Why Alpe d'Huez in Oisans?
- Access to an impressive 250km of pistes, with a well-integrated lift system.
- Varied ski terrain for all levels, excellent for beginners and an incredible vertical drop.
- Sunny, friendly, ski resort, with a lively atmosphere.
- Great for family skiers and snowboarders, with many other activities.
Known around the world thanks to the Tour de France, Alpe d'Huez has been growing since the 1930s on a large sunny plateau above the tree line. It is one of the Southern resorts that offers some direct competition to the mega resorts of the Tarentaise region further North.
An impressive modern ski lift system throughout Alpe d'Huez now links the ski villages of Auris-en-Oisans, Huez-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany and Villard-Reculas - making it the 5th largest ski area in France, known as the Grand Domaine (Auris, Oz and Vaujany we feature with our sister company Peak Retreats).
From its high altitude on the southern flank of the Grandes Rousses Massif at 1860m, the ski resort of Alpe d'Huez looks across the valley towards Les Deux Alpes and offers endless beautiful views of the Southern Alps from the Pic Blanc. Alpe d’Huez is also known as the ‘L'ile au Soleil’ meaning ‘island in the sun’ because of its glorious sunny south-facing ski slopes. On average, Alpe d’Huez is lucky enough to get an impressive 300 days of sunshine per year!
Though Alpe d’Huez is not a purpose-built ski resort, so great are the additions to the original village that it has all the convenience of one and is becoming an ever-more desirable ski holiday destination in the French Alps. Alpe d’Huez is livelier than many French ski resorts. Avenue des Jeux is the central focus of the resort, where you will find most of the shops, bars and restaurants. The rest of the Alpe d’Huez ski resort is fairly spread out into satellite self-contained hamlets.
The shuttle bus service around the resort is free to lift pass holders. Lower down in the valley at 1450m you will find the quaint mountain village of Huez, with tiny alleys leading to the Roman Church of Saint Anne and a very small selection of accommodation and amenities. The Tele-Village cable car links Huez to Alpe d’Huez in just 5 minutes. Being located only 1 hour from Grenoble and 5 hours from Paris, means Alpe d’Huez is a very accessible ski resort.
Alpe d’Huez is a great choice for family skiers and is proud to be a ‘Family Plus’ resort, a label issued by the French Ministry of Tourism for the resorts commitment to providing good facilities and a warm welcome to children and families.
ALPE D'HUEZ SKI AREA
Located on a fully south-facing plateau, Alpe d’Huez offers glorious sunshine all day long – up to 7½ hours per day in December and 11 per day during April! So don’t forget your sunglasses and sun cream! This impressive lift-linked ski area is formed of 5 ski resorts:
- Alpe d'Huez
- Auris en Oisans
- La Garde en Oisans
- Oz en Oisans
- Le Freney d’Oisans
The high altitude of Alpe d’Huez, which reaches 3300m combined with the high-tech snowmaking equipment covering 90km of the ski runs, guarantees snow cover from December to April. As it sits at 1800m, most slopes are open and only a few slopes are tree-lined towards Oz and Vaujany (featured with our sister company Peak Retreats).
The lift system is efficient and fast and any queues move relatively quickly.
There are few places to rival Alpe d'Huez for the extent and variety of ski terrain. The main bowl of Alpe d’Huez is conveniently naturally divided into zones suiting the different levels and abilities of skiers and snowboarders. It is literally suited to all levels from complete beginners to the elite.
The glacier in Alpe d’Huez reaches an altitude of 3300m. There are two access routes: via the Marmotte III funitel which will take you to 3060m or the Pic Blanc cable car which will take you to the very top at 3300m. From either of these two summits you will have truly breath-taking views across to Mont Blanc, Aiguilles d’Arves and La Meije. From here you can experience the legendary 16km long Sarenne black slope – arguably the world’s longest pisted ski run! Created in 1976, this run is the eldest of the fantastic runs connecting Pic Blanc at 3300m to the Sarenne gorges at 1510m. Fare and Château Noir (14km) also offer great length and amazing views.
