Wintersports in Les Orres; the perfect familyplace!

From my own experience as a snowboarder and skier

I've been on a snowboard/skis since I was 6, and now, at 25, I've explored various ski resorts in Austria, France, and Italy. In this blog, I'll be providing information based on my own expertise!
Bart van Heulen

Last year, I went on a winter sports holiday to Les Orres with a large part of my family, about 12 people in total. And oh boy, it was so much fun! A set of three villages nestled against the mountain ridge at 1550, 1650, and 1800 meters in altitude. We stayed in Les Orres 1800 because we went quite late in the season on March 16th, and we wanted some snow certainty. And we got it! Read on below to learn about our experience on this beautiful spot in France during our winter sports holiday.

Les Orres 1650 dal station

Resort location and size

But before we delve into the experience, let’s first bring up some statistics. The ski area of Les Orres ranges from 1550 meters to 2720 meters above sea level, making it an area at a slightly above-average altitude. The ski area covers over 100 kilometers of slopes, including 12 green slopes (easy), 6 blue slopes (intermediate), 17 red slopes (difficult), and 6 black slopes (very difficult). This provides plenty of challenge and enjoyment for every skill level. In terms of size, it’s not a mega-large area, but this also makes it convenient when traveling with family. You can quickly return to your apartment or hotel, and, for example, have a cozy lunch together there to keep costs down.

Snow reliability and season in Les Orres

Snow, a crucial aspect of your winter sports experience! But fear not, because in Les Orres, this is well taken care of. The location is perfect in the Southern Alps, where, generally, there is more frequent and abundant snowfall. As a result, you can typically enjoy skiing and snowboarding from December to mid-April. And even if the weather is unusually warm, like during our winter sports trip on March 16th, there are plenty of snow cannons along the entire slope map to ensure you can still enjoy your time on the snow!

The Les Orres ski area

The trail map of Les Orres below reveals an extensive and varied terrain spread across different altitudes, offering a range of options for every skier and snowboarder. With over 100 kilometers of slopes, the area provides a perfect balance between challenging descents and more relaxed green winding trails. It truly caters to both beginners and advanced winter sports enthusiasts, making it an ideal destination for families. We had a kind of meeting point for ourselves at the top of the Pre Bois lift, where everyone could reach within 10-15 minutes, even if you were on the other side of the slope map. This was super efficient and convenient, especially for larger groups. Additionally, both Les Orres 1650 and 1800 are excellent for lunch and drinks during the day, but I’ll elaborate on that later. In essence, the Les Orres ski area is highly recommended for a family or group winter sports experience!

The best slopes of Les Orres

There are three slopes that really stood out for us, and I’ll list them below for you:

1. Grand Cabane: This slope is for daredevils, featuring a very narrow cliff section in the middle where you have to ski right along the rock wall. My mother-in-law sent her ski flying into oblivion here, haha. It’s a mega slope but definitely not for everyone! You really need to be comfortable with this kind of challenge.

2. Bergerie: Bergerie is a red slope that runs from the top station at 2658 meters down towards Les Orres 1650. We discovered this red slope only on the last day, as it’s located all the way to the right side of the ski area, and we hadn’t explored that area before. It’s a great slope, wide and generally very quiet. A perfect slope to pick up some speed.

3. Edelweiss: Lastly, to round off our top 3, there’s Edelweiss. This green winding slope that you can take all the way down from the Pic Vert lift to Les Orres 1650 is truly the perfect family slope. You can build up some speed, but it’s not steep at all. A slope for the whole family to enjoy!

Les Orres skigebied

Accessibility from the Netherlands

Les Orres is approximately 1140 kilometers from Utrecht (show route). Once you’re on the highway, you still have 133 kilometers to go to reach your destination. The recommended route is via Grenoble, and you’ll be using the French toll roads, with Lyon being the largest bottleneck. The toll cost to Grenoble is roughly around 45 euros. Especially on changeover days, Grenoble can be particularly busy.

The nearest airport to Les Orres is Turin, which is about 178 kilometers away. However, this is still a considerable distance, so we always recommend going by car for flexibility. One potential challenge on the route to Les Orres is the Route Napoléon. When you enter the Alps, this is the last 2 hours of your journey and includes significant climbs, descents, and not-so-wide mountain passes. To stay focused, we decided to break up the trip with an overnight stay in Grenoble and drive the last leg in two parts to start the final stretch refreshed, so to speak.

Restaurants and other Facilities

France is not known for its lively après-ski scene as is the case in Austria. However, in France, especially in the villages and towns, you can often find excellent dining options. The same goes for Les Orres 1800, for example. There are numerous restaurants here, and the pizzeria is particularly outstanding. They serve pizza with standard bottles of beautiful chili oil to add to your liking, which was absolutely fantastic for me as a spicy food fan. Just be prepared to wait a bit when you order, as things tend to move at a more relaxed pace. This is a common experience in many restaurants during winter sports trips. Also, learning a few words in French is often highly appreciated by the French staff. It gives you an advantage!

What else is there to do?

Les Orres is naast een mooie wintersport bestemming ook een prachtig natuurlijk landschap. Zo kan je er ook geweldig wandelen en heerlijk buiten zijn. We hadden in onze accomodatie ook een groot buitenzwembad tot onze beschikking wat vrij koud water had maar wat het ultieme gevoel gaf nadat je even lekker in de sauna had gezeten. Dus vrees niet als je mensen of familieleden bij je hebt die niet graag op de ski’s of snowboard staan. Deze kunnen zich in Les Orres ook echt prima vermaken! 

Waar boek je een wintersport naar Les Orres?

For booking, I often turn to a platform I frequently use for winter sports, which is Sunweb. This company has never disappointed me, consistently offering great deals that already include the ski pass. This way, you don’t have to organize it separately on-site, saving you time! This allows you to focus on what you came there to do – enjoying winter sports during your vacation!

Hopefully the information was usefull!

And so we conclude. Have you been on a winter sports trip to Les Orres yourself and do you have experiences you’d like to share with us? Or do you perhaps have other tips or additions to my story above? Please let us know in the comments under this blog! I value your insights and am happy to enrich the text with new and additional information. Thanks in advance for your effort and input!

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