Situated on a south-facing plateau at 1850m altitude, Alpe d’Huez is known for its sunny exposition and boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year. The 249km of slopes has something for every level of skier. There is also a glacier and the longest black run in the world to discover for the most adventurous. This lively resort has just as much to offer off the slopes with its buzzing après ski scene.
Alpe d’Huez is the largest resort in the Grand Domaine ski area, which stretches from 1250m to 3330m of altitude up on the Pic Blanc glacier, comprising nearly 250km of sun-drenched pistes. The resort is perhaps best known for Sarenne, its infamous 16km black run, and the selection of other vertiginous black pistes descending from Alpe d’Huez’s highest point. However, the ski area is also very well tailored towards beginners, offering two large, central beginner areas in Les Bergers and the DMC area. Those who are looking to try their hand at park skiing will be pleased to know there is a beginner-friendly snowpark in the same area of the resort.
If you have non-skiers in your group – or simply want some evening entertainment or a well-earned break from the skiing – Alpe d’Huez has a variety of activities on offer to keep you occupied when the skis are off. The outdoor ice rink is a magical way to spend an evening, whether it’s ice-skating with your family or spectating at an exhilarating ice hockey match. The nearby Palais des Sports et des Congres offers a swimming pool, climbing wall, gym, yoga and Pilates sessions, and a cinema. If you’re looking for a little action, why not try ski-doos, husky rides, or the Alpine Coaster, a 700m toboggan run on rails. Or for something more relaxed, there are a number of luxury spas where you can pamper yourself, and the local shopping scene is worth indulging in with a good selection of boutiques and well-known brands.
Bars & Restaurants
Alpe d’Huez’s après-ski scene has much to offer, from live music or dancing on the tables at the infamous Folie Douce, to a game of pool at a sports bar or simply cosying up by the fire with a beer in hand at O Bar. If partying into the small hours is your thing, there are several nightclubs including the Alpe d’Huez staple L’Igloo. When it comes to eating out, there is an array of restaurants ranging from ‘cheap and cheerful’ to fine dining, so whatever you’re looking for, you’re likely to find something that suits. The restaurant in the 5* Chamois d’Or hotel is the obvious choice those looking for something a little more upmarket, but there is no shortage of great mountain restaurants to suit a range of budgets including takeaway burgers and self-service restaurants with fabulous views.