Few facts about Les 2 Alpes,a Summer and Winter ski resort,a Summer mountain biking resort.
Les Deux Alpes Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
As I got last night from my sister Marie, a text message with bad news and as I'm fan of mountain hiking in summer,I suggest her this morning a weekend in the French Alps to enjoy ourselves,despite of the average weather forecast.Checking booking.fr,I find immediately a great bargain (see review below) in Les 2 Alpes at the 3 star Mercure hotel (108 euros halfboard for 2!).
Les 2 Alpes is a famous ski and mountain biking resort for advanced sportsmen close to L'Alpe d'Huez,75 km far from Grenoble in the Isère department and 170 from Lyon at the point where the northern and southern French Alps meet.
In summer Les 2 Alpes becomes a popular venue for downhill and free ride mountain biking and provides an access to the glacier with the Jandry Express gondola lift,the world's fastest gondola which after a cabin change at 2600 m can get you after a 7km journey of only 25 minutes from the bottom of the resort to the glacier.
After our checking in mid-afternoon(1700,checkout 1000),we went down to the centre of the resort and had a walk on the 2 km long main street with plenty of bars,restaurants and shops.We had a little rest on a sunny terrace facing the Ecrins massif and could also admire lots of Italian mountainbikers,less snowboarders lazing after their performances and curiously many traditional Jewish people in"Saturday wear" contrasting with all people wearing sports clothing (I thought that they were attending a ceremony).
Starving after our very long walk,we headed to La Muzelle,the Mercure'restaurant to enjoy our dinner(see review below).Full we had a coffee in the next bar well-named Les Ecrins providing a panoramic terrace facing due south and the Ecrins massif and we had a good time listening to hot jazz.
Come back up our room,after a short debate about our respective bed (we had 5 beds),we quickly fell asleep and five minutes later,perhaps because of the wine,I was sound asleep.
The sunny Sunday morning,as our checkout was before 1000,we had an "early" breakfast with good coffee,a nice choice of breads and Viennese pastries with some cooked meats ,cheeses...Full,we headed up to the Jandri Express cable car and bought for 20 euro,a day pedestrian pass(as in winter,in order to use the lifts ,people first need to purchase a lift ticket.The bike day pass costs 1,50 euro,107,70 for a week.Less than an half-hour ,7 km later, and a quick stop at 2600 metres at the station La Toura,we reached the Glacier station at 3200 m and lazed nearby watching the snowboarders and mountainbikers,admiring the magnificent mountain panorama.
Unfortunately we failed the Croisière Blanche(7 euro) which consists,after using the Dôme Express funicular to 3425 meters,in a discovery of the glacier aboard a specially adapted,caterpillar tracked minibus which takes you to the Dôme de la Lauze(3600 m).We also didn't see the ice cave located at 3425 m (ticket 5 euro) near the arrival station offering carved into the ice,ice sculptures of bygone trades and craftsmen under some 30 metres of ancient ice fields.We also missed the orientation table providing a 360° panoramic view over the Alps!
Then we went down by foot! to Le Diable station 2400 metres and 8328 km from Vail USA! where we had a quick meal,both a salad (the main courses seemed average) while the rain starts.