zurich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Lyons, Grenoble, Turin, Milan or Venice Ryanair for Salzburg, Friedrichschafen, Basle, Grenoble or Turin as well as Globespan , Flybmi and Flybe.
Onward transfers to resorts are by hire car, taxi, train (Switzerland and Austria) or scheduled bus service as appropriate. For French resorts we are able to offer the popular daytime Eurostar service which runs weekly on Saturdays.
|Lower Depth:||78 cm||Piste Conditions:||Spring conditions across the resort|
|Upper Depth:||200 cm||Runs to Resort:||Spring snow|
|Fresh snow depth:||20 cm||Off-Piste:||Spring snow|
|Best Snowfall week||27-Apr-2015||25-Apr-2016||27-Mar-2017 (8%)|
|Best Base week||30-Mar-2015||07-Mar-2016||27-Feb-2017 (8%)|
Cross Country:44km of trails,including 20km of tracks on the frozen Lac de Tignes
Tignes links with Val d'Isere to form the Espace Killy which is simply on of the most impressive areas in the world for both on- and off-piste skiers.
With a resort altitude of 2,100m, a Tignes ski holiday offers one of the most snow-sure ski trips in Europe. Six weeks or more after some Austrian and Italian resorts have closed for the season Tignes will still be offering first-rate winter snow right down to village level. The Grande Motte glacier means that you can ski here nearly all year round. (Usually the lifts are closed only in late May/June and part of September.) Three black pistes have now been made safe but left ungroomed for the benefit of freeriders. These are Paquerette, Epilobe and the face of the Aiguille Percee.
The highest skiing in Tignes is to be found on the Grande Motte where the lifts, which include a hugely impressive underground funicular and a couple of high-speed quad chair-lifts, rise up to 3,500m on the glacier. The magnificent long runs from here down to Val Claret at 2,100m and around by the Col de Fresse are usually in great shape throughout the season. There are also plenty of good long runs from Toviere, where the skiing of Tignes links with that of Val dIsere, down to both Le Lac and Val Claret. Skiers who enjoy steep walls and bumps should be sure to check out the black Trolles piste from Toviere right down to Le Lac.As part of the Espace Killy, Tignes offers access to more than 100 lifts and over 300km of pistes. The links over to Val dIsere are fast and easy thanks to the Aeroski in Tignes Le Lac, which runs up to Toviere and the state-of-the-art high-speed six-seater Col de Fresse chairlift which runs up from Tignes Val Claret. Most decent skiers will want a full Espace Killy lift pass, but a separate Tignes ski-pass is available, giving access only to the Tignes half of this vast area. This could prove attractive to intermediate skiers on a very tight budget.
There is lots more good skiing both cruising pistes and steeper, more challenging stuff on Palafour side of Tignes. From the summit of the Aiguille Percee (2,765m), a striking eye-of-the-needle rock formation, you can take a variety of on- and off-piste routes all the way down to the little village of Tignes Les Brevieres which, at 1,550m, is the lowest part of the Espace Killy. There are huge off-piste opportunities in the Tignes area, including routes such as the Tarentaise Tour, which takes you to the village of Champagny-en-Vanoise, which is actually part of the La Plagne ski area. Naturally these itineraries should only be undertaken in the company of a qualified guide.
Incidentally Tignes has been investing heavily in recent years. This include a high-speed six-seater chairlift from Le Lavachet to the Aiguille Rouge which greatly improved access to the main slopes for residents of Le Lavachet. Another new high-speed six-seater, the Chaudannes chair, provides instant access to the north-facing slopes above Tignes Les Boisses. The completion of a long-awaited scheme to bury the main entrance road into Tignes Le Lac in a tunnel has created a seamless Front de Neige piste link between the Palafour and Toviere sides of the area. However you do have plod and pole a bit on the flat ground to get from one side to the other.
A big area with a big reputation among boarders.
Tignes has long been associated with the development of skiing and other sports de glisse (literally sliding sports). Local Henri Authier was one of the biggest exponents of freestyle skiing in the 1970s and in 1984 was among the first to import the Winterstick (a precursor of the snowboard) to France from the United States. In 1987, the first ever half-pipe competiton in France was held in Tignes. Today Tignes continues to offer plenty of opportunities for riders to practice the wildest tricks in its special 2km long snowpark which has moved for the winter of 2003/2004 from Le Palafour to the bottom of Double M and Carline in Val Claret. It contains pipe for beginners, a Pro pipe and a boardercross course, as well as a separate area for beginners and children.
The modern lift system in the Espace Killy, comprising mostly chairlifts and gondolas, is well suited to boarders. The top section of the Grande Motte is flattish and ideal for beginners and early intermediates. Most other slopes are steep enough to provide ideal boarding conditions for intermediates and experts alike and there are also lots of off-piste routes to be explored with a guide.
