About Getting to Tignes
If you're not taking a package holiday, where travel to your resort is already catered for, then you might want to consider how you're going to get to France and Tignes.
What are the options to consider if you’re coming to Tignes in either winter or summer? Should you fly or self-drive? How do I get from the airport to resort? What about bringing skis or bikes with you? What’s the quickest way to get here? Or the cheapest?
At a glance, these are the main travel hubs for Tignes:
|Airports close to Tignes|
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Best way to get here
If you are travelling from outside of France, then flying into Chambery is likely to be the quickest way to get to Tignes. Tignes is then a transfer (taxi or minibus) or a bus ride away from the airport, unless you're driving yourself.
Chambery is the closest airport (2 hours) and has a good choice of airlines operating in winter only. Grenoble, Geneva and Lyon are all similar travel times to Tignes, in the region of 2 hours 50 minutes each for the fastest routes. Grenoble is also only used in winter. If you're looking for summer flights, Lyon or Geneva are your best options as they have flights all year round.
You can also get the fast TGV trains to Paris or Lyon and then onto Bourg St Maurice or take one of the dedicated 'snow trains' which run throughout the ski season (read more about trains below).
In winter, there are four main airports you could fly into (see below) whilst in summer, flights only operate to Geneva and Lyon.
|Airports close to Tignes|
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Chambery Airport is where most Tour Operators fly into in winter although you can get independent flights here too. Once you’ve arrived, we recommend you take a private transfer to resort as this is easier and faster than taking lots of connections on public transport.
Grenoble airport is also used by a number of winter tour operators and again we'd recommend a private transfer to resort.
Lyon Airport is also a viable option, sitting somewhere between Grenoble and Geneva in all respects - geographically, for passenger and flights volumes, flight pricing, although transfer times are a little longer and therefore slightly more expensive.
Geneva Airport is extremely well connected from most UK and European cities, year round. Flights to Geneva are much more competitively priced because of higher passenger volumes and you can pick up Swiss chocolate and fancy Swiss watches on your way through!
Once you’ve arrived at the airport you’ll need a transfer to Tignes, which you can do via private taxi or minibus, hire car, coach, train or public buses. Travel times vary for each airport, as do the respective transfer costs. Read more in our Transfers Guide.
There are an increased number of international flights to the above airports during the winter months, operating from December to March/April. In summer, the same airlines fly out here but your choice of departure and arrival airports is reduced. Use our Flight Finder via the link below to search for the best flights for your trip.
If you’re bringing sports equipment with you, don’t forget to check how much extra the airline might charge you for carriage and give yourself extra time to get this additional equipment checked in. Often the excess baggage areas are separate from the main check in desks, so make sure you get there with plenty of time to potentially do two check-ins. You should be able to find out more information about prices and check in desks either on the airline website, on your tickets or email confirmation.
Transfers to Resort
Once you reach the airport, bus or train station, the most popular option for onward travel to Tignes is to take a transfer minibus. Most transfers for Tignes are offered on a private basis although some shared transfers are also available.
Alternatively you can catch on of the public buses from any of the airports to Bourg St Maurice bus station and then get a connecting bus to Tignes. If you're coming by train you can pick up the same bus into Tignes from Bourg St Maurice (see more on buses below).
Also see: Transfer Options for Tignes
Using public transport can help keep the costs down on your trip to Tignes, however it can take considerably longer and may involve a few changes along the way.
Tignes has a bus terminus (Gare Routiere) in central Tignes and one at Val Claret where a couple of the international coaches stop (see more on coaches below). The local bus (line T15) from Bourg St Maurice stops at Les Brevieres, Tignes 1800, Le Lac and Val Claret.
Buses from Chambery airport to Tignes operate 4 times per day on Saturdays and once on Sundays during the ski season. It takes around 2 hours 45 minutes to get to Tignes. Buses from Lyon airport run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the ski season, 3 times per day and take around 4 hours to get here.
