Dreaming of the warming rays of the sun on your skin while you ski beautiful snowy mountains? Alpe d'Huez in the stunning ski destination of Isère, France’s third-biggest mountain destination, is perfect for this.
Alpe d’Huez is one of the liveliest resorts in the French Alps. The ski area is comprised of five ski resorts and two traditional mountain villages including Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans and Vaujany (which can all be booked through our sister company, Peak Retreats)
The Inside Track: If you're looking for a quieter alternative to Alpe d'Huez but easy access to the whole ski area, a good tip is to stay in the pretty, more rustic village of Vaujany, which is linked to Alpe d’Huez by cable car.
We know that typically you don’t need much convincing, but here are 10 reasons why you should choose Alpe d’Huez for your next winter holiday destination.
1. The Sunshine
We really aren’t lying when we say you will come home with a burst of vitamin C from your winter holiday. Built on a south facing plateau, the glorious sunshine hits this part of the Alps 300 days of the year. Make sure you bring that sun cream!
2. The Views
Speaking of sunshine, Alpe d’Huez is known as “the island in the sunshine”. As a result of this glorious weather, the views are spectacular and you can see a fifth of France from the Pic Blanc.
3. Family Friendly
We know how important it is to make the best decision in terms of resort for the family. Alpe d’Huez really is a great choice for family skiers, proudly being a ‘Family Plus’ resort for their commitment to providing great facilities and a warm welcome to children and families. You can have some well-deserved ‘me time’ as well, this resort has childcare available in the Creche Les Intrepides for the ages of 6 months to 4 years plus plenty of ski school options.
4. Range of Slopes
Alpe d’Huez sits in a bowl surrounded by wide, gentle slopes, making it a perfect place for beginners and families. The more advanced are also well catered for as Alpe d’Huez is part of the huge Grand Domaine ski area with 250km of piste. You'll find 42 green slopes, 37 blue slopes, 40 red slopes 16 black slopes, plenty to keep everyone happy! The Grand Domaine gondola takes experts and intermediates to the Pic Blanc at 3320m, where some great off-piste skiing can be accessed: the Combe du Loup, Côtes de Rivet, Pied Froid, Cerisier Combe and Corridor.
5. Amazing Vertical Drops
For anyone up for a challenge, there are four descents between 12 km and 16 km long. If you complete all four descents you can donate €1 to the ‘A Chacun son Everest’ children’s charity in exchange for a certificate. And don't forget the Alpe d'Huez is home to the legendary Sarenne black run, billed as the world's longest black run! The Sarenne descent is completely on-piste and descends more than 2,000 vertical metres.
6. Off-slope Activities
If you have non-skiers with you, or just want a day off the slopes, Alpe d’Huez has lots of options. There's a sports centre with a swimming pool, ice rink, sledging area, climbing wall, squash and tennis courts. For something a little more laid back, the futuristic church hosts weekly music concerts and there are also two cinemas for when you want to just switch off away from the slopes.
7. Animal Action
Take a seat a few inches off the ground and experience a truly unique Nordic adventure with Alpe d’Huez dog sledding. Or perhaps take some time to tick off skijoering from your bucket list. Skijoering is a winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a horse! If you do this, do take a photo and share with us on Facebook or Instagram!
8. Easy to get to
Alpe d'Huez is easy to get to by all means of transport. Driving from Calais is just 580 miles, and it's only 65 miles from Grenoble Airport and 95 miles from Lyon. Private taxi transfers from airports to Alpe d’Huez are pre-bookable, see our airport & station transfers page for more information.
9. Ice Cave
Experience something entirely different with the family at Alpe d'Huez's ice cave. Created 2700 metres above sea level, for 22 years this cave has been adorning its gallery to offer the public a magical experience. Every year there's a new theme so be sure not to miss it!
10. All the après ski!
The arrival of La Folie Douce and winter festivals cemented Alpe d’Huez’s reputation as a fun-loving resort, joining a large number of lively bars and clubs in town where you can party from early afternoon until early morning. One of the most popular haunts being Sphere Bar, close to Le Cristal de l’Alpe apartments and the Freeride Café, with its slide down to the toilets.
Below we have listed three great places to stay, but if you would like advice on which accommodation would suit your group best, please send us an email or call our friendly team on 023 9289 0960.
4-star Le Cristal de l'Alpe is located in the heart of the resort, 200m from the ski slopes and just 50m from the nearest ski lifts and shops. Truly relax in these cosy self-catered apartments with a large open fire in the reception area. Facilities include a free access to the indoor heated pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room and fitness room. Have your fresh bread and croissants delivered each morning from the local bakery before your day on the slopes!
The Residence Daria-I Nor offers the ultimate alpine comfort through traditional materials such as stone and wood throughout the hotel and self-catered apartments. The new 10-person gondola located offers you easy access to the slopes. Guests in the apartments are welcome to use the amenities at the adjoining 5-star Hotel Daria-I Nor which includes a spa, swimming pools, saunas, hammam, hot tub, salt wall, solarium and fitness room.
The Hotel Pic Blanc is a beautiful 4-star chalet style hotel with amazing panoramic views across the resort. Start your day off by watching the sunrise over a traditional breakfast at Les Terrasses du Rif Briant. Alternatively, unwind in the spa after a day on the slopes and enjoy the indoor heated pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub.