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Skiing at Les Deux Alpes in France – Day-tripper.net the web magazine for channel shoppers and visitors to France.
The Mondial du Ski and Snowboard have been replaced with new events. In 2010 there was the Rock on Snowboard Tour / Come on for Ski events.
In 2011 we had the "Enjoy the Glacier" week. Opportunities to test ski, snowboards and skiwear.
Increasingly popular because of its glacier which guarantees skiing even at bad times, Les Deux Alpes in the heart of the Isère, has recently extended its pistes and number of ski lifts. Although it caters to a young dynamic market, its wide pistes and accessibility make it popular with older and average skiers too.
The first ski event of the season is at Les Deux Alpes during the last week of October each year. The glacier opens during the last week of October.
October 2010 – The Mondial is coming back (all be it in a different format). The Rock on Snowboard Tour is held on the 23rd and 24th October at the start of the first weeks skiing in Deux Alpes.
Summer 2010 events; June 17th to 20th – Mondial du VTT Free Raid Classic VTT Mag. July 4th – Les 2 Alpes Raidlight Trail with Maratour des Glaciers (long loop) and Trail du Chibani (short loop). July 16th to 18th – Mountain of Hell. July 24th to 30th – Defi de l'Oisans. August 1st – Fete des Foins. August 21st and 22nd – Marco Pantani Memorial Cycling.
The glacier also allows for summer skiing. Although you can only ski in the morning, the glacier here offers the most extensive summer skiing in Europe.
The 2009 – 2010 ski season began 28th November 2009 and ends 24th April 2010. Les Deux Alpes has 225 km of pisted slopes, there are now 51 ski lifts, and a Slide zone.
Good news! Swiss Airlines does not charge its passengers for ski and snowboard equipment transport. One pair of ski (including ski boots and sticks) or one snowboard (including boots) per passanger is included in the ticket price (unless it exceeds the free baggage allowance). In 2009 at the annual Guardian and Observer Travel Awards ceremony, Swiss won the "Best short haul airline" award.
Skiing in France • Ski Companies A to M, Ski Companies N to Z • Skiwear brands • U.K. Ski shops • Ski equipment hire • Factory shops (skiing) France • Ski resort connections • Ski train • Flat in Les Deux Alpes • Les 2 Alpes • Cheap fuel off the autoroutes • Hotels in France
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Book by 29th June - travel by 30th June 2013. Includes a car, up to 9 passengers and all taxes.
Les Deux Alpes has over 1,200 hectares of skiable snow. 500 of these are served by 102 pistes, the rest are entirely devoted to off piste skiing.
Les Deux Alpes opens for the All Saints holiday in the last week of October each year. Snow has already arrived on the glacier by this time of the year, and in some years (2003) it is possible to ski back down to the resort as well.
Summer skiing on Europe's largest skiable glacier begins mid June and usually continues until the end of August. More
Other events run throughout the winter season.
Snow is guaranteed on the glacier (3200 metres), but often you can ski all the way down to the resort at 1300 metres.
In 2012, the snowparc and slide zone at 3200 has been greatly extended and offers a wide range of slides and opportunities to test yourself to the limit on well groomed and prepared pistes.
Summer skiing on Europe's largest skiable glacier begins mid June each year and continues until the end of August. Every year the glacier is open for summer skiers. Many clubs come here from all over Europe. Try and avoid weeks where there are events such as the VTT (mountain bikes), which are in mid June (www.mondialduvtt.com). Although we found it quite quiet on the glacier in the second week of the season, the VTT events did make it busy down below. Skiers however were allowed to use the "reserved for instructors" queue area so avoiding the huge queues of cyclists.
The restaurant at 3200 metres is very good value. The skiers menu costs around 16 euro. We enjoyed an enormous Greek salad, followed by steak hache between two Rosti's (a potato and onion pancake). A glass of wine or a soft drink are included.
The summer skiing pistes vary considerably. Many areas can be a bit icy, especially early on. By midday however, the snow is slushy and skiing stops at 1.00pm. If it is below freezing overnight, this slush can freeze solid, but by and large the pistes soften up wonderfully by about 10.30am.
With a drop of nearly 800 metres, the pistes, although wide, offer some good fast skiing. By early July the lower piste (Roche Mantel) is closed. However there are many T bars and a furnicular, and it is also possible to use the many lifts on the upper part of the glacier. The snowpark is mainly for snowboarders although anyone can use it. It's a great place to practice jumping should you feel so inclined, or even use the slides.