Buses from Geneva airport operate every day of the week in winter with 6 buses on Saturdays, 4 on Sundays and 3 on all the other days of the week. This route also takes around 4 hours. Buses from Grenoble airport operate on 5 times per day on Saturdays and once on Sundays in winter and take between 3.5 to 4 hours to get to Tignes. Find the timetables and how to book via the link below.
Also see: Bus Services in Tignes
The nearest train station for Tignes is at Bourg St Maurice and it takes around another 40 minutes by road to get to Tignes.
If you’re travelling from the UK, the Eurostar leaves from London or Kent and takes you into Paris, where you can pick up a connecting TGV train to Bourg St Maurice. These trains only operate in winter (from December to April) on Saturday during the day and overnight on Fridays (without sleeping compartments).
International trains connect Bourg St Maurice to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport or from Paris-Gare-de-Lyon on the TGV service, which takes around 5-6 hours. If you're coming from Lyon Part Dieu you can reach BSM on the regional trains which takes around 3.5 hours.
Also see: National Trains to Tignes
There are a couple of International coach companies that can take you direct to Tignes Val Claret Gare Routiere, alternatively you can take a coach to Grenoble or Lyon and from there you can pick up connecting buses to resort.
International coaches are usually more comfortable than your average coach and many travel through the night, allowing you to spend more time on your actual holiday. Although the journey time is obviously longer (London to Tignes takes around 18.5 hours), you don't have the usual airport hassle of checking in luggage and hanging around in the departures lounge waiting for your flight to board. It is also more eco-friendly and often a bit kinder on the pocket.
If you’re travelling from the UK, or perhaps from other European destinations to France by car, one of only a few options is to take the cross-channel ferry; another is the Eurotunnel train. You should book ferry tickets well in advance, especially if you’re thinking about travelling during peak holiday season.
Bringing your own vehicle with you to Tignes is a good idea if you want to have a little more flexibility getting around once you’re here. Being able to drive yourself around the area is far more comfortable and convenient, allowing you to take day trips or visit other nearby resorts such as Val d'Isere, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Meribel, Courchevel or Val Thorens.
Bear in mind that in winter the road on the way up to Tignes includes a few quite winding sections in places and although snow clearers operate every day in winter, conditions can be hard to drive in. Read our Driving to Tignes Guide and find more information on Parking in Tignes once you’ve arrived.
You could also consider hiring a car from the airport or train/bus station.
Also see: Driving to Tignes
Travelling with equipment
Airlines, trains and transfer companies are all well-versed in catering for customers who travel with their own sports equipment (eg skis/snowboards or bikes/golf clubs in the summer), but it’s well worth checking the details in advance. Each company will have their own individual policy terms and conditions depending on the type of sporting equipment you are transporting. Here's a snapshot of the different transport options and a guide to their restrictions:
By Plane: Some airlines charge for taking skis/snowboards, and some don’t, and this can also apply to bikes, golf clubs, parachutes, mountaineering equipment - so check before you book. Make sure you pack your gear well, as it’s not unusual for there to be a few bumps and bruises along the way, if you don’t! The same applies for your bike, whether that be a mountain bike, road bike or touring bike...pack it well and ensure it falls within the packaging guidelines specified by the carrier. For more information see our Cycling & Mountain Biking Guides.
Airport Transfer companies - again, these guys know that you’re going skiing, so they are able to cater for skis and snowboards coming too. However, it’s always important to let them know exactly what you’re bringing, so that they can ensure having sufficient capacity for skis/snowboards/bikes/clubs etc. An 8-seater minibus is much more cramped if all 8 of you turn up with skis without having forewarned the driver!
By Train - depending on where you start from, remember that train travel might include a couple of changes and almost certainly lugging your gear up and down a few sets of stairs or escalators. Eurostar allows skis/snowboards as 1 of your 2 permitted pieces of larger luggage, however golf clubs, bikes and other sporting equipment incur an additional charge of around £30 for their registered luggage service.