recommended family holidays

les deux alpes resort guide, french alps

Les Deux Alpes is a lively village and one of the oldest resorts in France. The resort has over 200km of pistes & ski areas to suit all levels of skier & snowboarder, plus with above average sunshine it could be your ideal choice.  It is known as a family friendly resort with many accommodation providers also offering childcare plus there a some free lifts in the village for the children & a kid’s freestyle area too. 
Situated in the Oisans region, Les Deux Alpes is at a height of 1,650m with the ski range from 1,300m right up to 3,600m making this an ideal resort for early or late skiing.  Access to the resort is good and the nearest airports are Grenoble 1.5 hours drive away or Lyon 2 hours away.  If you drive into resort there is plenty of parking & once there you can easily walk from one end of the resort to the other.
In resort there is a wide variety of bars & restaurants along the busy main street.   Apres-ski is famous or should I say infamous with plenty of bars & live music on offer.  For the non-skiers amongst you, there is plenty to do including: swimming & spa, shops, sports centre, bowling alley, cinema, Dodgems on ice, ice skating, an ice grotto or why not try snowmobiling or paragliding.

Winter in Les Deux Alpes

The ski resort is a bit "upside down" in that the gentler, nursery style slopes are at higher altitudes so beginners can experience the better snow conditions against a stunning backdrop of the French Alps.  In addition, don't forget the village runs which are wide, gentle & south facing.  For the more expert skier, you might want to head to the glacial area of La Meije or to the ominously named La Grave which has some of the best altitude skiing in Europe & a vertical drop of 2,200m.  In addition, there is an excellent snow park with a huge array of rails and a 120 metre half pipe for the snowboarders amongst you.
It is well known as having one of the most efficient & modern lift systems in Europe which allows you to be whisked up the slopes with the minimum waiting time.  The underground Funicular for example, can take up to 1,500 people/hour & also gives you access to the ice caves as well as the ski area.
There are several ski schools on offer in Les Deux Alpes including the following:
  • Evolution 2 – offering group ski or snowboard lessons for 4-8 people.
  • ESF Les Deux Alpes Ski School – the main French ski school offering ski or boarding lessons either in groups or privately.  Lessons are also held in English.
  • ESI St Christophe Ski School – offering either group or private lessons for adults & children.

Summer in Les Deux Alpes

There is a whole host of summer activities you can enjoy in Les Deux Alpes which is very popular for summer skiing and mountain biking, wild and fun white water rafting or hiking. There are activities which are great for families, groups and those that you can just pop out on your own and enjoy. Whatever you decide to do there is plenty to enjoy in the mountains in the summer:
  • Canyoning or white water rafting
  • Day spas for relaxation
  • Mountain biking or road cycling – bike hire is available.
  • Glacier walking
  • Helicopter tours
  • Paragliding or parapenting
  • Tennis
  • Climbing

Accommodation in Les Deux Alpes

Chalet Hotel Berangere from Mark Warner – nestled at the foot of the slopes, facing south with superb views from the hotel & its balconies. There is a bar, lounge with log fire, indoor swimming pool & spa. Room options range from singles to family suites, plus there is a kids club in the hotel with childcare available from 4 months to 12 years. Offered on a fully catered basis including breakfast, afternoon tea & 3 course evening meal with wine.
Residence Le Valetin from MadameVacances– completed renovated for 2013, it is ski in/ski out accommodation close to the main lifts, ski school & resort centre.  There is an indoor pool & spa plus you can opt either for a self catering apartment or half board option.  Each apartment can sleep up to 4 people & has a TV, DVD player & good kitchen facilities. Excellent value for money option.
Crystal Ski in Les Deux Alpes offers a range of accommodation plus a nanny service for children from 6 months to 8 years old for groups or families booking a whole chalet or in the Finest Cortina apartments. Catered chalets, self catered apartments & hotels are all available for all budgets.  An excellent choice.
Inghams in Les Deux Alpes offer an excellent choice of accommodation in Les Deux Alpes including half board hotels, self catering apartments & catered chalets.  They offer an accommodation only service or a full package including flights & transfers. A crèche service is pre-bookable for children aged 3-5 years.
Pierre et Vacances in Les Deux Alpes offers accommodation in the increasingly popular Residences i.e. self contained apartments within a larger building with good location on the slopes for ski in/ ski out and some have good communal facilities including swimming pool & spa.  Good value for money options.
PS. The latest holiday blog posting looks at Family skiing holidays with Pierre et Vacances - ski holidays with the kids are fraught with potential problems - accommodation, childcare, non-skiers in the group, catering, ski equipment, kids activities after skiing - let Pierre et Vacances, part of the Center Parcs group help you. Read on..... by clicking here to view the blog posting & see how they can help you. Published 27 December 2014
Article By Lucilla Paull

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