Alpe d’Huez actually boasts one of the world’s biggest vertical drops: in excess of 8000m! There are four descents, all between 12km and 16km long, allowing you to ski down a 2000m altitude drop without taking one single chairlift! Pretty impressive! If you complete all four descents you can donate €1 to the ‘A Chacun son Everest’ children’s charity in exchange for a certificate. The four routes are:
- Pic Blanc (3300m) – La Villette (1295m)
Pic Blanc – Piste du Tunnel – 2700 – Piste des Rousses – l’Alpette – Piste des Chalets –Montfrais – Piste de la Vaujaniate – La Villette.
- Pic Blanc (3330m) – Gorges de Sarenne (1510m)
Pic Blanc – Piste de la Sarenne - Gorges de Sarenne.
- Pic Blanc (3330m) – Oz en Oisans (1340m)
Pic Blanc – Piste du Tunnel - 2700 - Piste des Chamois – 2100 – Piste de Poutran – Piste de l’Olmet - Oz en Oisans.
- Pic Blanc (3330m) – L’Enversin d’Oz (1125m)
Pic Blanc – Piste du Tunnel – 2700 - Piste des Rousses – l’Alpette – Piste des Chalets – Piste de la Fare - L’Enversin d’Oz.
ALPE D'HUEZ SKIING
ALPE D'HUEZ BEGINNERS
Beginners are very well catered for in Alpe d'Huez with a vast array of gentle nursery slopes just above the resort. The large network of green runs above the Alpe d'Huez village is as good a nursery area as you will find anywhere, probably one of the biggest in the French Alps. Several chairlifts serve this ideal area: Fontbelle, Lac Blanc and Romans.
There are 2 beginner areas in Alpe d’Huez:
- Rif Nel: Offers 10 well groomed green runs and a marked area specially equipped with baby modules to add a little extra fun. Access is via the 2 Rif Nel drag lifts and the new Rif Nel Express aerial ropeway.
- Les Jeux: Offers 6 beautiful green slopes. Access is via the Ecole 1 drag lifts and the Grenouilles rope tow or for the more confident the Jeux, Poutran and Babars drag lifts.
The Petit Rif Nel and Ecoles 1 drag lifts plus the Grenouilles rope tow are free to use, but please note a free lift pass must still be obtained from the lift pass office.
ALPE D'HUEZ INTERMEDIATES
Alpe d’Huez is a great starting base for intermediates to explore the whole of the Grand Domaine Massif. There are easy blues beside the expanse of greens above the village.
The west side of the bowl is home to the Signal 2115 station which offers a great mixture of blue and straight red runs. The purple Marcel from Signal is of blue gradient.
The north side goes above 2100m and is slightly steeper, again offering a good mixture of blue and red runs. The Grand Domaine gondola takes confident intermediates looking for more of a challenge to Pic Blanc on the south side at 3320m.
ALPE D'HUEZ EXPERTS
On the south side of the bowl, the Grand Domaine gondola takes experts to Pic Blanc at 3320m. The slopes in this sector are predominately black. The infamous and appropriately named Tunnel slope passes through a tunnel before dropping away steeply.
But the main attraction for experts here is the legendary Sarenne black run. This 16km run is one of the world’s longest pisted runs and takes you from Pic Blanc at 3300m right down to the Sarenne gorges at 1510m. It is also possible to book a special night time excursion on this run every Wednesday evening: accompanied by qualified ski instructors and ski patrollers, take the last cable car up to the top of Pic Blanc at 3300m and watch the sun set over the unique panorama whilst enjoying a lovely glass of mulled wine.
Ski the 16km Sarenne slope assisted by headlights and continue your evening with a traditional mountain dinner at the ‘Auberge de la Combe Haute’ restaurant. Finally, ski back to the village of Huez, where a shuttle bus is provided to take you back to Alpe d’Huez.
You must be a good skier to participate in this unforgettable experience. Not recommended for snowboarders due to the slight gradient on the return to Huez village. Must be pre-booked in resort.
ALPE D'HUEZ OFF-PISTE
The Grand Domaine gondola takes experts and intermediates to 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.
