Glacier skiing, mountain biking, walking, swimming, rock climbing, golf, tennis... The list of what's possible in Les 2 Alpes over the summer is a long one, as the Ski Club's Content Editor Chris Madoc-Jones discovered in July:

I ventured to Les 2 Alpes primarily for a few pre-season turns on the Mont-de-Lans Glacier, Europe’s largest summer ski area. But as the ski lifts stopped spinning at 1pm every day, it left a good deal of time to head out into the mountains and explore the rest of what L2A has to offer.

The summer skiing

However before moving on to snowless activities, the skiing has to be mentioned. Even if you’re a complete beginner or a big-mountain expert, it is really worth heading up the Jandri Express early in the morning for some turns on the glacier. As I found out, a huge amount of work goes into keeping the 272 acre ski area running, which really pays off as the terrain on offer is surprisingly varied and the park facilities are fantastic. There’s also a good chance that you’ll get to watch some of the world’s best racers and freestylers in action – for example I was lucky enough to be sharing the slopes with the French Alpine Team.

A day lift pass costs €39.30 and includes access all afternoon to the Vallèe Blanche, Diable and Jandri Express lifts which access the 2 Alpes Bike Park.

2 Alpes Bike Park

Not content with being home to Europe’s biggest summer ski area, Les 2 Alpes is also home to one of its finest mountain biking arenas. The 2 Alpes Bike Park has 91km of maintained trails and with a vertical drop of 2,300m the extent of what is on offer is hugely impressive. For relative beginners like me, the Vallèe Blanche sector was the perfect training ground, with its long green route and practice area ideal for getting to grips with the equipment. More advanced riders should head across to the Diable and Jandri sectors or drop down through the forests to Venosc where a network of blue and red tracks snake down the mountainside – and there’s even a World-Cup standard black called Fury.

You can use the lifts for free with your ski pass, or purchase an MTB day pass for €25.00. Most ski rental shops are open in the summer and bike hire starts at around €60.00 a day for a downhill bike and protective gear.

Mountain walking

Boasting 200km of marked trails, Les 2 Alpes is a fantastic high-altitude walking destination. Sadly I did not have the time, and possibly the energy in my legs after a morning of skiing at 3,600m, to take on the most picturesque routes to La Fée. However I did walk the route up to Crêtes and on to Diable, recommended for fantastic views down to the Venosc Valley, and also up the Vallèe Blanche on the other side for a great overview of Les 2 Alpes itself. During these walks I rarely passed another walker which was nice, albeit slightly strange – perhaps people were preoccupied with everything else L2A has to offer…

Walking is of course free but use your skiing/MTB day pass to get the lifts to take the uphill strain!

And what about the rest?

With so much else to do during the summer it was perhaps no surprise that the walking trails were as quiet. The full list of what is possible is extensive, but the outdoor activities (and indoor ones for rainy days) will keep you more than busy for a week. Some of the more adventurous highlights include paragliding, rock climbing, summer tobogganing, go-karting and rafting. I stuck to the slightly more sedate activities however, with the highlight being a visit to swim in the Lac du la Buissonnière on a roasting hot afternoon.

A 6+ day ski lift pass gets you access to numerous free activities, including tobogganing, golf, tennis and archery – it costs €196.50 for 6 days

There's still more to come from Les 2 Alpes:

Keep an eye out for more updates from L2A on over the next few weeks as I delve further into the race and freestyle training scene on the glacier and look at the resort’s big plans for the future. And finally if you’re lucky enough to also be heading there this summer then be sure to check out our latest snow report and for the resort.

I must extend a big thank you to Helena and her team at the Tourist Office for their support and excellent organisation throughout the trip, as well as all help provided by Nadine at Montagnes UK.

More about Les Deux Alpes on : Les Deux Alpes resort guide