Tignes and the Espace Killy have plenty to offer visitors. Indeed, there is no reason why anyone should feel the need to venture further afield. However, for those who do wish to explore the area, there are plenty of other hidden gems of the Haute Tarentaise area to discover.
The valley of the Haute Tarentaise runs from Val D’Isere all the way down to Aime. There are a number of other ski areas that are well worth a visit for anyone who is looking for a day away from Tignes.
Sainte Foy is perhaps one of the worst kept secrets in the area. A firm favourite with locals and ski instructors on their days off, there is a good reason for its enduring popularity.
A quick look at the piste map might do little to inspire potential visitors. Four ski lifts offer access to a mixture of blue and red pistes. However, it is the off piste where Sainte Foy truly excels. The lifts provide easy access to a huge area of untracked wilderness as well as epic powder runs between the trees. No crowds, sunny slopes, incredible off piste and a real small village vibe, it is well worth a day out. If the snow is good then a local guide will be able to show you some truly memorable descents!
La Rosiere is a resort that sits at 1850 metres. The highest elevation is 2800 metres. It is often overlooked when compared to some of its more famous neighbours, but it has plenty to offer. The slopes are south facing, offering stunning, sunny views of the entire valley. La Rosiere is usually ranked as one of the top ten resorts in France for snow.
The slopes are generally less crowded due to the allure of the other nearby resorts and La Rosiere links into the San Bernardino ski area. In 1984, La Rosiere was linked with La Thuile in Italy. This makes it the only ski area in the Northern French Alps that allows skiers to cross the border into Italy. As well as the thrill of crossing the border, there are other benefits to this as well. Heliskiing – which is banned in France – is legal in Italy. Skiers can cross over the border and get picked up for a real adventure! If you are looking for something a little less adventurous, La Thuile also offers some incredible restaurants. Foodies can ski over, enjoy an amazing lunch and then ski back with full stomachs.
The San Bernardino ski area has 152 KM of pistes. This makes it the 13th largest ski area in France. It is also ranked 34th largest in the world.
Across the valley is Villaroger. Villaroger is a small Alpine village with lifts that lead up to Les Arcs. From the tree lined runs of Villaroger, skiers can head all the way up to the epic runs of the Aguille Rouge glacier.
It is even possible to head all the way over to Vallandry and the Vanoise Express. This stunning double decker cable car crosses the valley with no midway pylons, taking 200 people at a time between resorts. It is the link that connects Les Arcs to La Plagne, the two resorts which comprise the Paradiski ski area. It opened for the 03-04 winter season. Alternatively skiers can drive down to Bourg St Maurice which links straight to Les Arcs or drive up the valley that leads to the resort. For skiers who want to cross over to La Plagne this might be a better option to save time.
These three options offer something different depending on what people are looking for – from discovering untouched off piste to crossing the border for a hearty meal to exploring a whole new massive ski area, there’s something for everyone. So keep these in mind when you next come to visit!