Magical March is here. As we put the madness of the half-term holidays behind us, a chilled party vibe settles on the town. We enjoy longer, warmer days with some great skiing and long lazy lunches in the sunshine.
With fewer families around, you also tend to find far fewer ski schools on the hill which, of course, also means an end to those long, snaking trails of beginners making their way down. It also makes for much quieter lift lines. So, all in all, an ideal month to visit Tignes to make the most of the near-perfect conditions.
Read on for a look at what we like to get up to when spring arrives in town.
What are the weather & snow conditions like in Tignes in March?
There is regular snowfall - on average eight days - and temperatures still dip below freezing at night to freshen it up. In March the average daytime temperatures generally fall between a high of 1°C and a low of -6ºC, getting around six hours of sunshine.
What's on in Tignes in March?
St. Patrick’s Day
March might be considered the party month here in Tignes. Longer days and warmer weather make for better après ski, while more adults and fewer children mean bigger nights in the bars. Of course, one of the biggest parties of the season is on 17th March. For St. Patrick’s Day, even the beer turns green as the bars try to outdo each other with Irish themed nights. Expect promotions on Irish drinks, fancy dress and lots of live renditions of the Irish Rover.
ESF Ski Show
Every week, once a week, on the piste in Le Lac, ESF instructors and The Tignes Sports Club show off their tricks and skills in a spectacular show on the snow front by Palafour. Drink and sweets are provided for the crowd. After the show which will inspire you to get spinning and backflipping, ESF's young pupils descend the mountain by torchlight.
European Snow Pride
Every Winter since 2008, Tignes has hosted European Snow Pride, the biggest gay European Ski week. The resort is dressed in rainbow flags, an LGTBQ+ emblem, and the week consists of organised celebrations, day and night across the mountains. From skiing, to après, pool parties and clubbing, look for the rainbow to get involved.
Tignes Freestyle week
Early March sees this huge freestyle show arrive in resort for a week-long festival dedicated to board culture, with skiing and snowboarding in a park specially designed for the occasion, plus skateboarding, BMX and scooter events in an indoor skatepark, demos by professional riders and entertainment open to all. Expect a chilled atmosphere at parties and concerts.
Check out our events calendar for more information on what's on in resort during March
Now is a great time to take a private lesson or join a group ski or snowboard lesson, with the quieter slopes there's less queues and the softening snow makes for a much kinder landing.
Things to Do
During March, the sky in Tignes will turn from a breath-taking blue to a pretty pink. At night, striking star-consultations are visible. So why not rent a pair of snow shoes and hike up the mountains to breathe in this beauty. Snow shoes can be rented from various shops in resort and a guide can be organised if required. Choose between greeting a beautiful sunrise or camping in a refuge during the night.
As the evenings become lighter, more time can be spent on the mountain. It’s a great time for Palafou. The toboggan run is a thrill-seeking adventure that runs from the Palafour lift in Le Lac each evening. The 3km track, including a 40 metre tunnel, isn’t for the faint hearted, as you will discover the exhilarating speeds that can be reached on a sledge. The experience includes the hire of the sled and a torch lit helmet.
If tobogganing sounds a little frightening to you, head up to Val Claret where the Snowtubing course has an air-bag landing. This course is more child-friendly, as the giant buoys are suitable from age three years and can hold multiple participants. Although, once you have left the start line, there is no way of braking and you can speed up to 45kmph.
Bars & Clubs
When the lifts close for the day hundreds of skiers / revellers head down the slopes to find an après-ski party, and Tignes has a variety of bars happily welcoming you with live DJs, live music and acoustic sets, aerial performances and much more.
If winding down on a sunny terrace with jugs of beer is your après style, look no further than Loop Bar in Le Lac. Sat at the end of Route de Rosset, Loop Bar’s decked terrace captures the sun until it drops behind Col Du Palet. On particularly warm days, DJs spin hip-hop house beats setting the vibe for a stylish sunset party.
Le Coffee in Val Claret also hosts a great afternoon affair, pumping popular tunes into the village. This restaurant is perfect for families as it is situated next to a great sledging slope. Parents can relax with a bottle of wine as the sun exhilarates their children’s adventures.
The village of Le Lavachet is one big sunshine trap, with a choice of restaurants and bars offering happy hour deals.
One thing's for sure, whatever your preferred après party style, you won't have far to stumble in your ski boots to find a jug of beer and some good snacks before you head home for dinner...or not! It's much easier to get a last-minute table for dinner now the school holiday crowds aren't here.