Les Deux Alpes, 1650m, France
The resort of Les Deux Alpes is situated in the Isère department of the French Alps where North and South Alps meet and the village sits at 1,650m (5,413 ft). It 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 (due to having the largest skiable glacier in Europe) and summer sports.
You may think Les Deux Alpes is named after the mountains but actually, it is named after the two neighbouring villages, Vénosc and Mont de Lans that sit at both ends. It is a haven for mountain bike enthusiasts, climbers and walkers. With the Ecrins National Park on its doorstep, the flora, fauna and scenery of the Alps are all close at hand so it’s perfect for nature lovers.
However, it is the skiing that gives Les Deux Alpes its international reputation. It is the largest ski resort in the Dauphine region and the second oldest in France, after Chamonix in the Haute-Savoie region. It makes up part of the Grande Galaxie ski area, together with Alpe d’Huez, La Grave, Puy St Vincent and Vaujany. Les Deux Alpes offers approximately 220 km (137 miles) of piste runs and 2,300 m (7,546 ft) of vertical drop. There are an impressive 96 runs in total which are suitable for every level including 17 beginner runs, 45 easy, 22 intermediate, 12 difficult and 1 terrain park all served by 51 lifts in total. There is 1 funicular; 3 cable cars; 3 gondolas; 23 chairlifts and 21 surface lifts.
Les Deux Alpes has one of the most enviable, modern lift systems in Europe, often being the first to trial new technology in its quest to attract more skiers. An example of this is the Dôme Express Funicular railway, the world’s highest funicular/cable railway and one of the very few underground cable railways in existence. It carries 1500 people per hour and accesses not only the ski area but also the ice caves and La Croisière Blanche with an elevator linking it to the Jandri Express Gondola. The Jandri Express is the world’s fastest gondola and can get you from the bottom of the resort to the top of the glacier in only 24 minutes, pretty impressive for a 7km journey including a cabin change at 2600m! It can carry up to 1800 people per hour and each cabin holds up to 20 people standing up carrying their skis.
International flights from most countries fly into nearby airports to Les Deux Alps, Grenoble (GNB) Lyon (LYS) and Geneva (GVA). The distance from Grenoble airport to Les Deux Alps is 1.5 hours which is 111km away, its 2 hours 156.4km from Lyon airport and the distance from Geneva airport to Les Deux Alps is 3 hours and 213km away. There are other airports nearby, however, these are the most convenient for international visitors. Transfers are by way of a shuttle bus, private car hire or taxi. You don’t need a car once you’re in the resort as everything is fairly accessible, you can walk from one end to the other in about 20 minutes and there’s a free bus service from 8 am to 8 pm. However, if you do have a car, there is plenty of parking available throughout the resort.
Après ski in Les Deux Alpes caters for all, along its narrow cobbled lanes you will find a range of ski shops, craft shops whatever you need and if you want to relax and rejuvenate those tired muscles head for the wellness centre for a much-needed massage. The nightlife, in all honesty, is legendary! There are so many cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants that whatever you’re in the mood for is right at your fingertips. Whether you choose a cosy night in a relaxed bar with a roaring log fire to keep you warm or go for the full-on cocktail experience there is something for everyone. Visiting DJs set the scene and often a party starts in the afternoons so if you are looking for a vibrant social or nightlife where you can party and dance until dawn it’s all here in Les Deux Alps. There are also plenty of events and tours which pass through the resort, so there’s never a dull moment it’s ideal for families, couples and groups wanting great skiing and plenty of other amenities to keep busy and occupied. Les Deux Alps has everything you could possibly want!