Lac de Tignes, Rhone-Alps, France

Lake Locations:

France - Southern France - Rhone-Alps -

Nestled snugly within the Parc National de la Vanoise in France’s Rhone Alps tourism region, Lac de Tignes is a small glassy lake known for its surreal reflections, dramatic mountain landscapes and cold sparkling waters – not to mention its world class skiing. The area is divided into five bases with ski lifts: Le Lac, Le Lavachet and Val Claret are the main three, followed by Les Boisses and Les Brevieres.

Lac de Tignes has an average depth of 148 feet and features two fishing reserves, three car access points and a handicap-accessible footpath. It is equipped with over 60 restaurants and 50 bars, perfect for young university students on holiday, or for couples and families looking for an exciting escape from daily life. Facilities at Lac de Tignes include a lagoon center with a swimming pool, Jacuzzis, fitness area and solarium. There is also a wellness center with Turkish baths, hot tubs and saunas.

With a surface area of 61 acres, Lac de Tignes is a tranquil angling lake. A large population of brown trout inhabits Lac de Tignes, stocked annually. Although the lake is frozen seven months of the year, it provides plenty of phytoplankton, insects and minnows for various sport fish like rainbow trout and lake trout. Other animals present include snails, frogs and newts.

Lac de Tignes boasts an elevation of 5,873 feet above sea level, an altitude that accumulates a great deal of snow in the wintertime – just perfect for the Tignes ski resort that is located just four miles north. Ski season is prolonged due to the Grande Motte glacier. Tignes luxury chalets and ski apartments are available in the area, and renters will be thrilled by the variety of holiday apartments and hotels found here.

Recreation at Lac de Tignes is unquestionably at its peak during the winter season. The Tignes ice area is perfect for both leisure skating and competitive sports. Its open-air rink has a surface area of a half-acre, featuring a game place, ice hockey area and weekly “Disco on Ice” events. Skijoring, a term created to describe horse drawn skiing, is also available here, and it is not uncommon to find equine lovers atop skis or snowboards, attaching themselves to their favorite horse. Snowshoeing, dog sledding and snowmobiling are other great winter activities at Lac de Tignes. Ice driving is an incredible undertaking to watch, with daredevils practicing emergency braking, skidding and counter steering on slick rally tracks.

Scuba divers are sure to love ice diving at Lac de Tignes – but thick wetsuits are mandatory, as water temperatures are unimaginably cold. Night dives are particularly fun at Lac de Tignes, where the lake’s natural translucence creates a particularly surreal atmosphere.

During the summer, Lac de Tignes opens a lakeside skate park that was imported from Basel, Switzerland, home of the 2005 European Skateboard Championships. It supports BMX cycling, inline skating and freestyle ATB (All Terrain Boards). Paragliding, horseback riding, rock climbing and white water rafting are also popular among the skateboarding crowd.

Lac de Tignes is located southwest of an artificial lake, Lac de Chevril. This large body of water has a dam that was completed in 1952 – the Barrage du Chevril – and stands 590 feet tall and 970 feet long. Its hydroelectric plant produces water for nearby cities. The original town of Tignes was inundated when the dam was constructed, and those ancient buildings reappear like magic once every ten years when the lake is drained for dam maintenance.

With over 125 miles of hiking trails to choose from, mountain walking is fabulous in the Lac de Tignes area. Golf can be enjoyed at the nearby 18-hole championship golf course, and helicopter rides and ATV tours are offered nearby. Lastly, the nearby Tignes Heritage Centre displays over 700 years of history and artifacts – and best of all, it is free to enter.

Lac de Tignes is nestled within Vanoise National Park. This reserve includes of 200 square miles that were originally protected in order to preserve the Alpin Ibex, a species of wild goat with elongated horns. Other animals populating this area are marmots, chamois and more than 125 species of birds. Vanoise National Park encompasses 100 snowy peaks that reach altitudes of 10,000 feet high. The park receives more than 360,000 visitors per year; combined with the Italian National Park, it makes up one of the largest protected zones in Western Europe. The Col de l’Iseran, the highest Alpine pass in the region, can be traversed by car from July to September. Much like Lac de Tignes, the views of Savoie’s intense mountain landscapes are simply unforgettable.

Things to do at Lac de Tignes

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Birding
  • National Park

Fish species found at Lac de Tignes

  • Brown Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Lac de Tignes Photo Gallery

Lac de Tignes Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 61 acres

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 5,873 feet

Average Depth: 148 feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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