Les Deux Alpes – snow-sure skiing in a friendly French resort.
Les Deux Alpes ( or Les 2 Alpes) is located in the Southern Alpes in the Isère region of France. It is the second oldest ski resort in France after Chamonix. The two alps refer to the villages of Mont de Lans and Venosc on which the resort developed.
When I was offered the opportunity to work the season there as a representative for Inghams I jumped at the chance. I had skied the resort once before but many years ago so I was interested to find out how the skiing had changed since. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
If you are looking for guaranteed skiing on a glacier then look no further. With a top elevation of 3,600m, there is skiing on the glacier all year round. Some of my favourite runs, boasting great snow cover, are the sweeping blues and reds on the glacier. It can get very cold, which preserves the snow, but it is well worth taking the funicular to the top to see the breathtaking views. If you are not a skier or boarder, the lifts from the resort level are accessible to pedestrians too.
With 220km of pistes, there’s certainly enough skiing in Les 2 Alpes to keep everyone happy. The vertical drop of 2,300m, with black, red and blue options of piste, means it’s suitable for any level of skier. The grading of the runs is sometimes a little different from other resorts with some blue runs having difficult sections, more likely to be found on a red run. The steep blacks, Valentin and Diable, down to resort level are challenging and can be shut due to snow conditions. For beginners, the resort is ideal as the base is a wide-open, nursery area with five free drag lifts.
The Vallée Blanche area, located on the other side of the valley, is often quieter than the main side of the mountain with some lovely runs down. It’s also a good option for skiing when the weather closes in and the glacier is shut due to high winds.
Further afield are La Grave, the famous totally off-piste area and Alpe d’Huez. A six-day lift pass for Les 2 Alpes, includes 2 days in Alpe d’Huez. Why not take the helicopter transfer between the resorts and appreciate the stunning scenery? With a journey time of just 8 minutes, it is far and away the easiest way to get there and back.
The peak of the Roche de la Muzelle, with an elevation of 3465m, provides a dramatic backdrop to the resort. The main street, L’avenue de la Muzelle, taking its name from the mountain.
Apart from the snow-sure skiing in Les 2 Alpes, it’s a lively and friendly resort with numerous bars and restaurants located along the 4km stretch of the main street, the Avenue de la Muzelle. There is a strong Italian influence with pizzerias as well as restaurants serving traditional mountain dishes such as fondue, raclette and tartiflette. As the resort has a high proportion of self-catering accommodation, eating out is reasonably priced compared to a lot of other French resorts.
If you don’t ski there are lots of options; take the lifts to the glacier to admire the stunning scenery and visit the ice grotto, go by the Venosc gondola down to the village of Venosc with its artisan shops and restaurants. Guided snowshoe walks are available through the Bureau de Guides getting you away from it all to beautiful locations. Skate at the ice rink or go swimming in the outdoor swimming pool. Spend some time window shopping in the numerous boutiques which line the Avenue de la Muzelle.
If you haven’t visited Les 2 Alpes I would definitely recommend it. It has everything you need for a great skiing holiday. Guaranteed snow cover on the glacier with skiing for all standards in a friendly and reasonably priced resort with a short transfer time. I know I will go back again when I have the opportunity.
Grenoble airport is the closest to the resort with a transfer time of just over an hour. Chambery airport is another option, with more flights available, around an hour and a half from Les 2 Alpes. During peak French school holidays travel time can be considerably longer.
I was working the season in Les 2 Alpes with Inghams. For more details on holidays available through them visit Inghams Les Deux Alpes.
Information on the resort as a whole can be found at https://www.les2alpes.com/en.