Alpe d’Huez is a youthful mountain resort in the French department of Isere. Most known as a brilliant place to ski, Alpe d’Huez is also the most famous stage of the Tour de France, making it perfect for cycling enthusiasts to test their endurance. The resort is not massively pleasing on the eye, but that is largely irrelevant due to the fantastic facilities, both natural and man made, and the breath taking Alpine scenery in all directions. This is a great all round ski resort with some extremely challenging black runs and a 2230m vertical drop, yet plenty enough for learners and beginners, making a ski chalet in Alpe d’Huez perfect for families and mixed ability parties.
Alpe d’Huez holidays are dramatically different in summer than they are in winter, but it is the skiing which first propelled the resort to the hearts and minds of the tourist industry. It is one of France’s oldest resorts and boasts the fifth largest ski circuit in the country. The après ski in the resort is excellent, so winter or summer, you may find yourself returning to your Alpe d’Huez apartment in the early hours having sampled the best of the bars or The Underground nightclub.
Skiing in Alpe d’Huez is spectacular, especially the free-skiing, and the resort is one of very few places to react positively to the poor snow year of the late 1990’s by developing a ski area high on the glacier above the usual pistes, ensuring excellent skiing late into the summer. The notoriously tough ski tunnel which connects the high altitude area with the normal ski area is for experienced skiers only, but don’t worry if you are not an expert skier staying in an Alpe d’Huez chalet or apartment, as there are many lifts connecting the two in both directions! Snowboarders and freestyle skiers taking rental accommodation in Alpe d’Huez will be hugely entertained as there half pipes and a terrain park in Plat des Marmottes. Beginners who like the look of an Alpe d’Huez chalet are well catered for too, as there are many excellent English speaking instructors in the resort.
Away from the snow, Alpe d’Huez draws cyclists from across Europe to tackle the infamous stage of the Tour de France. Alternatively, walkers flock to Alpe d’Huez apartments for the glorious views and extensive trails, or to take to the skies hangliding or paragliding. After a hard days sport, visitors have their pick of saunas, spas, 32 bars and a staggering number of nightclubs to recover in.
In summer, temperatures in Alpe d’Huez reach a delightful 23˚C, perfect for walking, cycling or taking to the air. Winters do come relatively quickly, meaning that snow is almost guaranteed by December, and lasts until after Easter.
Grenoble Airport (GNB) is under an hour and a half from the accommodation in Alpe d’Huez. There are a variety of options for transfers, all vying for business, which keeps the prices very reasonable.