The history of Alpe d’Huez goes back thousands of years. It wasn’t until 1936 that Alpe d’Huez began to develop into a ski resort. The first ski school was developed and the first ‘Poma’ lift installed (the first at any resort!).
Hosting the bobsleigh race in the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics really started the booming tourism trade and with this, Alpe d’Huez was able to make improvements to the lift systems and resort centre.
Alpe d’Huez reputation as a world-class ski resort continues as the resort won European Best Ski Resort 2019.
Known as ‘l’Isle au Soleil’ (Sunny Island), Alpe d’Huez is located 1,860m altitude in a large sunny bowl and has around 300 days of sun on average per year. And the snow? Well this ski destination is blessed with snowy nights and sunny days. The perfect combination.
Enjoy the stunning views from The Pic Blanc glacier (3,330m) over the Ecrins National Park, La Grave, La Meije, Les Deux Alpes and Mont Blanc.
Snow-Sure Ski Area
Alpe d’Huez forms part of the ‘Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine’ ski area, which also consists of other resorts such as Auris-en-Oisans, Huez-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas.
Offering skiers and boarders 249km of pisted runs and endless off-piste opportunities, there is plenty of terrain to suit all abilities. The 84 lifts give access to 41 green pistes, 34 blue pistes, 40 red pistes and 16 black pistes. There are also two snowparks, a boardercross park and a halfpipe for those keen to test out their moves.
For experienced skiers, Alpe d’huez is home to the longest run in Europe – La Sarenne (16km), as well as the ‘Tunnel’ run – great for thrill seekers. Beginners are best to head to the gentle slopes on the outskirts of the resort.
Apres-Ski in Alpe d’Huez
Alpe d’Huez offers a wide selection of buzzing après spots, especially on the mountain:
- Le Folie Douce – The most famous of all. At the top of the Marmottes 1 chair lift, you will find this legendary party. From 2:30pm, expect thumping music, dancers, spraying champagne and amazing views over the mountains from the south facing deck.
- Le Tremplin Bar and Restaurant – Relax on the deck chairs and watch the sunset from the large south-facing terrace.
- Tiger Bar – If you are looking to catch up on sport on the TV, then you should head here. Also, great for a game of pool!
- Le Taburle Bar and Restaurant – Ideal if you miss the last lifts. You can ski down the Village blue run, which leads to the lower sections of the town.
- FreeRide Bar – A favourite amongst locals and seasonaires.
- Sphere Bar – Fantastic atmosphere with live music several afternoons a week, normally between 4pm and 6pm. If you fancy a drink outside, there is a south facing patio.
- Lounge 21 – If you would rather a more sophisticated place to go after a day skiing, Lounge 21 is located above the Igloo nightclub and has a chic interior with a great wine list, as well as cocktails and tapas.
Restaurants in Alpe d’Huez
- Restaurant L’Altiport – Indulge in the unique dishes created by Chef Philippe whilst taking in the beautiful views from the terrace.
- Chalet du Lac Besson – A cosy, alpine restaurant with a sun trap terrace.
- Auberge de la Combe Haute Restaurant – A well-deserved refuel at the bottom of the Sarenne piste, serving up all the alpine favourites such as tartiflette, chilli and pizzas.
- Le Trappeur Restaurant – Renowned for serving the best burgers in Alpe d’Huez.
- Chamois d’Or Restaurant – Situated at the bottom of the slopes, serving traditional French cuisine using local produce.
- Smithys Tavern – This bar is a must. It has built up a reputation over the years for having a great buzz about it with live music and DJs.
- L’Igloo – From Smithy’s, head below to this electro focused dance club hosting guest DJs and themed evenings.
- Caves de l’Alpe Nightclub – Dance all night long to the resident DJ.
- Tomorrowland Winter – Join 30,000 people from all over the world to experience a truly magical week in the stunning Alpe d’Huez. Book your tickets for the biggest dance music festival in the world and ski one of the top ski destinations – all in one amazing week.
Non-Ski Activities in Alpe d’Huez
- Husky-dog rides – Team up with excitable dogs, driving through the snow.
- Ice-driving – Test your driving abilities on the ice. Develop your knowledge and experience of how to control a car on ice.
- Alpine Coaster –Reaching speeds of 40kph, the coaster makes its way through a 700m course. Try out the virtual reality option for added excitement.
- Ice-climbing – The Oisans and Ecrins National Park are known for spectacular ice formations and a thrill for those experienced climbers.
- Night Skiing – Available every Thursday. Ski down the Sarenne at night and enjoy an added extra restaurant meal.
- Ice-skating – Situated in the centre of resort, head to the ice rink to show off your skills.
Please speak to Skiworld in the UK or in resort for help with booking these activities.
Christmas in Alpe d’Huez
Celebrations start as soon as the Christmas lights are switched on at the beginning of December. It’s a truly magical time to visit Alpe d’Huez. Spot the Santa’s when skiing on Christmas day; enjoy the Christmas concerts; immerse yourself in the atmosphere at the festive markets and dance away to the live music throughout town.
Our catered chalet experience makes your Christmas holiday extra special. How?
- A welcoming glass of mulled wine on arrival
- Your own Christmas tree along with festive decorations
- Sweets or chocolates for the children in your group (guided by the parents of course)
- Christmas Eve – a midnight celebration of mince pies and sparkling wine
- On Christmas Day enjoy a celebrative breakfast of smoked salmon and Fizz
- Free flowing wine throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- Afternoon tea with mince pies and mulled wine
- Canapés, aperitifs and Christmas crackers before your delicious, freshly prepared Christmas Day menu, followed by chocolates and fresh coffee.
As part of our ‘Schools Out For Skiing‘ offers, we are providing great discounts during Christmas for Alpe d’Huez catered chalets. If you book the entire chalet, you will qualify for the Double Group Discount (£100pp off), which can be combined with our Ski-All-In discount (lift pass + ski hire/or carriage) and Free Chalet Plus (equivalent of £39pp).
Where to Stay:
Stay in Chalet Les Eterlous for £1,037 per person, departing on the 21st December. This price includes 7 nights’ accommodation, return flights, transfers, 6-days chalet catering and special festive additions.
A great choice for ski convenience with the Alpauris chair and ski school meeting point just 220 metres (approx.) away. A homely chalet with a spacious living, dining area and roaring fire. There’s also a sauna and steam room to relax in after a busy day skiing the Sarenne.
Chalet Louisa is ski-in/ski-out, with easy access to the ski school meeting point and the Marmottes gondola. You can stay here for £1,093 per person, departing on 21st December. This price includes 7 nights’ accommodation, return flights, transfers, 6-days chalet catering and special festive additions.
Take in the panoramic views of Alpe d’Huez from the large balcony, warm up in front of the wood burning stove and relax in the hot tub or sauna.
If you would like a relaxing ski holiday in a more secluded part of Alpe d’Huez, then Chalet Sarenne is the perfect chalet for you.
Classy, crisp interior design with the added luxuries of a wood sauna, steam room and private hot tub overlooking the valley.
For those who would rather go self-catered, we are offering a free Christmas dinner, delivered through our partnership with Huski.
* All prices correct at time of publishing 13/9/19