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.
2 snow parks
Drag lifts 42, Chairlifts 24, Cablecars 9
Things to do in resort
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.
For more information on travel and transport visit our Alpe d'Huez page