A guide to Les Deux Alpes
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. 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.
Skiing in 2 Alpes
There are 225 kilometres of pistes here, covering an area of 425 hectares. The 47 ski lifts and a funicular on the glacier give you access to a total of 96 pistes of which 17 are green, 45 are blue, 22 are red and 12 are black. The ski area in Les Deux Alpes is split into two areas, the Valley Blanche sector and the Glacier side, where the majority of the pistes can be found. On this side of the valley, most of the runs are west-facing and enjoy quite a lot of sunshine. From the glacier, you can actually ski blue pistes all the way back to resort, with a descent of around 2000 metres. For those searching for more natural terrain, Les 2 Alpes has a lot of great off-piste terrain. Neighbouring La Grave is an incredible, raw and unforgiving off-piste glaciated area.
Rather uniquely Les Deux Alpes also has a vibrant summer ski scene with snowparks up on the glacier, well-groomed pistes as well as gentle nursery slopes. It attracts ski teams, racers and freestyle skiers and snowboarders from around the world.
Also see: Ski Areas in Les 2 Alpes
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.
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.
Also see: What to Do in Les 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.
Also see: Main Events in Les 2 Alpes
Where to Stay in 2 Alpes
Most of Les Deux Alpes hotel accommodation is strung out along the main road from Petit Plan at one end to the Place de Venosc at the other. For a catered holiday with a relaxed atmosphere, you still can’t beat the tried and tested chalet concept – established UK Tour operators offer catered chalet accommodation in the main part of resort. If you’re after apartments and self catering, there’s a huge range, from cosy studios to chalets sleeping 10 or more.
A little further down the road on the way into Les Deux Alpes, is the village of 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 Les 2 Alpes
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 Les 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.
Also see: Partying in Les 2 Alpes
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.
Grenoble is the closest airport (1.5 hours) but flight options are limited and can be expensive, whereas Geneva has a greater choice of airlines offering better value flights but is a longer commute to resort (3 hours).
Also see: How to Get to Les 2 Alpes
Location: 2 Alpes