Many people come here to simply practice their skills. Charlotte Swift at Easiski, specialises in older skiers who need careful attention. Individual or group lessons are available and cost from 40 Euro an hour.
Evolution2, ski and snowboard school. www.evolution2-2alpes.com
– Ecole des Ski Les 2 Alpes. www.esf2alpes.com
French Ski Federation. www.ffs.fr
– The European Ski and Snowboard School. www.europeanskischool.co.uk
Easiski have an excellent reputation for getting skiers who have plateaued or just feel they are not doing as well as they should, back on track and much improved. Lessons are offered throughout the year (Les Deux Alpes has summer skiing on the glacier). more
Easiski newsletter. www.easiski.com
Lyon St. Exupéry Airport (160kms). Coach to 2Alpes; (via Grenoble) Tel: 0033 472 35 25 52 55. satobus-alpes.altibus.com
Lyon airport to Grenoble. www.faurevercors.fr
Lyon Airport. www.lyon.aeroport.fr
Grenoble St. Geoirs Airport; (120kms). There is a coach from the airport to 2Alpes (via Grenoble).
– Grenoble Altitude bus service, from Grenoble Airport to Grenoble Gares Routieres (SNCF) and direct to Les Deux Alpes and Alpes d'Huez. www.grenoble-altitude.com
Where to get the coach in Grenoble, Les Deux Alpes and Alpes d'Huez. www.grenoble-altitude.com
First take the airport shuttle to Grenoble "Gare Routières", then use the Transisere link to Deux Alpes. www.transisere.fr
Geneva Airport (220kms); www.gva.ch
Motorway from London 1,058km.
Taxi Rouard. Tel: 0033 476 80 02 83.
Trans'Oisans. Tel: 0033 476 80 06 97.
Les Deux Alpes is awash with a wide variety of hotels and apartments from the bland to the luxurious. The 2alpes.com is a good place to find out more regarding hotels and places to stay.
I stayed in the Hotel Muzelle Sylvana ***, close to the centre and with a good selection of shops and restaurants nearby. 120 Avenue de la Muzelle. 38860. Les Deux Alpes. Tel: 0033 476 790 279. www.skisystem.net
Run by the Sky System, an Italian company, I found it clean and well organised. Be sure to ask for a room facing the Muzelle whenever staying in Deux Alpes – the view is superb. I didn't get round to eating in the restaurant, or to use the steam room, gym or UVA beds.
Unusually for Deux Alpes, this hotel is open all year round.
The Hotel Le Chamois **, is also worth a stay. 110, Avenue de la Muzelle. Tel: 0033 476 80 51 31.
We like the Hotel le Cret. www.hotel-le-cret.com
There are SPAR, Casino, and Marche U supermarkets in Les Deux Alpes. The Marche U was very reasonably priced (great for sun tan lotion and other necessities), and is also open on Sunday morning (fresh bread).
Marche U, 57 Avenue de la Muzelle. 38860 Les Deux Alpes. Tel: 0033 476 79 58 63.
There is a market in Mont de Lans on Wednesday mornings. You can get a bus or take the ski lift down to the town from the entrance to Deux Alpes.
Near Venosc in the valley there is a market every Tuesday morning in Bourg d'Arud.
The Saturday market in Bourges d'Oisans is huge and worth a visit.
Tourist Office Les Deux Alpes. 4, Place des 2 Alpes. Tel: 0033 476 79 22 00.
Reservations (accommodation) service. Tel: 0033 476 79 24 38.
– Local web sites / information www.les2alpes.com
– The snow park at Les 2 Alpes. www.2alpes-snowpark.com
– Mondial du VTT (mountain bike event). www.mondialduvtt.com
– Tourism in the Oisans. www.tourisme-oisans.com
Rando Oisans – Walking in the Alpes. www.rando-oisans.com
Mountain guides. www.guides-oisans.com
Map of the area (PDF). www.alpes-photos.com
Webcam of glacier. www.2alpes.com
Les Deux Alpes runs a free course over two days once a week, emphasising ski behaviour and mountain safety. It runs from 2nd January to 18th April and is free.
We found the service and advice at Precision Ski (formerly Carrel Sports) worth a recommendation. Precision Ski, 103, Avenue de la Muzelle. Tel: 0033 476 11 38 46.
