Alpe d’Huez, France
How to get there
This beautiful and popular French ski resort is located in the Oisans Alpes in the middle of the Grandes Rousses Massif domain. Luckily for British skiers, the resort is easy to reach via a combination of air travel and public transport. The most convenient airport is Grenoble but Chambery and Lyon are also located close to the resort.
Easyjet provides a service between London Luton and the airport at Grenoble, whilst Ryanair flies from London Stansted. Cheap flights can often be found towards the end of the ski season. Many people choose to hire a car at the airport and drive to the resort. This should take approximately two hours depending on the weather conditions. Chambery is two and a half hours away from Alpe d’Huez, whilst Lyon is approximately three hours away by car.
If you would prefer to travel by train, take the Eurostar from London to Paris. Take a train to Lille and then transfer to one destined for the resort. Overall, this journey will take approximately eight hours.
The popular coach company Eurolines offers a coach service from London Victoria to Grenoble. It runs three times per week and departs London in the evening, arriving at Grenoble in the middle of the morning on the following day. Alternatively, some people choose to drive between the UK and Alpe d’Huez. However, this is not a particularly convenient or safe option and toll charges will add approximately £40 to the cost of your trip. Always make sure that your snow chains are in good condition prior to reaching the continent and always have an alternative route in mind in case things go wrong.
Who the resort caters for
The popular French ski resort is perfect for beginners. Many of the slopes are classified as green, making them suitable for those who have never tried to ski before. These runs are located in the shallow bowl which sits just above the resort. However, experts will be kept happy by the world’s longest black run, the Sarenne. The resort is also located close to the ski area of La Grave, which is solely an off-piste region. The Oisans ski area also offers easy access to Les Deux Alpes. This resort boasts numerous snow parks, making it particularly popular with snowboarders.
Alpe d’Huez is divided into several different areas. Quartier des Vieil Alpe is the oldest part of the town and is relatively quiet, making it perfect for families with young children. It has numerous restaurants which offer great food in a peaceful setting. Quartier des Jeux contains most of the resort’s shops, bars, restaurants and accommodation options. However, it is not as convenient as some of the other areas with regards to proximity to the ski slopes. The Quartier Bergers is a short walk from the centre of the town and contains several small shops as well as a large supermarket.
If you need a break from the slopes, there are numerous other activities on offer in the resort. The town has a fitness centre, an ice rink and a cinema which shows occasional English films. With regards to nocturnal activity, the most popular nightclub is Igloo. However, the Yeti bar, which features live bands and DJs, may be more appealing to you. The Sports Bar is a good place to unwind in the evenings and Le Passe Montagne serves French food in a peaceful atmosphere.
What accommodation the resort offers
Many visitors to Alpe d’Huez choose to stay in self-catered apartments or chalets. This chalet sleeps up to six people and is located just a five minute walk away from the ski slopes. The rooms are comfortably furnished and the kitchen is well-equipped with features including a ceramic hob, an oven and grill, a microwave and a dishwasher. There is also a ski locker room and free car parking. The Hotel Les Grandes Rousses is a good option for those who prefer to be slightly lazier during their stay. It offers stunning views across the Alps and provides guests with the opportunity to unwind in the Jacuzzi and sauna.
There are 13 black runs (suitable for expert skiers), 26 red runs (suitable for intermediate skiers), 30 blue runs (suitable for beginners) and 32 green runs (suitable for those learning to ski). The resort is part of the popular Grandes Rousses Ski Area, which has 273 individual pistes. The correct ski pass will allow you to access the ski resorts of Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas. The slopes are served by efficient lifts, which take approximately 90,000 skiers per hour up the mountains. The resort has 700 snow cannons which generate artificial snow to supplement the natural snow.
- Downhill Pistes: 236 km
- Cross Country Trails: 50 km
- Number of Ski Lifts: 85
- Maximum Vertical: 1,470 m
- Highest Lift: 3,330 m
- Altitude of Resort: 1,860 m
- Lowest Piste: 1,860 m