Let me share with you my first ski experience ever, which was also the first trip I took in 2019.
It was January and we decided to head to Le Dévoluy, and I was very nervous about it.
I used to think that ski trips were mainly just skiing and partying, and hanging around in the cold wasn’t really my cup of tea either.
But I decided to expand my horizons, to try something new and take the trip.
The tourism of Le Dévoluy was nice enough to show me that the Alps have so much more to offer.
Le Dévoluy is a natural region located in the Dévoluy Massif, as well as a new created commune in the Hautes-Alpes department.
It is about 10 hours of driving from Belgium, and has 2 skiing areas, La Joue du Loup and Super Dévoluy.
Even though we stayed in the first one, we visited Super Dévoluy often.
It is only 15 minutes away by car and if you’re a good skier, you can ski over the slopes to get rom one area to the other.
Together they have 100 km of slopes, wich is more than enough, especially for a beginner like myself. And the great part is that it’s located in the south of France so there are a lot of sunny days here.
There should be about 360 days of sun, wich is quiete amazing!
La Joue du Loup
Translated as “the cheek of the wolf”, La Joue du Loup is winter sports resort located in the Dévoluy Massif, in the Hautes-Alpes department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.
It has small buildings mostly made of wood, over 100 individual chalets and plenty of shops,bars and restaurants.
It is a new place that is very family friendly.
Even though most accommodations are wooden chalets, we stayed in an apartment at the recent renovated place called Résidence Les Mélèzes.
The village of La Joue du Loup is charming, with a small but cute center where you can find the local grocery store, a bakery, a butcher and various places to eat or drink.
There are aslo some small boutiques for shopping and souvenir hunting, and some playgrounds for the young ones.
Food and drinks in La Joue du Loup
There are plenty of restaurants to go around and even a snack bar if you want to keep it simple.
I do recommend to get reservations, especially during high season.
Here I had my first raclette, which is a dish where they melt cheese and pour it over meat, potatoes, bread and veggies.
The night life of La Joue du Loupe is quite active, with a bar called L’intuit for when you want to have that late night drink.
They also have a club that is open during the weekend and high season. But we didn’t go there because we were always tired from the activities we did during the day.
This place is quite different, but not in a bad way.
The village has multiple tall apartment buildings and hotels, but also beautiful chalets.
The accommodations in Super Dévoluy are a bit cheaper, but there are very small chances to get a nice view of the mountains from your room.
There are lots of studens and young people around here but also plenty of experiencded ‘die hard’ skiers.
The main building at the slopes is where everything is located.
Here you can find a supermarket, renting gear, restaurants, bars and you can even play some bowling.
The architect wanted everything under one roof, which may seem weird at first, but then you realize that it’s actually not a bad idea.
Overall, Super Dévoluy has a lot more fun and action than La Joue du Loupe.
That’s great for some people, but personally I appreciate the calm and quiet a lot more.
Learning how to ski with ESI Dévoluy
Both of the areas are providing a ski school, for those that never skied before just like myself.
So guess what I did?
I thought that since I am here why not learn this cool activity.
So the next time I will go on a ski resort, I will be prepared!
Daniel was my instructor and he was very patient and was giving us clear instructions.
We learned how to ski with the kids, but I didn’t mind at all. I wasn’t embarrased but actually encouraged.
I was thinking to myself, that “if they can do it, so can I”. But I do admit that I panicked a lot.
Did you know?
Even though the average and recommended age for learning how to ski is 6 years old some kids are starting around here at the age of 3.
After the first few theoretical lessons, the teacher said that next time we would go up in the mountains, and I was really looking forward to it!
I saw many pictures with people skiing in the Alps, but when you see it for yourself it really takes your breath away.
My first fall
Skiing in Le Dévoluy is fun and can be done by aynone, regardless of their level and expercience.
There are some slopes for beginners, while others are fod advanced and experienced skiers.
I was quite jealous because there was a party going on not that far, so that’s even more motivation to learn how to ski!
The reason why I panicked a lot is that I hate not having control.
I learned that with skiing you’re doing something against your nature. And even tough I was so concentrated to do it right, I fell any way.
But that happens with everything in life, sometimes you just need to let go.
The great part about that fall was that it did not hurt and because of that I wasn’t scared anymore.
Le Dévoluy is much more than skiing
This place has a lot of other cool activities to offer besides skiing, eating and drinking.
Here are some of the fun stuff we tried:
- Riding a doge sledge
- Racquet walking up the mountain
- Driving a Quad
- Visiting a sheep farm
- Chased the sunset in a ski scooter
There is even more!
We didn’t had enough time to try them all, but there are plenty of others to choose from.
To get even more excited, they are currently building a new hotel with spa experience, and it should open this summer.
So even if you are a beginner of don’t feel like skiing, there are plenty of fun things to do in Le Dévoluy and La Joue du Loup.
For me it was an amazing experience and a great introduction to skiing, being someone who never tried it before.
Thankful and looking forward to more ski adventures
I could get used to go on winter trips more often, but not only to ski but also to explore the region.
While I thought it was mainly skiing and après ski, who would have guessed that I would visit a sheep farm?
One of the reasons why I said yes to this trip was that I wanted to change my mind regarding skiing, and this really happened.
Now I’m actually looking forward for our next winter holiday! And I want to thank the Team for showing me around and convincing me that the cold isn’t always so bad.
It can actually be a lot of fun!