According to them, it's also no more expensive buying skis and ski wear at ski resorts, as shops sell at the manufacturers recommended price. Sales can only be held at Government approved times in France. Race gear is a particular good buy in France, as United Kingdom shops are scared of being left with unsold stock. www.precisionski.fr / www.ski-republic.com
Ski Extreme is also recommended. They have some good skis here which will suit the more frequent skier. 102 Avenue de la Muzelle. 38860. Les Deux Alpes. Tel: 0033 476 79 09 48. www.location-ski-les2alpes.fr
La Seneou (Ski Republic), 61, avenue de la Muzelle. 38860 Les 2 Alpes. Tel: 0033 476 80 25 75.
L2A Sport Discount, 1 rue du Cairou. 38860 Les 2 Alpes. Tel: 0033 476 80 17 98. www.2alpes-location-de-ski.com
Skiset – pre book ski hire, 210 shops. www.skiset.co.uk
Close to the Italian border and with a large Italian contingent always in evidence, there are many restaurants offering superb, good value food.
A good example is "La Spaghetteria" in the main part of the town. I had the 14.50 euro set menu. The starter was a "help yourself from the buffet" effort. A good selection to choose from and all appetising. A small carafe of wine was included in the price and was more than adequate. I had tagliatelle with pesto sauce for the main course, but I could not finish it as there was just too much. All in all very good value and recommended. "La Spaghetteria", 109 Avenue de la Muzelle.
I also ate at a Creperie, "Crêpe à GOGO". I had the tartiflette which was excellent with a large Leffe beer. My meal cost just 12 euro (about £8.30). Crêpe à GOGO, 118 Avenue de la Muzelle. www.lescrepesagogo.com
A good value, upmarket restaurant is the "Blue Salmon" at 98 Avenue de la Muzelle. Tel: 0033 476 79 29 56. Tastefully decorated, the food and wine list was better than most, and not expensive. The baked Salmon and Mozerella we enjoyed as part of the 28 euro menu was superb.
At 3200 metres the only restaurant open was "Les Glaciers". And it was packed for good reason. All the meals I had were delicious, although prices are more expensive at altitude. Astonishing panorama from the restaurant. Les Glaciers, 3200.
Dinner on the mountain – at 2400 and 3200 metres.
At 2400 metres – Every Thursday evening skiers and snowboarders can dine at the "Le Diable au Coeur" restaurant, and then descend with a mountain guide. Prices in 2009 were 40 euro.
At 3200 metres – When there is a full moon, you can dine and dance at restaurant at 3200 metres on the glacier. Skiing takes place between 5.00 and 11.00pm.
Les Deux Alpes and Alpes d'Huez now offer the skiers the opportunity to ski at no extra cost in each others resorts. A bus takes you to Alpes d'Huez every Wednesday and Thursday.
Not much WiFi around at Deux Alpes it seems (The hotel Mercure at the other end of the village has it). We found the Orange WiFi service from Accor effective and reasonably priced.
Some cafes and bars have broadband and WiFi although they charge for it.
The Red Frog Bar, 1 Place de Venosc. Tel: 0033 476 79 23 28. There is broadband and WiFi here which proved to be reliable. More like an English bar, it has a sunny terrace as well.- More importantly it serves a world famous English breakfast. The wifi works well here, is FREE, and the service attentive – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Smokey Joe's in the centre also has computers for surfing at reasonable prices, although it is not always open.
Both Smokey Joe's and The Red Frog are run by English speakers.
There is a new snowpark at 2600 m.
The Grand Nord slope has been widened.
The downstream portion of the Goulet de Lac Noir has been widened.
A new slope, Déversoir, at the foot of the Le Thuit chair lift will be in operation.
Artificial snow making – an extra 40 snow guns are in place to ensure plenty of snow on the lower slopes.
Ski lifts – a fixed 4 seater chair lift " la Cote" will provide access from the glacier slope to the Valleé Blanche slopes.
– a detachable 6 seater chair lift "Bellecombes" replaces two chair lifts, Grand Nord and Bellecombes.
Les Deux Alpes has worked hard to satisfy innovative and energetic skiers.- The snow park is now some 20 acres.
A typically stunning view from the top of the glacier at Les Deux Alpes (3,690 metres)
– Snow forecast, generally comprehensive. www.snow-forecast.com
– AccuWeather forecasts. www.accuweather.com
– BBC Worldwide weather. www.bbc.co.uk
– The United Kingdom Met Office. www.metoffice.gov.uk
– Great site for longer range forecasts. www.weather.com