Villages of Tignes

The first village was located in the valley, and it was a popular winter destination during the early 20th century, with innovations like a ski lift as early as 1936. However, it was eventually destroyed by the creation of the Tignes Dam. Replicas of some of the buildings from the original village can be found in other resort towns.

Today, Tignes is made up of five villages, each with different histories and locations. Tignes Val Claret, Tignes le Lavachet, and Tignes le Lac are the highest altitudes, at 2,100 metres, and are all closely located near each other. Lower down are Tignes-les-Brévières, the oldest village, and Tignes Les Boisses (or Tignes 1800), the newest.

* Tignes Val Claret
Val Claret is home to the resort’s best nightlife, with restaurants, bars, and clubs for all types. Its higher altitude means it is close to the lifts as well as the villages of le Lavachet and le Lac.

* Tignes le Lavachet
Located just near the ski lifts, le Lavachet is a great village for a beautiful view and close proximity to the slopes. Plus, visitors can easily access the two nearby villages with a free shuttle bus.

* Tignes le Lac
The most cosmopolitan area of the resort is often considered to be le Lac. There is shopping and access to spa and wellness activities, and it is closely located to skiing.

Something like a 7 seater car hire is great for getting everyone about between the various locations and resorts. Roof racks can be easily reserved.

* Tignes-les-Brévières

Tignes-les-Brévières is the main village at the bottom of the dam (1,550 metres) that attracts those who like charm and value. Due to recent expansions and its location, Tignes-les-Brévières is cheaper than the higher towns, and it is representative of the traditional French ski resort village.

There are quite a few international airport within short driving distance of Tignes.

* Tignes Les Boisses (or Tignes 1800)
In 2013 Tignes 1800 opened, which heralded a new era for the resort. The village includes a replica of the church from the original village, and it is home to Tignes’s cable car lift.

The Tignes Dam

After World War II, France began to focus on different forms of power generation, such as hydroelectricity, and so a dam was constructed in 1952 on the site of the original village, which submerged its remains under water.

While feelings were mixed about the creation of the dam, it did create Lac du Chevril, one of the most spectacular man-made lakes in Europe.

The lake used to be drained every ten years for maintenance, allowing visitors to see the remnants of the village. However, as of 2000, this process has been mechanized, and the lake is drained less often.

While the dam took away Tignes’s oldest village, it did add one of its more modern attractions. Artist Jean-Marie Pierret painted a fresco on the dam in 1980, which was one of the biggest found in the world. Over the years it has decayed, but visitors can still see parts of it from the Tignes-les-Brévières side.

The Modern Resort

In the 1960s, after the creation of the dam, it was decided that new developments in the area would be placed in higher elevations for direct access to skiing and stunning vistas.

In recent years the villages have worked at updating structures from the 1960s to reflect modern sensibilities and conveniences. Today’s visitors have accommodation choices ranging from traditional chalets, hotels from one to five stars, and even house and apartment vacation rentals. The resort has also focused on becoming more child and family-friendly, offering activities for people of all ages.

A huge highlight in the area is the funicular, which transports visitors from Tignes Val Claret to a panoramic restaurant that is located at over 3,000 meters. It’s fast – getting from top to bottom in seven minutes – and can carry up to 3,000 people every hour.