Tignes is a relatively ugly place. It consists of two main areas Le Lac which is the main hub and Val Claret, a split-level town joined by a urine-stinking lift, both joined by a free bus. Le Lac is, strangely enough, next to a lake which is normally frozen over. The area's mobbed with apartment blocks, hotels, and an array of bars, restaurants and shops - all of which are expensive.
At the head of the valley, within an easy walk of the funicular, is Val Claret, which is smaller than Le Lac but of a similar ilk. It has better slope access and good parking next to the slopes if you're on a day trip, and has a few piste-side cheap eats.
Wherever you choose to stay, prices are much the same in both: high. Tignes is an expensive resort whether you visit in winter or come for summer snowboarding. Summer is actually a great time to visit as so much goes on, from snowboarding to watersports on the lake, and there's even a skatepark.
French food is full fat, all butter croissants followed by melted cheese. If you're on a diet when you arrive, then this place will kill it dead and you'll go home fatter than ever.
Every type of fast-food is available along with a large selection of restaurants serving expensive French dishes with heaps of garlic. None of it comes cheap so it's probably best to sort out catered accommodation before arriving.
Nightlife starts early and ends late - in fact, for some it never ends. This is a major party resort, with a wide choice of English and French bars, but you will never have enough funds to keep going in the bars or clubs as beer prices are shocking, (at around 6 euros a pint).
The best thing to do is tank up on supermarket carry-outs or the cheap plonk they give out with your chalet dinner. Minesweepers will be able to compare their pint-nicking skills with some of the best in the industry. Le loop and the Angel bar in Le Lac are pretty good bars to get you started.
With over 28,000 visitor beds, this place has something for everyone... except there is not a wide selection of cheap accommodation. However, there are plenty of apartments for self-catering groups.
The Tignes website www.tignes.net has a good listing of accommodation. Tour companies use this place big-style, which means last-minute package deals are always available at budget prices.
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