ALPE D'HUEZ SNOWBOARDERS
Alpe d’Huez organised the Ski Cross World Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2012, so snowboarders, snow park enthusiasts and freestyle skiers can rest assured that the recently redesigned and improved ski style areas are top-notch. 20 new snow cannons have also been installed in the freestyle area to make the snow coverage even better.
The intermediate/expert Alpe d’Huez snow park covers an impressive 21 hectares, making it one of the largest snow parks in the French Alps. It is conveniently located at the foot of the ski slopes, close to the resort, between the Lac Bleu drag lift and the DMC and is equipped with half-pipe, jumps and rollers near the main lift base.
You will also find a beginners’ snow park alongside the 1er Tronçon slope, which is perfect for those just starting out.
The Alpe d’Huez snow parks are equipped with an automatic video shoot system with three cameras on two ramps. By identifying yourself with your lift pass, you can view your jump directly on the big screen. Enter your mobile phone number and you’ll receive a text link to your video, enabling you to share your exploits immediately via the social networks. More information: http://www.freestylepark.fr
There is also a boarder-cross course and lots of free riding to be had due to the mountains’ extent and variety.
ALPE D'HUEZ CROSS COUNTRY
There are an impressive 55km/34 miles of cross-country ski trails, taking you around mountain lakes, the altiport area and Auris.
Alpe d'Huez Ski Hire
Please note, these Pound Sterling prices are for indication only. They will fluctuate based on Euro/£ exchange rate. Please call us for the latest prices.
We have selected Skiset to ensure that only the highest standard of equipment and service will be provided for all levels of skiers. More information on ski hire.
We have two conveniently located hire shops in Alpe d’Huez for all your ski and snowboard equipment needs. We offer competitive prices and special offers are also available. Pre-booking your equipment hire will allow you to save precious skiing time once in the resort and means you can budget for your ski holiday, knowing that it is already book and paid for.
Alpe d'Huez Lift Passes
Lift pass delivered FREE to your home. Book your lift pass for Alpe d'Huez at least 14 days prior departure and we can arrange hands-free lift passes delivered to your home, meaning you can ski straight through the gates, giving you more piste time - at no extra cost! Please note you will not be required to hand over a voucher at the kiosk in resort (non-applicable for free passes as you will be asked for a photo and a proof of age on site). Conditions apply. Please enquire with a member of the Ski Collection team for more details.
Other lift pass on offer (to buy locally in resort in Euros):
Alpe d'Huez beginner ski passes give access to the Grand Rif Nel, the Rif Nel and the Ecole 1 drag lifts. Rif Nel, Ecoles 2 drag lifts and the Grenouilles magic carpet are FREE, although you will need to pick up a hands-free pass from one of the Ski Pass Offices to be able to access these lifts.
The 1st Gliss pass allows you on all drag and chair lifts in Alpe d'Huez except the Alpauris and Marmottes 1 chair lifts. This pass includes the Rif Nel beginner zone, 6 green pistes and the Espace des Jeux beginner zone; a protected beginner area on the Signal sector of resort. All the drag lifts and chairlifts marked with a yellow circle on the piste map (not the interactive one) are included in the 1st Gliss pass. These passes can only be bought at the Ski Pass Offices in resort.
Beginner - €22.50
1st Gliss - €41.50
Grand Domaine ski pass – ½ day and daily rates 2017/18:
1/2 day - €44.50 children, €44.50 adults
Day - €43 children, €52.50 adults
Alpe d'Huez Ski School
Ski school for children is available to book from 3 years to 12 years in Alpe d'Huez with Ski Collection. Children can learn to snowboard from 8 years+. We can also book private lessons.
For ski school times and prices, please download the ski extras form from the 'Helpful links' further down the page. Please note these are just guiding prices. Please call us for the latest prices.
Please note that lesson times are subject to change right until the last minute - you will be advised. Outside French school holidays the ski school reserves the right to cancel group lessons should numbers be insufficient. For peak periods - Christmas, New Year, February half-term and Easter - we strongly recommend that you book as early as possible and in any case at least 6 weeks prior to the required dates. Morning lessons tend to get booked up first and therefore we may only be able to offer afternoon classes within 6 weeks of departure. In some resorts English speaking instructors may not always be available, particularly at peak times.
