Come spring skiing in Les 2 Alpes
Beautiful weather, super skiing and great après-ski - what's not to love?
© Presse La Plagne/Christian Tatin
Discover the top Les 2 Alpes wintersports
Whatever you choose to do on your winter holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across 2 Alpes. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age in 2 Alpes. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
There are basketball courts at the Palais des Sports, located in the heart of the resort.
Catch the latest films and releases in Les 2 Alpes on your winter or summer holiday at the Cinema des 2 Alpes. It is open every day except Sundays and Mondays in the winter season (closure on Mondays only during the school holidays) with 2 screenings at 18:00 and 20:30. Look out for VO or VOST for English speaking films.
The Les Deux Alpes ice caves are a magical grotto of glistening sculptures and fairytale figures. Dug out many years ago by two local guides they have become an annual feature; each winter expert ice sculptors arrive to create a new exhibition based on a different theme every year. At 30 metres below the glacier's surface and 3200m altitude the caves are accessible via a ski lift and a funicular. Open every day from 09:00 to 16:00, accessible via the Jandri Express lift.
For a unique experience, step into the void at 3,400m. Set on the Soreiller summit and just a 5-minute walk from the arrival of the funicular, skiers and non-skiers can experience a 7-metre long step into the void overlooking La Selle valley, 1,500m below.
The Ferme de la Molliere is on bend 1 of the road up to Les 2 Alpes. It's open for visits in summer and winter and is a great place to take the children or to visit for cheese tasting. In winter the children can meet the animals in the farm and pet them. They're closed on Saturdays but open every other day of the week from 10:00 to 18:00. The on-site restaurant is open in both summer and winter and tasting sessions of their locally made produce are available by appointment (in French). Call to reserve on +33 (0)682409175.
A public gym with cardio training and weights can be found at the Espace 1800 Fitness in Les 2 Alpes as well as at the Aqua Centre 2A. Many hotels also offer fitness facilities.
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up. Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snow-capped mountain tops, glaciers and alpine forests of the Alps. From Les 2 Alpes, helicopters can take you over the Aravis mountain range, the Mont Blanc and Lac Leman.
There is an indoor multisports court at the Palais des Sports in Les 2 Alpes where you can play football.
Discover what it's like to be first on the mountain with the ski patrollers, every Wednesday morning with breakfast included.
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Les 2 Alpes! It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. ESF Les Deux Alpes has a number of instructors qualified in teaching skiing to people with disabilities; we recommend you book in advance to ensure availability. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski.. whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Les 2 Alpes that offers this service.
Unfortunately, heli-skiing is not permitted in France, however, some of the ski schools, adventure companies, local flight companies and mountain guide companies will offer a pick-up/drop-off heli-skiing service for you where you will be taken over the border into Italy or Switzerland. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
Enjoy a leisurely, fun sleigh ride pulled along by a horse on the snow. There are three trips per day from Les 2 Alpes to La Molière farm that you can choose from at 10:00, 14:00 and 15:30 and the ride lasts for an hour and 15 minutes. Children under 3 are free. Expect to pay around €25 for adults and €20 for children. You can book at the Tourist Office.
One of the best ways to take the spectacular mountain scenery from a different point of view is on a hot-air balloon. From Les 2 Alpes you can fly around Lake Annecy, the Aravis mountain range and Mont Blanc. Anyone over 1.2m tall can take part, flights last for around 3-4 hours.
Be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths in winter around the area of La Molière, Venosc and the Vénéon river. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, you set off following the guide’s team. If this all sounds a bit much you can opt for a less physical outing where you sit in the sled and the guide does all the hard work! It's a very popular winter activity, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is a must. They run from early December to the end of April (snow-permitting), last for around 2 hours and there are even children-dedicated rides.
Ice climbing is great if you're the sort of person that likes a bit of adrenaline and a challenge. Whether you are an experienced climber or a beginner you can have a go. There are 600 ice waterfalls you can climb in the Oisans region.
Ice Skating is the perfect activity to do with the family or in a group of you fancy something a little bit different for après ski. There is an artificial 1800m2 ice rink located in the heart of the resort where you can enjoy ice skating every day except Thursdays throughout the winter season from 16:00 to 20:00. Free entry with a ski pass, you can rent skates there.
Fancy something a bit different to do with the kids? How about bumper cars on ice? The cars are powered by a battery and allow you to bump, slide and crash into the other cars on the rink. Open on Thursdays from 16:00 to 21:00 at the ice skating rink. Cars seat two people.
If you want to take a break from the mountain activities, do something with the family or in a group, then bowling is a great option. Head to Le Strike Bowling Alley on a bad weather day or if you just fancy doing something in the evening after a day on the mountain.
There is an indoor climbing wall at the Palais des Sports, in the heart of Les 2 Alpes.
There are a number of companies who can take you mountaineering in both summer and winter, from local guides to ski schools, private instructors or activity companies. The summits of the Ecrins National Park, especially the Barre des Ecrins (4101m) and La Meije (3984m) are the most popular peaks. There is also a great choice of ski mountaineering itineraries in the area.
There are several museums in Les 2 Alpes that explore the area's history, traditional arts & crafts, its relationship with alpinism or the local flora, fauna and minerals. Les Deux Alpes ice caves are a magical grotto of glistening sculptures and fairytale figures. Dug out many years ago by two local guides they have become an annual feature; each winter expert ice sculptors arrive to create a new exhibition based on a different theme every year. At 30 metres below the glaciers surface and 3200m altitude the caves are accessible via a ski lift and a funicular.
