If you’re looking for a purely French ski resort, plenty of sunshine, family-friendly on- and off-mountain attractions and amenities, tons of terrain and of course, unforgettable views of the Alps, then an Alpe d’Huez ski vacation should top your list.
A popular French ski vacation destination, Alpe d’Huez is an expansive, modern resort situated in the Southern Alps, east of Grenoble. Alpe d’Huez isn’t just known as a winter destination, the Tour de France actually stops through the area. You may even recognize the winding, high alpine access road to Alpe d’Huez if you’ve watched the Tour de France on TV. The base area village sits high, at more than 6,000 feet, so you’re pretty much guaranteed great snow conditions and coverage. A sophisticated lift system transports skiers and boarders to nearly 11,000 feet. Alpe de’Huez ski resort sprawls more than 155 miles of well-varied terrain, making it the fifth largest resort in France.
Alpe d’Huez’s lively base village is divided into several sections, but most tourists prefer to be near the epicenter of it all: Avenue des Jeux. There you’ll find a bustling shopping, dining and nightlife scene. But if a close locale to the chairlifts is important, you’ll want to stay in the more charming, rustic quarter of Vaujany. Families have an assortment of lodging options to choose from with kid-friendly amenities, plus Alpe d’Huez has an incredible ski school and sunny, gentle slopes.
A six-day lift pass in Alpe d’Huez includes a complimentary day at neighbor Les Deux Alpes ski resort. You can take a helicopter there for about $80, and experience the soaring Alpine peaks up close and personal.
Despite enjoying popularity among families, Alpe d’Huez in fact offers experts exceptional terrain options. The black run from the Pic Blanc tram is a great black run to get to the heart pumping, plus there are plenty of off-piste areas for the adventurous at heart. Experts will enjoy skiing or snowboarding off the Marmottes II gondola and Lievre Blanc chairlift. When snow conditions are tip-top, and they almost always are, intermediates have a staggering amount of intermediate terrain to choose from. A large web of green runs just above the base village, offer beginner skiers or snowboarders an optimal learning setting. And four of the beginner lifts are complimentary (i.e., they don’t require a lift ticket).
Freestyle enthusiasts will be hard pressed to find better placed, maintained and designed terrain parks. Alpe d’Huez offers “jibbers” progression parks, pro-level jump, half-pipe and features.