We cannot always guarantee that prices will be cheaper than in resort. When ski packs prices are calculated, the currency is bought at the exchange rates that apply at the time. You can be assured that once you have booked your extras, if the pound depreciates, you will not be charged more for your ski packs, enabling you to budget for your holiday in advance.
Alpe d’Huez is proud to be a ‘Family Plus’ ski resort! This label and seal of approval is issued by the French Ministry of Tourism if a holiday destination meets certain commitments to ensure a successful trip for the whole family.
The 6 commitments are:
- Personalised hospitality for families.
- Events and activities adapted to suit all ages.
- Prices adapted for all ages.
- Activities for all ages, that can be enjoyed individually or as a family.
- Shops and services that are conveniently close by.
- Children are fully pampered by the professional resort staff.
The Creche Les Intrepides takes care of your children from 6 months to 4 years old:
Avenue de Brandes
38750 Alpe d'Huez
Tel: +33 (0)6 14 91 41 51 or +33 (0)4 76 11 21 61
ESF Alpe d'Huez
Children can learn to ski from 3 years old in Alpe d'Huez with ESF. Ski school is pre-bookable with Ski Collection.
Alpe d'Huez offers a whole host of activities to suit all tastes. The Alpe d'Huez sports centre includes a swimming pool, ice rink, sledging area, climbing wall, squash and tennis courts. The futuristic church hosts weekly classical music concerts, the ice cave at 2700m has impressive ice sculptures and there are 2 cinemas.
You can also try exciting activities such as ice driving, mountain biking (yes, in the snow!), dog sledging, caterpillar tracked vehicle excursions, paragliding, visit the snow factory and take a helicopter excursion to Les Deux Alpes. Please see below for further information on some of the activities offered in Alpe d'Huez.
Take a dog sled excursion for a unique nordic adventure.... Sleigh trips along pedestrian routes. Reservation required at least 48 hours in advance.
Ski joering is being pulled along on skis by a horse. Meeting place: Poutran's Equestrian Centre.
38750 Alpe d'Huez
Tel: +33 (0)6 03 65 15 61
Deval'Moon X'Trem Sensations
Essential zorbing on snow - a great one for thrill-seekers.
38750 Alpe d'Huez
Tel: +33 (0)6 85 48 77 61
Municipal skating rink / Patinoire Municipale
Avenue des Jeux
38750 Alpe d'Huez
Tel: +33 (0)4 76 11 21 16
Aéro Alpe d'Huez
First flights, micro light, initiation flights, pilot school. Reservations require.
38750 Alpe d'Huez
Tel: +33 (0)6 89 09 49 39
A mix between parachuting, paragliding and skiing - perfect for extreme thrill seekers!
