Tignes is located in one of the most famous ski areas in the world - Espace Killy. The area is easily accessible from several major airports (Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble, Chambery, St Etienne) and is well served by a strong road infrastructure.
Driving to Tignes
Ferries and Eurotunnel
Eurotunnel gives a bit more flexibility and does not entail so much waiting around- in our experience anyway. We also enjoy the ferry as it can give a greater sense of occasion.
www.eurotunnel.co.uk The prices for Eurotunnel vary depending on what time
of day you want to travel.
www.ferries.co.uk gives an overview of all the ferry companies and allows you to find the best price. We normally use Sea France as we find the deals available offer good value and a reliable service.
If you often drive in France or fancy making life a little simpler at the Toll Booths - it can be worth buying a Sanef Liber-T sensor - this charges all tolls to your credit card and is a great way to beat the toll booth queues... Attaches to your windscreen - simply drive up to the exclusive toll lane and wait for the beep and the barrier to lift - no tickets or coins! Details HERE
Driving directions from Calais
It takes approximately 10 hours to drive from Calais and is approximately 620 miles. The French motorways are very good and it is very straightforward to drive, if rather a long and boring journey! The French motorway service stations, or Aires, provide great food and are welcoming to children. Our best tip for doing the journey with children is to have DVD players, or Game Boys, we didn’t know they were there half the time!
Take cash for tolls, we usually allow about 90 euros. Also watch out for speed cameras and keep to the speed limits! We bought an AA “Big Easy Read- France” map book from England before travelling, this showed the position of all the speed cameras but also provided comfort that we were following the right roads.
Our usual route is as follows:
Calais A26 to St Quentin
St Quentin A26 to Reims
Reims A4 to Chalons en Champagne
Chalons en Champagne A4 to A26 Junction
A26 to Troyes
A5, A31 to Dijon
Dijon A39 to Bourg en Bresse
Bourg en Bresse A40, A42 to Lyon
Lyon A432, A43 to Chambery
Chambery A43, A430 to Albertville
Albertville N90 to Moutiers
Moutiers N90 to Bourg St Maurice
Bourg St Maurice D902 to Tignes.
Do make sure you are aware of French speed cameras and speed traps - fines can be large and draconian if you are not too careful.
It is a legal requirement that you must carry snow chains if you are driving in the Alps. You can hire them at edge2edge.co.uk
You are also required by law to carry a Reflective tabbard or jacket in your car. This is only very recent but is an sensible safety addition.
If you want a stop somewhere to break your journey (recommended as it's a long slog!) Novotels are a good choice for families as 2 children can share your room free of charge (good breakfasts too!) or the B+B chain of hotels is another good value option.
We will send you detailed directions of how to find the apartment in Tignes and where to collect the key, nearer your visit.
www.michelin.com - a great site for detail directions and French traffic and travel information
Michelin map No 244 covers the region
Several budget airlines fly to a range of airports within reach of Tignes as well as BA and Air France. It is well worth shopping around to find the best deal for your trip. We have found www.airninja.com a useful site to research which airline flies which route.
Geneva 135 miles 2.5 hours
Lyon 132 miles 2.5 hours
Grenoble 125 miles 2.5 hours
Chambery 84 miles 1.75 hours
Although Geneva takes longer, it is still worth a look as several airports offer daily flights there and we have found this a cheaper option on many occasions.
Car hire can be arranged from any of the local airports and if there are several people travelling is not always an expensive option. It is well worth shopping around to find the best deal. We have found arguscarhire.com to be a useful site.
Do make sure you order a big enough car to take all your luggage! In France carrying snow chains is a legal requirement, but I have to say in over 25 years of driving to Tignes we have only needed to fit them once!
If you are flying to Geneva - please be aware that the Car rental car park has recently moved - it is reached via a small transit bus (although next time we may just walk after collecting the keys - its about 5 minutes away - we can envisage quite a long wait for a transit bus at peak times).
The Snow Train
The train network in France is excellent and can be all booked on line via the following link. You can get the train right from London to Bourg St Maurice (or alternatively via Paris) and then get a taxi to Tignes from there, about half an hour.
Several operators will organise a transfer for you and are bookable online
Altibus is a site through which you can organise transfers by bus from the airports up to the resort.
Actibus also organises minibus and private transfers by taxi or helicopter (!)
ATS run shared minibuses or private taxis that can be booked online and will take you from the airport to Tignes.