Tignes in France is a skiing location that is much different from the boarder adjacent Alps, and other skiing facilities that have put France firmly on the skiing map. The rise of Tignes, initially came with the rise of tourism in the area. During the last 10 years the facilities have been improved immensely with a new state-of-the-art training facility, and freestyle snowboarding facilities being built in the area.
Over the past 10 years, the area has welcomed over 1 million skiers from around the world and has hosted events such as the European freestyle snowboarding championship and the French Skiing open. The facility has two parallel mountains that are near local townships, making the area an ideal place for holiday makers and serious skiers alike. With a 25 000 feet slope, and on-site mountain safety rescue the area really has pulled out all the stops to place it self up their, as one of the top skiing destinations around the world. The world renowned training facility has multi-lingual instructors and even has 4 classrooms, where skiers are taken to watch footage, and get shown the ropes from a less practical perspective. The slopes 1 million visitors in the past 10 years have came from all around the world, many of which learned how to ski on their first visit to the slopes.
With many great deals for holiday makers, and with accessible road routes all over mainland Europe it is no wonder Tignes is generally considered the first choice for holiday makers looking to Ski in the region. Tignes has also went to some effort to promote itself even further by a 5 million dollar regeneration project that went on in the region. A new ski slope was built, along with the infrastructure to allow the development of hotels and even a shopping precinct. The area has also underwent major changes in order to make it more accessible, for more of the year, with an indoor facility being built and flood lights making it possible to ski and snowboard late into the evening. Snowboarding is also seen as a major plus point of Tignes, with other skiing facilities in the area being far less welcoming to the snowboarding masses. Tignes is home to expert freestyle snowboarding facilities, and is also home to the undisputed number one snowboarding training camp. With snowboarders from around the world visiting Tignes the area now sees more than just skiers amongst its busy hotels and pubs.
On the down side many skiers criticise Tignes for the lack of difficulty on its slaloms, however this is simply not the case. Tignes is home to around 8 slaloms, all of which have different difficult ratings. I can assure anyone who feels unsure of the difficulty level on the last two slopes, should give them a go before they say anymore. However, they do raise an interesting point. Tignes has under went major regeneration in an attempt to make their facilities safer, and has also altered many runs to accommodate beginners, which may have took the sting out of certain slaloms.
Despite this, the facilities are amazing, and the training is out of this world. I was strapped to a machine in order to measure my heart rate, and also asked to run on a tread mill so they could record my recovery times. The restaurants let you sample original French cuisine and also provide many opportunities for a lovely night out. For those looking for a more adventurous night-life the Della 1 pub and club will provide all the fun you will need. Della 1 is only a 10 minute walk from the hotels – and a further 15 minute walk for those staying in the log cabin village overlooking the mountains. Whether you stay, or whether you are a skier or a snowboarder you should surely go to Tignes and sample the runs. The facility is also perfect for learning, and those that have never skied before.