Alpe D’Huez, France
Waking up to views of snow capped mountains and to feel the crunch of crisp white snow underfoot is exhilarating, even non-skiers adore the magnificent views of this popular ski resort. Alpe d Huez or as the French pronounce it L’ Alpe d’ Huez is a mountain pasture found in the Central French Alps situated in the commune of Huez which is part of the department of Isère located in the region of Rhône – Alpes. It is the central resort of the Grandes Rousses massif over the Oisans and is 59 km (37 miles) from Grenoble. It links the very traditional mountain villages of Auris-en-Oisans, Villard Reculas, Ozen-Oisans, Vaujany and La Garde. Combined, the area covered is 10,000 hectares which have an impressive 250km of linked pistes over an altitude range of 2,200m. Pic Blanc which is the top station in the Alpe d Huez area is 3330m and offers fabulous breathtaking views of the majestic Alps including Meije, Mont Cervin and Mont Blanc. It is said that on a bright clear day a fifth of the whole of France can be seen from Pic Blanc.
The terrain is ideal for all levels of skiers, from beginners to intermediates and advanced all are catered for and they have great snow parks. Other activities available are a sports centre, where there is an outside heated swimming pool, climbing via a climbing wall, bobsleigh, ice driving, skating and a French cinema to name just a few. A common mistake is that ski resorts are only busy during winter months, this is absolutely not true, and the summer months are just as popular with a whole host of activities to keep even the sportiest people active during these months it is famous for its spectacular bicycle courses up hills. The stage of Alpe d’Huez is always one of the most important ones in the Tour de France. Alpe d Huez is also known as “L’ile au Soleil” when translated means “Island of the sun” because the majority of the slopes face South, there is an average of 300 days of sunshine per year according to the National Meteorological Office
There is an Altiport in Alpe d Huez called the Alpe d Huez Airport which mainly hosts to helicopters and interestingly there is a gourmet restaurant on the edge of the platform, therefore, fly in, dine in style and fly out again! Grenoble airport is where most foreign visitors fly into its 104km to Alpe d Huez and takes about 75 minutes to reach the resort, the next best options are Chambery (130km) or Lyon (152km), followed by Geneva (211km) There are wonderfully reliable and efficient shuttle transfers available as well as private taxis or car hire.
What else does this lovely village have to offer Après ski? There is the International Festival of comedy film of Alpe d Huez in January and concerts are held in both winter and summer months. There are numerous bars from sports bars where you can watch all the latest games, piano bars that have comfortable seating and offer a more chilled vibe, to more lively bars that offer everyone’s favourite, pool. There is an abundance of restaurants and on the menu; you will find the usual Savoie dishes plus fondue and typical French cuisine. The emphasis is very much on fresh local produce and so cured and seasoned meats will have come from cattle grazed on Alpine pastures, the local cheeses of Abondance and Beaufort are in plentiful supply and although not next to a coastline there is still a regional fish dish! The féra is caught in nearby Lake Geneva and is a popular dish served in many restaurants, alongside other lake fish such as Omble Chevalier (char), truite (trout), brochet (pike) and perche (perch).
After you have eaten a sumptuous dinner, it’s time to head to the local bars for a chilled glass of bubbly or a cocktail or two. If you fancy partying all night then head for the centre of town where you can dance the night away to a DJ and live bands which make for a cracking atmosphere. Alpe D’Huez is a ski resort that has it all and it caters for all, whether its families, couples or a group of friends this resort is ideal for whatever you want to do. Your holiday can be as laid back and chilled as you want or be busy and bustling the choice is yours but it is the place to be!