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Les Deux Alpes in Frankreich, Bild: Inu / shutterstock

Les Deux Alpes: The Mecca of the freerider scene in winter

Les Deux Alpes is a small mountain community in southeastern France with less than 2,000 inhabitants. In terms of tourism, however, the place, which belongs to the arrondissement of Grenoble, has an incredible amount to offer, not only in the winter months. Les Deux Alpes, which is only 35 kilometres from the provincial capital Grenoble, is one of the most famous winter sports centres in France. The villages that make up the ski area are all located between 940 and 1,701 metres above sea level. In total, there are more than 225 kilometres of slopes in the Les Deux Alpes ski area, spread over 95 designated slopes. Ski fans won’t get bored here so quickly. And even in the summer months, the region around Les Deux Alpes is definitely worth a visit, as hiking and mountain biking fans get their money’s worth here as well as lovers of French mountains.

Snow adventures and après-ski in Les Deux Alpes

Skiing in Les Deux Alpes
Perfect skiing conditions in Les Deux Alpes, Image: Nataliya Nazarova / shutterstock

During the winter months, Les Deux Alpes can get a little crowded. Because then the town, which consists of several combined villages, swells to up to 30,000 inhabitants. Both French and numerous international guests populate the romantic hotels and chalets, slopes, bars and shopping streets. In Les Deux Alpes, not only the sporting life pulsates, but also the nightlife. This ski destination in the Oisan mountain region is particularly popular with young people. During the day, alpine skiers and snowboarders romp around on a variety of slopes of all levels of difficulty and length. No matter from which position: the skiing experience is always unforgettable with a fabulously magical view of the surrounding elevations of the almost 4,000-metre-high La Meije. In addition, Les Deux Alpes is surprisingly orderly, as the distances between accommodations and lifts are usually very short.

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So if you are looking for a ski resort where all amenities are combined in a small space, Les Deux Alpes is absolutely the right place for you. Real professionals can also demonstrate their skills here with deep snow freeriding. The greatest masters of this ski variant traditionally meet in winter in Les Deux Alpes, which is considered the Mecca of deep-snow freeriding in Europe. The ski area also attracts freestylers. In the snow park there are seven different areas to demonstrate your skills, for example in the half pipe or on the boardercross course. However, beginners don’t have to have any inhibitions about visiting Les Deux Alpes. Ski schools are designed for skiers of all skill levels and bring even absolute beginners closer to the safe descent with fun and charm. If you’re in the mood for a break, it’s best to dine in the 2,600-metre-high panorama restaurant, which offers wonderful views. If you don’t ski, or want to try out other activities in the snow, Les Deux Alpes has toboggan runs, snowshoeing, ice climbing, ice skating and even dog sledding.

The most exciting activities around Les Deux Alpes in the summer months

Les Deux Alpes is also an excellent place to ski in summer, as the Mont-de-Lans is the largest glacier in Europe in terms of pure area. In the almost 1,800 square kilometre Écrins National Park, which is only a few kilometres away from Les Deux Alpes, there is a fascinating flora and fauna to marvel at in summer. The best way for visitors to immerse themselves in the beautiful nature of the national park is via one of the many widely branched hiking trails. The Écrins National Park is part of the southern French Alpine region. There are no less than 150 peaks to climb here, with an altitude of at least 3,000 meters. The Barre des Ecrins even reaches an impressive height of 4,102 meters. The hiking trails in the park are well marked and offer alternatives for every requirement.

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They lead past glaciers, fascinating waterfalls, ravishingly blue lakes and over idyllic alpine pastures. Mountain bikers and climbers will also find a wide network of routes here. On the way, always with a little luck, you will meet golden eagles, marmots, black vultures, ibex, lynxes or even wolves. There are around 1,800 plant species on the territory of the national park. For example, larches and dwarf junipers can often be seen. If you are planning a longer stay here, you can spend the night in the 40 huts spread over the entire national park and explore the alpine area for days or even weeks.

Culture and activities in all weathers and in all seasons

Les Deux Alpes in the evening
Les Deux Alpes in the evening, Image: Dontsov Evgeny / shutterstock

If there are bad weather days, there is still a lot to do and experience in and around Les Deux Alpes. The Musée Maison de la Montagne provides visitors with detailed information about the mountain region surrounding Les Deux Alpes and its development into a popular winter sports resort. In addition, the biographies of some local mountaineering pioneers are highlighted. All year round, the Glacier Cave, located on the glacier, is icy. Visitors take a walk through the ice cave and marvel at delicately carved ice sculptures.

Furthermore, there are two historic churches to visit in Les Deux Alpes, the churches of Mont-de-Lans and Le Courtil, which are well worth seeing. The church of Le Courtil has parts of buildings from different eras, the oldest part of the church was built in the ninth century in Romanesque style. The Chasal-Lento Museum in Mont-de-Lans shows what everyday life was like in the mountain region in earlier times. You can discover traditional clothing, furnishings and tools here. Afterwards, you can relax with a French aperitif in one of the rustic bars.