Alpe d’Huez

 

Alpe d’Huez is a glorious spot, known for its 300 days of sunshine thanks to its south-facing position, and blessed with snow until very late in the season thanks to its altitude of 3300m.

With 250km of slopes for all tastes, Alpe d’Huez is the fifth ski area in France. Here you will find the longest continuous track in the entire world in the Sarenne, which is a black run that measures 16km, with a difference in altitude of almost 2000m, starting at the top of the mountains and descending into the valley below. Users of the Alpe d’Huez app will be able to geolocate their friends on the slops and track waiting times at ski lifts in real time, plus a host of other handy tools.

Or enjoy making the first tracks on the legendary Sarenne piste by joining the mountain teams as they open the slopes for the day.

There are plenty of other activities to enjoy too, from sledging to dog sledding to virtual reality. The whole family will love Marcel’s Farm, a fun track for children and adults with tunnels, bridges, bends and all kinds of fun characters. Similar tracks can be found at Chez Roger (at Les Bergers) and Jacky le Bûcheron (on the La Corniche slope in Auris-en-Oisans).Or check out The Tunnel, a small hole in the mountain, leading to a 200m track, or the magical ice cave on the slopes at 2700m. Created artificially at an altitude of 2700m, it’s host to around sculptures, offering visitors a magical experience. Last winter, the team of ice-sculptors worked on the theme of Ancient Egypt, and this year it’s the Winter Olympics. Be sure to warm up with coffee and a sweet treat at nearby Café Alpin afterwards! Ice climbing is another must-do activity, at the cascade de la Fare, a natural ice waterfall in the heart of a peaceful, unspoilt area.

Alpe d’Huez also has a heated outdoor swimming pool and an open-air ice rink with wonderful views of the mountains. At the Palais des Sports et des Congrès there is a climbing wall, a museum exploring the history of skiing, ping pong tables, an adventure course and many other activities.

Why not treat yourself to a glorious view like no other and take a helicopter, airplane or even paragliding ride? The Altiport is next to the slopes. You could even go skiing for the day in Les 2 Alpes by helicopter, a snip at just €85 per person round trip.

Eat, Sleep, Relax

In terms of accommodation choices, there are hotels, furnished rentals, cosy B&Bs, pretty chalets… something to suit all tastes. Likewise with food, you can choose anything from burgers to gourmet dining. Enjoy a meal on one of the restaurants on the slopes or cocoon yourself back in the resort. Au puits des saveurs, with its south-facing terrace, offers breathtaking views alongside traditional cuisine based on fresh products from the Isère. Or enjoy regional cuisine right above a waterfall at Les Terrasses du Rif Briant.

Or perhaps push the boat out and enjoy dinner under a starry sky with a moreish raclette beside a wood burning fire pit: a truly unusual experience – you’ll work up an appetite first with a snowshoe walk at dusk to a small clearing in the heart of the forest. Or gaze at the stars while enjoy a fondue in an igloo. For après-ski, be sure to visit the Folie Douce, a bar located on the slopes at an altitude of 2300m – as well as the magnificent view, you find a superb atmosphere.

Environment

Alpe D’Huez takes great care to reduce its impact on the environment. Its many green initiatives include turning off street lighting at night (varies season to season), training groomers in eco-driving and using a hybrid shuttle to reduce fuel consumption. And the resort is currently testing a hydrogen snow groomer, a French first.

Events in 2024

Jan 22-26: Sea & Mountain Trophy – 15 teams made up of a sailor, a mountain dweller and a local child from the resort battle it out in a host of events to support charity.

Mar 16-23: Tomorrowland – the world’s best DJs will be back in Alpe d’Huez for the third edition the world’s biggest electro music festival.

Apr 5-7: Alpe d’Huez Comic Book Festival – meet authors and illustrators at book-signing sessions, workshops and animated film screenings.

April 15-21: Official European bridge tournament – nearly 350 players are expected to compete.

At a glance

Ski until April 21

250km of slopes at an altitude of 1,125m to 3,330m

www.alpedhuez.com

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