Unique in the world, Alpe d’Huez offers the opportunity to ski on four mythical descents of more than 6,560 ft in one run without taking a lift. It’s also one of the sunniest resorts in the Alps with over 300 bluebird days a year.
The main town of Alpe d’Huez sits at 6,132 ft above sea level at the center of the Oisans region in the French Alps. It is the main resort in the Grandes Rousses Massif and is around two hours 30 minutes drive from Geneva airport. At its highest point, the resort reaches up to 10,827 ft on the Pic Blanc glacier. Its reputation for having the most days of sunshine on the ski slopes in a year has given rise to its nickname “l’Isle du Soleil”, the Island of the Sun.
The ski area here has something for every level and ability of skier or snowboarder, including great snowparks.
The resort has been awarded the ‘Famille Plus’ label by the French Tourism organization as being particularly suitable for family holidays. In the summer months, the resort transforms into a haven for cyclists (it features as a regular stage on the Tour de France), hikers and mountain bikers.
The gentle slopes on the outskirts of the resort provide the perfect terrain for beginners to build their confidence on.
Intermediate skiers will find plenty to entertain themselves with on the network of blues and reds.
Alpe d’Huez forms part of the fabulous ‘Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine Ski Area’ combining the resorts of Alpe d’Huez, Auris-en-Oisans, Huez-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany, and Villard Reculas into one giant, heavenly playground. The weekly lift pass also includes two days in Les 2 Alpes and a day in each of the Grande Galaxie resorts of Serre Chevalier, Puy Saint Vincent, Montgenevre, the Italian Milky Way and 25% reduction on a lift pass at La Grave.
The Sarennes ski run (labeled black mainly due to the length rather than difficulty) is the longest in Europe at 10 miles, joining the Pic Blanc to the Sarenne Gorge. As well as being the starting point for many off-piste itineraries, it can also be skied by moonlight as part of a monthly organized excursion.
The Pic Blanc is the highest point of the ski area and offers breathtaking views of the Alps including Mont Blanc, Mont Cervin, and the Meije. On a clear day, it is said that a fifth of France can be seen from this point.
Life away from the slopes is pretty exciting too, with just as much variety in terms of nightlife.
If you’re up for some more relaxing activities you can take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, or take a turn around the resort’s ice skating rink. Once the sun goes down, head out to the bars and restaurants, where you’ll find a great variety of venues to suit you and your mood.
|Ski Area||Top Elevation||Skill Level|
|Aiguille du Midi||3843m / 12,608′||Intermediate/Expert|
|Les Grands Montets||3275m / 10,745′||Intermediate/Expert|
|La Flégère||2450m / 8333′||Beginner/Intermediate|
|Le Brévent||2525m / 8284′||Intermediate|
|Les Houches||1966m / 6450′||All Levels|
|Le Tour||2150m / 7054′||Beginner/Intermediate|