10 minutes: €20
20 minutes: €35
Alpe d'Huez News and Events 2018/19
- The Alpe d'Huez Cup - 5th-6th January 2019 - for kids aged between 9 and 16 years. The 800 participants need technique, skill, stamina and concentration are these are the keys required for them to turn into future champions
- International Comedy Film Festival - 15th-20th January 2019 - this is a unique event that promotes comedy films in France. The Festival is well established and renowned for spotting talent and movie premières that often, after screening in Alpe d'Huez, go on to be blockbusters like "Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis, Taxi"
- Tomorrowland - 13th-15th March 2019 - the legendary Belgian music festival will be organising a Winter edition in the French Alps. In March 2019, the entire winter sports resort ‘Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine Ski’ will be taken over and transformed into ‘Tomorrowland Winter’. Tomorrowland Winter will cover the entire ski area. A variety of stages, including a mainstage specially developed for this edition at the foot of the ski trails, the world’s best and hottest DJs, extra attention for a tasty food and drinks served in the most unexpected places at times, and all steeped in the decor, magic and atmosphere that makes Tomorrowland so special
- Comics Festival - 12th-14th April 2019 - this 13rd edition is organised by the Glénat publishing house. The event enables the public to discover the world of comic authors who make the event the cultural and family-friendly occasion it is. The comic book theme will be carried through to the following week in different free shows and activities for holidaymakers
Future resort news:
Alpe d'Huez, over the next few years, is investing 350 million Euros into upgrading the ski resort and ski area. The main flagship project to be undertaken is number 1 below:
- The flagship project will be to build a gondola link between Alpe d’Huez and Les 2 Alpes, which will create one of the largest linked ski areas in the world (475km). It will be larger, currently, than Tignes-Val d'Isere and Paradiski. Work should be starting in 2019, for a completion date of 2012, and will cost 60 million Euros. The cable car that will cross the valley is planned to take 18 minutes. Starting at 2200m in the area Signal de l’Homme, the cable car will cross the valley passing over Freney-d’Oisans to Mont-de-Lans in Les 2 Alpes
- For 2018/19 a new 10-person gondola from the lower quartiers to Bergers, carrying 2,400 people an hour, replaces the Eclose and Bergers chairlifts, with a midstation at Eclose. A similar capacity gondola improving access from the lower village of Huez is scheduled to link with it for 2019/20, replacing the 1980s Télévillage bucket lift
- 200 million euros will be spent on expanding the accommodation choice including 5* hotels and 4/5* apartments
- Roads will become pedestrianised with new underground parking
- 100 million Euros will be invested in existing lifts to make them faster and increase capacity
Check out the tourist office website for information on what is going on in Alpe d’Huez and the Grand Domaine ski area: www.alpedhuez.com
Apres-Ski, Bars & Restaurants
Eating out is an important business in Alpe d'Huez which boasts over 45 restaurants with something for all tastes and pocket. Au P'tit Creux, Passe Montagne, Les Caves restaurants offer good value food and wine.
The Alpe d'Huez ski resort is often reported as very lively and friendly, so make the most of the 20 bars and 4 discotheques. There is also a great selection of mountain restaurants spread over the Grand Domaine ski area.
‘La Folie Douce’ has arrived in Alpe d’Huez!
December 2013 saw the arrival of the fourth legendary ‘La Folie Douce’, in Alpe d’Huez. Other locations include: Val d’Isere, Val Thorens and Meribel. This unique après-ski venue is an open-air club on the ski slopes with a resident DJ, live singers and musicians which also offers gourmet cuisine within La Fruitière restaurant or something a bit quicker from the Le Nuvo self-service restaurant. The atmosphere is amazing and once there this place is hard to leave….so please don’t leave Alpe d’huez without popping in for at least one drink!
Alpe d'Huez has a wide selection of shops and services including food shops, bakeries, 2 pharmacies, doctors, dentist, physiotherapist, vets, post office, banks, garages, petrol station, gift and souvenir shops, newsagents, hairdressers, beauty salons, fashion stores, jewellery and sport shops.
The main medical centre in Alpe d’Huez:
Centre Medical de Bergers,
Centre Commerciale des Bergers,
Tel: +33 (0)4 76 80 69 29.
There are also 2 doctors surgeries in Alpe d’Huez:
Group Medical de la Meije,
Route du Signal, Alpe d’Huez.
Tel: +33 (0)4 76 80 37 30.
Group Medical des Jeux,
Avenue des Jeux, Alpe d’Huez.
Tel: +33 (0)4 79 80 35 84.
The nearest hospital to Alpe d'Huez is Grenoble (80km away).
Getting to Alpe d'Huez, France
From Calais: 580 miles, approximately 8hrs 35mins.
Listen to Autoroute FM (107.7 FM) for traffic news in English.
From Calais, take A26 Motorway to Reims and Troyes, then A5 Motorway to Dijon, then A39 motorway to Lons-le-Saulnier and Bourg-en-Bresse, then A40-A42 Motorway heading towards Lyon. Then take A432 Motorway passing Lyon Airport to A43 Motorway then A48 Motorway to Grenoble. Continue on A480 following directions of Sisteron/Gap/Briançon up to exit 8 (Stations de l’Oisans). Follow direction to Briançon turning on D1091 at Vizille. In Bourg d’Oisans turn left onto D211 towards Alpe d’Huez then onto D25a. Drive through Huez village and then take the 1st Left ‘Entrée Ouest’. Follow this road to the resort centre of Alpe d’Huez.
