Last update : 19 January 2003
Me and a friend booked a ski-holiday to Les Deux Alpes with Sportura. We had a great time. Below you can read our experiences about Les 2 Alpes, our appartment and Sportura.
Les Deux Alpes is situated at 1650m altitude, right between two mountainsides.The
Village itself is quite "ok". It has a long, rectangular form, which
can result in you walking from one end to the other (like we did). It's not that
big, and the buildings are rather "low", so you do not have the impression
to be walking in concrete city (cfr. Les Trois Vallées). Lots of small
shops, bars, restaurants, discos,… however we found only one press-shop
where you could buy foreign newspapers. Prices are normal-to-high (on average
3 € for a cup of hot chocolate).
There are free shuttle-busses through & around the village (and to the lifts). There’s a bus every 30 minutes. 95 % of the tourists are French, Dutch or English. English is, of course, widely understood. I don’t have any complaint about any unfriendly locals.
We had ordered a appartment for 2 in the Bel'Alpe residence, however we ended up in a 6 person appartment. I can assure you, that's a lot of space! In general, the appartments were "ok" clean, and all accomodation was new (beds, kitchen, kitchen equipment, bathroom,…). The walls were a bit thin, resulting in some noise from our Heineken-shredding dutch neighbours and some lost beats from the bar below, "La grotte du Yeti" (and we were already on the second floor, imagine the noise on the first floor..).
To reach our appartment, we had to clim exterior stairs, which were all week icy. Nice way to test your body's abilities in ski-shoes.
Nothing bad, and certainly good for that price (and spacy :-)
We had a fresh load of snow on the night after we arrived (20 cm on lower slopes,
1 meter on upper slopes), and thus the snow conditions were excellent. There
are a few blue slopes that have horizontal parts, which is especially annoying
when you're snowboarding. Another thing is that you're almost always returning
to the middle station (2600 meters, "La Tourra") because that's just
where the upper slopes al lead to! Queues in front of the lift were acceptable..
the longest I've waited was 10 minutes (but that was kind of out-season, so
…). Some people say that the infrastructure is out-of-date, but I don't
agree. Every here and there you'll find a 2 person chairlift and the egglifts
don't really look new, but there are the 2 modern Jandri lifts, 1 train and
an 8 person chairlift as well. What surprised me a bit was that they manually
check your ski-pass (while in Italy, it was all automatic bar-code scanning!).
Food & drinks on the slopes ispricy (3,5 € for a hot chocolate, 11
€ for a plate with some french fries), but this should be considered normal
One slope in particular I found very nice: Les Gours. This slope is, unlike the others, not surrounded by other slopes/lifts, so you really enjoy the beautiful nature. Disadvantage: 2 long horizontal parts.
The glacier "Mont-de-Lans" (3200-3400 meters altitude) is worth a visit just for the view (but in fact, the view is beautifull on all the slopes). We didn't visit the ice-cave (too busy skiing). You'll find some T-lifts here.
The slopes near La Grave aren't really exiting, but I think the offpiste on the glacier "Glacier de la Girose" is (be sure to take a guide with you!), and the view is admirable.
You can only ski to the village on 2 black slopes or one green. The green one is small and sometimes overcrowded and icy (I saw a helicopter (!) providing the green slope with fresh snow from higher, during 2 hours…). The black ones are really black (and sometimes overcrowded too) and only advisable if you've had snow fresh snow.
The lower slopes are equipped with snowmachines. Sometimes they're on the entire day, sometimes at night, sometimes they're just switched off. Only T-lifts here (harder for snorboarders)(yes, there are some chairlifts, but they weren't functioning)
We booked through Sportura, a dutch organisation that has small offices throughout
Belgium. Well, organisation was bad: we received our vouchers by fax because
they forgot to send ‘m, we couldn’t board the bus on the location
we had chosen (in stead we had to travel 60 km by train, not a disaster, but
they only told us 4 days before departure!). Once arrived, we found ourselves
(2 persons, not even fat or something) in a 6 person appartment which is..good
for us, but bad for others (a group of people who had booked toghether had to
be separated over 2 different residences – each on the other side of the
village!). Upon arrival we didn’t have any blankets, but we received them
after repeated complaining.They have a bar, called “La Grotte Du Yeti”,
but it didn’t have an alcohol-license untill the day before our departure!
At the operning party; their central computer crashed (nice DOS screens, btw),
and then they decided just to sell everything (even longdrinks!) for 2 €,
which was bloody cheap. At the end of the party, at 2:00 am, because that seems
to be the closing-hour, all staff was drunk (they weren’t even capable
of replacing an empty beer-cask).
The local leading is done by a team of young people. They may have goodwill, they certainly lack organisational skills! By the way they threat their own stuff, you just know it wown’t last very long. One of the guys of the team, Vincent, told us “If you do this for a couple years, you’re the perfect crisis-manager, and you can earn big loads of money”. And hey, I actually believe him!
Concerning food, we had taken the option “full board”. At the beginning
of our holiday we received a box with chocolate, jelly, cheese, milk, ….
Each day, we had ½ of a baguette (per person) to eat for breakfast &
lunch (which is insufficient) and for diner, we had a 3-course lunch in bar/restaurant
“Doummé’s Pub”. That was excellent! On Thursday there
was a barbecue in “La Grotte Du Yeti”. Sportura organised some après-ski
events, and you could go to Alpe d’Huez and Serre Chevalier for one day
for a reasonable price.
If you notice any errors or have any suggestions whatsoever, you can always mail me (remove the .squash from the emailadress).