You could hardly wish for a more eclectic ski network than Alpe d’Huez. The resort and its satellites are on a sunny, high plateau surrounded by an amazing snow-bowl with mile after mile of varied on-piste and off-piste opportunities. From challenging black runs to wide open blues and greens, the 249km of piste skiing is spread over a huge area, providing endless opportunities for all levels of skier and boarder.
The ski resort of Alpe d’Huez boasts an excellent snow record due to its high altitude, the Sarenne Glacier and its collection of over 900 snow cannons. It may then come as a surprise to learn that this resort also claims to be the sunniest in France. Whether you believe this claim or not one thing is sure, you’ve got excellent odds on a bluebird day when you have your ski holiday here.
Alpe d’Huez is also regarded as one of the most scenic ski resorts in France, the 3300m Pic Blanc summit affords breath-taking views across the whole of the Southern Alps. It provides a wonderful starting point for the Sarenne descent – at 16km one of the longest black runs in the world! Alpe d’Huez is also ideal for snowboarders, with two well maintained snow parks and plenty of boarder friendly cable-cars and chairlifts.
|Off Piste||Best up high|
Beginners skiing and snowboarding in Alpe d’Huez
An ideal resort in which to start your ski career with highly regarded ski schools and many easy blues to help practice your new found techniques! The lower slopes are typically gentle and criss-crossed with easily accessible green runs. The resort is also a great place for beginner boarders with few drag lifts and plenty wide open green and blue runs. Le Petit Prince is a simple, long winding blue run leading all the way from the top of the Signal mountain into the delightful village of Villard. The piste will afford sufficient challenge to beginners while also offering spectacular views over the surrounding valley – enough to inspire even the most nervous skier or boarder.
Intermediates skiing and snowboarding in Alpe d’Huez
Absolutely perfect for intermediate skiers and boarders and with a combined total of over 100 blue and red runs there is plenty of scope for exploring the mountain. We’d thoroughly recommend the wide open slopes at Auris which are perfect for practicing your carving technique. On the opposite side of the resort, the red runs into Oz-en-Oisans and Villard Reculas provide more challenging descents sure to test even the most experienced intermediate.
The stunning winter landscape around the Dome des Petites Rousses offers skiers and boarders a wealth of exciting, powdery red-runs to explore. The more adventurous intermediates will want to try the tricky, energy sapping Sarenne descent from the top of the Pic Blanc.
Advanced skiing and snowboarding in Alpe d’Huez
Alpe d’Huez has some of the best on-piste, advanced skiing in the Alps. The Sarenne run from the top of the Pic Blanc, is well known as the longest black run in Europe and a real endurance test. The infamous Le Tunnel, trailing through an ominous old mining shaft, into a steep descent and over bumpy moguls, is required skiing for anyone who wants to be seriously challenged. Le Tunnel is notoriously tricky, with many skiers giving up halfway down and side-slipping the rest of the route. Don’t say we didn’t warm you! During the high season you should also head over to L’Alpette to attempt the much more enjoyable, long, winding black run down to Vaujany: La Fare. This quiet corner of Alpe d’Huez attracts serious powder after heavy snowfall.
The high altitude off-piste suitable for thrill-seeking expert skiers and boarders is extensive and well renowned. The Glacier des Rousses is an excellent freeriding area with fantastic powder conditions, which is easily enjoyed with the help of a qualified guide.
Freestyle and terrain parks in Alpe d’Huez
The massive snow park adjacent to the DMC 1 lift has been highly praised for its design. It has plenty of large kickers and challenging rails but remains accessible to beginners as well as advanced freestylers. The ‘Big Air’ freestyle practice area allows you to practice your most gnarly tricks before you plummet into the safety of the giant air-bag. It costs to use this facility but for dedicated freestylers the cost is totally worth it. A second, smaller park is situated in Montfrais near Vaujany, easily accessed from the Montfrais lift and Myrtilles blue run.
Everyday 9am - 4:45/5pm. Lifts in satellite resorts close earlier (approx 4pm)
50km; 5 marked cross country trails
Several areas available – guide advised, Certain areas not advised. Avalanche risk factor is high; Signal (2115m) - Oz (1350m) high risk
2 snow parks
Free with lift pass. Runs until late.
Restaurants, food and drink
The cuisine in Alpe d’Huez is typically French with a range of restaurants serving traditional mountain fare such as fondue and raclette. In the centre of town the cozy bar and restaurant known as Lounge 21 has one of the most varied menus, ranging from traditional Savoyard specialties to tapas. One of the most popular restaurants in town, the Passe Montagne provides a traditional dining experience with a delicious menu of classic, French food. We’d also recommend Genepi, in the centre of town. This charming restaurant has a truly authentic atmosphere and it makes a great raclette.
If you’re looking to splash out on a meal try the Fruiterie at the top of the Marmottes lift. Part of La Folie Douce family this stylish restaurant is an atmospheric place for lunch on the mountain. Less expensive is La Trappeur burger shack at the bottom of the DMC lift. Incredibly popular with our Alpe d’Huez reps who rave about the huge variety of burgers on offer.
Après, bars, clubs and nightlife
Alpe d’Huez has a loud and lively après scene, here the dancing and live music continues until late into the night. Nevertheless, the scene in Alpe d’Huez remains inclusive and you don’t have to be a pro-partier to participate in the table top dancing. The Etalon in the centre of town is Alpe d’Huez’s only rum bar and the pirate themed décor is truly unique. The Etalon serves multiple flavours of homemade rum, and the rum cactus is certainly worth a try. Les Cave’s bar and nightclub has a welcoming vibe and the vibrant schedule of events is both eclectic and lively.