The slopes around Tignes are not over-endowed with good eating places. The excellent La Fruitiere in the middle of the La Daille sector at the top of the telecabin and just beside the Tommeuses express chairlift, which is technically in Val dIsere territory, can actually be reached even by those who have only a Tignes lift pass.
There is a vast but well-run self-service establishment at the Panoramic at the top of the Grande Motte funicular, as well as a comfortable service restaurant which does good grilled meats. The Bar-Restaurant de la Grande Motte at the foot of the funicular has jolly staff, good value food and a sunny terrace. At the top of the funicular up the Motte, Le Panoramic has a big self-service area and a small, but very good, service restaurant. The Chalet du Bollin, just above Val Claret, has service and self-service sections and can be reached even by novice skiers or boarders. There are several so-so restaurants down at Tignes Les Brevieres, of which the most popular is probably La Sachette. However undoubtedly the best lunch in the area is to be found at the first floor restaurant of LArbina, just across from the Aeroski telecabin in Le Lac, which has an excellent sun terrace for good weather and first-rate food and wine. Tellingly, around 80% of its lunchtime clients are based in Val dIsere.
The western side of the Tignes bowl has been much better served for restaurants since the construction of the attractive LAlpage at the top of the Chaudannes chairlift. This has both service and self-service sections and from the terrace there is a superb view of the Grande Motte.
A good ESF and plenty of good independent competitors.
Under the enlightened direction of Jean-Louis Ottobon, the Ecole du Ski Francais (ESF) here is one of the best in France. Evolution 2 is a respected competitor. The Snocool is a specialist snowboard schools. The Development Centre offers 2 day "Skills" clinics and 3 day "Coaching" clinics in both Tignes and Val d'Isere as well as off-piste Adventure Weeks.
Tignes is well served for childcare for children from 2 years upwards, but not for younger babies. Les Marmottons kindergarten combines ski lessons with Evolution 2 for 3 years upwards. Groups of 10 max. 5 or 6 full or half day courses with or without meals. The lunchtime restaurant is equipped with TV and video. Only two tour operators offers childcare facilities.
This lift passes covers Tignes and Val d'Isere;half day and pedestrian passes; family discounts; 5-day plus passes valid for one day in Three Valleys, one day in Paradiski;two day plus pass gives free access to Lagon pool and ice rink.
6 days lifts passes: -Under 14: 175 -14 to 64: 218 -Over 65: 175 -Free over 75 years
A better selection than you might expect
Tignes now has about 60 restaurants, many of which are much-of-a-muchness, providing relatively low-cost dining for the huge number of self-catering visitors. However for gourmets the first choice must be LArbina. On its first floor this unpretentious three-star hotel has a dining room and wine list that one would be lucky to find in a good four-star property. Pat the patron is very passionate and knowledgeable about his wines especially those from the Rhone valley - and has many interesting unlisted bottles he is happy to serve to those whom he feels will appreciate them. Copies of Robert Parkers definitive guides lie on the bar for reference.
Just along from LArbina is the Clin dOeil, a tiny little restaurant with space for about 24 people run by a two-man team. The food is truly inspirational and there is an interesting and very competitively priced wine list. Les Campanules is another good restaurants in Le Lac.
The Le Caveau is one of the better places in Val Claret. The Ski dOr is a Relais & Chateaux hotel also in the Val Claret area that has a decent formal restaurant but rather more questionable decor. In Le Lavachet, La Ferme des Trois Capucines claims to be the highest year-round working farm in Europe. It also has an atmospheric restaurant, where you eat traditional Savoyard fare while watching the cows behind a glass wall.
In Le Lac our favourite spot is the Loop Bar & Restaurant. Now entering our 7th year, the Loop is in a prime position, right at the foot of the slopes in Tignes Le Lac. The huge sunny terrace is the perfect place to kick back with one of their famous gourmet burgers, while supping on a cold beer, Magners or Guinness. Happy Hour at the Loop is something of an institution - check out the listings and in-bar info for details of drinks promos, deals on delicious apres-food, live band and DJ sets and of course not forgetting sports.
Over in Val Claret we really like the Couloir Bar & Restaurant. Now under new management, they have assembled a super-friendly team and refurbished the bar and restaurant to a very high level. The talented kitchen team has created an imaginative and contemporary dinner menu - couple that with the extensive range of beers, wines and spirits inspired by world travel and you've got yourself a fantastic drinking and dining experience all soundtracked by feel-good funk, soul and lo-fi playlists.
For night owls, the top late-night haunts are Les Deep and Jacks Club in Le Lac and Le Blue Girl.
Some alternatives for non-skiers
Tignes has plenty of alternative activities for adventurous non-skiers (and indeedskiers), including ice diving, snow rafting, ice climbing as well as aircraft and microlight flights.