Tignes is a French town located in the Savoie department and in the Rhone-Alpes region. It is worldwide known for its ski resort, called Espace Killy and shared with Val d’Isère. Tignes is also famous for being the highest town in Europe; indeed it reaches 2,142m. In 1952, the construction of the dam changed the morphology of the village.
After the WWII, France was in a period of change and reconstruction. People needed electricity and it was decided to build a hydroelectric dam in the Isère Valley. That sadly meant that the old village of Tignes was to disappear. Tignes comprises 5 Villages; Val Claret, Tignes le Lac, Le Lavachet , Tignes Les Boisses and Tignes-les-Brévières. The first three are close together at 2100m and Les Boisses and Les Brévières are further down the valley, above and below the dam respectively. Les Brévières is an old village whereas all the others were created as part of the Dam construction or development of the ski resort. All villages are part of the ski resort known as Tignes. Every 10 years, in order to maintain and clean it, the Lake of Tignes is drained, and the remains of the old village becomes visible.
Tignes has all the assets and characteristics of a ski resort: 80% of housing is second home, and more than 50% of inhabitants are tenants. Moreover, more than 80% are apartments. House prices in the area are quite high; however, it is understandable taking into account it is located at the heart of one of the biggest European ski resorts! For an average apartment, you will need €4,670 /sq m, while the national average is €3,197 /sq m. However, the area offers great rental opportunities; hence it can be an excellent investment for a buy-to-let.
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Tignes has many assets that make it a very attractive place to spend holidays all the year long. Ski lovers will be delighted by one of the biggest ski resort in Europe, but there are activities for everybody, and the environment is just breathtaking!
Tranquillity and scenery: Tignes is a beautiful small village, at the heart of the Alps and the Espace Killy ski resort. Moreover, after the construction of the dam, Tignes is set up by the beautiful Lake of Tignes. It offers great walking in summer, and beautiful landscapes as much in summer as in summer. In summer, you will be charmed by the Alps and the village reflecting into this blue-water lake. Tignes is also famous for being the highest village in Europe. It offers amazing panoramic views, as from the Grande Motte and its glacier (3,656m high), or the Grande Casse (the highest peak of Vanoise, 3,856 m high).
Incredible ski resort: Tignes is not only one of the biggest ski resort in Europe, it is also the only one ski resort where you can ski even in summer, thanks to the Glacier de la Grande Motte. It boasts a fast and efficient lift system with 97 lifts including 2 high speed underground trains (funicular railways), one of which transports you from Tignes Val Claret to the 'Panoramic Restaurant' on the Grand Motte Glacier. The Espace Killy is 300km of slopes, 1,900 m of change in altitude, 2 glaciers (Grande Motte in Tignes and Pissaillas in Val d’Isère), 142 slopes and 2 snow parks.L'Espace Killy is also known for its incredible off-piste with good lift access. A paradise for ski lovers, it is also a very good place if you are a novice: you can have 5 free lifts within the ski resort!
Dam and lake: the dam towers above Tignes, which gives an impressive appearance to the small village. It is all the more impressive as a Hercule is paint as he holds up the vault. This eye-deceiving paint is the biggest in the world; it dwells on 12,000 sq m, and required 6 tonnes of paint! On the lake itself you can hire sailing boats, windsurfers, canoes, rowing boats and pedalos, for some of which lessons are available. You will notice Europe's highest golf course on either side of the lake, horse riders and fishermen. As you arrive in Val Claret the scenario can look quite odd with some people in shorts and t-shirts but others in full skiing outfits. You can take the Funicular to the Beautiful Panoramic Restaurant. Do not miss in 2010 the next emptying of the Lake which is to be held.
Rental opportunities as already mentioned, buying a property in Tignes is an excellent investment for a buy-to-let. Out of 1,950,000 overnight stays, 50% of visitors are foreigners (34% English, 19% Dutch, and 10% Belgium between others). Moreover, thanks to its summer slopes and its beautiful natural environment, Tignes attracts visitors all year long.
Apartments: 80% of dwellings are apartments, which is understandable, as Tignes is a small village but has to welcome plenty of visitors all year long. However apartments are very comfortable, the size can vary from a basic studio to a 130 sq m flat. They usually have an American kitchen (open plan kitchen), a living-room, one or more bedrooms, a bathroom, and usually an independant toilet. Most of them also come with a balcony with amazing view over the mountains, and a private parking.
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