Les Deux Alpes Ski Resort
Les 2 Alpes has the highest pistes in France at over 3,500m. The resort is not pretty but it's affordable and lively, and whilst the ski area is not very large, it has testing black runs and freeriding for strong skiers, and long gentle blue pistes for novices or those who prefer easy cruising.
High up in a narrow valley above the Lac Du Chambon lies the sprawling resort that is officially called Les-Deux-Alpes, although it’s sometimes abbreviated to ‘Les 2 Alpes’ or even ‘L2A‘. Its main drag is 2km long but seems even longer and is lined with good value hotels and apartments. And there are plenty of restaurants, fast-food outlets and bars too. (If this sounds too noisy, consider staying in the pretty village of Venosc 700m below Les Deux Alpes and linked to it by lift.)
The highest slopes are 100% snowsure and can be skied in summer as well as winter. The resort itself is “only” at 1,650m above sea level, but it takes just two lifts to reach the edge of the glacier at 3,400m, and a further two lifts gets you to the highest piste skiing in France at the Dôme de la Lauze at 3,568m. From here strong novices and above can descend nearly 2,000m on blue and green runs, which, together with the excellent nursery slopes next to the resort and the wide choice of ski schools, make Les Deux Alpes a good place to learn to ski. And experts are not forgotten about either: there are both normal black runs and ungroomed ‘dotted black’ slopes that deserve their grading.
But piste skiing is just part of what’s on offer. Freestyle skiers and boarders have an impressive high altitude terrain park at Toura. And then there’s the off-piste, both in Les 2 Alpes itself, and in the legendary ‘freeride-only’ ski area of La Grave, to which it is semi-linked (you’re pulled waterski-style by a pistebasher over the Glacier de la Girose). Bring a guide with you if you want to return in one piece.
So what’s not to like about this Las Vegas of the Alps? Well firstly, the mountain has an ‘upside down’ feel. Instead of the easy pistes being near the bottom of the ski area, in Les 2 Alpes they are mostly near the top. This has some advantages: all skiers, whatever their standard, can experience high-altitude skiing on crisp snow and see amazing alpine views. But as nervous skiers descend, they get funnelled into narrower, more crowded runs that are often icy in the morning and slushy in the afternoon. Secondly, there are very few red runs for intermediate skiers. And thirdly, the ski area is probably too small for strong keen skiers who insist on sticking to the pistes and stay here for a full week.
But there is a solution to that: just to the north of Les Deux Alpes is the larger ski area of Alpe d’Huez. The two resorts are not connected by lift but they are by bus and helicopter, and most lift passes entitle you to at least one day’s free skiing in the other one, so use it. And for those with a car, the tree-lined slopes of Serre Chevalier are about 50 minutes away and make a good contrast to L2A’s high-altitude bowls.
- Accommodation in Les Deux Alpes. Hotels, Chalets, Self-Catering Apartments, Package Holidays, Where to stay… Read more >>>
- How to get to Les Deux Alpes. Nearest Airports and Railway Stations, Airport Transfers, Hire Cars… Read more >>>
- Ski Schools & Guides in Les Deux Alpes. Ski & Snowboard Schools, Mountain Guides, Private Instructors… Read more >>>
- Discounted Ski & Snowboard Rental in Les Deux Alpes:
- ALPINRESORTS.com works with several ski hire shops in and around Les Deux Alpes, and can secure discounts of up to 60%. Click here to see shop locations and latest offers >>>
- SKISET has 4 outlets in the resort, and has also agreed to give advanced booking discounts of up to 50% if you book online here >>>
Les Deux Alpes Pros and Cons
+ Snowsure glacier at the top of the ski area
+ High long blue runs
+ Good nursery slopes
+ Excellent off-piste, in L2A & La Grave
+ Lively nightlife
+ Less expensive than most high altitude resorts
+ Short transfers from Grenoble
– Smaller ski area than other major resorts
– Very few red runs
– Some very crowded slopes
– Limited tree skiing in bad visibility
– Spread-out, ugly resort