Top 10 things for non-skiers in Tignes winter 2018/19
There's plenty to do if you don't ski or snowboard
Each year many winter-sport enthusiasts visit Tignes for its reliable snow and it’s huge, varied terrain which challenges all levels.
However, if shredding down the mountain does not appeal to you, the resort offers many more activities and alpine experiences. It is worth noting that Tignes is made up of four villages, each with a unique ambience.
Not only is Evolution 2 one of the biggest and most popular ski schools in Tignes but they also have a wide range of activities that everyone can enjoy. You can do anything from husky rides, ice diving under the lake or even enjoy a traditional Savoyard meal in some of their beautiful classic yurts followed by a nighttime sledge down into Tignes Les Brevieres.
Being so high above sea level, Tignes and the Espace Killy ski area really do provide some of the most spectacular views of the French Alps, something no one should really be deprived of. With that in mind, purchasing a six-day pedestrian pass from the ski pass office for a mere €49 gives you the perfect opportunity to experience Tignes scenery without having to even touch a pair of skis or snowboard. You can take the Toviere gondola from Le Lac and have your picture taken in front of Mont Blanc.
In Val Claret, you can travel up the mountain via Tignes new €17 million development called Altitude Experiences, an exciting refurbishment to the funicular and the development of the worlds largest Gondola with a viewing platform, which leads to the glacier. Why not have lunch at the Panoramic restaurant? You can also travel down into the valley via the shuttle bus to Boisse and then the pedestrian lift to Tignes Les Brevieres at 1500m. This quaint village sits underneath the damn and has a more traditional feel with authentic french restaurants.
Walking Routes in Tignes
Tignes works very hard to keep the resort safe, assessable and to get the most joy out of this natural landscape. Each year, when the lake fully freezes over, a path is mapped out so you can walk over it from Le Lac to Val Claret. This tranquil walk takes approx 30 minutes to each village. You can also ice skate on the lake next to Le Lagon. Skates cost a couple of euro to rent, there are aids to support children, and nets for a game of ice hockey.
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Pala’fou was made for adrenaline junkies. An exciting way to end a day on a 3km tobogganing slope. Race through a 40-meter tunnel amidst the natural slope accessible via Palafour chairlift in Le Lac. From 16:45 to 19:30 you can rent a sledge, helmet and head torch, and enjoy this big thrill adventure.
Exert some of that excess energy by renting out a sports space in the Tignespace complex. Not only do they have a climbing wall (bear in mind you have to bring your own harness and rope) and bouldering wall (this is free for anyone to use), but you can also rent out a space to play some indoor football, have a go on the trampolines, or brush up your racket skills with some tennis, badminton or even some squash.
The Lagon swimming pool is located in the heart of Tignes Le Lac, offering spectating views of the mountains with floor to ceiling windows. The Lagoon has three pools: a baby pool, an interactive pool with bubbles and slides and an athletic pool, making this a popular choice for both adults and children. The pool area is €5.50 for adults, €4.50 for children and free for the little ones under 5yrs. The Lagon has a wellness area with jacuzzi’s, saunas and a steam room for only €17,50. If you have enough energy to stick to your gym routine, you can visit the modern fitness area for €10.
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Spas and massage
A winter mountain holiday can be exhausting for anyone, especially at such a high altitude (it can really take it out of you!) So what better way to unwind than spend a day in the many array of spas Tignes has to offer? Three of the most popular you can find is at Les Campanules in Lavachet, the wellness area of Les Suites du Nevada in Val Claret and the Village Montana hotel in Le Lac. Les Suites du Nevada offer everything from waxing and manicures from around €25 to a full body massage and facial lasting around and hour and half for €150. If that happens to break the bank a bit too much for your liking you can make full use of the Village Montana facilities for as long as you like for just €20. This includes access to their outdoor heated pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Access to this area is free if you book a treatment so there is no excuse not to spend the whole day relaxing and pampering yourself.
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Cafés and bakeries
Along with all the fantastic restaurants and bars that are scattered around the town, Tignes has a few amazing bakeries and cafés worth visiting. If you are in Val Claret, visit Planks cafe for a quirky freshly made lunch of pies and craft drinks. Another brilliant option is the Chevallot Bakery and Patisserie located on the Promenade de Toviere in Le Lac. Not only is it fantastic value but when the sun is shining it has a brilliant terrace that could can spend hours sunbathing and gorging on its delights. If you are in lavachet, I suggest La Cantine which will exceed your expectations, with a modern twist on the humble grilled cheese sandwich.
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If you are looking to get out in the evening and immerse yourself in a film, visit the cinema in Val Claret. The show schedule can be found on various noticeboards around resort. The cinema will show box office hits in English two evenings a week.
Although there are many Inter Sports scattered around Tignes for your convenience, the best village for a day of shopping is at Val Claret. The village has an array of fashion stores so you can can update your winter wardrobe. Black Cats, the snowboard specialist shop, stocks all the technical items you will need for the mountains. The Tabac store has an impressive and extensive range of souvenirs. If venturing to Val Claret doesn’t take your fancy there are plenty of options in Le Lac and Lavachet to pick up some holiday gifts or even some local speciality food such as Beaufort cheese or perhaps some Genepi.
A great option is the local market that appears every Thursday and Sunday from midday to the late afternoon. Situated on the Promenade de Toviere, you can get everything from meat to mittens at this local and traditional French market. Once you have exhausted all the shops in Tignes, there is always the option of venturing even further to the picturesque Val d'Isere just the other side of the mountain. There is a local bus service that runs from outside the front of the Maison de Tignes in Le Lac that takes you right across to Val D’isere, so don’t feel limited to just sticking around in Tignes.