About Les Deux Alpes & its Surroundings
Les Deux Alpes town sits at an altitude of 1,650 metres above sea level and has been operating as a ski resort since the 1950's, making it one of the oldest French ski resorts, second only to Chamonix. It is the largest ski resort in the Dauphine region and, in winter, Les Deux Alpes makes up part of the Grande Galaxie ski area along with Alpe d’Huez, La Grave, Puy St Vincent and Vaujany. It is home to one of the largest glaciers in Europe which means that you can not only ski here in winter but during the summer too, which is a huge attraction for those wanting to carry on skiing throughout the year.
Whilst the glacier keeps skiers and snowboarders entertained in the mornings in summer, the resort is a popular destination for mountain biking and hiking and you can even enjoy a spot of white water rafting nearby too.
The ‘Two Alps’ of its name refer not to the mountains, as you may presume, but to the neighbouring villages of Venosc and Mont de Lans that sit at the northern and southern tips of the elongated resort of Les Deux Alpes. But there are two sides to the resort, on the one side is the glacier and, on the other, the Valley Blanche area.
Les 2 Alpes is a great place for families or groups coming to stay at any time of year.
Food is a great part of life in the French Alps, and with all those outdoor pursuits to try you can rest assured it is all very hearty! Local specialities are often cheese- or cream-based (sometimes both…), featuring local meats, potatoes and green salads. The food in the Alps is often accused of being unadventurous and ‘lardy’ but there are plenty of delicious regional dishes besides the good old fondue. The emphasis is very much on fresh local produce and so cured and seasoned meats will have come from cattle grazed on Alpine pastures, the local cheeses of Abondance and Beaufort will be prevalent and, although there isn’t a coastline in sight, there is still a regional fish dish! The féra is caught in nearby Lake Geneva and is a popular dish served in many restaurants, alongside other lake fish such as Omble Chevalier (char), truite (trout), brochet (pike) and perche (perch).
Where is 2 Alpes?
The resort of Les Deux Alpes is situated in the Isère department of the French Alps at the point where the Northern and Southern Alps meet. The resort is part of the Serre Chevalier mountain range and lies at the heart of the Oisans region, renowned for its amazing scenery and boundless opportunities for both winter and summer sports. With the Ecrins National Park on its doorstep the flora, fauna and scenery of the Alps are all close to hand.
Also see: Towns & Villages in 2 Alpes
Events in 2 Alpes
In the winter the resort is host to a number of freestyle events in the snow park and, in the summer, snow-camps and freestyle competitions take place on the glacier, attracting teams from all over the world.
Sights & Attractions in 2 Alpes
The pretty village of La Grave, notorious for its challenging off-piste terrain is about 30 minutes away by road - ride the old gondola for some of the most spectacular mountain views in the region. The ride up to Pic Blanc at Alpe d'Huez, an hour away, offers views of distant Mont Blanc. Further afield, you can tour the Chartreuse distillery at Voiron on the other side of Grenoble, visit the museum and grounds of the chateau at Vizille on the D1091, or take a ride on the old funicular railway at St Hilaire du Touvet towards Chambery.
Things to Do in 2 Alpes
Most people come to Les Deux Alpes to ski or snowboard, both in winter and summer, however the resort has plenty more to offer in both seasons. Try one of the many cross-country skiing tracks, go ice skating, paraglide over the mountain tops, go snow-shoeing, bungee jumping, road biking, walk on a glacier, go climbing or mountain biking... the possibilities will keep you entertained for your whole stay.
Restaurants in 2 Alpes
Les Deux Alpes caters for everyone from the gourmet to the fast food fan. At the top end, Le P'tit Polyte offers tasting menus and an extensive wine list, and Le Raisin d'Ours is run by the P'tit Polyte's Michelin-starred former chef. Les Sagnes serves excellent crepes and a range of local specialities in a rustic atmosphere in front of a roaring log fire. Tribeca at one end of town and l'Etable at the other both have great pizzas, and anyone looking for a decent burger 'n' chips need look no further than the British-run Le Takeaway in the centre of town.
Also see: Where to Eat in 2 Alpes
Nightlife in 2 Alpes
Like any good mountain resort worth its salt, Les Deux Alpes is not all about the sporting activities, it also holds a fine reputation for its nightlife. A multitude of cafés, bars, clubs and restaurants will cater to all your eating, drinking and dancing-in-your-ski-boots needs and, if that is not enough to keep you occupied, there is always a plentiful supply of events and tours passing through such as the many mountain bike rallies in the summer and the board test that kicks off the winter season.
Where to Stay in 2 Alpes
The central part and most lively part of resort is Les Deux Alpes, whilst a little further down the road on the way into Les Deux Alpes, is Mont de Lans. Venosc is quieter and smaller still and lies at the bottom of the hill on the far end of resort accessed by the gondola.
Also see: Where to Stay in 2 Alpes
Hotels in 2 Alpes
There are a number of hotels in Les Deux Alpes from chalet-hotels with traditional fixtures and fittings, to the more contemporary ones with swimming pools and spa facilities.
Apartments in 2 Alpes
There are literally hundreds of apartments to choose from in Les Deux Alpes, mostly self-catering. They suit couples right up to large groups of 18 or 20 people.
Chalets in 2 Alpes
There are a small handful of chalets to choose from in Les Deux Alpes and the surrounding villages.
History & Culture in 2 Alpes
The original ‘ski resort’ of the area was not Les Deux Alpes as we know it but La Berarde, which was founded in 1925 when the first access road was completed. The first ‘ski lift’ was a simple tow rope that got off to a fairly inauspicious start when it apparently fell down a mere 15 minutes after the opening ceremony! Read more about the history of Les 2 Alpes.
Also see: History of Les 2 Alpes
Location: 2 Alpes