Alpe d’Huez is one of Frances oldest and finest ski resorts, hosting Olympic ski events long before most other ski resorts had even begun to flourish, this Central French Alp destination is part of the linked Grand Rousses ski territory and takes full advantage of all the stunning scenery and slopes that the region offers.
If you want sun drenched slopes and a lively party atmosphere that still retains a family friendly feel then the charming Alpe d’Huez resort is the place to be, beauty and practicality that takes ski destinations to a whole new level.
Alpes d’Huez boasts excellent ski facilities with almost 250kms of piste across the Grand Rousses region, this gives access to over 100 really good quality runs which are easily accessed from the modern lift system with its 84 lifts that quickly and efficiently transport skiers around the region. The runs are not the only draw though, the resort also has 50kms of cross country skiing, extensive off piste and 2 snowboarding parks.
The ski school at Alpe d’Huez is well known for its excellent instructors that soon have even the most inexperienced skiers happily travelling down the gentle nursery slopes and ready to move onto the vast intermediate terrain, this terrain is so huge that it is unlikely that any skier could cover all the intermediate slopes within the time frame of a skiing holiday. Although excellent for beginners and intermediate skiers Alpe d’Huez boasts the longest black run in Europe – ‘La Sarenne’ is not only 16kms long but it has a vertical drop of over 2200 metres, this run is the pinnacle of any advanced skiers career and is the most famed draw of the region.
Alpes d’Huez has always led the way for others to follow, pioneers of new activities this is the place to try out airboarding; lying head first on an inflatable cushion and using your body to direct you down the huge slopes is a unique thrill and Alpes d’Huez is one of the few resorts that offer this the activity of the most dedicated thrill seeker.
Although the facilities and sports both on and off the slopes are excellent there is no doubt that ápres ski is where Alpes d’Huez really shines, the party atmosphere consumes the resort after dark but the friendly nature of the inhabitants still giving this resort a family feel. The food is excellent as would be expected of any French resort but the entertainment afterwards is even better.
There are many options in Alpes d’Huez with extensive accommodation both within the heart and on the outskirts of the resort, whether you choose self catering or a hotel the choice is varied and suitable for any budget.
Good mid priced hotels include Hotel Petit Prince and Hotel Belle Aurore, both are traditionally styled with most rooms offering a balcony to enjoy the views over the village, both are also close to lifts making their positions convenient for a days skiing.
The many budget apartments in the heart of the village give this resort an accessibility so often lacking in the more ‘exclusive’ resorts, L’Ours Blanc Apartments have absolutely no frills but do have a great location and a price that puts them firmly into the affordable bracket.
Although mainly south facing the extensive snow making facilities (across 50 runs) ensure that the season is only minimally disrupted, the season itself runs from early December until mid April with guaranteed natural snow from mid December onwards.
The prices are consistent throughout the season with a short peak during the weeks of Christmas and New Year, although a busy resort throughout the season the huge amount of terrain and extensive modern lift system ensures that it never feels overcrowded on the slopes.