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Destination Profile

  • Tignes is a region best known for being a ski-resort in south-eastern France.
  • As one of the more ‘snow sure’ resorts, it’s one of the safer options if you’re booking an early season trip. We visited in January 2015 when many resorts around France were struggling to get natural snow coverage – Tignes was affected as well (especially towards the end of the day the slopes did get quite icy) but was still able to operate – the only people affected were the off-piste’ers who had some sections closed off to them.
  • Your ski pass gets you access to the entire Espace Killy skiing area and with it more than enough runs to keep you occupied for a week.

Trip overview

What we did

  • We came as part of an instruction course with full board run by UCPA Tignes which was originally set up by the French government to encourage young people to enjoy the outdoors – how awesome is that!
  • We stayed at val Claret which is the highest village (of the 5 in the region), located at the foot of the Grande Motte Glacier.

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The positives

  • Probably the best value for money option if you’re looking to do a week long ski trip.
  • Have a look online for the latest prices (we booked through a 3rd party agent) but it’s hands down the cheapest you’ll find for full board, ski hire and instruction (caters to all levels).
  • Great communal atmosphere with plenty of opportunities to meet new people whether it be in the lounge or dining area, or on the slopes as part of your group ski class.

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  • Apart from breakfast, the food was disproportionately good relative to the living arrangements.

 

The not so positives

  • One of the reasons why it’s such good value is the focus on the ski instruction (remembering the policy purpose for which UCPA was originally set up). The byproduct is very basic dorm accommodation settings (think budget hostel and 1 bathroom between 8) so I wouldn’t recommend this option if you’re after a bit of comfort.

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  • If you haven’t come in a group with multiples of 4 or booked a private room, you’ll be sharing with randoms.
  • If you’re looking to spend time with your mates on the slopes – you’ll need to be around the same level of ability as classes are segregated accordingly.
  • Depending on your luck, the instructors may not have the best English which can be frustrating (for the teacher as well!) when trying to communicate a point on technique.

 

Things I’d do differently

  • You’ll have a choice of full-time ski instruction or part-time ski instruction. If your focus is on improving your ski-technique, full time is definitely the way to go but if there are varying skill levels in your group you only get a 1/2 day of ‘free time’ together during the whole week. Worth keeping in mind depending on what you want to get out of your trip.
  • Part-timers only ski for one half of the day (typically the morning) and get the rest as free time to either meet up with your mates to practice at your own pace, explore the neighboring towns or to just chill back at the resort.

 

Logistics

  • Tignes is about 3 hours from Geneva airport which is a ~1.5 hour flight from London. Your booking agent will likely offer road transfer options when you book your trip.
  • Ski/snowboard bags can be checked in for free if you fly with Swiss Air.
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