With pistes at a top altitude of 3,500 metres, the world’s longest on-piste vertical drop, and Europe’s largest skiable glacier, Les Deux Alpes an obvious contender for an energetic winter sports holiday.
But while the resort has plenty of diversity over its 225km of pistes, it’s what it offers off-piste and in its outstanding snowpark that is so appealing to freestyle skiers. And, what makes it unusual is that many of the easier runs sit at the higher altitudes, while the tougher, adrenaline producing off-piste action takes you right back into the resort.
So, freestylers – if you feel the need, the need for speed (and turns, jumps and aerials) buckle up and enjoy the ride at Les Deux Alpes!
The main reason so many freestylers are heading to Les Deux Alpes these days is the evolution of Freestyle Land, which is, just as you’d hope, exactly what it says on the tin: a land of freestyle skiing and snowboarding adventure! This massive snowpark comprises a number of themed zones designed by big names in the sport, with different levels of difficulty for everyone from the novice up to the adrenaline-chasing extreme pros.
What’s Up at Freestyle Land?
Easy Park: Guess what this is? Designed for beginner freestylers, the park has some small boxes, a mini half pipe and some gentle tables to help you get your snow legs. (Expert tuition is available through the resort’s ski schools.)
Slopestyle and Big Air: Designed for those with a bit of confidence up their parka sleeves, this area has a massive 10-metre long, six-metre high wall, and a sequence of four tables to allow maximum momentum through the run. Its namesake ‘big air’ has an impeccably smooth kick curve for maximum velocity and a smooth flight!
Half Pipe: The park’s 22-foot half pipe is Federation standard and has its own dedicated lift. Practice makes perfect and you won’t be standing around twiddling your thumbs waiting your turn with the fast rotations the lift affords.
Park de l’Envers: If you’re looking to challenge yourself against some pretty gnarly obstacles, this area offers a medium-sized table with plenty of space to develop your individual trick styles and practice reverse skiing withour fear of skiing off a cliff!
Boardercross: There’s so much fun to be had here for freestyle boarders and skiers, with a vast space and an array of moguls, banked turns and fast bumps for maximum air time! Suitable for all abilities.
Cool Zone: The Cool Zone is located right in the centre of the action, so anytime is the right time to catch your breath and regroup. With a host of facilities including deck chairs, a café, BBQs and equipment hire, there’s also a team of experts on hand to answer any questions about the park or assist with directions.
Get there: Freestyle Land is accessed by the Toura lift from the resort. Passes for the park start at €33.50 a day.
As well as conquering the terrain of the snowparks, hardcore freestylers can put their skills to use on the range of challenging off-piste areas.
Grand Couloir Chutes: From the top of the Bellecombs chairlift you can cut across the ridge to an awesome open bowl that leads to three steep chutes. If you make it through upright you’ll come out at the bottom of the lift again. Re-run?
Clot de Chalance: From the Signal lift you can ski along the ledge of the valley, with fabulous views and deep, fresh powder to keep you company. From the open bowl you’ll be able to ski all the way back down the mountain to Les Gours – with some fantastic mogul fields along the way.
Pic du Diable: You’ll need your energy levels at maximum for this one, as from the Bellecombs lift you’ll need to hike nearly an hour to the top of the ridge – but it’s certainly worth it. From the top you can ski all the way down to the snowpark, interspersed by moguls and a big bowl in between.
- No matter how good you think you are, it’s always wise to hire a local guide when you head off-piste here, as much of the area is prone to avalanches.
- Freestyling off-piste is very different to being in the safety of a snowpark, so make sure you plan your route carefully (according to the weather) and never head out without a transceiver and proper equipment.
How to Get to Les Deux Alpes
The fastest way of getting to Les Deux Alpes is to fly into Grenoble Airport, which is then just an hour away by road. It’s around a 2-hour flight from the UK to Grenoble, with a number of airlines offering direct flights, including British Airways, EasyJet and Monarch, so it’s not hard to find a budget flight if you’re looking for a short, adrenaline-fuelled ski break. You can also choose to fly into Chambery (2 hours by road), Lyon (just over 2 hours) or Turin (around 3 hours away).
For a hassle-free way of getting to the resort without wasting any precious ski time, you can prebook a Shuttle Direct airport transfer to get you and your winter sports equipment directly to your accommodation. (Please advise at the time of booking if you’re bringing equipment.)
If you’re freestyling it to your winter break by rail, you can book a Shuttle Direct service to meet you at Grenoble train station and take you the rest of the way.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Le Provencal – With ski-to-door access, the Hotel Le Provencal is located within a few hundred metres of three ski lifts – one just 20 metres away! Offering bright, spacious rooms, onsite restaurant, sun terrace and an awesome location, budget ski accommodation never looked so good.
Hôtel Chalet des Champions – If you’re here to ski like a champ, you’ll want accommodation to match! Living up to its name, the Hôtel Chalet des Champions puts everything at your fingertips – including the snowpark. With a hearty buffet breakfast to get the day started, a sauna and hammam to ease aching muscles, and a superb location 100 metres from the lifts, all you’ll have to worry about is your technique.
Chalet Mounier – Treat yourself to a luxury freestyling ski break at the wonderful Chalet Mounier. Spend the day at the snowpark or hitting the fresh powder off piste and come home to the luxury of a spacious duplex room and a 5-star spa treatment. Top it off with a fine dining experience at the onsite Michelin-starred restaurant.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct is one of the most experienced and trusted airport transfer companies in Europe, providing an extensive range of shared and private winter transfers to and from the French, Italian and Austrian Alps.
No matter which airport is the most convenient for you, Shuttle Direct can provide transfers from Grenoble, Geneva, Chambéry or Lyon and, if you advise at the time of booking, your ski equipment can be included free of charge.
With a service to suit any budget and group size, and an expert, professional team on hand to ensure all the details run smoothly, Shuttle Direct is your first choice for fast, affordable airport transfers.