Grenoble to Alpe d’Huez: 65 miles, approximately 1hr 30.
Lyon to Alpe d’Huez: 95 miles, approximately 1hr 55.
Geneva to Alpe d’Huez: 130 miles, approximately 2hrs 40.
Private taxi transfers from airports to Alpe d’Huez are pre-bookable via Ski Collection! See our airport & station transfers page for more information.
Taking the Eurostar from London couldn’t be easier. We offer 2 options: direct Ski Train (St Pancreas or Ashford to Moûtiers or Bourg-St-Maurice) or Eurostar Beyond (with a change at Paris). See our train services page for more information.
The nearest train station to Alpe d’Huez is Grenoble (40 miles). More national train information is available at: www.sncf.com
Private taxi transfers from Grenoble to Alpe d’Huez from £122 per person return (based on 4 people sharing) are pre-bookable via Ski Collection! See our airport & station transfers page for more information.
There are daily bus links between Grenoble coach station (next to the train station) and Alpe d'Huez. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes. Approximate prices: €5.80/one way (€4.10 for under 25 year olds). Contact VFD/Trans’Isère: Tel: +33 (0)8 20 08 38 38 Website: www.transisere.fr
Coach connections are also possible between Chambéry - Savoie Airport and Grenoble Bus Station. Contact Altibus: Tel: +33 (0)4 79 68 32 96 Website: www.altibus.com
Ski Collection can arrange very competitive car hire at all airports, train stations and other town locations. 7 day rental ranges from £230-£549 (any other duration possible). See our car hire page for more information.
Resort Shuttle Bus in Alpe d’Huez:
The different areas of Alpe d’Huez are very well connected by the free resort shuttle bus which has 4 different routes plus 1 night route.
Circuit Pomme (Apple route) runs between 07:25 – 19:00.
Circuit Fraise (Strawberry route) runs 08:45 – 17:57.
Circuit Myrtille (Blueberry route) runs 08:30 – 17:40.
Circuit Citron (Lemon route) runs 09:15 – 17:35.
Circuit Nuit (Night route) runs starts at 18:00 and finishes at 21:53.
Every Wednesday and Thursday there is a bus service from Alpe d’Huez to Les Deux Alpes. The journey takes about an hour, leaving Alpe d’Huez at 08:30 and returning from Les Deux Alpes at 16:30. Seats must be pre-booked from the Alpe d’Huez bus station or the ‘Palais des Sports’ sports centre. Approximate cost: €11/person return.
Resort Parking in Alpe d’Huez:
There are numerous public car parks in Alpe d’Huez:
Covered car parks: Tel: +33 (0)4 76 11 21 75.
Approximate cost: €29-€58/car/week:
- Bergers, Route de l’Altiport, 38750 Alpe d’Huez. Spaces: 264.
- Coulet, Rue du Siou-Coulet, 38750 Alpe d’Huez. Spaces: 97.
- Cristal de l’Alpe, Avenue de l’Etendard, 38750 Alpe d’Huez. Spaces: 100.
- Palais des Sports, Avenue de Brandes, 38750 Alpe d’Huez. Spaces: 136.
- Patinoire, 6 Avenue des Jeux, 38750 Alpe d’Huez. Spaces: 114.
- Rif Nel, Avenue du Rif Nel, 38750 Alpe d’Huez. Spaces: 235.
Outdoor car parks: Tel: +33 (0)4 76 80 32 32:
Blue parking zones near shops are limited to 90 minutes only, between 09:30 – 12:00 & 14:30 – 19:30.
Free outdoor car parks: Avenue de Brandes, Chemin de Brandes, Place Paganon, Avenue de l'Eclose, Chemin de la Chapelle, Les Bergers, Avenue du Rif Nel, L'Eclose and Place du Cognet. A European parking disk is required for outdoor parking, which is available in all public areas, as well as from all resort's shops.