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Beginner ski areas in Tignes

Discover the top Tignes beginners skiing


First time skiers and snowboarders, or beginners looking to improve their technique will find plenty of good areas to practise in Tignes. 

Tignes is a good resort to learn how to ski or snowboard and get the skiing bug. With a huge area of the Espace Killy, with slow and gentle lifts and a relaxed atmosphere, it can be a great place to start skiing. With two kindergarten ski areas, four free ski lifts and four nursery ski areas to hone your skills in, plus a total of 20 green pistes and 67 blue pistes in the whole ski area that you can progress onto, you are sure to find your ski legs quickly.

a few people on a chair lift over a wide piste

Best beginner areas

Tignes has 4 different nursery slope areas, one in Val Claret, one in Tignes Les Lac, one in Tignes Le Lavachet and one in Tignes Les Brevieres. There's also a small magic carpet in Tignes 1800. 

Across these nursery slopes there are various beginner specific lifts ranging from drag lifts to chairlifts and even a children’s beginner ski area with a carpet lift in Tignes Val Claret. All these lifts are easily accessible from wherever you may be staying. 

Once you feel more confident on the nursery slopes you can progress higher up the mountain and attempt some of the gentler blue pistes that Tignes and the wider Espace Killy have to offer. In Val Claret there is a beginner designated green area if you head up the Tichot and then the Grattalu, although be warned that the run coming back down to resort can be a little tricky and can take some time, so make sure you are prepared for a little bit of a challenge.

Beginner Runs in Toviere & Les Brevieres
In Tignes le Lac and Lavachet there are a couple of beginner drag lifts and also a beginner chairlift in Le Lac. If you are feeling more confident and want to venture a little further on the mountain head up the Palafour or Chardonnet from Tignes Lac. This will give you access to the lovely, rolling, gentle blue runs that come back down into the village. As always make sure before you head for these you feel fully prepared and confident to tackle something tougher than the beginner nursery slopes.

From Le lac you can also hop on the Chaudannes chairlift. At the top of this lift you can take various blue gentle pistes such as the Petit Col. One of the longest blues down is the Rhododendron which turns into the Melezes and then Mrytilles, which will take you all the way down into Les Brevieres. It will take a long time to do this run so we recommended you do it first thing in the morning and have a much needed relaxing lunch break in one of the little bistros in Les Brevieres.

After a break take the Bubble and the Aiguille Rouge to then ski back down to resort. If you want to keep going, and are not too tired from the morning ski, take the Brevieres and Boissons lifts and attempt some of the blue runs that bring you back down to Tignes Les Brevieres or Tignes Les Boisses.

Beginner Runs in Grande Motte & The Palet
If you have mastered the nursery slopes and are looking to head higher up the mountain then there is plenty to do in the Grande Motte/Palet/L'Aigulle area.

Get the Tichot lift and then ski the small gentle flat run to the Grattalau lift. This will take you higher up and gives you a nice long wide gentle blue run back down to either the Grattalau lift or follow the piste all the way down to Val Claret, the Grattalu piste is designed for beginners who want to progress up the mountain and due to its width it has a designated beginner area at one side. This is recommended first thing in the morning as then you can get a couple of Grattalu runs done, stop for a bite to eat at the restaurant near the lift, and then tackle the slightly narrower and sometimes trickier blue Carline piste down to the village.

If you want to add some more runs in from the top of the Grattalau you can take the Lac run which is a narrower blue but will give you access to all the gentle wide blues that are accessible via the Grand Huit and the Merles Chairlifts. It also gives you a sneaky look at the famous L’Aiguille Percee. From here you can also ski down into Tignes Les Lacs via some long blue pistes.

You can also hop on the funicular from the bottom of Val Claret and head up the Grande Motte. From here you can do some of the more gentle blues on the glacier accessible by the Vanoise and Rossolin lifts, just make sure you avoid the Double M piste down as this is a red, is really tricky, and can get extremely busy and as a beginner, it is not advised. Instead tackle the Genepy or Cairn all the way down to Val Claret.

It is always advisable when progressing in beginner skiing to make sure you feel confident before you head up the mountain. Some of the blue runs in Tignes can be harder than expected so either head there with your instructor or other people in your group just in case it gets a bit trickier at times.

children in the snow garden in Tignes

Beginner ski lessons

If you're learning to ski for the first time, Tignes has plenty of choice of ski schools who teach children's ski lessons and adult's ski lessons. Children's lessons are determined by their age and ability, whilst adult lessons are determined by ability and interests. 

Beginner ski passes & free ski lifts

If you're joining a ski school as a complete beginner, you will probably start off in the nursery areas where a ski pass isn't needed, making use of the free beginner ski lifts mentioned below or just practising on the slopes without using any lifts at all.

These free ski lifts in Tignes give you access to gentle, green pistes that you can start to build your confidence on. 

  • Tignes le Lac: Rosset chairlift and magic carpet
  • Tignes Val Claret: Claret draglift and Bollin chairlift
  • Tignes le Lavachet: Lavachet draglift
  • Tignes 1800 / Les Boisses: Magic carpet
  • Tignes Les Brévières: Pitôts draglift

Children under 5 can get 1 to 15 consecutive days ski passes free. Proof of age will be required at the point of sale and a photo is required for passes of 2 days and longer. 

If you're a skier looking to progress after having already learnt the basics, you can buy a ski pass for as little as half a day. You should consider buying a Tignes only ski pass rather than the Espace Killy ski pass (which includes the neighbouring resort of Val d'Isere).

Intersport - Le Jhana, Tignes Val Claret shop interior

Beginner ski hire

Pre-booking your ski hire in advance allows the hire shop to prepare for your arrival and smooths the process. A key thing you should consider when booking your equipment is how close your accommodation is to the ski hire shop, or to the foot of the pistes for when lessons have finished. Even if there are several equipment options to choose from, we recommend you go for the most basic. Beginner skis are short, flexible skis that are easy to turn or, if you're snowboarding, you'll have a shorter stiffer snowboard that's easier to control and generally cheaper too. You won't need to know about the technical aspects of any of the equipment as ski hire shops will advise you to get the best model for your ability and size once you've booked. 

What should I wear when skiing or snowboarding?

Buying all the gear before you go can be daunting if you’ve never set foot in a ski resort before. The key items to bring with you, along with the obvious ski jacket, ski trousers and sunglasses, are as follows:

  • Layers - thermal tops and leggings, fleeces, hoodies, hats and a good pair of ski gloves and a helmet. Weather on the mountain can change pretty quickly, and you are much better off wearing layers of thinner items as opposed to a big, bulky jumper.
  • Socks - a variety of socks ranging in thickness, it may sound weird but in our experience hire boots can be quite painful with the wrong socks.
  • Sun cream - even when it’s cloudy the sun here can (and will) still get you, and don't forget the underneath of your chin as the sun reflects off the snow too. Don't forget a lip salve with an SPF.
  • Piste map - make sure to always have one in your pocket while you're out on the mountain. You can pick up paper copies from the lift pass or tourist office once you've arrived in resort. 

More inspiration...

Take a look at this year's Ski Pass Prices or, if you're not sure which pass to buy, read Ski Pass Options for more information. Find your way around with Piste Maps for Tignes.