Les 2 Alpes
The great French ski resort Les 2 Alpes is located in the southeastern part of the country, in the heart of the Oisans mountain range. This is one of the highest resorts in the world, which is located at the foot of a huge glacier, so there is practically no lack of snow cover here. It owes its name to the location between two alpine villages: Cretes and Pied Moulet. The city differs from typical resort settlements in a somewhat eclectic architecture, as it was built in several stages. Les Deux Alpes is positioned as a vibrant youth resort, and it is also popular with fans of downhill and off-piste skiing.
How to get there
The closest to the resort is the Grenoble International Airport. It is convenient to get there by bus or a rented car. Other major cities nearby are Geneva (220 km) and Lyon (110 km). There is a regular bus service from Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport to Les Deux Alpes during ski season.
The territory of the ski resort extends over 4.1 sq. km, offering 225 km of equipped runs for skiers of all skill levels. The highest point of the descent is 3568 meters, it is located at the very glacier. The difference in height between the highest and the lowest point of the ski area (Mont de Lens) is 2298 meters. In total, there are 100 slopes, 58 and 96 km of which are reserved for green and blue, 39 km for red and another 30 km for black slopes. The five easiest runs are free. The slopes are served by 9 cabins, 24 chairlifts and 23 drag lifts.
Beginners are best trained on the wide piste area above the resort or on the slopes from the glacier to the Cretes station. The more experienced should look at the slopes running from the ridges of Tete Moute and Aymes. The most difficult are Le Grand Couloir and Super Diable, those require a high skill, as they abound in corridors and places with ice formation. But for real extreme lovers, the most interesting would be the famous off-piste skiing area called “Extreme Valley”, which is located under the peaks of Col des Ruillans and La Meije. Freeriders host the Mondial du Ski, Mondial du Snowboard and Derby de la Meije championships here, on an area of 10 hectares of steep snow-covered slopes, interspersed with dangerous rocky and wooded areas.
Due to its highland location, the snow on the upper reaches of Les Deux Alpes does not melt for most of the year. Even freezing temperatures are not an obstacle for skiing – the slopes are served by 224 modern snow cannons capable of covering 15% of the resort’s slopes with a stable snow cover. You can ride here in almost any weather, both during the day and at night, since many runs are provided with lighting.
Snowpark Les Deux Alpes is considered as one of the best in France. It has ten ski areas, jumps of varying difficulty, high-pipe and many other elements. It is located on a glacier and is open all year round.
For those who are just learning to ride, there are several ski schools. The best are European Ski and Snowboard School and Evolution 2. There are both group and individual lessons. Also, there are groups for children at the age of five and older.
Ski-passes and equipment
The cost of a ski-pass is 53 euros per day for an adult, 49 euros for a teenager who is 13-18 years old and 43 euros for a child. The family ski-pass is available for couples with two or more children under the age of 18. It is available in two versions: for 6 and 7 days costs from 874 to 1260 euros (depending on the duration, number of children and their age). There is also a weekly group pass for four people, which will cost about 1000 euros. A ski-pass allows you not only to use the lifts, but also gives you free access to the swimming pool and ice rink.
There are many rental shops of equipment on the territory of the resort. The most popular are Brun Sports, Hibernatus, Skiset and TWINNER. Ski rental costs an average of 15-20 euros per day, snowboard rental starts from 20 euros a day.
Les Deux Alpes offers a large number of accommodation options in hotels, chalets and apartments (the latter are more than two hundred). Among the best are the four-star Belambra Clubs Les 2 Alpes and Chalet Mounier. Of the more affordable options there are the three-star hotels Cote Brune, Le Souleil’Or with direct access to the ski slopes and the Madame Vacances Hotel Ibiza which is located in the commune of Lalpe-Venosque.
Recreation and entertainment
In addition to skiing, the resort provides a large number of additional exciting activities:
– Excursion to the Grotto de Glace ice cave, which houses an exhibition of ice sculptures.
– Visit to the Venosk mountain village, where the architecture and life of the past centuries have been preserved.
– Walk to the picturesque alpine lake Chambon.
– Visit to the museum of mountaineering.
– Snowmobiling or dog sledding (also at night).
In addition, the hotels and entertainment centers have fitness rooms, saunas, jacuzzis, bowling alleys, tennis courts and massage parlors. There are attractions for children, a kindergarten, a nursery and a children’s riding school.
The local cuisine is of a high standard, as befits a French resort. There are dozens of different establishments here, including French gourmet restaurants, Italian pizzerias, modern bars, cozy taverns and even an exotic Thai restaurant. Cafe Bresilien is famous for its good live music. Well, the nightlife is concentrated in the L’Opera and Avalanche clubs, which work almost until the morning.
Les Deux Alpes is a fashionable resort with excellent technical equipment and developed infrastructure. It may seem too noisy and crowded for those who are looking for a calm vocation. In addition, you should not count on too democratic prices here. But on the other hand, it is one of the best resorts in France with a wide selection of pistes, a first-class snow park, extreme freeride zones and guaranteed snow at all times of the season.