Alpe d’Huez can be found high in the Grand Rousses Massif, at 1860m. Founded in 1936, it is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and was made famous by the 1968 Winter Olympics.
Alpe d’Huez is nicknamed 'L'Ile au Soleil', the island in the sun, and boasts 249km of piste and 84 lifts which makes it the 5th largest ski resort in France. It links the villages of Vaujany, Oz, Villard-Reculas and Auris-en-Oisans.
Holiday makers looking to book accommodation in Alpe d’Huez are spoiled for choice, with catered ski chalets, a very popular Club Med All-Inclusive hotel and other ski hotels, plus a vast range of ski apartments suitable for any budget.
So much of the terrain around Alpe d’Huez is breathtaking, not only in terms of the sights themselves but also the variety; when conditions are perfect it’s almost hard to believe how wide-ranging and expansive the ski area is.
Like many of the older skiing resorts, Alpe d’Huez is a beautiful, pastoral French mountain village which has developed over the past seventy-five years to cater to the skiers of today. Ski chalets and self-catered apartments are both available in quantity.
Skiing holidays in Alpe d’Huez aren’t just great for skiing; there’s also a sports centre, a large, heated outdoor pool and an ice skating rink which are free with your area lift pass.
Given these and other excellent leisure facilities, as well as fantastic child care, a vibrant nightlife and over 50 restaurants, it’s clear why Alpe d’Huez is the ideal destination for non-skiers and perfect for family and group skiing holidays.
The two nearest ski resorts are Serre Chevalier and Les Deux Alpes; your six-day lift pass will cover a day’s skiing trip to each of these ski resorts. Bus transfer between the resorts is easy, but why take the bus when you can go by helicopter? Helicopter transfers to Les Deux Alpes are a ‘must’ for any winter holidaymaker and are available at very reasonable rates.
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* Locations are for guidance use only.
Alpe d’Huez skiing is fantastic for beginners, as many of the slopes near the DMC Gondola are wide and gentle. These south facing slopes are often bathed in sunshine, perfect for first time skiers. .
The resort is excellent for intermediate skiing due to its wide range and variety of red and blue runs; in good conditions, they’re difficult to beat. Conditions in January and February are at or near the best, making it a popular time to visit – so be sure to book early.
The scope available in Alpe d'Huez for expert skiing is fantastic. Skiers are attracted by the 16km La Sarenne black run, one of the longest black runs in the world, and the infamous Tunnel run. There’s also a 2230m vertical drop between the highest and lowest point in the resort which provides plenty of steep downhill opportunities.
The world famous La Folie Douce, which started in Val d’Isere, opened a brand new “Foly” bar high up on the mountain with flowing alcohol and live music every day of the winter season, helping to cement the Alpe d'Huez as a top après ski resort.
Other popular bars include Smithy’s Tavern and the Underground. If you’d prefer a more traditional French ambiance, try the L’Avalanche, noted for its resident pianist.
The outdoor heated swimming pool, ice rink, and leisure centre, mentioned in our Alpe d'Huez Ski Holdiays section, form a good core of activities, but they’re hardly all you can do; the resort offers two different ways to take to the skies and get a whole new perspective on the mountain, with helicopter rides and paragliding both popular ways to get in the air.
The sporting among you might focus on the opportunities to try a little curling; however, others will want to adventure on dog sleds or by ice driving…