Floodlit skiing and snowboarding takes place on the Lutins piste behind the central Tourist Office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through the winter season from 18:00 to 21:00.
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Les 2 Alpes is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is to give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the mountain tops, you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. Some of the instructors here also offer Speed Riding a combination of flying on skis. The main departing area is accessible via Le Diable chairlift.
Many people would not automatically think of Les 2 Alpes as a place to shop. However, the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports Mecca, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores and plenty of shops selling traditional mountain goods.
Ski joering hails from Scandinavia, indeed the word ski joering itself means ski driving in Norwegian. In France, the preferred style is to use a rider-less horse which is controlled by the skier. A rig with reigns is connected to the horse’s bridle and the skier is towed along behind the horse on skis, holding onto the rig. The skier steers with vocal commands and by pulling on lines connected to the horse's bit. It is a sport that is suitable for all ages and rides can be tailored to suit any standard of skier, from a gentle hack to a gallop through the snow.
Les 2 Alpes is popular for ski touring, whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down, or tackling more of a back country route. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around, or if you've got all the necessary equipment you can head out in your own group. There are 3 marked ski touring routes in resort: one close to Les Vallons du Diable, one starting from the Super Venoc chairlift and another one starting from the Vallée Blanche chairlift. The mountain guides also organise evening touring sessions for beginners. For those more experienced, some of the most popular ski touring areas in Les 2 Alpes are the mountains of Les Cerces, the Ecrins National Park and Le Queyras.
Les 2 Alpes sits high up in the Oisans region, with a ski area ranging from 1300m to 3600m in altitude where you'll find one of Europe's largest skiable glaciers. 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. Les 2 Alpes also has a lot of great off-piste terrain.
In winter there are four areas where your children can enjoy sledging or tobogganing in Deux Alpes. It's free to have a go, and parents must stay with their children and supervise them at all times.
In French it's called the 'Espace Luge'. The 4 zones are located:
The different runs are mainly designed for children but adults can have a go on Tuesday and Thursday evenings when the slopes are flood-lit for night skiing.
Raquette à Neige or Snow-shoeing in and around Les 2 Alpes is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions or for non-skiers. Don't forget to wear comfortable and waterproof boots. Either set out on your own, or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and explore the hidden parts of the Oisans area. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, or you can hire snowshoes from most Sports Shops or Ski Hire Shops, grab a trail map from the Tourist Office and head off on your own adventure. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go.
Those who enjoy speed will love riding a powerful snowmobile (like a motorbike with caterpillar tracks) around Les 2 Alpes. Discover the different dimensions of driving; carving turns, accelerating in a straight line, ascents and descents. There are specific circuits for snowmobiles in the highest parts of Les 2 Alpes.
Snowmobiles are a great way to explore Les 2 Alpes especially as you get to ride them when the resort is at its quietest. Disappear into the woods and blast around empty snow fields on your scooter with your own guide. Remember to wrap up warmly especially if you go after dark, and bring goggles if there is powder. Booking is essential as it's a popular thing to do. You'll find the office on the snowfront near the ice rink.
2 Alpes has an amazing snowpark which is open in winter and summer, as it's high elevation allows good snow cover year round. There are several different areas inside the snowpark. For beginners, the Family Cross and Easy Park run alongside each other, close enough that you can easily hop from one to the other. For intermediates, the Progress Park is a slopestyle format course on the ridge between the chairlifts and the Lac Noir pistes with a mixture of kickers, boxes and a quarterpipe finishing on Lac Noir 1. Advanced freestylers have the Park Avenue and Slopestyle lines. Park Avenue has an urban theme, lined with lampposts and there are more box/rail type features here and a wall-ride. The slopestyle is a line of four tabletops on which they build kickers and rails. For experts, the big air next to the Slopestyle is huge.
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool.
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier; you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
At the Espace 1800 in the centre of Les 2 Alpes there are 2 squash courts available year round. You can also rent squash equipment.
Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Les 2 Alpes. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities. At Espace 1800 you will also find indoor and outdoor heated pools as well as a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached into the binding at the toe, so to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
Les 2 Alpes is a winter walker's paradise, with lifts giving access to the higher ground and a network of groomed trails in the winter, it's very easy to discover the resort on foot. You do not need any particular equipment, just a pair of sturdy boots and layers of warm clothing that you can take off or put on as necessary. A pair of walking poles will come in handy for extra balance on icy patches and for checking snow depth before you go striding forth. Top tip: buy ‘grippers’ for your walking boots to prevent slipping which you can buy from most local Sport Shops. In Les 2 Alpes you can also try 'Ruisseling', a hike along frozen rivers with crampons on.
Beautiful weather, super skiing and great après-ski - what's not to love?
Skiing La Grave is something that every serious skier should do at least once in their lives.
Les Deux Alpes’ ice rink is bang in the middle of the resort, between the main square and the foot of the pistes, so there is no excuse not to have a go while you are here.
With or without skis, the Les Deux Alpes glacier offers an unforgettable experience that is not to be missed. The view from 3400m is stupendous, the new Skywalk is heart stopping, and the Ice Caves take you right into the heart of the glacier.
Winter holidays in Les 2 Alpes are not just about skiing and energetic outdoor pursuits.
If you are lucky enough to be in Les Deux Alpes this coming Valentine's Day, you might be wondering where to go for a romantic evening out. Here are a few of the best choices, and a couple of alternative ideas too!