Les Deux Alpes ski resort
About Les Deux Alpes
One of France's longest established and most southerly ski areas, Les Deux Alpes is one of the world's big hitters, with 200km (125 miles) of piste served by over 40 lifts, and 2,300m (7,550ft) of skiable vertical, one of the biggest in the world. All of this is topped off by granting keen skiers access to Europe's largest skiable glacier.
Behind these headline facts, Les Deux Alpes is a big, lively village with old hotels juxtaposed with modern developments – most of which provide affordable accommodation. The skiing takes place on both sides of the valley, with lifts never more than a few steps from the main street.
The Vallee Blanche base ski area is small, while the main slopes escalate high up to the glacier area, one of three in France that reopens for summer skiing and boarding. The downside of the layout though is that the ski area is quite narrow and everyone funnels down the same way.
Les Deux Alpes is known for its off-piste opportunities, but there are enough challenging slopes for all abilities to explore. The resort's accessibility to other nearby ski areas also means there are a whole host of options available to skiers.
Les Deux Alpes sits high in the Isére department, between France's northern and southern Alps.
Les Deux AlpesResort Elevation: 1600m
Top Elevation: 3600m
Base Elevation: 1300m
On the slopes
Les Deux Alpes has terrain for all abilities, apart from the 200km (125 miles) of groomed piste there's also an impressive amount of off-piste skiing and a terrain park to enjoy.
One prevailing criticism of the resort was that, whilst offering good skiing for beginners and intermediates, the runs back to the resort were too steep for them. But in winter 2015/16 the resort unveiled a new easy run back, built at a cost of €10m, which solved that problem.
In addition a 250m-long (273 yards) conveyor lift with a glass cover over its entire length was installed in the mid-mountain Les Crêtes area at 2,100m (6,900ft) a few seasons ago. This has created a great beginners area, providing a snowsure place to learn with beautiful views of the mountains.
Wonderful views are also available from the blue runs on Glacier du Mont de Lans, the highest point of the ski area in Les Deux Alpes. The glacier, which also boasts a number of blacks, off-piste opportunities and a connection the nearby resort of La Grave, is reached via the underground funicular and draglifts.
Quieter slopes are available near the Toura area, with runs (and off-piste terrain) down towards La Fee; or head further up to the bottom of the glacier for some decent cruising.
Away from the resort, La Grave, Alpe d'Huez, Serre Chevalier and the 400km (250 miles) of the Milky Way lift pass – which extends from Montgenèvre in France to the 2006 Winter Olympic resorts of Sestriere and Sauze d'Oulx over the border in Italy – are all included on the same lift pass.
As one of France's highest resorts, snow cover is generally reliable, particularly in the glacial area – some of the lower slopes are aided by snowmaking facilities. The season runs from early December to late April.