Tignes, Val d’Isère … two popular destinations for French and foreign winter sports enthusiasts. If between Tignes and Val d’Isère, your heart swings, here are some elements of comparison between these two ski resorts.
Tignes or Val d’Isère, which ski resort to choose?
General presentation of both ski resorts Tignes and Val d’Isère
Nestled at the bottom of the Haute-Tarentaise valley, in Savoie, the resorts of Tignes and Val d’Isère form a famous international winter destination. Complementary, they each have developed with their own qualities around an exceptional ski area: Espace Killy, called “the most beautiful ski area in the world”.
Tignes is the most “sporty” resort and welcomes a dynamic clientele and places its infrastructures and sports activities at the heart of its development. New developments in Tignes can be scarce but the last few years has seen a growth of high-end new apartments and semi-detached chalets on the market with prices increasing towards the 10,000 euros/sqm mark.
Not far from there, Val d’Isère appears as a more upscale resort, attracting an affluent and largely foreign clientele thanks to its village full of charm and high-end properties. With very few new-build developments in Val d’Isere coming to the market, prices of new apartments for sale in Val d’Isere can reach 20,000-25,000 euros per sqm. See our new properties for sale in Espace Killy.
Easy access and parking in Tignes and Val d’Isère
From Bourg-Saint-Maurice, a single road reaches Tignes and Val d’Isere in winter as the surrounding mountain passes are closed. Of really easy access, this road is only 30 km to reach both ski resorts. Once you arrive on-site, it is strongly recommended to park your car in the car parks because the parking is regulated and obligatory. Remember to book in advance, especially during the school holidays. Then, no more worries, the shuttle services in the resorts will take you to the different parts of the resort.
In Tignes, the shuttle service is free and consists of 24 stops, from Tignes 1800 to Tignes Val Claret. There are 5 covered car parks and 2 paid open car parks.
Val d’Isère has developed a new pedestrian parking plan with traffic restrictions and free shuttle service throughout the ski resort. Seven paid car parks (indoor and outdoor) are available.
Comparison of Tignes and Val d’Isère ski areas
Tignes and Val d’Isère have an interconnected ski area which they can both access directly (Espace Killy).
With 300 km of ski slopes (40 km of Nordic ski slopes), Espace Killy has 88 lifts, 158 pistes, 2 snowparks and 2 glaciers. Its peculiarities lie in its variety and quality of the snow. Suitable for all levels, from beginners to experienced skiers, it offers a wide variety of slopes with exceptional natural snow, as 60% of them are located over 2200 m. The off-piste potential is also impressive. Open from the end of November to the beginning of May, 900 snow cannons ensure the additional snow supply if need be.
Tignes, however, stands out with its early start in October thanks to its glacier, but it is also one of the few French resorts where you can ski in the summer.
As for Val d’Isère, it offers world-famous ski slopes (Bellevarde, Solaise …) which host well-known sports competitions like the Critérium of the first snow or the World Ski Championships.
Everyday life in Tignes and Val d’Isère
If their ski area is shared and homogeneous, both ski resorts have diametrically opposed locations which give them each a particular atmosphere and feel.
Tignes is set on several levels. For each altitude, a different atmosphere: Le Val Claret (rather festive area), Le Lac (downtown of the resort), Le Lavachet (calm and accessibility), Tignes 1800 (rebirth of a village) and Les Brévières (authentic mountain village). All the different areas in Tignes enjoy quick access to the slopes, the shops and an information point. Most health services, however, are located in Val Claret and Le Lac.
Its success, Val d’Isère owes much to the formidable charm of its village which combines refined mountain authenticity and modernity. Organised around a wide main street dotted with shops, restaurants and accommodation, it has the feel of a pedestrian village that opens onto a vast snow front. Each area of the ski resort offers quick access to the slopes.
Comparative of the “Après ski” offer in Tignes and Val d’Isère
Both in Tignes and Val d’Isère, life outside skiing is very lively because many activities are offered and the infrastructures are many.
Tignes is renowned for being sporty and therefore has many sports facilities, such as the Le Lagon aquatic centre or the Tignespace indoor sports complex (climbing wall, athletics, squash …). It also offers many original activities outside of skiing: mountain biking on snow, ice diving, ice driving, … For the après-ski: bowling, cinema, wellness area but also many bars!
Apart from skiing, Val d’Isère is famous for its apres-ski. For shoppers, 50 sports shops and boutiques are waiting for them. For those who want to relax, the Aquasportif Centre offers them a new, more spacious wellness area. For gourmands, Patrick Chevallot, a famous “patissier” offers pastry classes. And for the sports enthusiasts, many activities are on offer of course. To go out, there is plenty of choice between 92 restaurants/bars and 4 discotheques.
Childcare in Tignes and Val d’Isère
Childcare for families is one of the main criteria for choosing a ski resort. Daycare services, children’s club and other snow gardens are now a must and you can imagine that ski resorts like Tignes or Val d’Isere are doing everything possible to accommodate toddlers.
Everything is planned in Tignes for apprentice skiers. 5 lifts are available for free to make their first turns with confidence, accompanied by fun courses to learn while having fun. Between Le Lac and Val Claret, 4 snow gardens welcome children from 2 ½ years old. Two toboggan runs are set up with open access, at Le Lac and Lavachet.
Val d’Isère, labelled Famille Plus, is a ski resort that makes it easier for families to stay with infrastructures and activities adapted to all ages. From 18 months old, your child can be taken care of at the nursery, then the children’s village takes over from 3 to 13 years. On the ski side, there are 2 kindergartens and 5 lifts which are free for beginners (located on the snow front). For others, 2 quiet ski areas on the ski area allow them to ski safely.
Conclusion of the comparison between Tignes and Val d’Isère
Organised around a renowned common ski area, Tignes and Val d’Isère both fulfil skiers at every level. On the other hand, it is in terms of stay that the differences are most obvious.
Not very charming in terms of its architecture, Tignes attracts a clientele that seeks above all a functional, sporty and dynamic ski destination while Val d’Isère is THE destination for holidaymakers who want luxury nestled in an idyllic setting of an authentic and modern mountain village.