The Freeride Pub, where the party continues until late into the night, is popular with seasonaires. It’s not often that we highlight somewhere for their toilet, but the slide down to the WC is one of the unique highlights of this bar, especially when it’s accompanied by shots! With live music most evenings and snowboards decorating the ceiling we also highly recommend The Underground Bar for a great night out.
Avenue Les Jeux is the main centre for shopping in Alpe d’Huez with a couple of supermarkets ideal for self-catering visitors. In the area around Place Paganon there are several sports equipment shops offering ski and snowboarding rentals. And if you are looking to purchase postcards and souvenirs to take back home there are plenty of suitable stores including tabacs and even a sweet shop.
Spas and relaxation
Many of the hotels in Alpe d’Huez have spa facilities which are available to their guests. The Hotel Pic Blanc has an excellent spa complete with sauna and whirlpool as well as an indoor pool. Guests of the Pic Blanc can also take advantage of the massage and beauty treatments which are available to buy locally. The Hotel Alpenrose also provides a massage service which can be bought locally, as well as an incredible outdoor heated pool, sauna and whirlpool facilities.
Both the Hotel Le Royal Ours Blanc and Les Grand Rousses have wellness facilities as well as an indoor pool for guests. And let’s not forget the Chalet Hotel Les Cimes which has a wonderful sauna and steam room for its guests. Public facilities in the resort include an indoor swimming pool at the local sports complex, the Palais des Sports, situated in the centre of town.
Arts, culture and events
The lively calendar of events in Alpe d’Huez ranges from film festivals to elite sporting competitions. Particularly popular are the regular ice hockey matches which are held at the outdoor ice rink every Sunday. One of the highlights of the sporting calendar is the Pyramide d’Oz held in the neighbouring small village of Oz-en-Oisans. This ski mountaineering race is held at the end of January, initially a competition held for enthusiasts the event is now the first stage of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup circuit.
Cultural activities in the town include the local cinema, which shows English language films every Tuesday. Movie buffs will also enjoy the annual International Comedy Film Festival, which Alpe d’Huez hosts every January. This festival showcases some of the best feature-length comedy films from across the globe as well as previously unseen short films. Visitors with an interest in sculpting should head to the ice caves at the top of the Grandes Rousses lift. These magical caves are carved by expert ice sculptors and their appearance changes every year – it is a must see for every visitor to Alpe d’Huez.
It’s not all about skiing and snowboarding in Alpe d’Huez. There are plenty of alternative activities to keep you occupied both on and away from the pistes, many of which can be booked through speaking to your Inghams representative.
A popular activity: dog sledding is a classic winter past-time and a thrilling way to explore the mountain. Dog sledding trips run several evenings a week and your Inghams representative can help you to arrange this exciting experience when you visit the resort.
Ski away-day to Les Deux Alpes
You can practically wave to Les Deux Alpes from Alpe d’Huez and vice-versa. With your lift-pass entitling you to one days skiing in this neighbouring resort, it would be a shame not to make use of it. Your Inghams representative can help you to arrange an away-day to Les Deux Alpes so you can explore the full extent of this amazing ski area. Trips run from 8am to 5pm.
The flood-lit Signal piste is regularly illuminated throughout the season providing visitors to resort with an opportunity to enjoy the thrilling experience of night-time skiing. Speak to your representative in resort to organise this excursion locally.
Another fantastic way in which to visit the neighbouring resort of Les Deux Alpes. Taking a helicopter to the slopes sounds like the preserve of the super-rich, but this five or six-minute transfer between Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes is not only glamorous but also reasonably priced! Trips run three times a week and drop you off in Les Deux Alpes in the morning before picking you back up later that afternoon.
One-off admission to the open-air ice skating rink in the heart of town is included with your 6-day ski pass. The floodlit ice rink is open until late most days of the week, making it a perfect evening activity after a day on the slopes.
Other activities in Alpe d’Huez:
|Ski Inclusive – Save up to £70 per person|
Book our Ski Inclusive bundle and save £s on your lift pass, skis / board and boots. See our Ski Inclusive page for details.
|Lift Passes*||Days||Adult 13-64||Senior 65 -71||Child* 5-12||Family 2 adults &
2 children 5-18
|Whole Area Pass
L (15-21 Dec & 6-12 Apr), H (22 Dec - 5 Apr).
Lift pass covers 2 days in Les 2 Alpes & 1 day in Serre Chevalier (transport extra).
*0-4 Free (issued locally, photo required)
|Skis & Boots||£120||£139||£156|
|Snowboard & boots||-||£139||£156|
|Child* 6-12||Skis & boots||-||£93||-|
|Snowboard & boots||-||£93||-|
Equipment Hire (6 days) – Please see here for description of hire categories.
*White Category skis and boots for children 3-5yrs: £51.
*Child snowboard & boots 8-12yrs
|Tuition||Days||Hours||Adult 13+||Child* 3-12|
|9:15am - noon||£134
3 day ski school only available 5 Jan - 8 Feb & 9 March - 5 April and is not suitable for beginners. *2:45-5:15pm during Feb holidays.
*Child snowboard tuition 7-12yrs.
Prices and supplements are correct at time of printing. Up-to-date prices will be confirmed at time of booking.
Resort Code: FRAD
Languages spoken: French
Time difference: GMT+1
|Departure day||To||Depart from|
Transfer 2 hrs by coach
Flight supplements may apply.
Self-Drive Save up to £100 per person.
Car hire available: Yes
Evening resort bus service: Yes
Local bus services:
Parking available: No
Resort Ski bus available: Yes
Free with lift pass. runs until late
Ski bus info:
Free with lift pass. Runs until late.